Category: Constitutional Law

Turley To Debate The Constitutionality Of The Wealth Tax

Today, I will be debating the constitutionality of the wealth tax. The Federalist Society has organized today’s debate with Indiana Law Professor David Gamage who co-authored Why A Wealth Tax Is Definitely Constitutional.

The event titled “Would a Wealth Tax Pass Constitutional Muster” is open to public for registration and will be held virtually at 1:30 ET. Continue reading “Turley To Debate The Constitutionality Of The Wealth Tax”

Hostile Takeover: Democrats To Introduce Bill To Pack The Supreme Court

We recently discussed the controversial commission created by President Joe Biden to discuss calls to pack the Supreme Court as well as a number of truly looney ideas for circumventing or reducing the authority of the Court’s conservative majority. Some members however decided not to wait even for a commission that is itself packed with liberal members.  House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, D-NY, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, and others will be announcing their plan to immediately add four new justices to the Court. The number is calculated purely to give liberals a 7-6 majority on the Court. It is about a subtle as a B-52 run. Continue reading “Hostile Takeover: Democrats To Introduce Bill To Pack The Supreme Court”

Sixth Circuit Upholds Ohio Law Banning Aborting Babies With Down Syndrome

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit this week upheld an Ohio law that bans doctors from performing abortions when they know the reason a woman is seeking an abortion is that her baby has Down syndrome. It is a major win for pro-life advocates but could face an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Continue reading “Sixth Circuit Upholds Ohio Law Banning Aborting Babies With Down Syndrome”

Is Biden’s Supreme Court Commission Packed To Fail?

Below is my column in The Hill on President Joe Biden’s Commission on the Supreme Court.  While the composition of the makeup of the Commission is now known, the true purpose of the Commission remains in doubt. While the Commission is likely to make recommendations for “reforms,” the genesis of the Commission was to consider the court packing scheme that was widely discussed during the 2020 presidential election.  Biden precisely called court packing a “bone headed” and “terrible, terrible idea.” However, he was not willing to confront extreme voices in his own party and this Commission is the result. The hope of many in Washington is that this Commission will give the Administration cover in setting aside the demands to add new members in the short term to create a liberal majority on the Court. If this largely liberal commission recommends against court packing, Biden and the Democratic leadership could shrug and say “well., we tried.”  The question is whether the Commission will feel the pressure to come up with some alternative substantial recommended change. Over 20 years ago, I recommended the expansion of the Court to 17 or 19 members. However, that recommendation would occur over many years and would not give advocates the short-term majority that they are seeking. That is the difference between reforming and packing the Court. Even a gradual increase would also face considerable opposition in the Senate, particularly out of a lack of trust that a later majority would add a couple of justices and then renege on continued additions to continue to control the majority of the Court.  Even former Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid warned against term limits or seeking to expand the Supreme Court as a dangerous path for Democrats.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Is Biden’s Supreme Court Commission Packed To Fail?”

President Biden Creates Supreme Court Commission To Consider Court-Packing Plan

On Friday, President Joe Biden issued an executive order forming the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. The order is the fulfillment of his pledge on the campaign trial to consider the expansion of the Supreme Court, a court-packing scheme advocated by some Democrats to retake control of the court from its current conservative majority. Even though I have long argued for the expansion of the Supreme Court, I opposed these calls as a raw effort to pack the Court.  I have a column out this morning discussing the Commission.

Continue reading “President Biden Creates Supreme Court Commission To Consider Court-Packing Plan”

A Masters’ Mulligan? Biden Says Georgia Is Now A Jim Crow State But It Is Still OK For Golf

It appears that President Joe Biden did not repeatedly “misspeak” as suggested on CNN.  Yesterday, Biden not only did not correct his false claims about the Georgia election law but doubled down that the law is a “Jim Crow law.” Indeed, he has repeatedly said it is worse, “Jim Crow on steroids.” That is why yesterday’s press conference (with only three questions) moved from the inaccurate to the incoherent. Biden is now saying that Georgia is a Jim Crow state with laws worse than the segregationist laws following the Civil War. However, he is saying that it is ok to play the Masters in the state (and for CBS to carry the Masters) after supporting a boycott of baseball. In deciding whether to do business in what Biden calls a “Jim Crow” state, Biden declared  “That’s up to the Masters.”

Continue reading “A Masters’ Mulligan? Biden Says Georgia Is Now A Jim Crow State But It Is Still OK For Golf”

Wisconsin Supreme Court Finds Wisconsin Governor Acted Unlawfully On Mask Mandate

The Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked Democratic Gov. Tony Evers from issuing any new public health emergency orders to mandate face masks. In a 4-3 decision that broke along ideological lines, the conservative majority found that Evers lacked authority for his order. It is similar to a ruling rejecting orders by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.  What was most striking was the dissenting opinion from the three liberal justices. The dissenting justice adopted the most convoluted and artificial construct to ignore the plain meaning of the controlling state law. Continue reading “Wisconsin Supreme Court Finds Wisconsin Governor Acted Unlawfully On Mask Mandate”

Turley to Speak in Utah on the History of Impeachment

Today, I will be speaking to lawyers and law students in Utah on the history of impeachment.  The event is organized by the Utah State Bar litigation section in conjunction with the University of Utah and Brigham Young University law schools. As many of you know, I have a deep love for the parks and trails of Utah as an avid backpacker so having to appear virtually is a disappointment.  However, I hope to be back hiking the ridges of Zion and Bryce this year.

Continue reading “Turley to Speak in Utah on the History of Impeachment”

He Who Must Not Be Heard: Facebook Removes Interview By Lara Trump For Including The “Voice Of Donald Trump”

Recently, Sen. Bernie Sanders raised concerns over the banning of Donald Trump from Twitter as an attack on free speech by corporate censors. It apparently had no impact on Big Tech.  Facebook has removed a video of an interview by Lara Trump of her father-in-law and former president. The company declared that it would censor  any content “in the voice of Donald Trump.” It appears that Trump has achieved Voldemort status on social media and is now “he who must not be heard.” Continue reading “He Who Must Not Be Heard: Facebook Removes Interview By Lara Trump For Including The “Voice Of Donald Trump””

GoFundMe Shuts Down Fundraiser Of Parents Opposing Critical Race Theory In Loudoun County

There is a new controversy at GoFundMe which has been repeatedly criticized for yielding to campaigns to cancel conservative causes on the fundraising site. This controversy involved the decision to deactivate the fundraising ability of Parents Against Critical Theory, a group opposing the teaching of critical race theory in Loudoun County Public Schools. Loudoun county school employees supported a campaign to cancel the fundraiser and GoFundMe quickly informed the group that it had violated the site’s policies. However, there is no explanation of the specific violations that I could find. There may well be valid grounds for such termination but the failure to be clear and transparent on those grounds is deeply concerning from a free speech perspective.

Continue reading “GoFundMe Shuts Down Fundraiser Of Parents Opposing Critical Race Theory In Loudoun County”

Two Capitol Police Officers Sue Trump Over Capitol Riot

recently wrote about the lawsuit by Rep. Eric Swalwell against former President Donald Trump as a serious miscalculation that could result in a legal vindication for Trump either on the trial or appellate levels. In my view, the lawsuit contravenes free speech as well as controlling case law from the Supreme Court. Now two Capitol Police officers injured during the riot, James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby, have sued on similar grounds with many of the same inherent flaws. The 40-page lawsuit was written by D.C. attorney Patrick Malone, who previously filed ethics complaints against lawyers representing the Trump campaign or the Republican party.  Trump lawyers many view this lawsuit as a greater opportunity than a liability for their client.

Continue reading “Two Capitol Police Officers Sue Trump Over Capitol Riot”

Democrats Cannot Erase The History Or Hypocrisy Of The Filibuster

Below is my column on the ongoing Democratic effort to get rid of the Senate filibuster. There are good-faith arguments against filibusters but there is a new campaign to declare the rule as racist. Once again, many in the media are ignoring both the history and hypocrisy surrounding the filibuster, including in the press conference last week with President Joe Biden. Biden was not asked in multiple questions on the filibuster about his defense of a rule that he now dismisses as a racist relic. In 2005 he stated:

The Senate ought not act rashly by changing its rules to satisfy a strong-willed majority acting in the heat of the moment…Proponents of the ‘nuclear option’ argue that their proposal is simply the latest iteration of a growing trend towards majoritarianism in the Senate. God save us from that fate, if it is true…Adopting the ‘nuclear option’ would change this fundamental understanding and unbroken practice of what the Senate is all about. Senators would start thinking about changing other rules when they became “inconvenient.” …Altering Senate rules to help in one political fight or another could become standard operating procedure, which, in my view, would be disastrous.”

Here is the column:

“The Defendants May Pick Their Poison”: Christian Group Scores Major Legal Victory Against University of Iowa

A Christian group at the University of Iowa scored a major win this week before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  In an opinion (below) with sweeping potential impact, the court reversed District Court Judge Stephanie Rose and ruled that University of Iowa officials can be held personally liable for targeting a Christian club and denying the rights of free speech and association. The University ultimately did not appeal findings that it violated the rights of this religious group and these students in its discriminatory application of university policies.

Continue reading ““The Defendants May Pick Their Poison”: Christian Group Scores Major Legal Victory Against University of Iowa”

“Tomorrow It Could Be Somebody Else”: Bernie Sanders Comes Out Against Trump Twitter Ban

Twitter LogoSen Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) came out against the Twitter ban of former president Donald Trump yesterday.  Sanders expressed his discomfort with the role of Big Tech in censorship viewpoints, a sharp departure from his Democratic colleagues who have demanded more such corporate censorship. Continue reading ““Tomorrow It Could Be Somebody Else”: Bernie Sanders Comes Out Against Trump Twitter Ban”

USD Law Professor Under Investigation For Column Criticizing Chinese Government

University of San Diego Law Professor Thomas Smith has been put under investigation for the use of an offensive term in a column criticizing the Chinese government and its role in the pandemic.  The column, written on the site The Right Coast discussed a Wall Street Journal article on China’s lack of real cooperation in the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. In the column, Smith refers to accepting “a lot of Chinese c**k swaddle.” That led to a campaign to have Smith fired and a statement from Dean Robert Schapiro that not only announced a  formal investigation but appeared to denounce Smith.  The USD controversy is the latest attack on free speech and academic freedom. It shows the same combination of student cancelling campaigns and the enabling actions of school administrators. Continue reading “USD Law Professor Under Investigation For Column Criticizing Chinese Government”