Below is my column in the Hill on the growing number of losses by the Biden Administration in courts around the country, including a particularly embarrassing loss before the United States Supreme Court. What is notable is that such losses in the early days of the Trump Administration led to coverage declaring a war on the “rule of law” and even indications of authoritarianism. The Biden losses have received little coverage despite what could be a worst record in the early days of his Administration. The fact is that such adverse decisions are not uncommon as Administrations try to fast track changes. However, the Biden Administration has actually had some very serious losses, including some which are being appealed. Yet, many previously outspoken legal experts have either blamed conservative judges or simply ignored the losses all together. It is a continuation of an interesting pattern where Democrats are adopting the very rationales that they once denounced.
There is an interesting conflict playing out on the pages of the Chicago Tribune over the coverage of killing of Adam Toledo. We previously discussed the shooting of Toledo after police responded to a shooting and the suspension of a prosecutor who noted that Toledo was armed. In a June 18 column, Tribune columnist Eric Zorn defended his coverage in April that it “was still too soon to draw conclusions.” He specifically responded to Steven Thrasher, the Daniel H. Renberg Chair of social justice in reporting at Northwestern, who trashed him for his circumspection and insisted he was excusing the murder of a child and it’s ‘never too early’ to think they are worthy of murder.” Thrasher’s view of ethical journalism was on display in Fort Lauderdale this week when its mayor declared that a tragic accident involving an elderly driver was an act of murder and terrorism by anti-LGBT forces. He also believed that it is never too soon to declare murder.
Newly released emails show the pressure brought by the White House on both former Attorney General Bill Barr and his brief successor, acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, to intervene in the 2020 election. Both Barr and Rosen refused to intervene and pushed aside numerous efforts to arrange meetings with Trump counsel and to file federal complaints. What is astonishing is the degree to which these pressures continued in the brief period in which Rosen served as acting Attorney General in the final days of the Administration. Continue reading “New Emails Show Unsuccessful and Unrelenting Pressure on Barr and Rosen from Trump to Intervene in the Election”
Below is my column in USA Today on the remarkably united and non-ideological line of cases handed down by the Supreme Court. As Democratic leaders demand to pack the Court to create a liberal majority, the Court itself appears to be speaking through these cases.
Here is the column:
I did my customary dawn hike this morning on Billy Goat Trail and it was like walking through a Monet with a heavy fog over the river and rocks. It was truly enchanting. I hope all of our fathers have a great time today. We started our celebrations early last night (and watched the movie “Eddie the Eagle”) and will continue today. Leslie is making me one of my favorite Pasta Carbonara (with pancetta) dishes with tonight. Continue reading “Father’s Day With Mother Nature On The Billy Goat Trail”
Two professors at the University of Sheffield have published a piece in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies to extend hate speech protections to animals to deal with hateful “speciesist” remarks. Drs. Josh Milburn and Alasdair Cochrane insist that such protections will help achieve a “more benign human–animal relations within society.” The need for speech criminalization is based on the view that “some animals do seem to have their social confidence eroded because of their awareness of the risk of violence.”
During the confirmation hearings of now Justice Amy Coney Barrett, I repeatedly objected to the clearly false narrative that she was nominated to vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act in the pending case of California v. Texas. The case was highly unlikely to result in such a decision and the Democrats knew it. The case was focused on a highly technical and limited issues of severability. It would either be resolved on that limited basis or dismissed for standing. While Barrett might view the ACA as unconstitutional (as many do), I noted that she was more likely to dismiss the challenge or sever the individual mandate than to strike down the Act in the case. That is what she did in joined the 7-2 decision to dismiss the case. Continue reading “Will The Senate Democrats Now Apologize To Justice Barrett?”
A year ago, we discussed the charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey of St. Louis after their armed standoff with protesters. I was highly skeptical of the charges brought by Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who was later removed from the case due to ethical concerns. Now, the couple has been allowed to plead to two minor misdemeanors in the conclusion of a highly politicized case.
Random selection is not generally an approach that most people opt for in the selection of doctors or even restaurants or a movie. However, it appears to be the new model for some in higher education. Former Barnard College mathematics professor Cathy O’Neil has written a column calling for “random selection” of all college graduates to guarantee racial diversity. It is ever so simple: “Never mind optional standardized tests. If you show interest, your name goes in a big hat.” She is not the only one arguing for blind or random admissions. Continue reading ““Just Blind Chance”: The Rising Call For “Random Selection” For College Admissions”
Below is my column in USA Today on the controversy involving the acquisition of metadata evidence on members of Congress and the media in the leak investigation launched during the Trump Administration. We recently discussed the questionable reporting by the New York Times concerning the lead prosecutor, but far more serious questions remain if we are going to reach any resolution on protecting journalists, including the question of what is a journalist.
Here is the column:
There is an interesting lawsuit out of Indiana where Indianapolis Metro Police Department Officer De’Joure Mercer is suing the National Football League (NFL) for defamation after the NFL claimed that his shooting of an African American man was due to “systemic racism.” (Officer Mercer is also African American).The suspect, Dreasjon Reed, reportedly fired repeatedly at Mercer before he killed him — a shooting found to be justified by a review board. A special prosecutor also announced that a grand jury rejected any charges against Mercer.
The New York Times faced a stinging contradiction from Politico this week after it ran a story besmirching the lead prosecutor in the leak investigation launched under former Attorney General Bill Barr. The article relies on anonymous sources to claim that Assistant U.S. Attorney Osmar Benevenuto of the District of New Jersey was brought in by Barr as part of his “small circle of trusted aides officials.” In reality, it appears that Benevenuto was not initially selected by Barr and does not appear to have known him. Continue reading “Politico Fact Bombs New York Times Over Criticism of Leak Prosecutor”
We have been discussing the rising intolerance for conservatives and Republicans on campuses around the country. My alma mater, Northwestern University has been increasingly intolerant as a university due in large part to the failure of its president and the administration to protect free speech and diversity of viewpoints. Now the student government has asked the university to remove the chairman of the board of trustees from a presidential search committee. The disqualifying element for Board of Trustees Chair J. Landis Martin is that he supported former President Donald Trump as a donor. Notably, the students emphasized that Northwestern is now so overwhelmingly liberal that even one conservative on the committee is offensive and threatening. Continue reading “Northwestern Students Demand Removal Of Trustee Chair From Presidential Search Due To Trump Support”
There is an interesting controversy in the news related to former Daily Show “correspondent” Rob Riggle who appears to be in the midst of a divorce that makes the Depp-Heard divorce look like an amicable split. The recent reported discovery by Riggle of a surveillance camera raises some interesting criminal and tort dimensions to a divorce that seems to be snowballing out of control.
There has been a great deal of controversy over the graduation address of Fairfax County school board member Abrar Omeish to the Justice High School in Falls Church on June 7th. In her remarks to the graduates, Omeish praised a teacher who made social activism part of her class and warned the graduates that they are going into a world filled with racism and white supremacy. However, what really struck an admittedly libertarian chord with me was the third danger that she warned about: “excessive individualism.” Like free speech, individualism is now being presented as a danger rather than a strength in our society.