Last week, the disclosure of a total of five immunity agreements handed out by the Justice Department as part of its investigation of the Clinton email scandal. The extent of the deals and the recipients were surprising, particularly in the failure to previously disclose those deals. As a criminal defense lawyer, I was surprised to see the deals include Cheryl Mills, one of the highest officials accused in the deletion of tens of thousands of emails and the failure to heed warnings over the risk to national security from the use of the Clinton private server. Below is the column.
Below is my column on free speech on college campuses and the courageous decision of the University of Chicago to reject “safe spaces” and speech regulation. We are facing a growing movement to curtail free speech on campuses. Conservatives rightfully complain that they are being silenced as hecklers bar speakers and administrators punish unpopular speech. The forced silence of students and faculty will be the death knell for American higher education. Too many faculty are unwilling to speak against these measures in fear that they will be labeled racist or micro aggressors. Others like University of Chicago Professor Eric Posner have readily embraced speech regulations by belittling college students as just impressionable children.
They think universities are treating students like children. And they are right. But they have also not considered that the justification for these policies may lie hidden in plain sight: that students are children. Not in terms of age, but in terms of maturity. Even in college, they must be protected like children while being prepared to be adults.
So now people who are adults legally will be dismissed as children to justify the imposition of speech codes where faculty dictate what is acceptable or unacceptable viewpoints. It is incumbent upon the rest of us to fight the rising tide of speech regulation and intolerance. To that end, every faculty senate should consider replicating the letter of the University of Chicago to its incoming class, as discussed in the column below.
Below is my column in the Washington Post on Donald Trump’s proposal of “extreme vetting” for immigrants to the United States. While some have suggested that the proposal would violate the Constitution, I do not agree. There are ample concerns or objections that can be raised as a matter of policy. However, such vetting is neither unconstitutional nor unprecedented. Particularly if implemented with congressional approval, I believe that such a heightened level of scrutiny would pass constitutional muster. Conversely, this is clearly something that Congress could prevent legislatively.
Below is my column in USA Today on Donald Trump’s statement that he thinks that American citizens should be tried at Guantanamo Bay with other “terrible people” accused of terrorism. I have previously criticized Hillary Clinton for her views on free speech and executive power. However, the suggestion that U.S. citizens could be sent for faux trials at Gitmo is truly chilling. Here is the column.
Below is my recent column in USA Today on the anger of voters with the two mainstream presidential nominees and my recent trip to Alaska. Below are some pictures from the visit to Mike Carpenter’s trading post on the way to Denali National Park.
Below is my column on Sunday in the Chicago Tribune on the controversy involving Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ginsburg’s expression of “regret” over “ill-advised” statements may strike many as a bit short of an actual apology for what was facially unethical conduct. However, it was more than was required because nothing is required from a Supreme Court justice. That is the problem. Not the tirade against Trump. Not the criticism of Republicans in Congress. The real problem is that Ginsburg and her colleagues claim that the Code of Judicial Ethics is only binding on lesser jurists. Indeed, a majority of justices have been accused of ethical violations, but the Supreme Court is the only part of our government that is not subject to any enforceable code of ethics. Ginsburg’s apology should not detract attention from pressing need for reforms of our Court, including the creation of an enforceable ethical code for the justices. Once again, we have addressed only the latest manifestation of the problem on the Court rather than the underlying cause: the absence of an enforceable code of ethics for the justices. I have long advocated two primary reforms for the Court: the establishment of an enforceable code of ethics and the expansion of the Court to 19 members. What was disturbing recently during an appearance on the Washington Journal on C-Span was how many people argued against an enforceable code of ethics and just accepted that justices speak and act politically. While some people simply supported what Ginsburg had to say about Trump, others view the notion of an enforceable code of ethics as “naive” despite that fact that all other federal jurists comply with such a code. Below is the column:
Below is my column in USA Today on the striking similarities between Richard Nixon and Hillary Clinton, particularly with regard to the staffers surrounding them. Both tended to blame others about being, to paraphrase Nixon, “kicked around.” However, there are deeper and rather disturbing patterns emerging that are shared by the two leaders in my view.