Category: Columns

Court on a Hot Tin Roof: Airing Out “the Stench” from the Oral Argument Over Abortion

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.

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Roe Redux: Is The Viability Test Still Viable as a Constitutional Doctrine?

#SCOTUS

Below is my column in The Hill on the argument in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationthe 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:

Continue reading “Roe Redux: Is The Viability Test Still Viable as a Constitutional Doctrine?”

“Rittenhouse Should Pay for his Crimes”: ASU Students Demand the Expulsion of Kyle Rittenhouse

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.

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Unrequited Rage: The Demand for Mob Justice in the Rittenhouse Trial

Below is my column in The Hill on the aftermath of Rittenhouse verdict and how the jury functioned as design to rule on the evidence and the law rather than public passions. Many have called for self-defense laws to be curtailed in light of the verdict. We can certainly have that debate. However, this jury was tasked with applying these facts to existing law. They did not have the luxury of reframing the legal standard to achieve their own concept of justice.

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Rittenhouse Revisited: How Media Misinformation Can Fuel Social Unrest

Below is my column in USA Today on the Rittenhouse trial and the role of media coverage in fueling anger in such cases by misrepresenting or ignoring key evidence. After the verdict, a riot was declared in Portland and protests erupted around the country.  Fortunately, there was not the type of arson and destruction seen in Kenosha last year. While the media often denounces “misinformation” or “disinformation” (and even supports censorship in some cases), it rarely acknowledges its own distortions from the Russian collusion scandal to the Hunter Biden laptop controversy to the Lafayette Park incident. Indeed, after the verdict, many of these same figures doubled down in denouncing the decision without acknowledging the evidence supporting the reasonable doubt of these jurors.

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Too Clever By Half: Why Public Nuisance is Again at the Heart of a Public Health Debate

Below is my column in the Wall Street Journal on the ongoing opioid litigation and an important ruling out of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The product has become the latest battleground over the use of public nuisance to curtail products from paint to pills to guns.

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Rittenhouse 2.0: Threats of New Litigation Fly in the Aftermath of Rittenhouse Verdict

In the aftermath of the Rittenhouse verdict, figures on both sides of the case threatened new filings and investigations. It seems likely that the case will move into a new stage of litigation, particularly civil litigation. However, advocates on both sides may be overstating the basis for a Rittenhouse 2.0.  These lawsuits can come with risks and considerable costs. That is why Voltaire once lamented “I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.” Continue reading “Rittenhouse 2.0: Threats of New Litigation Fly in the Aftermath of Rittenhouse Verdict”

The Steele Dossier and the End of Shame In American Politics

The famous philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal once declared that “the only shame is to have none.” The problem with shame is that it requires a sense of guilt over one’s actions. In the age of rage, there appear fewer and fewer actions that are beyond the pale for politics. Take Adam Schiff and the Steele dossier. While even the Washington Post has admitted that it got the Russian collusion story wrong in light of the findings of Special Counsel John Durham, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is still insisting that he was absolutely right to promote the discredited Steele dossier. Schiff’s interview on NBC’s Meet the Press may be the final proof of the death of shame in American politics. Continue reading “The Steele Dossier and the End of Shame In American Politics”

Rittenhouse and the Perils of Weighing Public Opinion Over Evidence In Prosecutions

The Rittenhouse case is now with the jury. Below is my column in The Hill on the Rittenhouse trial and how the case follows a troubling pattern in high-profile cases where prosecutors rush charges and overcharge cases. This is a textbook case of the perils of weighing public opinion before the evidence in such cases.

Here is the column:

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Rittenhouse Goes To Jury After Case Collapses in Court

Below is my column in USA Today on the collapse of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial due to a series of prosecutorial blunders. What is worrisome is the highly slanted coverage over the last year, particularly during the trial itself. Many in the media have not focused on the countervailing facts in the case.

Today the jury will get the case following closing arguments and jury instructions. One issue to watch is how Judge Bruce Schroeder handles the gun count, which is based on what I believe is a flawed legal interpretation by the prosecution.

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Was Rittenhouse’s Possession of the AR-15 Unlawful?

In covering the motions hearing last week in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, I noted a surprising comment from Judge Bruce Schroeder that he had “spent hours” with the Wisconsin gun law and could not state with certainty what it means in this case. The statement could effectively knock out the misdemeanor gun possession count — the one count that could still be in play for the jury after the prosecution’s case on the more serious offense appeared to collapse in court. A close examination of that provision reveals ample reason to question not just its meaning but its application to this case.

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Will Biden’s Vaccine-Mandate “Work-Around” Work with the Supreme Court?

Below is my column in the Hill on the review of the OSHA vaccine mandate imposed by the Biden Administration. Courts like the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit are facing a novel use of workplace regulations in an admitted effort to circumvent constitutional limitations. The question is whether it will work.

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Six Degrees From Brookings: How a Liberal Think Tank Keeps Coming Up in the Russian Collusion Investigation

The latest indictment by Special Counsel John Durham has created a stir in Washington as the investigation into the Russian collusion scandal exposed new connections to the Clinton campaign.  The indictment of  Igor Danchenko exposes additional close advisers to Hillary Clinton who allegedly pushed discredited and salacious allegations in the Steele dossier. However, one of the most interesting new elements was the role of a liberal think tank, the Brookings Institution, in the alleged effort to create a false scandal of collusion. Indeed, Brookings appears so often in accounts related to the Russian collusion scandal that it could be Washington’s alternative to the Kevin Bacon parlor game. It appears that many of these figures are within six degrees of Brookings.

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Yankee Doodling the Media: How ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Became a Rallying Cry Against News Bias

Below is my column in The Hill on the growing “Let’s Go, Brandon” movement, which is a unique response to what many people view as a bias media. It is the modern equivalent of the adoption of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” by colonists in using what was a contemptuous expression as a rallying cry of defiance.

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