This weekend, I was unable to attend our law school graduation after traveling to Utah to speak to the Federal Bar Association. I have only missed a couple of graduations in almost 30 years of teaching. I soon, however, received emails from students and colleagues that made me somewhat thankful that I was unable to attend.
This year’s commencement speaker was Rep. Susan Wild (D) who represents the 7th District in Pennsylvania and is a distinguished graduate of our law school. Wild chose the commencement address to launch into a personal attack that accused me of being an example of the use of law for “wrongful ends.” She falsely accused me of changing a critical legal point in my testimony in the Clinton and Trump impeachment hearings on whether impeachable conduct must be indictable crimes. I felt that a response was warranted. Continue reading “The GW Commencement Controversy: A Response To Rep. Susan Wild”→
There was a revealing “town hall” meeting of Twitter employees this week where they joined executives in open panic over what life would be like without their ability to censor others. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal attempted to calm the obvious angst that (perish the thought) free speech could return to Twitter.
There is a bizarre report in The Daily Beast that former Trump Counsel Michael Cohen is laying down an Ultimatum for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr.: indict Trump or I’m leaving you. Cohen warned that, if Bragg does not use the current grand jury to indict Trump, he will no longer cooperate. It is a curious threat since he could be called before a grand jury and would have to invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to refuse further testimony.
In the movie “Dial M for Murder,” the character Mark Halliday explained how he writes about murders: “I usually put myself in the criminal’s shoes and then I keep asking myself, uh, what do I do next?” He admitted, however, that “I’m afraid my murders would be something like my bridge: I’d make some stupid mistake and never realize it until I found everybody was looking at me.”
That appears to be the fate of MSNBC commentator and the Nation’s Justice Correspondent Elie Mystal, who recently accused Sen. Josh Hawley of trying to kill Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. His weapon: a question about her prior legal positions.
Under the leadership of Randi Weingarten, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has long been criticized by conservatives for its support of far left policies and support for Democratic candidates. Nevertheless, as a union, it is entitled to be political and most unions favor the Democrats due to their pro-union policies. However, the concern over the AFT’s agenda become far greater when it announced that it would team up with NewsGuard to start to flag news sources deemed “misinformation.” NewsGuard is co-founded by Steve Brill who has been accused of bias against Republicans and conservatives. Conservative sites have previously tagged NewGuard as “heavily skewed” in favor of the left. The “misinformation” label has been used extensively by liberal media to kill stories like the Hunter Biden laptop stories as unreliable. Indeed, Brill is under fire for being one of the voices falsely claiming that the Hunter Biden laptop was likely false Russian disinformation. His company will now put “traffic lights” on information for children on what sources they rely upon.
Abby Broyles, a candidate for Congress, is embroiled in a bizarre controversy where she is accused of verbally abusing teenage girls at a slumber party and throwing up in a laundry basket and a girl’s shoe. That is not exactly a “chicken in every pot” type of political pitch. However, I am more interested in the legal than the political aspect of this case. My students and I often use such controversies to discuss the scope or application of torts theories. This one raises a couple of novel elements. Broyles initially called these girls and their parents liars behind a political hit job. She also allegedly threatened to sue a media outlet for running the allegations. The question is whether she could now be sued for defamation.
As many on this blog know, I have long been an advocate for public schools, which I believe serve a critical function in shaping future citizens. However, teachers and administrators seem intent on fueling calls for even greater private school voucher programs and other alternatives to the public schools. Some schools seem more focused on indoctrination than education. That is the concern with a video recently shared by a mother in New York. In the video, students at the Upper West Side’s M.S. 243 Center School where students held up signs for Pfizer and Moderna and sang “It’s safe to vax and if your friends don’t vax then they ain’t no friends of mine.” Students are not required to be vaccinated in New York and the song appeared to be an effort to stigmatize and isolate those who have declined vaccination. The New York school system is investigating the matter.
This may come as a bit of surprise for some of you who know me as a legal analyst, columnist, or law professor. Indeed, I have not played football since grade school as a linebacker. However, I learned today that football legend Dick Butkus was finally able to receive a “blue check” from Twitter verifying that he was indeed Dick Butkus. I have been turned down five times by Twitter. To the humiliation of my family and friends, I remain thoroughly and shamefully unverified. While Twitter has refused to respond to inquiries on why I cannot be verified, it now appears that you only have to make it into the Hall of Fame, which is clearly an easier path to verification. Hence, I am asking for a nomination as an offensive line counsel (OLC) in the 2022 Hall of Fame selections.
Professor Barry Mehler at Ferris State University in Michigan clearly does not want to return to in-person classes. Appearing in a video with a space helmet, Mehler went full Howard Beale in a video in which he called his students “vectors of disease” and tells them to “stay the f**k away from me.” While many have declared Mehler completely insane, his video may be as clever as a covid-phobic fox. Let me explain.
There is a bizarre case unfolding in Las Vegas, Nevada where Eric Holland, 57, was arrested after police found a dismembered body in his truck. Holland is now arguing that it was a terrible coincidence. He stole a truck that just happened to have a dismembered body in the back. He was, in the words of his counsel, “a hapless car thief.’