Trump Travel Ban Expires Before Supreme Court Argument As The Administration Prepares New Order

Supreme CourtWhile the world did not end as announced on Saturday (which has proven an incredible inconvenience for those of us having to teach next week), the Trump travel ban did end on Sunday.  When the Supreme Court lifted a significant part of the injunctions imposed on the bans by lower courts, there was a surprising footnote in the short order that I discussed at the time.  The Court indicated that the Trump Administration had not asked for an expedited hearing before October.  That set the travel ban up for what I described as “planned obsolescence” to expire shortly before the scheduled oral argument.

Continue reading

Airlines Report Almost $2 Billion In Record Baggage and Change Fees in Second Quarter of 2017

220px-United_Airlines_-_N14219_-_Flickr_-_skinnylawyer_(1)For years, we have been discussing how airlines have repeatedly misled Congress and the public about baggage fees, which were always an avenue to bilk customers of billions.  Now a new report confirms again that this is not about fuel costs or falling revenues.  The airlines are continuing to cut space for passengers, add charges for simple comforts, and raising baggage fees as they hit record profits.  The U.S. airlines alone pulled in a record $1.2 billion in bag fees and another $737.5 million in reservation change fees in just the second quarter of 2017.

Continue reading

Maxime Waters: “Impeachment Is . . . Whatever The Congress Says It Is”

1024px-Congresswoman_Waters_official_photoRep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has become an icon for the left in her unrelenting calls for impeachment of President Donald Trump and tapping into the blind rage across the country.  That appeal to the base however took a worrisome turn this week as Waters rallied supporters around the assurance that impeachment is anything they want to say it is.  As I stated recently to the Rolling Stones, this view was made popular by Gerald Ford and has been uniformly condemned by constitutional experts.  Waters is dismissing the constitutional obligation to find “high crimes and misdemeanors” in assuring supporters that they can simply get rid of Trump on a muscle vote.  Political convenience has long been the enemy of constitutional principle, but this effort is highly dangerous for our country as a whole.  We are living in an age of rage and Waters’ approach would create an channel to direct that lethal rage into the heart of our political system.

Continue reading

Whistleblower or Wrongdoer? Comey Defenders Ignore The Former Director’s Own Misconduct

440px-Comey-FBI-PortraitBelow is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the allegations raised by the White House over the alleged misconduct of former FBI Director James Comey.  It is clear that Comey violated FBI rules and regulations — offenses that would have likely cost any of his subordinates their jobs at the Bureau when he was director.  However, there remains a virtual news blackout on the obvious violations and their implications.

Here is the column.

Continue reading

Debtor Nation: U.S. Hits $20 Trillion Debt For First Time As Citizens Approach $1 Trillion in Credit Card Debt

6-1-1As politicians celebrated the lifting of the debt ceiling in Washington, the United States hit the $20 trillion debt level for the first time in its history.  At the same time, citizens are reaching their own personal milestone with $1 trillion in credit card debt alone.  It is not hard to see this will end up given the trending lines of debts as we continue to spend wildly both publicly and personally.

Continue reading

Executive Authority: How Presidential Statements Could Undermine Both Sides In The Litigation Over DACA

President_Barack_Obamadonald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedBelow is my column in USA Today on the role that statements from both President Barack Obama and Donald Trump could feature greatly in the unfolding litigation over the rescinding of the DACA order.  Ironically, it will be the opposing sides relying on the respective statements from these presidents.

Here is the column.

Continue reading

DACA And The Costs Of Constitutional Short Sellers

Statue_of_Liberty_7500px-Philippine-stock-market-boardBelow is my column in the Hill newspaper on the decision of President Donald Trump to rescind DACA and send the issue back to Congress with a six-month grace period.  While I support some accommodation for those brought here as young children and hope that Congress will pass new legislation, I still view DACA as a flagrantly legislative act by President Barack Obama carried out through his unilateral executive authority.

Continue reading