This 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.
He 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.
We have often discussed how free speech is rapidly being curtailed on college campuses in the name of fighting intolerance and ill-defined “microaggressions.” California lawmakers are showing the same dismissive attitude in legislation that is a response to the recent scandal over secretly taped statements by Planned Parenthood officials. The videotapes by activists caused a national backlash against Planned Parenthood so liberal politicians are moving to stamp out future “gotcha” films by sharply curtailing free speech and press freedoms. Democratic state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, and other Democrats dismissed vehement objections from the ACLU, civil liberties, and press freedom groups. I understand the objections to the videotape of Planned Parenthood and the alleged unfairness in editing. However, the solution is not to further criminalize this area of free speech and press freedoms.
Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland is in the unenviable position of having everyone in Washington saying nice things about him. There are two occasions when that is common: a judicial nomination going no where and eulogy. For Garland, it may be both. The Senate Republicans have already said that Garland will not receive a hearing, let alone a vote, before the inauguration of the next president. For attorney Steven Michel, that is too long. Michel has filed an action in federal court demanding a judicial order to force the Senate to take up the Garland nomination. Despite my agreement that Garland should receive a vote, the lawsuit is meritless in my view. The Senate clearly has the authority to withhold consent by refusing a hearing or a vote to a nominee.
I have always been proud of my alma mater, The University of Chicago, and the education that I received in Hyde Park. However, that pride has been magnified this week with a letter sent to the class of 2020. As we have been discussing how various schools have eradicated free speech protections on campus in a national trend toward speech regulation. UChicago has decided to stand its ground and reaffirm its commitment to free speech on campus. The letter warns students that they will not shielded from views that upset them or given “safe spaces” on campus. In doing so, UChicago has recommitted itself to the very touchstone of education: the free and robust exchange of ideas.
Nice has added its famous beaches to the list of resort areas where the burkini is banned. Like the ban on the veil, it is hard to see how such bans are not openly discriminatory towards Muslims. I fail to understand the rationale for such a ban, particularly when many people now adopt full covering (especially for child) to protect against the damaging sun rays.