Study: Three-Fourths Of Americans Are Unable To Name All Three Branches Of Government

cropped-500px-scene_at_the_signing_of_the_constitution_of_the_united_states.jpgI just returned from a terrific event at Christopher Newport University on Constitution Day — a debate with Professor John Yoo.  While we were delighted by the large number of students who appeared to listen to the debate, we discussed the recent poll on the lack of knowledge of citizens.  A recent poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) found that, in a survey of over 1,000 citizens, only a quarter were able to name all three branches of the federal government.  We just discussed the poll showing that four out of ten Americans cannot name a single right under the first amendment.  Once again, these polls leave us with the troubling prospect of a woefully uneducated public on their own government.

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Hernandez Family Sues NFL and Patriots Over Concussions Suffered By The Former NFL Star and Murderer

100px-New_England_Patriots_logo.svg300px-National_Football_League_logo.svgThere is a new and interesting lawsuit filed by the family of  the late New England Patriots football star and murderer Aaron Hernandez.   Hernandez committed suicide in 2015 and tests of his brain at Boston University came back showing advanced and severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).  The family is suing the National Football League and the Patriots for taking no action to protect  Hernandez from such injuries.  The lawsuit will raise some difficult causation questions. Usually violent offenses are viewed as superseding events and rarely attributable to such negligent conduct by third parties. Moreover suicide is generally viewed as the decision of individual with a variety of influences.  However, CTE has been linked to an increased risk of suicide.  The odds against the family are considerable with overlapping defenses ranging from preemption to assumption.

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Protesters Disrupt Comey Speech At Howard University

440px-Comey-FBI-Portraitdownload-1I have been critical of the actions taken by former FBI director James Comey in leaking FBI information after he was fired by President Donald Trump. However, his appointment by Howard University as an endowed chair of public policy represented a good opportunity for both Howard and Comey. However, his first address to the university as part of the 2017-18 convocation was a disaster for both Howard and Comey as protesters shouted profanities and disrupted the event. It was the latest example of protesters shutting down free speech on campus and the university appeared unwilling or unable to enforce basic civility rules by removing and suspending the students.

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Chateau Mizzou? University of Missouri-Columbia Turns To Renting Out Vacant Dorm Rooms

University_of_Missouri_sealdownloadWe have previously discussed the meltdown at the University of Missouri-Columbia where applications have plummeted since the controversial responses to race protests on campus, including the decision to terminate a journalism professor who encouraged students to “muscle” a student journalist. The result has been the shutting down of whole dormitories. Now the university has hit upon a new idea to raise revenue. It has effectively become a hotel and has been renting out rooms in vacant dormitories for $120 a night for football games.

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Turley And Yoo To Debate Surveillance Laws At Constitution Day Event

Jonathan-Turley-e1416865770538180px-john-yooToday, I will have a debate with Berkeley Professor and former Bush Administration lawyer John Yoo at Christopher Newport University’s Center for American Studies (CAS). The debate will cover Free Speech in War and Peace Time.   However, the focus will be on the constitutionality and use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  This is part of the Constitution Day events at the university.

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The Mystery of Don McGahn’s Safe: The Special Counsel Demand Could Shed Light On Two Mysterious Documents

lock-1292282_1280350px-US-WhiteHouse-Logo.svgBelow is my column in the Hill newspaper on the recent demand by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of material in over a dozen different areas.  The most intriguing is likely to be the two documents referenced by Trump personal counsel Ty Cobb in an overheard conversation at a popular D.C. restaurant.  The conversation has many in the Beltway scratching their heads and a few smirking.  Cobb is an experienced lawyer who sees this investigation as unlikely to produce any compelling basis for a criminal charge.  Conversely, White House Counsel Don McGahn is properly concerned with the danger of establishing precedent in the area of executive privilege that could undermine future presidents.  Cobb is a bit too experienced in this town to make such an amateurish mistake as discussing loudly an internal fight over the documents in McGahn’s safe — a previously undisclosed dispute.  It would certainly be intriguing if the reporter was told to have lunch at BLT and bring his notebook (Technically Cobb did not leak anything in being overheard).  It would have been a truly Machiavellian move against McGahn. However, there is no evidence supporting such a theory.  Ifthat were the case, the reporter’s story would be highly misleading since he clearly conveyed that this was a pure coincidence and a surprise.  Moreover, such an arrangement would be unethical in my view even if Cobb thought it in the best interest of the President.  These remain documents under a claim of privilege and presumably there was a decision not to make the disclosure.  I am inclined to give Cobb the benefit of the doubt, though that means assuming that he committed a rather rookie error.
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