Artist Tracey Emin said that she had an idea after a long bout in bed during a stressful relationship period. After four days, she looked at the bed and discarded vodka bottles and cigarette butts and decided that she had created art. Many would say that her work is not art but an unmade bed. However, the work was put on the shortlist in 1999 for the prestigious Turner Prize and it has now been auctioned off for £2.546 million. That is over three million dollars for Emin’s unmade and stained bed.
We previously discussed the controversy over a painting by a constituent of Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay that depicted police as pigs in Ferguson, Missouri. As we discussed, the House had a right to remove the art and eventually did precisely that. However, before that decision from the House, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Cal.) took down the painting. Clay called for criminal charges. When the painting was rehung, another Republican member removed it. At the time, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said “We may just have to kick somebody’s ass and stop them. Then the architect stepped in and barred the hanging of the picture. Now Clay has announced that he will file a lawsuit challenging the actions of the House of Representatives. It is hard to see a strong legal basis for such a challenge. The odds heavily favor the House of Representatives in the action.
Word on the street is that the Trump Administration is prepared to issue a new executive order on immigration. While I have maintained that the law favors President Trump on this issue and I have been critical of the decision by the Ninth Circuit, I have also maintained that the original executive order was poorly written, poorly executed, and poorly defended. A second executive order could reset the litigation and cut away a key (and in my view questionable) component of the Ninth Circuit opinion in expressly exempting green card holders. The new order reportedly does precisely what many of us have suggested while keeping the majority of the prior order. By retaining the same countries and imposing the same conditions, the new order would protect the Administration politically from allegations that the President has backtracked. It would also leave the core basis for challenges on the merits of such travel limitations. I will be speaking on Capitol Hill on Tuesday about the President’s executive order authority at the US Capitol Visitors Center at noon.
Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the nomination of Tenth Circuit Neil Gorsuch. If President Trump sought to change the subject from immigration, I doubt this will do it. However, as I discuss in the column, if he sought to quiet restless Republicans over a truly dreadful performance of the Administration in the first week, the nomination should do so. He is a jurist with impeccable credentials and will be very impressive in the upcoming hearings. He is, to put it simply, a game changer.
The Los Angeles Times has published my column on reforming the Supreme Court. If President Trump truly wants to leave a legacy on the Court, he should focus not on changing the membership but changing the institutional itself. Continue reading
President Donald Trump has made his choice for the Supreme Court and it is Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch, 49. With the selection, President Trump would be submitting a jurist with unassailable credentials and proven intellect. He is also someone with a proven conservative record, though there are a few blind spots for those who want a nominee vaccinated against what conservatives view as the David Souter virus — a creeping condition where a conservative gravitates to the left of the Court with time. Last night, The Hill newspaper ran my column on Gorsuch and his unquestioned qualifications.
President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates Monday night for “refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.” As I stated on “Morning Joe” this morning, Trump clearly has the right to fire Yates. Indeed, Yates’ action (and rationale) contradicts long-standing Justice Department policies on such issues. Despite my personal opposition to this executive order, I believe that Yates was mistaken to take this action and that it does not serve the interests of justice to obstruct efforts to have this matter fully litigated before a court for independent review.