Category: Courts

Alan Morrison: Turley Is Right But Ultimately Wrong

I have the distinction of serving at George Washington Law School with many accomplished academics, including Professor Alan Morrison who is one of the most respected legal figures in the country with extensive litigation and public interest experience. Professor Morrison has written the column below where he disagrees with my ultimate position in the impeachment hearing and I am delighted to offer this opposing view as a guest columnist on our site.

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Court: McGahn Must Appear To Testify Before Congress

Federal District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson delivered a victory for Congress  in a 120-page decision that former White House counsel Don McGahn must appear for testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.  I previously wrote that the White House was wrong in blocking the appearance of witnesses like McGahn as opposed to invoking executive privilege over certain areas of testimony.  Accordingly, I believe the opinion is the correct one but this does not end the struggle with Congress. Indeed, it may be just the beginning of the real struggle over privilege as opposed to immunity. Update: As expected, McGahn is appealing the ruling which will certainly achieve the purpose of delay but ultimately magnify the loss in precedent for the White House.

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Democrats Seek To Redefine Crimes To Reframe The Trump Impeachment

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the three new crimes being alleged by the Democrats: bribery; extortion; and obstruction. There was a critical shift away from the abuse of power framework this week in favor of these criminal allegations. That may reflect the fact that the hearings have not resonated with voters, or at least have not caused a shift in public opinion. I have previously stated that a president can be impeached for abuse of power, including a quid pro quo. However, when alleging a crime, the elements of such a crime are relevant. Indeed, Schiff has referenced those elements in his comments in the hearings. The problem is that the case law falls far short of the rhetoric surrounding these crimes.

Here is the column:

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Trump Appeals Tax Case To Supreme Court

We previously discussed the line of negative rulings in President Donald Trump’s effort to withhold his tax records from New York prosecutors. The Trump legal team has made, in my view, untenured and unsupportable constitutional claims of immunity. President Trump claims that “the District Attorney’s issuance of criminal process demanding the President’s records violates the immunity that he holds under Article II and the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.” That would create an unstated, sweeping immunity under the Constitution — an immunity never suggested, let alone stated, by the Framers. Now, like a bad gambler at Vegas, the team is doubling down again with an appeal to the Supreme Court. This is an example of a bad case making bad law for the presidency.

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Three Indiana Judges Suspended After Late Night Shootout

Judges Andrew Adams, left, Bradley Jacobs and Sabrina Bell have been suspended without pay, according to the Indiana Supreme Court. (Indiana Courts)

I often speak at judicial conferences but clearly I am running with a much slower judicial crowd. Three Indiana judges have been suspended after a late night shootout following heavy drinking and a trip to a White Castle. The controversy left various people shot and under arrest — and three judicial careers in taters.

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If Trump is Guilty Of Bribery, The Democrats Are Guilty Of Solicitation

Below is my column on the latest alleged crime by President Donald Trump: “Felony bribery.” The allegation shows not only a fundamental misunderstanding of legal standards but a fundamental failure in legal analysis.

Here is the column:

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Turley To Give Closing Keynote Address At California Judicial Conference

I have the pleasure this morning of giving the closing keynote at the 37th Annual Eastern District Conference in California. The conference is being held at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe resort. My keynote will address the erosion of free speech protections in West and will be held in the closing plenary session from 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.     

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Will June Medical Deliver A Fatal Dose Of Reality For Precedent?

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the late addition of the Louisiana abortion case to an already impactful Supreme Court docket. The most interesting aspect of June Medical however may be what it will ultimately say about the doctrine of Stare Decisis and the respect for precedent.

Here is the column:

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Federal Court Rejects Trump Effort To Block Release Of Tax Returns

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in New York has rejected the effort of President Donald Trump to block a subpoena of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., for his tax returns. As I noted when the action was filed, the position of the President that he cannot be subject to any criminal process of any kind while in office is extreme and unsupportable in the Constitution. The full opinion is below.

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Trump: I Cannot Be Criminally Investigated While In Office

In another extreme and dubious argument in court, President Donald Trump has gone to court against to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from gaining access to his tax returns. The President’s resistance to disclosing his taxes is now legendary, including differing excuses. However, this 20-page filing contains a particularly disconcerting argument that Trump cannot be criminally investigated while he is in office. It is an argument that has little support in either the text of the Constitution or cases dealing with Article II.

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Kavanaugh Impeachment Would Be Long On Politics And Short on Principle

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the recent allegations published by the New York Times against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Despite the drafting of an impeachment resolution, the Democratic leadership has signaled that it has no intention of moving forward with an investigation. Instead it has been the New York Times that have been on the defensive over omissions from the column. Nevertheless, most of the Democratic candidates for president have called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment.

Here is the column:

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Pelosi’s Poison Pill? Speaker’s Comments Are Cited In Federal Court To Block Impeachment Inquiry

Below is my column in The Hill on the recent filings in federal court by the Justice Department opposing the effort of the House Judiciary Committee in seeking grand jury material redacted from the Mueller Report. The Justice Department is relying on the comments of Speaker Nancy Pelosi in arguing that there is no real impeachment investigation proceeding in the House.

Below is the column

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Supreme Court Lifts Injunctions On Trump Asylum Policy In Reversal Of Lower Courts

The Supreme Court handed The Trump Administration a major win yesterday by lifting all injunctions on the new Trump asylum policy being enforced. That policy could result in a drastic reduction of asylum claims along the Southern Border since anyone who passes through another country like Mexico would have to first seek asylum in that country. The ruling is also a strong rebuke to the lower courts, particularly United States District Court Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco who issued multiple orders to try to impose a national injunction.

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“Do You Want Him To Bite You?”: Immigration Judge Accused Of Threatening Child With Dog Attack If He Did Not Keep Quiet

Judge V. Stuart Couch, an immigration judge, is under fire this week after he allegedly threatened a Guatemalan child that he would have a “very big dog” bite him if he did not keep quiet. Kathryn Coiner-Collier, a legal advocacy group coordinator, signed an affidavit accusing Couch of the repeated threat to the child.

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