Category: Courts

From Affirmative Action to Andy Warhol: Buckle up for a Wild Supreme Court Term

Below is my column in The Hill on the start of the new Term for the Supreme Court. The column predicts that critics will likely respond to the expected new precedent by attacking the integrity rather than the interpretations of the justices.  I was wrong. The New York Times did not wait for any new decisions and attacked the integrity of the conservative justices as the “judicial arm of the Republican Party.” Does that make the three liberals justices voting together on the Court the “judicial arm of the Democratic Party”?  Of course not. Justices are only partisan to the degree that you disagree with their jurisprudential views.

Here is the column: Continue reading “From Affirmative Action to Andy Warhol: Buckle up for a Wild Supreme Court Term”

University of Idaho Warns Professors About Discussing Abortion

There has been much talk in the last week about a letter from the University of Idaho General Counsel’s Office warning professors about discussing abortion. The warning is outgrowth of the No Public Funds for Abortion Act (Idaho Code Section 18-8701 through Section 18-8711). However, in my view, the media’s interpretation of the letter has exceeded any reasonable construction of the law. The law does not prevent professors from discussing abortion or supporting the right in their classes. Such a bar would be a serious denial of free speech and academic freedom principles. If that were the intention of sponsors, it should be denounced by people on both sides of this abortion debate. However, I do not see the evidence (as claimed by some) that this is a bar on professors either discussing abortion or expressing their support for the right. Continue reading “University of Idaho Warns Professors About Discussing Abortion”

DOJ Filing Before Eleventh Circuit Only Seeks to Stay of Part of Special Counsel Order

This image contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice on Aug. 30, 2022, and redacted by in part by the FBI, shows a photo of documents seized during the Aug. 8 search by the FBI of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. On Thursday, a federal judge appointed a special master to review the documents. 

Late Friday, the Justice Department filed its long-awaited appellate filing related to the special master order of United States District Judge Aileen Cannon. While the Administration previously argued that the appointment itself is a threat to national security and unsupportable, it notably dropped its opposition to the appointment on appeal and only appealed one aspect of the order.  In its motion for a stay pending appeal, it is only asking the 11th Circuit to allow it to continue using classified documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in a criminal investigation. The filing may reflect that time is running out for the Administration since a special master is now in place and is likely to prioritize (and release) these very documents. The motion pending appeal does not prevent the DOJ from later challenging the whole appointment but it will come after the special master has begun his work.

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Turley Speaks to the 2022 Ohio Judicial Conference

Today I have the honor of speaking to the judges and lawyers in the 2022 Ohio Judicial conference on the Supreme Court in Columbus, Ohio.  I will be discussing the last year of cases and controversies for the Court from leaks to threats as well as the recent and upcoming decisions.

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“Badly Misses the Point”: Post Columnist Hits Roberts after his Defense of the Court’s Integrity

Last week, I had the honor of addressing the judges and staff of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. also spoke at the conference and I was in attendance when he made his comments defending the legitimacy of the Court. Those comments took on added significance when, the following day, Vice President Kamala Harris lashed out at the justices as “activists” and questioned the integrity of the Court. Now, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus has criticized Chief Justice Roberts as missing the point in his defense of the Court. I wanted to briefly respond on why the column replicates the historical and legal flaws of the Harris comments.

Continue reading ““Badly Misses the Point”: Post Columnist Hits Roberts after his Defense of the Court’s Integrity”

Turley Speaks at Tenth Circuit Judicial Conference

I have the honor of speaking today at the Tenth Circuit judicial conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  I will be part of a panel discussing the Supreme Court’s recent religious freedom cases and related First Amendment issues. The highlight of the conference will be separate events with Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch.

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Cannon Fodder: Liberal Media and Pundits Unleash Torrent of Attacks on Judge Who Approved Special Master

When U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon issued an order for the appointment of a special master, she instantly became the latest jurist targeted by a furious mob of media and pundits. Rather than simply disagree with her order, these critics attacked Cannon personally and ethically, including lawyers and law professors. It is a familiar pattern but the fury shown in the last two days is chilling for our federal judges who have seen increasing attacks, including an alleged attempted assassination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  Nevertheless, legal and media figures seemed to rush to outdo each other in the most extreme statements about a judge with a distinguished background.

Continue reading “Cannon Fodder: Liberal Media and Pundits Unleash Torrent of Attacks on Judge Who Approved Special Master”

Justice Department Opposes Any Special Master and Alleges That “Obstructive Conduct Occurred” at Mar-a-Lago

Last night, Department of Justice filed in opposition to the appointment of a Special Master in Florida. It used the filing to add new facts and allegations to the public record, including the statement that “obstructive conduct occurred” at Mar-a-Lago by concealing or moving documents. The Department makes many of the same claims that it used to opposed the release of a redacted affidavit, claims shown to have been misleading and exaggerated after the magistrate ordered the release.  Notably, this filing contained details that were likely redacted in the affidavit but just released on the public record. Continue reading “Justice Department Opposes Any Special Master and Alleges That “Obstructive Conduct Occurred” at Mar-a-Lago”

Federal Judge Indicates Intent to Appoint Special Master to Review Seized Documents in Mar-a-Lago Raid

Since the start of the controversy over the Mar-a-Lago raid, I have called for the release of a redacted affidavit and the appointment of a special master to sort through the seized material, including alleged attorney-client privileged material. Indeed, I felt that this was one of the four failures of Attorney General Merrick Garland in not taking proactive steps to assure that public that this was not a pretextual raid to collect sensitive material for other investigative purposes. Now, District Judge Aileen Cannon has indicated an intent to make such an appointment. It was a belated request from the Trump team but, as I wrote yesterday, it would still have considerable value in the case.

Continue reading “Federal Judge Indicates Intent to Appoint Special Master to Review Seized Documents in Mar-a-Lago Raid”

Litigation by Leak: Government Officials Leak New Details on the Mar-a-Lago Raid While Continuing to Oppose Disclosures in Court

One of the most glaring contradictions in the Mar-a-Lago controversy has been the Justice Department demanding absolute and unwavering secrecy over the FBI raid while officials have been leaking details on the raid. The latest example is a report in the New York Times that the Justice Department recovered more than 300 documents with classified markings, citing multiple sources connected to the investigation. Most judges would be a tad annoyed by the contradiction as the government continues to frame the public debate with its own selective leaks while using secrecy to bar other disclosures. That includes sections of the affidavit that detail the communications with the Trump team, information that is already known to the target. Continue reading “Litigation by Leak: Government Officials Leak New Details on the Mar-a-Lago Raid While Continuing to Oppose Disclosures in Court”

Gallup: Supreme Court Overall Approval Slightly Improves After Recent Rulings

A new Gallup poll shows some interesting insights into the approval of the Supreme Court after its major rulings on abortion, guns, and other issues. The overall approval of the Supreme Court at 43 percent actually increased three points. While within the margin of error, it was up from last year’s 40% popularity. The poll comes after the surprising comments of Justice Elena Kagan that the Court may be losing legitimacy by bucking public opinion on issues like abortion. Continue reading “Gallup: Supreme Court Overall Approval Slightly Improves After Recent Rulings”

Schiff: The Committee Could Subpoena Ginni Thomas About Justice Thomas

There was a telling exchange today on CBS’ Face the Nation when host Margaret Brennan asked J6 Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) about issuing a subpoena of Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.  I have previously written how the calls for Justice Thomas to resign or be impeached are wildly out of line with ethical and constitutional standards. What was interesting, however, was how Schiff justified such an unprecedented subpoena: to question her about one of Thomas’ opinions dealing with the authority of Congress to investigate what occurred on that day. Continue reading “Schiff: The Committee Could Subpoena Ginni Thomas About Justice Thomas”

Federal Court Enjoins “Assault Gun” Ban in Boulder County, Colorado

As various states move to pass controversial new gun control laws after the decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, one such law was just enjoined by a federal court in Colorado. In Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. SuperiorDistrict Judge Raymond P. Moore granted a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of the law enacted by the town of Superior, Colorado to ban on the sale or possession of a wide array of guns. Continue reading “Federal Court Enjoins “Assault Gun” Ban in Boulder County, Colorado”

“This is a Moment”: Dobbs and the Realities of the Post-Roe World

Below is my column in USA Today on misleading claims made about the recent abortion ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and the existing protections for women on issues ranging from travel to contraceptives. There are good-faith concerns over the reasoning and implications of the decision. There is no need to raise unfounded fears over issues like interstate travel or contraceptives. The President and the Court appear in agreement. The time is now for citizens to vote on the issue of abortion and any limitations placed on that state-based right.

Here is the column:

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Georgetown Professor Denounces “Lawless” and “Actively Rogue” Justices, Lawyers, and Law Professors

In a series of tweets this week, Professor Heidi Li Feldman has denounced “lawless” and “actively rogue” Supreme Court justices and professors who disagree with her views on the Constitution. She has called for “genuine” law professors not to fall “into complicity with lawlessness” in teaching such subjects. It is the latest voice of intolerance and orthodoxy at a leading law school.
Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks