Trump’s Extreme Vetting: More Of A Political Than A Constitutional Question

495px-Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore220px-Ellis_island_1902Below 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.

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TRUMP’S TRIBUNALS: THE GOP NOMINEE EMBRACES USE OF GITMO TO TRY CITIZENS

Camp_x-ray_detainees495px-Donald_Trump_by_Gage_SkidmoreBelow 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.

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THE GINSBURG CONTROVERSY: IT IS TIME TO IMPOSE A CODE OF ETHICS ON OUR HIGHEST COURT

440px-Supreme_Court_US_2010Below 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:

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Hillary Clinton and The New Nixonians

220px-Richard_Nixon225px-Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropBelow 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.

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The Flint Charges and The Murky Legal Waters Facing Prosecutors

220px-Water_droplet_blue_bg05Below is my column in USA Today on the prosecution of three state and local officials in the Flint, Michigan water scandal. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has promised more (and higher ranking) defendants in the coming weeks. However, as discussed in this column, these cases are not as straightforward as the pictures of bottles of Flint water juxtaposed against clean water. While there are strong elements to some of the charges, the prosecution is not nearly as easily or obvious as has been suggested in the media, in my view.

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The Garland Nomination: The Unstoppable Force Meets The Unmovable Object

Merrick_GarlandBelow is my column in USA Today on the Garland nomination. I have said previously that I believe that the Senate should give the nominee a hearing and a vote. However, there is nothing in the Constitution that requires (or would compel) such action. Of course, if a Senate prolongs non-consideration, a president can use a recess appointment to temporarily fill the slot (assuming the Senate does not stay in pro forma session to bar such a manuever).

Here is the column:

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