Category: Courts

Federal Appellate Court Strikes Down Obamacare’s Individual Mandate

I have long been critical of the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare (See, e.g., here and here and here). Yesterday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a major 2-1 ruling striking down the mandate as unconstitutional. The litigation however will continue over the viability of the rest of the Act without the individual. As discussed in an earlier column, pulling out the individual mandate creates a Jenga-like dilemma for the courts.

Continue reading “Federal Appellate Court Strikes Down Obamacare’s Individual Mandate”

New York Court Dismisses State Charges Against Manafort

I previously wrote about what I viewed as a dangerous trend among New York Democratic politicians pledging to charge former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort under state law to negate any benefit from a federal pardon by President Donald Trump. Democrats rallied supporters to the dubious cause of watering down the state protections against double jeopardy. It was the ultimate example of the mania surrounding Trump where citizens would take an axe to their own constitutional protections to get at Trump and his associates. The highly dubious effort was led by New York state attorney general Letitia James and, thankfully, it has failed. The New York courts are not nearly as dismissive of individual rights. The state charges were thrown out today on the basis of double jeopardy. The question is now whether this will be a prelude to a presidential pardon.

Continue reading “New York Court Dismisses State Charges Against Manafort”

“A Judge Would Be Disqualified”: Justice Ginsburg Again Wades Into Political Controversies In Interview

I 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 has repeatedly crossed the line of traditional public speaking in discussing political controversies, pending issues before the Court, and even criticizing the President. Despite repeated controversies in speaking publicly on political issues, Ginsburg remains undeterred.  Earlier this year, Ginsburg again repeated her view that sexist voters prevented Hillary Clinton from being elected president — a repeat of controversial comments in her 2017 speech. This week, Ginsburg commented on the merits of President Donald Trump’s call for a review of the Supreme Court and even criticized senators who have made public statements about the impeachment.

Indeed, the most ironic part of her commentary was Ginsburg noting how inappropriate it is for senators to be discussing their views of the merits before any actual impeachment. She insisted “if a judge said that, a judge would be disqualified from sitting on the case.” That raises a rather uncomfortable question as to what Ginsburg was doing in that very interview.

Continue reading ““A Judge Would Be Disqualified”: Justice Ginsburg Again Wades Into Political Controversies In Interview”

Flynn Judge Accuses Defense Counsel In Curious Plagiarism Claim

Judge Emmet Sullivan

It is bad enough when a judge refuses to let out your client from a plea deal but it is worse when he then suggests that his lawyer is a plagiarist to boot. That however is what former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his counsel, Sidney Powell, faced in the 92 page order of U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. Flynn has been trying to get out of his plea bargain in light of new information of improper conduct by the FBI in its Russia investigation as well as exculpatory information regarding his guilt. Many of us have criticized the prosecution of Flynn who pleaded guilty to a single false statement in interviews with the FBI. In addition, Flynn may not want to be sentenced by Sullivan whose last major hearing included false allegations against Flynn and dramatic condemnations. One can certainly understand Sullivan’s refusal to let Flynn get out of a plea that he willingly entered. However, the opinion contained an attack on his counsel that seemed gratuitous and unsupported.

Continue reading “Flynn Judge Accuses Defense Counsel In Curious Plagiarism Claim”

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.

Continue reading “Alan Morrison: Turley Is Right But Ultimately Wrong”

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.

Continue reading “Court: McGahn Must Appear To Testify Before Congress”

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:

Continue reading “Democrats Seek To Redefine Crimes To Reframe The Trump Impeachment”

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.

Continue reading “Trump Appeals Tax Case To Supreme Court”

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.

Continue reading “Three Indiana Judges Suspended After Late Night Shootout”

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:

Continue reading “If Trump is Guilty Of Bribery, The Democrats Are Guilty Of Solicitation”

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.     

Continue reading “Turley To Give Closing Keynote Address At California Judicial Conference”

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:

Continue reading “Will June Medical Deliver A Fatal Dose Of Reality For Precedent?”

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.

Continue reading “Federal Court Rejects Trump Effort To Block Release Of Tax Returns”

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.

Continue reading “Trump: I Cannot Be Criminally Investigated While In Office”