Category: Columns

Selling Censorship: Could the Twitter Board Trigger Shareholder Lawsuits Over ESG and Anti-Free Speech Policies?

Twitter LogoLast week, Twitter’s Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal sounded more like Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in rallying his troops to defy the existential threat of Elon Musk while pledging that they will not be “held hostage.” The threat, however, was not a private buyout but the threat that Twitter might be forced to respect free speech on the site. The problem for the Board members is that they could find themselves in court if their anti-free speech stance continues to stand in the way of shareholder profits.  Such a lawsuit could be a bellwether for shareholder opposition to boards pursuing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies over profits.

Continue reading “Selling Censorship: Could the Twitter Board Trigger Shareholder Lawsuits Over ESG and Anti-Free Speech Policies?”

Twitter Faces the “Nightmare” of Being Forced into Free Speech

Twitter LogoBelow is my column in the Hill on the bid of Elon Musk to buy Twitter and its implications for free speech. The increasingly alarmist arguments of the left have continued to mount. On MSNBC, Democratic strategist Danielle Moodie declared “I’m going to be honest, Elon Musk is a danger to Twitter and to freedom of speech.” In other words, more free speech is the death of free speech. She is not alone in such Orwellian takes on the Musk bid for Twitter.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Twitter Faces the “Nightmare” of Being Forced into Free Speech”

Showdown at TJ: How a Virginia High School Became The Latest Battleground Over Racial Discrimination

Below is my column in the Hill on the litigation over the new admissions policy at the elite Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax, Virginia. The school board ended the use of an admissions test in favor of a “holistic approach” to achieve greater diversity at the school. Notably, this week, the board defended its policy before the Supreme Court by insisting that it was not “race balancing” and that the new policy is entirely “race neutral.” However, the board replaced a race-blind, merit-based system for the express purpose of achieving greater diversity. Indeed, one board member declared “in looking at what has happened to George Floyd . . . we must recognize the unacceptable numbers of such things as the unacceptable numbers of African Americans that have been accepted to TJ.”

The Virginia Attorney General (and various other states) have filed to challenge those assertions in a potentially important case that would allow the Court to consider allegedly discriminatory admissions practices and polices not just on the college but the high school levels.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Showdown at TJ: How a Virginia High School Became The Latest Battleground Over Racial Discrimination”

Hunter Biden Likely to be Charged Under FARA . . . If the Justice Department Applies the Mueller Standard

Below is my column in the New York Post on the potential liability of Hunter Biden under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). I recently testified on FARA reforms and its history of enforcement.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Hunter Biden Likely to be Charged Under FARA . . . If the Justice Department Applies the Mueller Standard”

The Reeducation of America: Obama Calls on Our “Better Angels” to Change Voter Viewpoints

Below is my column in The Hill on the recent “disinformation conference” held by leading democrats and media figures. It was a confab of the liberal politicians and journalists over how to deal with problems like Republicans, Fox News, roughly half of the voters and most television viewers. The solution for some seemed to be reeducation led by the media through even greater advocacy journalism and censorship.

This weekend MSNBC analyst John Heilemann and Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa) added their own suggestion for such reeducation. Dean agreed with Heilemann that Democrats “have to scare the crap out of [the Democratic base] and get them to come out. They can’t motivate them on the basis of hope or their pocketbooks or any of these accomplishments. They have to scare the crap out of them.”

Here is the column:

Continue reading “The Reeducation of America: Obama Calls on Our “Better Angels” to Change Voter Viewpoints”

Garland Gets His Fish: Liberal Activists Move From “Pack the Court” to “Sack the AG”

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Below is my column in the Hill on the campaign to sack Attorney General Merrick Garland over his failure to prosecute former President Donald Trump. Political strategist Cheri Jacobus posted on Twitter that “It’s time for a group of respected, experienced, influential legal eagles to sign a letter to President Biden demanding the firing of Merrick Garland. It has to happen, and this can give Biden some political cover. The status quo cannot stand.”

It is Garland’s Luca Brasi moment delivered by some of the same figures on the left who pushed to Pack the Court.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Garland Gets His Fish: Liberal Activists Move From “Pack the Court” to “Sack the AG””

Biden’s ‘Absolute’ Defense of Hunter Leaves Media and Justice Department in a Muddle

Below is my column in The Hill on President Joe Biden doubling down on his absolute defense of his son Hunter Biden. The comments only magnify the concerns over Attorney General Merrick Garland refusing to appoint a special counsel despite the clear basis for such an appointment.  It is clear that the President “absolutely” stands by his son and that the media absolutely stands by the President. The question is whether Garland will stand by justice and appoint a special counsel.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Biden’s ‘Absolute’ Defense of Hunter Leaves Media and Justice Department in a Muddle”

Biden’s Plan to “Tax the Rich” Is Unlikely to Stop with Billionaires

Below is my column in the Hill on President Joe Biden’s new tax on “unrealized gains.” After the President rolled out the new tax, his economic adviser Jared Bernstein went on Fox News and had a moment of uncontrollable honesty. He blurted out to Bret Baier that “it is very much a tax on wealth.” For the White House, it was a cringe-worthy moment. After going through considerable effort to cover this tax in sheep’s clothing, Bernstein ran out of the White House screaming “Wolf, Wolf.” Indeed, the new tax is being framed as a “pre-payment” to avoid the obvious: that it is an unconstitutional wealth tax.  Bernstein’s statement is now likely to feature prominently in court filings challenging this tax if it ever secures congressional approval.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Biden’s Plan to “Tax the Rich” Is Unlikely to Stop with Billionaires”

Yacht or Not? It is Easier to Seize an Oligarch’s Than it is to Keep it.

Below is my column in USA Today on the continuing push to seize the yachts and other property of Russian oligarchs. While enormously popular, it is easy to take a yacht. It is far more difficult to keep it. Indeed, the public could end up footing the bill for not just litigation but possible repairs to these opulent vessels.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Yacht or Not? It is Easier to Seize an Oligarch’s Than it is to Keep it.”

Justice Thomas Faces Calls for Investigation and Sweeping Recusals

Below is my column on the calls for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from a wide range of cases.  I have previously discussed the  meritless calls for his impeachment over the controversy related to his wife’s emails to the White House after the 2020 election. There are legitimate concerns that Thomas should have recused himself from a January case if he knew that his wife’s messages were included in the material sought by the House investigation. However, experts have gone further to claim that he must recuse himself from a wide array of other cases, including any touching on the 2020 election. I do not agree with that assessment. In the meantime, Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) is calling for an “investigation” into Thomas’ refusal to recuse himself, though he is vague on who would conduct such an investigation.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Justice Thomas Faces Calls for Investigation and Sweeping Recusals”

No, Justice Thomas Did Not Commit an Impeachable Offense

It is often said that “if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” In modern American politics, it often seems like the only tool is impeachment and every controversy instantly becomes a high crime and misdemeanor. Donald Trump was impeached not once but twice. Not long after Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed, Democrats like then-Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren demanded his impeachment.  Others demanded the impeachment of Attorney General Bill Barr and cabinet members.

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas is only the latest addition to that ever-lengthening list. In reality, the calls for his impeachment are entirely disconnected from any constitutional or logical foundation. Rather, the Thomas controversy shows how the impeachment mantra has become a raging impeachment addiction. Continue reading “No, Justice Thomas Did Not Commit an Impeachable Offense”

The Jackson Hearings and the Death of the Confirmation Process

Below is my column in The Hill on the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and the death of the confirmation process as a meaningful and substantive process of review. The confirmation hearings continued a long trend towards superficiality and jingoism when it comes to the discussion judicial philosophy and doctrine. Nominees have long been prepped to refuse to answer substantive questions and evade direct responses on judicial philosophy. This did not start with Judge Jackson but it is clear now that our confirmation process is a scripted and shallow exercise for all parties.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “The Jackson Hearings and the Death of the Confirmation Process”

“We Have Never Had This Moment Before”: The Jackson Confirmation Shows Striking Differences From Prior Confirmations

Below is my column in USA Today on the confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. For the most part, the hearings remained respectful and civil. I criticized some of the questioning from Republican senators on relevance or tone, but the difference with the prior three nominations was striking in a number of respects. Judge Jackson faced tough questioning on her prior decisions, but there were no giant pictures of alleged future victims or attacks on her religion or family that we saw two years ago. Indeed, as Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), stated “This is not a normal day for America. We have never had this moment before.”

Here is the column: Continue reading ““We Have Never Had This Moment Before”: The Jackson Confirmation Shows Striking Differences From Prior Confirmations”

No, Judicial Methodology is Not the Same as Judicial Philosophy

Before the start of the confirmation of hearings of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, one of greatest outstanding questions concerned Jackson’s approach to constitutional and statutory interpretation.  “Judicial philosophy” was the very basis that Democratic senators cited in voting against Amy Coney Barrett in 2020. However, within minutes of the start of the hearing, it was clear that Jackson would not discuss her views. Instead, when asked about “judicial philosophy” she responded with descriptions of her “judicial methodology.” It is not the same thing but that evasion was shrugged off by members and commentators alike. Continue reading “No, Judicial Methodology is Not the Same as Judicial Philosophy”

“Passing Judgment … on Your Particular Philosophy”: Biden’s First Nominee Versus Biden’s Bork Standard

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“In passing on this nomination to the Supreme Court, we must also pass judgment on whether or not your particular philosophy is an appropriate one at this time in our history.” Those words in 1987 were a game changer in American confirmations when Democratic senators opposed the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Robert Bork by President Ronald Reagan. While the Senate had long maintained that a qualified nominee would be confirmed despite his judicial philosophy, that changed with Bork. The man who uttered those words was the senator from Delaware: Joe Biden. Continue reading ““Passing Judgment … on Your Particular Philosophy”: Biden’s First Nominee Versus Biden’s Bork Standard”