Category: Constitutional Law

New Democratic Member: “We Gonna . . . Impeach The Mother**ker”


After fueling impeachment calls in the election, some Democratic leaders are trying to tamp down on the issue despite the filing of impeachment articles on the first day of the session. The leaders could now have a serious problem in controlling dozens of members who secured their fees in part on impeachment pledges. That was obvious this week when newly elected Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) proclaimed the intention to “impeach the motherf**ker” at a reception for the liberal group MoveOn. The statement obviously delighted the crowd but undermined the credibility of the new Democratic majority in seriously examining the basis for impeachment. In a measure of the distemper that has taken over our politics, Tlaib has refused to apologize.

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No, Pelosi Is Not The Constitutional Equal To The President

Shortly before becoming House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) made an interesting statement in an interview with the New York Times that the Constitution makes her to be President Donald Trump’s equal. While President Donald Trump is criticized for misconstruing his inherent powers (often for good reason), Pelosi also appears to need a basic constitutional primer on the office.

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Swedish “Man Free” Concert Declared Discriminatory

We previously discussed the “man free” concert held in Sweden and how the concert (heralded by feminists) was a raw exercise of gender discrimination. It was a telling moment since these same advocates would be appalled by barring women from concerts or venues. Now Sweden’s Discrimination Ombudsman has declared the concern blatant discrimination. The response of feminist leaders is interesting. Rather than recognize the hypocrisy of fighting discrimination by others but not themselves, leaders denounced the ruling and ridiculed men as feeling threatened.

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Did The Supreme Court Just Rule For The First Time On A Mueller Matter?

It is called In re Grand Jury Subpoena No. 18-3071 and it just might be the first ruling on an issue in the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller by the Supreme Court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently ruled on the matter under seal involving a corporation presumably owned by a foreign government. The corporation lost in its bid to quash the subpoena under the protections of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The D.C. Circuit imposed a daily fine, which was enjoined by Chief Justice John Roberts on Sunday night. While not a ruling on the merit, it could be a historical moment as the first Mueller matter to make it to the Court.

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The Barr Memo: Why Reasoned Discourse Should Not Be A Bar To Confirmation

Below is my column in on the Barr memorandum that has garnered so much attention. As I noted, I do not agree with the ultimate conclusion of the research that the obstruction provision could not be the foundation for a subpoena to require President Donald Trump to answer questions. However, the memo is a well-reasoned and thoughtful treatment of the issue. Moreover, I agree with Barr (as I have stated since 2017) that critics were stretching obstruction provisions to the breaking point in their blind effort to turn every act into a crime. Indeed, while I do not necessary view the memo as a strong case against obstruction, it is part of a strong case for confirmation.

Here is the column:

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The Curious Tale Of The Flynn Sentencing Hearing

Below is a column on the Flynn’s sentencing hearing and the curious turn of events in the case. He is now scheduled for a new sentencing hearing in March 2019. Interestingly, while I have repeatedly stated in print and television that Flynn does not deserve sympathy, I have been widely quoted as saying that I have called for such sympathy. My point is simply that there are serious concerns raised by how this interview was handled, including the intentional effort to have Flynn interviewed without counsel. Moreover, it is possible to denounce such false statements without exaggerating the specific crime itself. It is still unclear why Flynn lied when the conversation of such sanctions was not strange or improper. Indeed, the Administration publicly was saying that it wanted a new start with Russia and would reexamine all aspects of the relationship. The hearing however quickly went off the rails. I have a great deal of respect for Judge Emmet Sullivan and have appeared before him on countless occasions. But this hearing took a radical departure from the record and the specific crime being addressed in sentencing.

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Five Texans Sue After Being Barred From State Jobs For Refusing To Sign A Required Statements On Israel

I have previously written about the increasing state and federal efforts to impose bans on contractors and employees who refuse to sign agreements not to boycott Israeli products. The agreements raise serious free speech concerns under the First Amendment and contravene a host of constitutional rights from speech to religion to association. Now a speech pathologist in Texas is suing after she was barred from employment with the school district after nine years of work with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas. The lawsuit on her behalf was filed in the Western District of Texas is the latest federal challenge to these laws.

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Health Care Jenga: The Future Of The ACA May Rest With Its Past

Below is my column in USA Today on the recent decision effectively striking down the Affordable Care Act.  While Judge O’Connor technically ruled only on the individual mandate, he found that the unconstitutional provision could not be severed from the rest of the Act.  Nevertheless, he will have to address the remaining issue and the question of the injunctive relief.  There is a good chance that the severability ruling will be reversed but that could still leave the ruling on the individual mandate.

Here is the column:

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American University’s Yoga Group Disbanded After Cultural Appropriation Charge

I have been critical of the widening charges of cultural appropriation and microaggressions on our campuses as statements and even programs are targeted with little resistance from faculty or administrators.  We previously discussed how yoga classes were denounced in Ottawa as cultural appropriation. Now American University in Washington has become embroiled in the same charge after a single student objected to white individuals performing an Indian epic as part of university’s Bhakti yoga group. American University student Maya Krishnan seems to believe that the school should limit performances on the basis of race and national origin — and that objection appears to have succeeded with the dissolution of the group as well as the resignation of the group’s faculty adviser, student president and vice president.

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It’s A Wonderful Libel? Trump Suggests Legal Action Against SNL For Latest Skit

I have previously criticized President Donald Trump for his calls for greater liability of the media for its coverage of the controversies surrounding his Administration.   This weekend, Trump was again suggesting the need for legal review as he was excoriated by Saturday Night Live in a skit based on the classic Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  Fortunately, the courts have maintained core free speech and free press protections from such assaults, particularly in the realm of comedy and parody.  

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Turley To Speak At Newseum On The Special Counsel Investigation

I will have the pleasure of joining an esteemed panel today in a special event held at the Newseum.  We will discussing the Special Counsel investigation and related issues from indicting a sitting president to possible impeachment proceedings.  The event is organized by the Freedom Forum Institute and the panel will also include Stuart E. Eizenstat, American diplomat and attorney (and author of the new book, “President Carter: The White House Years”) and Kenneth W. Starr, former federal judge, U.S. Solicitor General, and independent counsel for the Whitewater investigation. The moderator will be Greta Van Susteren, broadcast journalist and host of legal and political affairs programs on Fox News and MSNBC.

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California Appellate Court Slams USC For Denying Basic Due Process To Accused Student

We have yet another court ruling that a university denied the most basic due process protections to a student accused of sexual assault.  For example, the University of Southern California appeared entirely unmotivated and uninterested in determining  if stains on clothing of the victim was blood or red paint from a party where “students splattered paint on each other.”  What is astonishing is that, while spending little time to guarantee a fair process, the university has continued to litigate this case to try to protect its right to summarily convict accused students.  Claremont McKenna College and the University of California-Santa Barbara were previously cited for such due process violations.

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Federal Judge Orders Mueller To Turn Over Flynn Material

In a surprising move, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered Mueller late Wednesday to turn over all of the government’s documents and “memoranda” related to Flynn’s questioning. This follows a Flynn filing that described an effective trap set by agents who encouraged him not to bring a lawyer and left inconsistencies unaddressed in what has been described by critics as a “perjury trap.”  I have practiced in front of Judge Sullivan for years and he is a respected judge who has a keen eye for prosecutorial and investigative abuse.  That does not mean that he will find such abuse here and could ultimately make a finding that nothing improper occurred.  Yet, despite a recommendation of no jail time, Sullivan wants to review the entire record before deciding on the issue.

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French Protesters Take To The Streets Wearing Yellow Vests . . . So Egypt Cracks Down On Yellow Vest Sales

The Egyptian government has reason to be nervous.  After cracking down on civil liberties, free speech, free exercise, and the free press, the government has watched with growing alarm over the protests engulfing France by thousands of yellow vested citizens.  So Egypt is rethinking its denial of basic liberties, right?  No, the government is preventing the sale of yellow vests and prosecutors are seeking jail time for a lawyer who was merely pictured in yellow vest.

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