Category: Constitutional Law

Changing Dealers? MGM Resorts Sues The Victims In The Mandalay Bay Massacre

220px-The_ScreamMGM Resorts International has gone to an extraordinary point to forum shop for more sympathetic judges: it is actually suing the victims of last year’s Las Vegas concert mass shooting.  The move has outraged many as MGM shamelessly sues grieving families and individuals to get before the more conservative federal bench. It is a move that is a stark reminder of how corporations openly forum shop for judges as well as the view of the federal bench as being more sympathetic to corporate defendants.  What is all the more unsettling is that MGM and Mandalay Bay could well succeed.

Continue reading “Changing Dealers? MGM Resorts Sues The Victims In The Mandalay Bay Massacre”

Federal Judge Orders L.A. Times To Remove Information Of A Plea Agreement From Published Articles [UPDATED]

screen-shot-2018-07-17-at-7-22-46-am-e1531826624860.pngIn one of the most troubling orders issued by a court in years, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter issued an order on Saturday to the Los Angeles Times to remove information from an article describing a plea agreement between prosecutors and a Glendale police detective.  The detective is alleged to have been in the pocket of the blood-soaked Mexican Mafia.  The newspaper discovered the details in a posted order on PACER the online court database, which was supposed to be left under seal.  I have been in cases when such mistakes have occurred but the court’s actions in this case drive to the heart of press freedom in this country. In my view (which will hardly surprise our regular readers), the order is a direct and dangerous violation of the First Amendment. [UPDATE: After a national outcry, the judge has rescinded his order and says that he was not sure that the LA Times had obtained the material legally.]

Continue reading “Federal Judge Orders L.A. Times To Remove Information Of A Plea Agreement From Published Articles [UPDATED]”

No, Rosenstein Should Not Be Impeached

Rod_Rosenstein_Official_DAG_PortraitOver the course of the last year, I have been highly critical of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for his selection of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel and his failure to recuse himself from the Russian investigation.  However, the most recent effort to impeach Rosenstein is unwarranted and unwise.  According to news reports on Friday, Reps. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio are preparing articles of impeachment to subject in the coming weeks against Rosenstein.


Continue reading “No, Rosenstein Should Not Be Impeached”

“Perfectly Legal”: The Perilous Rhetoric Of Immigration Politics

ICE Enforcement

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on continued claims about undocumented immigrants and their legal status.  There is a growing misrepresentation of the status issues that are deeply concerning.  While undocumented status can be treated as a civil matter, it is also a criminal matter when a person enters the country illegally.  Some politicians and commentators have been stating simply that all undocumented persons are non-criminals while others have suggested that persons are “perfectly legal” if they claim asylum even if they entered illegally.  The point is that not all such persons should be treated criminally, but rather these statements can be dangerously misleading for families considering an illegal crossing.  The Trump Administration has shifted enforcement toward greater criminal than civil enforcement.  As for asylum claims, they are not the majority of illegal entries but the numbers are clearly rising.  We are required under international law to consider such applications, but that does not mean that the entry was lawful or that such cases cannot raise risks of criminal enforcement.  With so many lives at risk, we need to be more accurate in how we describe the legal realities of illegal entry.


Here is the column:

Continue reading ““Perfectly Legal”: The Perilous Rhetoric Of Immigration Politics”

The Kavanaugh Nomination: Trump Selects A Robertsesque Nominee


Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.  It seems likely that Kavanaugh will be confirmed absent some earth-shattering disclosure in the confirmation process.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “The Kavanaugh Nomination: Trump Selects A Robertsesque Nominee”

Cambridge Under Fire For Hiring American Physics Researcher Who Advocated Monogamy On Blog Three Years Ago

300px-University_of_Cambridge_coat_of_arms_official_version.svgStudents at Cambridge are objecting to the hiring of American Aron Wall, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California-Santa Barbara who studies “quantum gravity and black hole thermodynamics.” It is not Wall’s academic credentials or theories that are controversial. Rather, three years ago, Wall wrote a blog post critical of Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, the decision protecting the right to same-sex marriage.  Wall’s criticism was of non-monogamous relations in the gay and lesbian communities.  One can easily see the objections to such arguments but critics have gone further to object that Wall’s personal views create a hostile or threatening environment. Continue reading “Cambridge Under Fire For Hiring American Physics Researcher Who Advocated Monogamy On Blog Three Years Ago”

Why Big Fierce Nominees Are Rare

Supreme Court
Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on why the most creative and productive individuals are often disfavored in our modern confirmation system.  With the announcement of the new nominee this evening by President Donald Trump, we will have the state of a counterintuitive process that favors those who are the least forthcoming or open about their views.

Here is the column:  Continue reading “Why Big Fierce Nominees Are Rare”

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks