Last night’s NBC’s town hall in Miami with former Vice President Joe Biden was panned, to quote Politico’s Marc Caputo, as another “Biden Informercial” that protected the candidate from both tough questions and skeptical voters. There was not a single question on Biden refusing to answer whether he supports packing the Supreme Court, a move supported by his running mate Kamala Harris and various top Democrats in this election. However, Biden did make one notable comment about the Court and nominee Amy Coney Barrett. He said that, if Barrett helped reverse Roe v. Wade, he would make “Roe the law of the land.” Continue reading “Biden Pledges To Make “Roe The Law Of The Land” If Overturned By The Supreme Court”
Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the call for a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees and the packing of the Supreme Court with up to six new members to secure a majority. Both ideas were expressly denounced by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Indeed, to achieve these objectives, the Democratic members will have to tear down the very rule established by Ginsburg in her confirmation hearing. Continue reading “Ginsburg’s Nightmare: The Democratic Plan To Destroy The Supreme Court Of The United States”
Former FBI Deputy Director (and CNN contributor) Andrew McCabe has long said that he was willing to answer questions under oath about his controversial actions in the Russian investigation. He was scheduled to do so on Tuesday, but he now has refused — citing the infection of three senators with Covid-19. However, McCabe also refuses to testify remotely as did both former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. He simply says that “fairness” dictates that he not testify at all. The basis for his refusal to appear remotely is utterly and almost comically absurd.
In a recent column in the New York Times, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer criticized President Donald Trump for not issuing a national order making the wearing of masks mandatory – a pledge made by Vice President Joe Biden raising serious constitutional questions. Now, Whitmer is having her broad interpretation of state executive authority checked by the Michigan Supreme Court, which found that she violated the Constitution with her extension of the state of emergency. Continue reading “Michigan Supreme Court Strikes Down Gov. Whitmer’s State of Emergency Order”
Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the sentencing hearing of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Unfortunately, in the hearing, Judge Emmet Sullivan fulfilled the expectations of the D.C. Circuit panel that ordered him to dismiss the charge without further delay. That decision was reversed en banc but only because the court decided (as many of us argued) that Sullivan should be allowed to issue a final decision before an appellant review of his handling of the case. The en banc court did not rule in favor of his controversial comments or orders. Yet, in the hearing, Sullivan declared “Suffice it to say, the case was remanded to me by the en banc court.” As argued below, the law is clear and, suffice it to say, Sullivan will be reversed if he follows the advice of John Gleeson. Instead, Sullivan announced that he still “has questions” and indicated that he is not prepared to issue a final decision after two years. Instead, he repeated the words of Gleeson as virtual fact like an alter ego. This is moving from the cathartic to the tragic. The Court is not just prolonging the inevitable for the ruling but the trauma for the defendant. Flynn should have been sentenced years ago and the charges dismissed months ago. A defendant should not be a vehicle of the court to express displeasure or satisfy its curiosity on public controversies. The court knows that it would be almost certainly reversed if it follows the advice of its self-appointed quasi-prosecutor Gleeson. Instead, it is continuing to refuse to rule while using the case to ask more questions about the internal decision-making at the Justice Department.
Here is column: Continue reading “It Is Time To Dismiss The Flynn Case”
Below is my column in The Hill on the comparison of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Judge Amy Coney Barrett. With the exception of their conclusions on the law, both women share striking similarities and Barrett represents a triumphant moment of conservative feminists in the country. She is a brilliant jurist with a stellar background, much like the jurist she would replace.
Here is the column:
We have been discussing the anti-Catholic attacks on Judge Amy Coney Barrett and how various commentators are calling her a “cult member” and a religious “monster.” Most responsible writers and newspapers have condemned the attacks but the New York Times has run a column that appears to justify the attacks using the same anti-Catholic tropes. (For the record, I was raised Catholic and attended a Catholic high school in Chicago). The column by Elizabeth Bruenig explains why the attacks may “not be entirely baseless” in exploring historical and philosophical sources. While I do not believe Bruenig holds or wants to advance long-standing anti-Catholic prejudices, the column references sources and advances stereotypes that are painfully familiar to many Catholics.
Below is my column on the fierce attacks that have mounted against Judge Amy Coney Barrett, including articles suggesting that her conservative Catholic views and support for a charismatic group makes her a virtual cult member. The announcement of the new nominee will come today and Barrett has been viewed as a frontrunner. The religious intolerance unleashed by her likely nomination has continued to grow. Last night, “Real Time” host Bill Mayer came unglued with a vulgar attack on Barrett that even brought in Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels: “We’ll be saying this name a lot I’m sure because she’s a f—ing nut. . . ‘m sorry, but Amy [Coney] Barrett, Catholic — really Catholic. I mean really, really Catholic — like speaking in tongues. Like she doesn’t believe in condoms, which is what she has in common with Trump because he doesn’t either. I remember that from Stormy Daniels.” Imagine if a conservative commentator responded to President Obama’s nomination of Kagan or Sotomayor by referring to sex with a stripper or referring to Kagan a “really, really Jewish.” These continuing attacks do not bode well for the confirmation fight ahead — regardless of the nominee. To paraphrase Sen. Feinstein, “[Religious prejudice] lives loudly within you.”
Here is the column:
Below is my column in USA Today on the growing calls for packing the Supreme Court with up to six new members as soon as the Democrats gain control of both houses of Congress and the White House. I was critical of Democratic nominee Joe Biden this week when he refused to answer a question of whether he supports this call by his running mate Kamala Harris and other Democratic leaders. Biden told reporters “It’s a legitimate question, but let me tell you why I’m not going answer…it will shift the focus.” That was an extraordinary statement since if the question was legitimate, the refusal to answer it was not. Many of us would not support a presidential candidate who supported the packing of the Court. If Biden considers this a viable option, he is not a viable candidate for many of us. This is a central issue in the presidential campaign that has been pushed by Harris and top Democrats. Yet, Biden is refusing to confirm his position. What is particularly concerning is that Biden precisely and correctly denounced court packing schemes like the one supported by this running mate. Just a year ago, he insisted “No, I’m not prepared to go on and try to pack the court, because we’ll live to rue that day.”
Democratic members are introducing a blatantly unconstitutional bill that would limit the tenure of U.S. Supreme Court justices to 18 years. In claiming to defend the Constitution, members like Rep. Ro Khanna (D., Cal.), Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D., Mass.), and Don Beyer (D., Va.) are offering a plan that is as illogical as it is unconstitutional. While the bill also includes a provision that I proposed decades ago for the expansion of the Court, the term limit would be dead on arrival at any court.
Last night, I was finalizing my column for USA Today when one of my editors flagged my reference to the roughly 30 election-year nominations to the Supreme Court as a possible error. The New York Times ran a story declaring that there “there have been 16 Supreme Court vacancies that occurred before Election Day.” I have previously discussed glaring misstatements of cases in major media, but this was unnerving because the New York Times was suggesting that the precedent for the current nomination was roughly half as previously thought. I decided to do another rough count and, if anything, it would seem that the 29 nomination figure is arguably too low and that there appears almost twice the number cited by the New York Times. The difference appears in part counting a calendar year rather than a year from election, but that approach causes problems in comparison given the earlier early election calendars.
I was on CBS News today with my friend Kim Wehle on the replacement of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. There is a legitimate debate over whether a president should wait for the next election for such a nomination to move forward. However, I disagree with Wehle that a nomination would be unlikely given the roughly 40 days left before the election. The Senate could move this nomination in that time and, judging from some past nominations, even have time to spare without setting a record.
I have been critical recently of remarks attributed to Attorney General Bill Barr, including the alleged consideration of criminal charges against a mayor for not acting against rioters and the use of sedition charges against some individuals. The latter allegation was reinforced by the Associated Press after it obtained a memo to United States attorneys. The memo suggests a more general use of sedition for anyone opposing government authority by force. Such a use of sedition laws directly threatens free speech values and would return to dark periods of the suppression of dissent in our country. It is also entirely unnecessary given the array of ample and severe laws available to punish looters and rioters.
Today I have the pleasure of speaking at the University of Michigan as part of a Constitution Day event. I will be joined by Professor Michael Gerhardt (UNC School of Law) in discussing the history of presidential impeachments from Johnson to Trump. Both Professor Gerhardt and I testified at both the Clinton and Trump impeachment. I also served as lead defense counsel in the last judicial impeachment of Judge Thomas Porteous. The event was switched to a virtual format and will be held from 4:10 to 5:30 pm ET today. You can join via Zoom at https://umich.zoom.us/j/97622039094
Alan Dershowitz just filed a whale of a lawsuit against CNN, though it could end up beached in short order under controlling case law. The Harvard Law professor emeritus is demanding $300,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages from CNN for misrepresenting his legal arguments in the Trump impeachment trial. In fairness to Dershowitz, the coverage of the trial by CNN was dreadful with intentionally and consistently slanted coverage of the evidence, standards, and arguments. However, the objections raised by Dershowitz are likely to be treated as part of the peril for high-profile figures operating in the public domain. In other words, you can complain about the weather but you cannot sue the storm. Continue reading “Dershowitz Sues CNN For $300,000,000 In Defamation Action”