Backed by the United States, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has led a crackdown on civil liberties in Egypt, particularly when it comes to critics and journalists. In Egypt, a teenager was jailed for cartoons of Muhammad and a leading businessman was attacked for a cartoon of Micky Mouse with a beard. Then there was the three-year sentence given Amr Nohan, a 22-year-old law graduate for posting a Facebook image of al-Sisi with Mickey Mouse-style cartoon ears shown above. A leading cartoonist Islam Gawish, 26, was arrested in Egypt by the hyper sensitive al-Sisi government. This year, al-Sisi went after journalists who dared to even criticize his policies as a criminal act against the state. Now al-Sisi has finally had enough with the pretense of civil liberties. On Wednesday, he reportedly rejected even the notion that civil liberties should apply to Egypt as a “Western perspective.” In other words, such freedoms have no place in Egypt. What is really remarkable is that he told his to a congressional delegation from the United States without fear of any question over the massive aid that he receives from this country.
Below is my column in USA Today on the prosecution of three state and local officials in the Flint, Michigan water scandal. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has promised more (and higher ranking) defendants in the coming weeks. However, as discussed in this column, these cases are not as straightforward as the pictures of bottles of Flint water juxtaposed against clean water. While there are strong elements to some of the charges, the prosecution is not nearly as easily or obvious as has been suggested in the media, in my view.
Lawyers often try to take a bite out of the evidence but one Russian lawyer takes that expression to a literal degree. This Russian lawyer was caught on CCTV actually eating the report showing the level of alcohol in his client’s system at the time of an automobile accident. The video is below.
Late Monday, the Brown family filed their appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Brown v. Buhman, No. 14-4117. The Sisters Wives case raises core issues of free speech and free exercise — constitutional violations found by the trial court in striking down the Utah cohabitation law. This “en banc” petition is to the entire Tenth Circuit in seeking review of the recent panel decision vacating the earlier decision on standing grounds.
Today a federal court reinstated the four regular season game suspension for New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady in the “Deflategate” scandal. The decision of the lower court to strike down the suspension was in my view facially wrong at the time so this decision is not much of a surprise. The key to the suspension — Brady destroying his phone — was ample support for such a suspension and was never fully explained by the quarterback.
For civil libertarians, the administration of President Barack Obama fallen well short of the great expectations from his first election. Indeed, despite his high polling numbers with liberals, President Obama has left one of the worst records of modern presidents in areas like privacy, press freedom, transparency, and unilateral executive action. The antagonistic position of the Obama Administration with the media was evident in this year’s ranking by Reporters Without Borders. The U.S. is ranked 41 out of 180 countries in term of the “level of freedom of information in 180 countries.”
I will be testifying this morning at 10 am before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building . The hearing, entitled “The Administrative State: An Examination of Federal Rulemaking” will look at the role of agencies in rulemaking in the federal system.