Below is a version of my column in The Hill on the statement of Justice Sonya Sotomayor on the “stench” of politics in the oral argument in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a challenge to the Mississippi abortion law. The statement seemed directed at Sotomayor’s three new colleagues and the effort to use the new court composition to seek the reduction or overturning of Roe v. Wade.
There is a new free speech case filed against a university this month. A former Illinois State University (ISU) assistant football coach, Kurt Beathard, has sued IS head coach and the school’s former athletic director. Both are being sued in their official capacities for Beathard’s termination after he removed a Black Lives Matter poster from his door and replaced it with poster that read, “All Lives Matter to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” The case raises significant free speech issues and could result in an important ruling under the First Amendment. Continue reading “Former ISU Football Coach Sues After Being Allegedly Fired Over the Replacement of a BLM Poster on his Door”
The firestorm over Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s question on adoption during Wednesday’s oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization continues to rage in the media. For example, in the New York Times, Democratic strategist Elizabeth Spiers wrote a piece that paraphrased the question as “Why was abortion necessary, when women who do not want to be mothers can simply give their babies up for adoption?” That is not what Barrett was asking in the oral argument but it did not matter to the New York Times any more than it mattered to the Washington Post to run a clearly erroneous column on originalist support for abortion. Continue reading “Barrett’s Adoption Question Causes Ongoing Firestorm in the Media”
The parents of Ethan Crumbley, 15, were arrested in Detroit after allegedly hiding out in a warehouse as police searched for them. Both James and Jennifer Crumbley face involuntary manslaughter charges. The police are suggesting that they were assisted in their alleged flight and may charge third parties. There was a $10,000 reward posted for their arrests. The question now is whether the involuntary manslaughter charges will survive challenges at the trial or appellate levels. Continue reading “The Crumbleys Captured in Detroit But Will the Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Succeed?”
If you thought that Smollett case could not get more bizarre, think again. CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller is reporting that defense attorney Tamara Walker had a sidebar conversation with attorneys from both sides and Cook County Judge James Linn. She reportedly accused Judge Linn of some improper comment and then said that he lunged at her in the courtroom. She was crying during the sidebar. Another Smollett attorney accused Linn of snarling and making faces during the trial. In thirty years of practice as a criminal defense attorney, I have never heard of such allegations in a criminal trial.
Recently, I noted the curious scene of actor Alec Baldwin insisting with reporters that he has been given clear legal instructions not to discuss the shooting of Halyna Hutchins at the set of the movie “Rust” . . . and then making detailed statements about the shooting. Now, with an ongoing criminal investigation and various civil lawsuits expected to be filed, Baldwin has given a detailed statement to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, including a surprising claim that he never pointed the gun or pulled the trigger. That interview may be one of his most watched scenes, particularly if he is charged criminally or sued civilly. Continue reading “The Gun Did It? Baldwin Denies Pulling The Trigger in Fatal “Rust” Shooting”
In the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, proceedings were disrupted by what Judge Bruce Schroeder considered a major breach of security after NBC was found to be following the van of jurors. Given the threats in the case and the concern over jury intimidation, Schroeder was irate. In response, NBC released a statement that some of us found vague and misleading. Now a police video at the scene with NBC freelancer James Morrison confirms that the statement was intentionally misleading on the critical question of whether Morrison was ordered to follow jurors. Continue reading ““We Were Just Trying to … Find Any Leads about the Case”: A Police Video Raises New Questions About NBC’s Rittenhouse Statement”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., joined the growing ranks of members of Congress in issuing a warning to the Supreme Court: reaffirm Roe v. Wade or else. The “else” varies from promises to pack the Court to personal accountability for justices. For Shaheen, it is a promise of “revolution.” It is the latest demand that the justices yield to popular demand or any countervailing interpretation of the Constitution. Or else. Continue reading “So You Say You Want a Revolution? Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Issues a Warning to the Supreme Court”
The Washington Post has been criticized for running a column by Aaron Tang, professor of law at the University of California at Davis, claiming an originalist basis for the right to abortion. The column makes highly dubious claims over the legality of early stage abortions and the likely understanding of the Framers of such a right. The suggestion is that, at least as to early abortions, the Framers and early legal commentators may have been technically pro-choice. I recently wrote a column on how abortions were treated as crimes at the time of the drafting of the Constitution. The assertions made by Professor Tang have been refuted by scholars like John Finnis, professor emeritus of Law and Legal Philosophy at Oxford University, and Robert P. George, McCormick professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University. The Supreme Court will hear one of the most important abortion cases in decades this week in in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Continue reading “Were the Framers Really Pro-Choice? Not Likely”
Below is my column in The Hill on the argument in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Court’s most watched case this term on abortion rights. The oral argument is scheduled for December 1st, the same week that the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will hear an expedited appeal over the even more stringent Texas abortion law.
Here is the column:
We have seen various countries carry out censorship functions for various governments, including social media countries. Now the Simpsons have been “disappeared” in an episode that acknowledged the Tiananmen Square massacre. China blocks any mention of the massacre so Disney willingly became an extension of its massive censorship bureaucracy. Continue reading “The Mouse That Rolled: Disney Censors The Simpsons in China”
President Joe Biden and media figures are not the only persons who are “angry” after a jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all charges. Despite a jury with the same racial makeup convicting the defendants in Georgia in the Arbery case, many have denounced the entire legal system as racist. It does matter that there was evidence supporting Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense that was largely missing from prior coverage of the case. Now students and groups at Arizona State University are planning a rally and demanding that Rittenhouse be expelled. With leaders like President Biden calling Rittenhouse a “white supremacist” before any investigation was completed and legal analysts calling the entire trial “white supremacy on steroids,” there is a sense of legitimacy in demanding such extrajudicial punishments.
Hollins University is one of the oldest women’s colleges in the country but now faces a growing challenge over the use of gender as a defining characteristic. Some students and faculty are demanding that Hollins allow for non-binary individuals to apply for admission. However, that step raises additional questions as to applicants who were born female but identify (or have transitioned) as males . . . or biological males. Continue reading “Hollins University Faculty and Students Challenge “Binary” Gender Classifications For Admission”
We have been discussing how faculty and students are increasingly shutting down speakers or destroying opposing memorials — in the name of free speech. The latest such example is at University of Pittsburgh where abortion activists disrupted a conference on fetal tissue research held by a pro-life group. The university is investigating but apparently no students were stopped or identified at the event by campus security despite their forcing the suspension of the event. Continue reading “University of Pittsburgh Students Disrupt Pro-Life Conference”