In one of the most troubling orders issued by a court in years, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter issued an order on Saturday to the Los Angeles Times to remove information from an article describing a plea agreement between prosecutors and a Glendale police detective. The detective is alleged to have been in the pocket of the blood-soaked Mexican Mafia. The newspaper discovered the details in a posted order on PACER the online court database, which was supposed to be left under seal. I have been in cases when such mistakes have occurred but the court’s actions in this case drive to the heart of press freedom in this country. In my view (which will hardly surprise our regular readers), the order is a direct and dangerous violation of the First Amendment. [UPDATE: After a national outcry, the judge has rescinded his order and says that he was not sure that the LA Times had obtained the material legally.]
Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the latest rationale for opposing any nominee of President Donald Trump: that any nomination or confirmation must wait until the completion of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It is a claim being voiced by both politicians and academics despite the absence of constitutional or historical support.
Here is the column:
Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the legacy and vision or Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. The departure of Kennedy will leave the Supreme Court more calcified and rigid in its ideological division. Chief Justice John Roberts now assumes the role of the swing vote with a center of gravity that will likely move further to the right. His voice was unique and often profound. He applied a conservative jurisprudence that emphasized the protection of individual rights and identity. Time will show that Kennedy saw a horizon for our society that we are still struggling to attain.
Here is the column:
For decades, law professors have discussed the 1944 decision in Korematsu v. United States as one of the most disgraceful and indefensible opinions ever issued by the United States Supreme Court. Yet, the Court has continued to cite Korematsu and has never expressly disavowed its denial of basic constitutional rights to Japanese Americans. In a virtual aside by the majority in Trump v. Hawaii, Chief Judge John Roberts Jr. puts a well-aimed stake through the heart of the case and finally declares it to be overturned.
Two days ago, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was effectively chased from a restaurant by protesters screaming at her and her companion. The scene at MXDC Cocina Mexicana was shocking to most of us who have decried the loss of civility in today’s political discourse. One person clearly not shocked was Rep. Jackie Speier (D., Cal.) who defended the protesters and blamed it on Trump’s divisive political rhetoric. While the protest seemed clearly organized, Speier portrayed it as a spontaneous expression of anger by citizens in her interview on CNN. The scene was very disturbing as was the apparent impunity exercised by the protesters in shutting down a restaurant. It now appears that it was a protest by the Democratic Socialists of America and one of those participating was a DOJ employee, Allison Hrabar. Hrabar is reportedly a paralegal specialist and her participation could raise again our long-standing debate over the punishment of employees for comments or actions taken outside of the workplace.
According to The Sunday Times, shocking report shows that only four percent of robberies in England and Wales in 2017 were solved. Only three percent of burglaries were solved. That is a dismal record and indicates that criminals can effectively act with impunity in victimizing citizens.
It appears that things got ugly in a recent meeting between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and House oversight staff. Rosenstein reportedly threatened to “subpoena” House committee members if they went after him with a contempt sanction for failing to turn over material on the FBI’s investigation of Trump campaign officials. If the account is true, it was a mistake by Rosenstein. To quote The Godfather, oversight is not personal, its oversight business. Continue reading “It’s Not Personal, Mr. Rosenstein, Its Strictly Government Business”