Category: Constitutional Law

Eleventh Circuit Rules for DOJ on Classified Documents As Trump Claims the Right to Declassify with a Thought

Three Martha Vineyard Migrants File Lawsuit Against DeSantis

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The undocumented migrants who were transferred to Martha’s Vineyard have quickly adopted one common American practice: litigation. A firm, Lawyers for Civil Rights, in conjunction with the migrant-led nonprofit Alianza Americas, filed the action on behalf of Yanet Doe, Pablo Doe and Jesus Doe who are using pseudonyms for the action “on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated.” The filing is a Jackson Pollock of legal claims with twelve claims thrown against Florida from false imprisonment to intentional infliction of emotional distress to misuse of the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. The splattering of claims face considerable legal barriers based on the consent of the migrants, as shown in a waiver released by Florida.

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“Kidnapping is a Thing”: MSNBC Continues False Claim that DeSantis is Kidnapping Migrants

I have been writing about the claim of Hillary Clinton and others that the transportation of migrants to places like Martha’s Vineyard is “literally human trafficking” and other crimes. Despite the utter lack of legal basis for these allegations, major media has continued to air such claims. This weekend, MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross and MSNBC regular (and past writer for Above the Law and the Nation) Elie Mystal repeated the false claim that the trips constitute kidnapping. Continue reading ““Kidnapping is a Thing”: MSNBC Continues False Claim that DeSantis is Kidnapping Migrants”

DOJ Filing Before Eleventh Circuit Only Seeks to Stay of Part of Special Counsel Order

This image contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice on Aug. 30, 2022, and redacted by in part by the FBI, shows a photo of documents seized during the Aug. 8 search by the FBI of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. On Thursday, a federal judge appointed a special master to review the documents. 

Late Friday, the Justice Department filed its long-awaited appellate filing related to the special master order of United States District Judge Aileen Cannon. While the Administration previously argued that the appointment itself is a threat to national security and unsupportable, it notably dropped its opposition to the appointment on appeal and only appealed one aspect of the order.  In its motion for a stay pending appeal, it is only asking the 11th Circuit to allow it to continue using classified documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in a criminal investigation. The filing may reflect that time is running out for the Administration since a special master is now in place and is likely to prioritize (and release) these very documents. The motion pending appeal does not prevent the DOJ from later challenging the whole appointment but it will come after the special master has begun his work.

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Turley to Give Keynote Address at the California Lawyers Conference on Constitution Day

This morning, I have the honor of addressing the 2022 California Lawyers Conference in San Diego. The keynote address will cover “Emerging Cases and Controversies Before the Roberts Supreme Court.” It is a particular privilege to address the conference on Constitution Day. We are experiencing a crisis of faith in our Constitution, including attacks on the Court and individual justices.  There has also been a rise of opposition to “constitutionalism” as well as attacks on the Constitution as “trash.

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said “We have the oldest written constitution still in force in the world, and it starts out with three words, ‘We, the people.'” It was a simple and powerful statement. It is incumbent on each of us to defend a constitution that not only defines us as a people but has served us well through hundreds of years of political, social, and economic upheaval.

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Turley Speaks to the 2022 Ohio Judicial Conference

Today I have the honor of speaking to the judges and lawyers in the 2022 Ohio Judicial conference on the Supreme Court in Columbus, Ohio.  I will be discussing the last year of cases and controversies for the Court from leaks to threats as well as the recent and upcoming decisions.

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The Return of “The Reign of the Witches”: Biden and Trump are Not the First to Use “Rage Rhetoric” for Political Gain

Below is my column in the Hill on how history appears to be repeating itself in the rise of rage politics by the two major parties.  Both President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump have made headlines in labeling each other as enemies of the state. We have seen this before…

Here is the column:

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“Badly Misses the Point”: Post Columnist Hits Roberts after his Defense of the Court’s Integrity

Last week, I had the honor of addressing the judges and staff of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. also spoke at the conference and I was in attendance when he made his comments defending the legitimacy of the Court. Those comments took on added significance when, the following day, Vice President Kamala Harris lashed out at the justices as “activists” and questioned the integrity of the Court. Now, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus has criticized Chief Justice Roberts as missing the point in his defense of the Court. I wanted to briefly respond on why the column replicates the historical and legal flaws of the Harris comments.

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Vice President Kamala Harris Slams “Activist” Supreme Court

On Meet the Press, Vice President Kamala Harris denounced the conservatives on the Supreme Court as “activists” due to their decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. She objected that the decision ignored decades of precedent and “we are suffering as a nation because of it.” The common attack on the integrity of the justices is beneath the office of the Vice President and only legitimates the unfair attacks on these justices who are fulfilling their oath to uphold what they believe are the dictates of the Constitution (as did their colleagues in dissent in Dobbs).

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Turley Speaks at Tenth Circuit Judicial Conference

I have the honor of speaking today at the Tenth Circuit judicial conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  I will be part of a panel discussing the Supreme Court’s recent religious freedom cases and related First Amendment issues. The highlight of the conference will be separate events with Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch.

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Federal Judge Orders Appointment of Special Master and Halts Use of Seized Mar-a-Lago Material by Prosecutors

In another defeat for the Justice Department, a federal court has ordered not just the appointment of a Special Master but halted the use of the seized Mar-a-Lago documents by prosecutors until the legal status of these documents is established (The ongoing intelligence security review of classified material can continue). As with the compelled release of a redacted affidavit, the Justice Department seriously overplayed its hand (as it did in earlier filings) in claiming that an appointment would undermine national security and making extreme, unestablished legal arguments. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon will not necessarily change the ultimate trajectory of the case but it will force critical reviews and rulings on issues from attorney-client privilege to executive privilege. Continue reading “Federal Judge Orders Appointment of Special Master and Halts Use of Seized Mar-a-Lago Material by Prosecutors”

Southern Utah Professor Sues Over Mandatory Use of Pronouns

There is an interesting new lawsuit out of Southern Utah University where theater professor Richard Bugg has refused to use plural pronouns for a nonbinary student.  It is only the latest such challenge on free speech grounds by those who reject the use of different pronouns for religious, social, or purely grammatical reasons. There are a couple of aspects of the case that are particularly interesting. Continue reading “Southern Utah Professor Sues Over Mandatory Use of Pronouns”

College-Loan Forgiveness Plan Reveals Biden’s Constitutional Cynicism

Below is my column in the Hill on the latest controversy over President Joe Biden’s unilateral use of executive power. Despite an impressive list of court losses, Biden is now asserting such authority as the basis for the single largest debt forgiveness in history.

Here is the column:

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Justice Department Opposes Any Special Master and Alleges That “Obstructive Conduct Occurred” at Mar-a-Lago

Last night, Department of Justice filed in opposition to the appointment of a Special Master in Florida. It used the filing to add new facts and allegations to the public record, including the statement that “obstructive conduct occurred” at Mar-a-Lago by concealing or moving documents. The Department makes many of the same claims that it used to opposed the release of a redacted affidavit, claims shown to have been misleading and exaggerated after the magistrate ordered the release.  Notably, this filing contained details that were likely redacted in the affidavit but just released on the public record. Continue reading “Justice Department Opposes Any Special Master and Alleges That “Obstructive Conduct Occurred” at Mar-a-Lago”

“Reclaim America from Constitutionalism”: Law Professors Now Call to “Pack the States” Rather than “Pack the Court”

Below is my column on the increasing condemnations of “constitutionalism” as the root of our problems as a nation. The latest such attack came from two professors in the New York Times in a column titled The Constitution Is Broken and Should Not Be Reclaimed. It is part of a crisis of faith sweeping the nation. There are good-faith objections to such institutions as the electoral college, but the growing attacks on the Constitution reflects a more significant break with our constitutional values and traditions.

Here is the column: Continue reading ““Reclaim America from Constitutionalism”: Law Professors Now Call to “Pack the States” Rather than “Pack the Court””

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks