Public Defender Refuses To Remove “Black Lives Matter” Pin Despite Judicial Order

black-lives-matter-button-225Deputy PD, Erika Ballou, has refused to comply with a judicial order to remove a Black Lives Matter pin from her blouse — a clear violation of court rules. As we recently discussed with regard to such pins, judges maintain basic rules of decorum and dress in their courtrooms, particularly in barring political symbols that may influence a jury or witnesses. What is astonishing is not just that Ballou defied the court but that Clark County Public Defender Phil Kohn was standing next to her and a dozen defense lawyers stood behind her in support.

Continue reading

Alleged New York Bomber and His Family Sued Police Over Alleged Profiling In 2011 [UPDATED]

3893144500000578-0-image-m-7_1474295175812There is a bizarre twist to the most recent bombing in New York and the wounding of alleged terrorist Ahmad Rahami. The Rahami family filed a federal lawsuit in April 2011 that claimed that they were being targeted solely due to discrimination against Muslims and profiled by the government. The 11 count lawsuit named the City of Elizabeth, the Elizabeth Police Department, six Elizabeth police officers, chief of police Ronald Simon and police director James Cosgrove. Given the real prejudices that Muslim families face today, there is reason to fear that the situation could become far worse. Donald Trump has called for profiling while Hillary Clinton has called for tougher Visa rules. Notably, a news report indicates that his father actually contacted police two years ago to say that he believed that his son was a terrorist.  Thus, the family appears to have rejected his extreme views — precisely the type of tip that the government has sought to generate by working closely with the Muslim community.

Continue reading

Supreme Court Lifts Stay On Senate Enforcement Of Subpoena In Backpage.com

senate_large_sealYesterday, I testified about the subpoena power of Congress under Article I and briefly discussed the recent free speech challenge to the Senate subpoena issued against Backpage.com. I mentioned in the hearing that the district court had issued a sweeping reaffirmation of congressional subpoena authority, but that Chief Justice John Roberts had issued a stay. Now, the Supreme Court denied the appeal. The decision further strengthens the case of the House Science Committee.

Continue reading

TURLEY TESTIFIES IN HOUSE SCIENCE COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE CONTROVERSY

800px-Capitol_Building_Full_ViewI will testify this morning before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on the controversy over dueling state and federal investigations involving the climate change debate. After various state attorneys general announced investigations of Exxon Company over its opposition to climate change theories (including subpoenas either to or concerning conservation public interest groups), the Committee issued its own subpoenas to the prosecutors and environmental public interest groups involved in the campaign. That has triggered a confrontation as the prosecutors and environmental groups raised constitutional objections to the House subpoenas. The full committee hearing will start at 10 am in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.

Continue reading

Former Clinton Aide Defies House Subpoena While Other Former Aides Invoke The Fifth Amendment Right To Remain Silent

logo-mainjason_chaffetz_official_portrait_111th_congressI recently discussed the questions raised over the Justice Department giving the two former aides to Hillary Clinton immunity — and thereby removing any serious threat of prosecution while seeking information on their superiors. As part of that discussion, I posed the question of whether these previously immunized witnesses would defy Congress. That confrontation appears to be brewing after the former State Department IT specialist who set up Hillary Clinton’s private server Bryan Pagliano simply ignored a subpoena to appear this week before the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Ironically, I will be testifying this morning on the congressional authority to enforce subpoenas in the House of Representatives. House oversight committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (right) will now have to decide whether to move to hold Pagliano and other defiant former Clinton aides in contempt for refusing to appear or respond to the Committee.

Continue reading

BROWN FAMILY FILES APPEAL WITH SUPREME COURT IN SISTER WIVES CASE

Supreme CourtThis afternoon, the Brown family filed its appeal with the United States Supreme Court in the “Sister Wives” case. The case is Brown v. Buhman, No. 14-4117. As lead counsel for the Browns, I am joined on the petition by co-counsel Thomas Huff and we benefited from the input of our long-time co-counsel in Utah, Adam Alba. The petition asks the Court to resolve a longstanding conflict among the courts of appeals concerning the extent to which the government can strategically moot a constitutional challenge to a statute by announcing a new non-enforcement policy during the pendency of litigation. The petition is attached below.

Continue reading

Obama Administration Reportedly Bars Former British Ambassador From Entering Country To Honor National Security Whistleblower

220px-craig_murrayHe has no criminal record. He is an internationally followed author and human rights activists. He is also the former British British ambassador to Uzbekistan with 30 years of diplomatic experience. However, Craig Murray has reported that he was denied entry into the United States by the State Department when he was traveling to serve as Master of Ceremonies at an award ceremony honoring John Kiriakou, the CIA torture whistleblower.

Continue reading