Bio

JONATHAN TURLEY
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

unnamed-1Professor Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. He has written over three dozen academic articles that have appeared in a variety of leading law journals at Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Northwestern, University of Chicago, and other schools.

After a stint at Tulane Law School, Professor Turley joined the George Washington faculty in 1990 and, in 1998, was given the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, the youngest chaired professor in the school’s history. In addition to his extensive publications, Professor Turley has served as counsel in some of the most notable cases in the last two decades including the representation of whistleblowers, military personnel, judges, members of Congress, and a wide range of other clients. He is also one of the few attorneys to successfully challenge both a federal and a state law — leading to courts striking down the federal Elizabeth Morgan law as well as the state criminalization of cohabitation.

In 2010, Professor Turley represented Judge G. Thomas Porteous in his impeachment trial. After a trial before the Senate, Professor Turley (on December 7, 2010) argued both the motions and gave the final argument to all 100 U.S. Senators from the well of the Senate floor — only the 14th time in history of the country that such a trial of a judge has reached the Senate floor. Judge Porteous was convicted of four articles of impeachments, including the acceptance of $2000 from an attorney and using a false name on a bankruptcy filing.

In 2011, Professor Turley filed a challenge to the Libyan War on behalf of ten members of Congress, including Representatives Roscoe Bartlett (R., Md); Dan Burton (R., Ind.); Mike Capuano (D., Mass.); Howard Coble (R., N.C.); John Conyers (D., Mich.); John J. Duncan (R., Tenn.); Tim Johnson (R., Ill.); Walter Jones (R., N.C.); Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio); and Ron Paul (R., Tx). The lawsuit was before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Turley-600x287In November 2014, Turley agreed to serve as lead counsel to the United States House of Representatives in its constitutional challenge to changes ordered by President Obama to the Affordable Care Act. The litigation was approved by the House of Representatives to seek judicial review of the claims under the separation of powers. On May 12, 2016, the federal court handed down a historic victory for the House and ruled that the Obama Administration violated the separation of powers in ordering billions to be paid to insurance companies without an appropriation of Congress.

Other cases include his representation of the Area 51 workers at a secret air base in Nevada; the nuclear couriers at Oak Ridge, Tennessee; the Rocky Flats grand jury in Colorado; Dr. Eric Foretich, the husband in the famous Elizabeth Morgan custody controversy; and four former United States Attorneys General during the Clinton impeachment litigation. In the Foretich case, Turley succeeded recently in reversing a trial court and striking down a federal statute through a rare “bill of attainder” challenge. Professor Turley has also served as counsel in a variety of national security cases, including espionage cases like that of Jim Nicholson, the highest ranking CIA officer ever accused of espionage. Turley also served as lead defense counsel in the successful defense of Petty Officer Daniel King, who faced the death penalty for alleged spying for Russia. Turley also served as defense counsel in the case of Dr. Tom Butler, who is faced criminal charges dealing with the importation and handling of thirty vials of plague in Texas. He also served as counsel to Larry Hanauer, the House Intelligence Committee staffer accused of leaking a classified Presidential National Intelligence Estimate to the New York Times. (Hanauer was cleared of all allegations).

05282015_6695Among his current cases, Professor Turley represents Dr. Ali Al-Timimi, who was convicted in Virginia in 2005 of violent speech against the United States who is accused of being the American leader of a terrorist organization while he was a university professor in Florida. Turley represented Dr. Al-Arian for eight years, much of which was in a determined defense against an indictment for criminal contempt. The case centered on the alleged violation of a plea bargain by the Justice Department after Dr. Al-Arian was largely exonerated of terrorism charges in Tampa, Florida. On June 27, 2014, all charges were dropped against Dr. Al-Arian. He also represented pilots approaching or over the age of 60 in their challenge to the mandatory retirement age of the FAA. He also represented David Murphee Faulk, the whistleblower who disclosed abuses in the surveillance operations at NSA’s Fort Gordon facility in Georgia.

Professor Turley also agreed to serve as lead counsel representing the Brown family from the TLC “Sister Wives, a reality show on plural marriage or polygamy. On December 13, 2013, the federal court in Utah struck down the criminalization of polygamy — the first such decision in history — on free exercise and due process grounds. On September 26, 2014, the court also ruled in favor of the Browns under Section 1983 — giving them a clean sweep on all of the statutory and constitutional claims.  In April 2015, a panel reversed the decision on standing grounds and that decision is now on appeal.

Professor Turley was also lead counsel in the World Bank protest case stemming from the mass arrest of people in 2002 by the federal and district governments during demonstrations of the IMF and World Bank.  Turley and his co-lead counsel Dan Schwartz (and the law firm of Bryan Cave) were the first to file and represented student journalists arrested without probable cause.  In April 2015, after 13 years of intense litigation, the case was settled for $2.8 million, including $115,000 for each arrestee — a record damage award in a case of this kind and over twice the amount of prior damages for individual protesters.  The case also exposed government destruction and withholding of evidence as well as the admitted mass arrest of hundreds of people without probable cause.

Professor Turley also served as the legal expert in the review of polygamy laws in the British of Columbia (Canada) Supreme Court. In the latter case, he argued for the decriminalization of plural union and conjugal unions. In 2012, Turley also represented the makers of “Five Wives Vodka” (Ogden’s Own Distillery) in challenging an effective ban on the product in Idaho after officials declared the product to be offensive to Mormons. After opposing to the ban on free speech and other grounds, the state of Idaho issued a letter apologizing for public statements made by officials and lifting the ban on sale for “Five Wives Vodka.”

Turley has served as a consultant on homeland security and constitutional issues, including the Florida House of Representatives. He also served as the consultant to the Puerto Rico House of Representatives on the impeachment of Gov. Aníbal Acevedo Vilá.

05282015_6655Professor Turley is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues as well as tort reform legislation. Professor Turley is also a nationally recognized legal commentator. Professor Turley was ranked as 38th in the top 100 most cited “public intellectuals” in the recent study by Judge Richard Posner. Turley was also found to be the second most cited law professor in the country. He has been repeatedly ranked in the nation’s top 500 lawyers in annual surveys (including in the latest rankings by LawDragon) – one of only a handful of academics. In prior years, he was ranked as one of the nation’s top ten lawyers in military law cases as well as one of the top 40 lawyers under 40. He was also selected in the last five years as one of the 100 top Irish lawyers in the world.  In 2016, he was ranked as one of the 100 most famous (past and present) law professors.

Professor Turley’s articles on legal and policy issues appear regularly in national publications with hundreds of articles in such newspapers as the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal. He is a columnist for USA Today. In 2005, Turley was given the Columnist of the Year award for Single-Issue Advocacy for his columns on civil liberties by the Aspen Institute and the Week Magazine. Professor Turley also appears regularly as a legal expert on all of the major television networks. Since the 1990s, he has worked under contract as the on-air Legal Analyst for NBC News and CBS News to cover stories that ranged from the Clinton impeachment to the presidential elections. Professor Turley has been a repeated guest on Sunday talk shows with over two-dozen appearances on Meet the Press, ABC This Week, Face the Nation, and Fox Sunday. Professor Turley has taught courses on constitutional law, constitutional criminal law, environmental law, litigation, and torts. He is the founder and executive director of the Project for Older Prisoners (POPS). His work with older prisoners has been honored in various states, including his selection as the 2011 recipient of the Dr. Mary Ann Quaranta Elder Justice Award at Fordham University.

His award-winning blog is routinely ranked as one of the most popular legal blogs by AVVO. His blog was selected as the top News/Analysis site in 2013, the top Legal Opinion Blog in 2011 as well as prior selections as the top Law Professor Blog and Legal Theory Blog. It has been regularly ranked by the ABA Journal in the top 100 blogs in the world. In 2012, Turley has selected as one of the top 20 legal experts on Twitter by Business Insider. In 2013, the ABA Journal inducted the Turley Blog into its Hall of Fame.

Professor Turley received his B.A. at the University of Chicago and his J.D. at Northwestern. In 2008, he was given an honorary Doctorate of Law from John Marshall Law School for his contributions to civil liberties and the public interest.

For further information: Mr. Seth Tate – 202-994-0537

Jonathan-Turley-e1416865770538

1,452 thoughts on “Bio

  1. Dear Dr. Turley,
    I would like to make a request,
    I am looking for a good treatise on the militia,
    there is a lot of talk and discussion about militias,
    coverage from the media on militias typically paints these groups as white extremists groups,
    Dr. Turley,
    for those of us who consider ourselves patriotic Constitutionalists,
    would you please consider giving your readers a small treatise on the subject of militias,
    and give us your opinion on what the Constitution says about militia, what the parameters are,
    when is it appropriate and legal, and what are some of the ideas and practises of militia today that you consider clearly without any Constitutional foundation,
    for those of us who are looking for clarity on this issue-
    Thank you very much
    sunaj

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  3. Johnathan Turley,
    I have been following you for some time now. I am not very knowledgeable with computers or writing. You can see from my blog that I have been raped by my local Government officials. I do not know how to go about getting more exposure to my story. I know that the attack on me was brutal. I know the attack on me is a conspiracy of serious criminal offenses. I do not know how to file a formal complaint which is what I have been told I need to do by several agencies. I have contacted more attorneys than I can remember, all have declined my case due to the complexity and amount of time that would be needed to represent this case. I would like to proceed pro se. I have no clue as to the formal process of doing so.
    sincerely,
    Melody Boatner
    Keokuk, Ia

  4. […] Professor Jonathan Turley, The George Washington University Law School, a nationally recognized legal scholar and commentator who has often testified in Congress on constitutional and statutory areas, will serve as our keynote speaker. He has represented members of all three branches from congressional members to federal judges to Justice and intelligence officials. […]

  5. Mr. Turley, I have listen to you for years talking about the law and especially constitutional law. I think you are very fair and very open minded in your opinions.

    With that said, here is a subject that is unlike that has every been discussed but there are big legal constitution issues. This is supposed crash of a UFO in Roswell, New Mexico. We have a very interesting group of experts on the subject of Roswell and whether it happened or not. I am in the camp that it happed. However this is not why I am writing.

    There is serious issue about what rights the Military had to enter the ranch of Max Brasel, to collect either a balloon or a real down space craft from another world. Then the military and maybe the FBI and CIA threaten to kill people if they said anything.

    I seriously raised the Posse Comitatus Act with either the balloon story or the UFO. Also there was no known documents that we know of signed by President Truman as a Executive Order or Presidential Finding. Also the New Mexico National Guard through the Governor and Truman was suppose to be the chain of command. Didn’t happen. It is not even clear that President Truman wasn’t even informed until after the debris was secured.

    Personally the only legal conclusion I can suggest is that Truman, after the fact signed a Executive Order about possible waivers to the Posse Comitatus Act for down air craft or materials not from earth.

    This might be one of the most interesting theoriritical law question ever no matter whether it was a balloon or more so if was a real UFO. The general option is the military might very well have broken several laws but they acted like little kids on Christmas morning and finding a new toy under the tree to put it jokingly. Seriously we generally think there were 8 to 12 very legit UFO recovered by the military. There would have been a legal method/document for them to do so. That’s the heart of the question.

    Could you have your law students or yourself look at this question? I know your findings would be appreciated in our community. You are welcome to contact me or Mr. Kevin Randle, the nationally known writer about Roswell at Kevin’s Blog, http://kevinrandle.blogspot.com/

    Thanks again,
    Craig McDaniel

  6. Hey Jonathan, Hope all is well.

    I just recently had another foreclosure filed against me and ran into this. I’m one of those would was affect by the recent 5 year Statute of limitations case just opinion by the Florida Supreme Court in favor of the Banksters.

    I want to ask for a trial by Jury and than file an interlocutory appear, if denied. Do you think this or something else would be worth pursuing.

    FLORIDA STATUTES, CHAPTER 702
    FORECLOSURE OF MORTGAGES AND STATUTORY LIENS

    702.01 Equity.—All mortgages shall be foreclosed in equity. In a mortgage foreclosure action, the court shall sever for separate trial all counterclaims against the foreclosing mortgagee. The foreclosure claim shall, if tried, be tried to the court without a jury.
    History.—RS 1987; GS 2501; RGS 3844; CGL 5747; s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 2, ch. 87-217.

    Vs.

    Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Amendment VII.
    In Suits at common Law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by Jury shall be preserved, and no fact….. bla, bla, bla….than according to the rules of common law.

  7. Hey Jonathan,

    My name is Alec – Outreach lead for Invoicera.com
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    I came across your blog on google, and I’m particularly impressed with the success you’re having at jonathanturley.org

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  8. Hello Mr. Turley.

    I am pasting a link to a Common Dreams online article about fracking corporations trying to make it illegal for municipalities to ban fracking in their communities. I thought you might like the legal angles in this article, and that you might think it merits discussion in your blog.

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/10/04/fracking-industrys-new-plan-prosecute-those-who-push-drilling-bans

    Thank you for all that you do!
    Meredith L. Lyon
    Albany, NY

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  10. Hello Mr. Turley,
    My name is Jim Runestad and I am a Michigan State Representative. I am hoping you can help provide me with some sample survey/questionnaire questions I can utilize for surveying Judges about their philosophy and leanings for upcoming elections. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find any questions that ferret out the judicial philosophy of Judge candidates here in Michigan -or anywhere else for that matter. Please contact me at your convenience.

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