Turley To Speak At Yale Conference

200px-Yale_University_Shield_1.svgI will be speaking today at a conference at Yale as part of the annual William F. Buckley Jr. Program.  The conference is on “The Constitution and the Courts: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Future of Freedom.”  My specific panel addresses “Judicial Confirmations and Interpreting the Constitution: Borking, Activism, and Originalism.”

Speakers at the conference will include former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, Randy Barnett, Carlos Eire, E. Donald Elliott, David French, Mollie Hemingway, Michael McConnell, Judge William H. Pryor, Jr., Nicholas Rosenkranz, Peter Schuck, Ilya Shapiro, Jonathan Turley, Ed Whelan, and Adam White.

Continue reading

Clinton Lawyer Under Fire After Disclosure That The Clinton Campaign Paid For Russian Dossier On Trump

download-6Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias is under fire today after the Washington Post ran an extensive story on how the Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee hired controversial research firm Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Donald Trump in Russia in the “Russian Dossier” matter.  Reporters at the New York Times have accused Elias of lying in past categorical denials of any connection to Clinton or the DNC.  The reports indicate that not only did the Clinton team fund the opposition research but that Elias may have been the person handling much of the arrangements. Update: Brian Fallon, former spokesperson for the Clinton campaign, has said that this was “money well spent.” On CNN, Fallon said that the “sensitive nature” of the project meant that it was kept to a small number of people that did not include him. Fallon’s expression of satisfaction with the work however conflicts with what reporters say Elias told them. He notably sounded a lot like Trump in saying “opposition research occurs all the time.” Christoper Steele is a foreign national who was seeking information from foreign sources to use against Trump.

Continue reading

Court Rules That Menendez Case Will Go To The Jury For A Verdict On Public Corruption

800x-1Senator Robert Menendez and his close friend Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor, are heading to a jury decision after U.S. District Judge William Walls ruled that the indictment against them for public corruption would stand.   Menendez not only stands in considerable jeopardy for his highly questionable relationship with Melgen but his conviction could flip the seat in the Senate since Governor Chris Christie would appoint his successor. ( A new governor will be elected for January).

Continue reading

Democrats Challenge The Right Of Trump To Rescind Obama Order That A Federal Court Declared Unconstitutional

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedHealth_Care_Delivery_System_Reform_and_The_Patient_Protection_&_Affodable_Care_Act.pdfThere are now eighteen states and the District of Columbia lined up to challenge the executive order by President Donald Trump to rescind the Obama order giving insurance companies billions in subsidies . . . without an appropriation of Congress.  As explained below, this challenge advances a rather curious claim that Trump cannot rescind an earlier order found to be flagrantly unconstitutional by a federal court.  In most high-profile litigation cases, counsel spends considerable time exploring whether a challenge will allow a bad case to make bad law on appeal.  That would seem the most likely outcome here but much of the litigation by Democratic Attorneys General have been driven more by political than legal calculations.  Voters now expect every act of Trump to be challenged and no Democratic AG wants to be the only one to sit out a challenge to an unpopular order.  The result is a type of perpetual litigation machine where bad precedent is being cranked out because it is viewed as good politics.

Here is the column:

Continue reading

Kansas Teacher Barred From Employment Due To Her Support For Boycott Movement

israel1download-1We have been discussing the increasing scrutiny being applied to teachers and professors over their political views and social media commentary.  A particularly problematic case has been taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) involving Kansas teacher Esther Koontz.  The long-time math teacher (and something called a “curriculum coach”) at Horace Mann Dual Language Magnet School in Wichita, Kansas, Koontz was barred from renewing her contract as  teacher because she supports the boycott of Israel over the occupation of Palestinian territories.  This is not simply reflective of her political views but a religious based obligation as a member of the Mennonite Church USA.  The church in July voted to divest itself from American companies that profit off of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.  The Kansas law therefore collides head on with the rights of free speech, free exercise, and free association.

Continue reading

Some Appellants Never Get A Break

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

In our criminal justice system, appellants tend to fall into three categories: Those who ultimately prevail in their arguments; those who are unable to convince justices of their case’s merits; and those who fall off a cliff and strike every sharp rock on their way to the bottom. Steven Canha apparently suffered the fate of the last category.

After extensive appeals, one of which was to the U.S. Supreme Court, Mr. Canha lost what could be his final personal restraint petition before Washington’s courts of appeals and now the state’s Supreme Court halted the years long contention for his release from prison.

Mr. Canha argues, in short, for a resentencing based on Washington’s determinate sentencing grid by reason of incompatibility of foreign laws to Washington’s and argues for removal of prior convictions to reduce his prison term. But being probably the most unfortunate man in recent memory, a unanimous Court determined applicability of prior violations based largely upon obsolete laws (effective at the time) and time/date dictated ultimately how long his imprisonment occurred.

Continue reading

Ginsburg Declares Sexism Was Major Factor In Trump Win As Court Starts New Term

225px-ruth_bader_ginsburg_scotus_photo_portraitI have previously criticized Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her continued political comments in speeches to liberal and academic groups.  While not unique on the Court, Ginsburg is something of recidivist in abandoning the long-standing avoidance of justices of political discussions. Indeed, justices previously avoided most public speeches where Ginsburg has readily embraced her public persona.  Her latest comments occur on the eve of the start of the new term, a term with an array of major cases that arose from highly charged political conflicts over immigration, discrimination, and gun rights.   In her latest comments, Ginsburg echoed comments by Hillary Clinton that sexism was a big part of Trump’s victory.  It is precisely the type of political commentary that has cast a shadow over the credibility of the Court in earlier controversies.

Continue reading