In our age of rage, humor was one of the earliest victims. It is not that humor is not allowed, it is merely selectively tolerated. Thus, Twitter suspended the satirical site, Babylon Bee, with the support of many who claim to support free speech. In Canada, a comedian was actually prosecuted for trash talking in a comedy club. Even non-comedians can find themselves on the wrong side of a punch line. Recently, Ben Domenech of The Federalist found himself pursued over a single tweet teasing the employees at his publication. After referencing the struggle of Vox Media with a union, Domenech joked in a tweet that the salt mines await any employees who spoke of unionizing. No one was calling for a union at The Federalist and it was received by the staff as an obvious joke. However, a liberal lawyer from Massachusetts, Joel Fleming, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. In a highly controversial opinion, NLRB administrative law judge, Kenneth Chu, ruled against The Federalist. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit just overturned Chu and stated the obvious: it was a joke. Continue reading “No Laughing Matter: The Third Circuit Reverses NLRB Sanction Over Joke”
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”
Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence Tribe has long been an endless font for the media in claiming clear evidence of a variety of crimes for the imminent prosecution of Donald Trump. Tribe declared evidence supporting criminal charges of witness tampering, evidence of obstruction f justice, criminal election violations, Logan Act violations, extortion and poss
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.
Bradford Weitzel, of Port St. Lucie, has a novel concept of self-help remedies in the law. Weitzel, 33, stole the car of Jose William Ceballos and then left it stuck on a train track where it was subsequently demolished. He later explained that he could not find his own car and stole Ceballos’ Honda Fit “in good faith” to find it. It turns out that that is not a viable criminal defense. Continue reading “Florida Man Stole and Demolished Car But Insisted it was Done “In Good Faith” Effort to Find His Own Car”
There is a bizarre case in Minnesota where Levi Arneberg, 27, is accused of killing his roommates four emotional support ferrets with a BB gun. The case raises an issue for sentencing that could present a problem for the defense. Continue reading “Minnesota Man Kills Roommate’s Four Emotional Support Ferrets”
It is my humble task this morning to launch my campaign to be added as a nominee for the football Hall of Fame selection in August 2022.
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.
With the pandemic, most people are shopping online and there are growing accounts of “doom shopping” dangers for many who are becoming heavily indebted through retail therapy. Wendy Lynn Wein’s retail therapy, however, involved shopping for someone to kill her ex-husband. She found a convenient site called “RentAHitman.com” without realizing that it was a fake operation. The site owner turned her into the police and she has now been given a 7 to 20-year prison sentence. Continue reading “Retail Therapy Gone Bad: Michigan Woman Sentenced For Trying To Hire Killer on “RentAHitman.com””
We previously discussed a major ruling restoring the defamation lawsuit of Sarah Palin against the New York Times over a false claim related to the shooting of former United States Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Now, the New York Times is trying to introduce footage of Palin on “The Masked Singer.” The effort to introduce the video would seem to have no probative value and clearly is meant to ridicule Palin. Continue reading “The “Old Gray Lady” Versus The Masked Singer: The Times Seeks To Use Palin Music Video in Libel Trial”