Category: Politics

Biden’s “Come on, Man” Defense Will Not Fly on Religious Freedom

Below is my column on the President’s dismissal of any objections to the Covid vaccine and his call for mass firings of first responders who remain defiant. The comments reflect a growing call for states and the federal government to reject any religious exemptions for vaccination.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Biden’s “Come on, Man” Defense Will Not Fly on Religious Freedom”

Federal Court Rules In Favor of UNC in Use of Race in Admissions

Many observers are waiting for the United States Supreme Court to decide whether to delve again into college admissions with a pending case out of Harvard University in which Asian and white students claim discrimination. We have been following that case for a couple years. However, there is a new ruling out of North Carolina that could present another opportunity for the Court to revisit the issue. Judge Loretta C. Biggs of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina just ruled that UNC can use race criteria to guarantee a “critical mass” of minority students in its classes. Both cases could offer the Court an opportunity to clarify its conflicted affirmative action rulings on college admissions. Continue reading “Federal Court Rules In Favor of UNC in Use of Race in Admissions”

An Educational Tonkin Gulf? The NSBA Apologies for the Letter that Triggered the Controversial Federal Operation

Engagement in the Gulf of Tonkin

We recently discussed the controversy following the letter of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) asking the Justice Department to investigate parents causing disruptions or making threats at school board meetings. The letter included a reference to using the Patriot Act against possible domestic terrorism. Attorney General Merrick Garland responded a few days later with an order to the entire Department of Justice to monitor school board meetings around the country and coordinate a response with local officials. Now the NSBA has issued an apology.  The question is whether Garland will now rescind or amend his much criticized memo. It has the feel of an educational version of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Should we reconsider our deployment in light of the false premise that triggered the escalation of hostilities? Continue reading “An Educational Tonkin Gulf? The NSBA Apologies for the Letter that Triggered the Controversial Federal Operation”

Attorney General Garland and the “Unobstrusive” Federal Monitoring of School Board Meetings

In the 1946 move, “Terror by Night,” Sherlock Holmes assures Lady Margaret that, while he and Dr. Watson would be hanging around, “we’ll be as unobtrusive as possible.” Lady Margaret correctly responds “That would be a novelty from a policeman.” That scene came to mind when Attorney General Merrick Garland testified in Congress to assure members that he does not believe that parents protesting at school board meetings are domestic terrorists. He insists that there was nothing to be worried about because the FBI would simply be monitoring what these parents say or do at school meetings. Promises of such “unobtrusive” investigations or operations ignore the obvious: any national enforcement or monitoring effort is by definition obtrusive, particularly when it comes to free speech.

Continue reading “Attorney General Garland and the “Unobstrusive” Federal Monitoring of School Board Meetings”

Berkeley Physicist Resigns After Colleagues Block UChicago Professor from Speaking at Science Event

We recently discussed the cancelling of Dorian Abbot, an associate professor of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago, who was prevented from speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The reason was not the merits of his scientific work but his opposition to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs. Now, a climate physicist at Berkeley has resigned in protest of his colleagues also blocking Abbot from speaking. Professor  David Romps said in a Twitter thread that he resigned as director of the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center rather than participate in such censorship of a fellow academic. With many academics fearful of the backlash over supporting free speech or academic freedom, Romps’ resignation was an increasingly rare profile in courage. Continue reading “Berkeley Physicist Resigns After Colleagues Block UChicago Professor from Speaking at Science Event”

Joe Biden and the Disappearing Elephant: How to Make a Full-Sized Scandal Vanish in Front of an Audience of Millions

This week marked the anniversary of one of the greatest political tricks in history: the disappearance of Hunter Biden scandal. New emails were released that added new details to what was a raw influence peddling operation that netted millions from foreign sources. A new tranche of emails connecting President Joe Biden to key accounts proves just how this political sleight of hand was worthy of Houdini. After all, Houdini only made an elephant disappear. The Bidens made the equivalent to an entire circus disappear in front of an audience of millions. Continue reading “Joe Biden and the Disappearing Elephant: How to Make a Full-Sized Scandal Vanish in Front of an Audience of Millions”

“What Should We Be Doing Differently?”: CNN Conducts Bizarre Interview with Former Clinton Lawyer Marc Elias

Lawyer Marc Elias has been much in the news lately for his role in funding the Steele dossier, which is a subject of the investigation of Special Counsel John Durham. That investigation just resulted in the indictment of Elias’ former partner at Perkins Coie, Michael Sussman, for lying to federal officials in spreading the Alfa Bank conspiracy theory. Sussman worked with Elias in representing the Clinton campaign. Yet, CNN’s Brian Stelter did a long interview with Elias on how to improve the media without asking him about the investigation or public accusations by reporters that Elias and the Clinton campaign lied to them about their funding of the dossier. It appears that improving the election coverage does not include telling the truth to the media. Instead, Elias objected that the media was not slanted enough toward his work, which he described as “pro-democracy.”

Continue reading ““What Should We Be Doing Differently?”: CNN Conducts Bizarre Interview with Former Clinton Lawyer Marc Elias”

Locked and Loaded: Supreme Court is Ready for a Showdown on the Second Amendment

Below is my column in the Hill on the makings of a blockbuster case in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, the first major gun rights case before the Supreme Court in ten years.  Justices have been openly discussing a case to push back on lower courts that have been chipping away at its Second Amendment jurisprudence. They found that case with a strikingly familiar plaintiff.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Locked and Loaded: Supreme Court is Ready for a Showdown on the Second Amendment”

Did Kamala Harris Just Violate Federal Law To Boost Terry McAuliffe In Virginia?

Democratic leaders have pulled out the stops to try to help Terry McAuliffe in his struggling campaign for governor in Virginia. Figures from Barack Obama to Stacey Abrams have stumped for McAuliffe  who is in a tight race with businessman Glenn Youngkin. The key for McAuliffe is black voters, and to spur turnout Vice President Kamala Harris has taped an endorsement of McAuliffe that is reportedly being played at hundreds of African American churches around the state. The problem is the “Johnson Amendment” makes such political pitches in churches a violation of federal law. Making matters worse, this knowing violation occurred just days after the filing of a complaint against White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for clearly violating the Hatch Act in using the White House press room to support McAuliffe. Continue reading “Did Kamala Harris Just Violate Federal Law To Boost Terry McAuliffe In Virginia?”

Psaki Hit With Ethics Complaint Over Hatch Act Violation

During the Trump Administration, we discussed a series of Hatch Act violations by officials and the response of the White House Chief of Staff that “nobody really cares.” It is certainly true that the Hatch Act represents little more than a speed bump in governmental ethics as was evident this week when White House press secretary Jen Psaki was hit by a complaint from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). To the credit of CREW, the group is showing the same vigor in defending ethics in this Administration. However, these cases highlight the toothless quality of the Act. Continue reading “Psaki Hit With Ethics Complaint Over Hatch Act Violation”

“Youthful Folly”: Katie Couric Under Fire For Deleting Ginsburg Quotes Against NFL Kneelers

We have been discussing the implications of the rising advocacy journalism movement where reporters actively frame or omit facts to achieve social or political agendas. This week there is an astonishing story about the suppression of newsworthy facts by a leading journalist, Katie Couric. Notably, Couric outed herself in her new memoir by recounting how she cut out a quote from the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a 2016 interview concerning the kneelers at NFL games. What is even more troubling is that journalists like New York Times columnist David Brooks allegedly encouraged her to do so. Continue reading ““Youthful Folly”: Katie Couric Under Fire For Deleting Ginsburg Quotes Against NFL Kneelers”

Is it Time for a Special Counsel on the Hunter Biden Scandal?

“Come on H this is linked to Celtic’s account.” Those nine words from a retired Secret Service agent to Hunter Biden in recently released emails may prove a nasty complication for some in Washington who have struggled to contain the blowback from the still-unfolding scandal linked to Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop. Continue reading “Is it Time for a Special Counsel on the Hunter Biden Scandal?”

Morrison: Time to Give DC Residents A Vote in Congress

I recently discussed the Supreme Court’s affirmance of a decision rejecting constitutional arguments that the District of Columbia is entitled to a vote in Congress. I have repeatedly testified and written on the constitutional barriers to such a vote absent statehood. See Jonathan Turley, Too Clever By Half: The Partial Representation of the District of Columbia in the House of Representatives76 George Washington University Law Review 305-374 (2008). Given those long-standing views, I felt that the blog should hear from a leading intellectual with an opposing perspective. One of the briefs written in support of the district in the recent litigation was from constitutional scholars, including my colleague Alan B. Morrison, Lerner Family Associate Dean at George Washington Law School. I reached out to Professor Morrison to see if he would offer a response on the ruling and the underlying issues. I was delighted when he accepted.

For many on this blog, Professor Morrison needs little introduction. He has not only previously written on the blog, but he is one of the most respected legal figures in the country with extensive litigation and public interest experience. His views on this and every subject are worth the most serious consideration by readers. Continue reading “Morrison: Time to Give DC Residents A Vote in Congress”

Is Durham Circling Jake Sullivan? The Special Counsel May Not Be Done With the National Security Adviser

Last month Washington was rocked by the indictment of Michael Sussman, former counsel for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, for his alleged role in spreading a false Russia conspiracy theory. Special counsel John Durham — who is variously described as either painfully methodical or positively glacial as a prosecutor — reportedly was prompted to indict Sussman by an expiring statute of limitations.

Absent such a deadline involving Sussman, it seems unlikely that Durham would have disclosed as much as he did in the indictment. The reason is that he is likely focusing on other possible targets and witnesses. That could include the most notable figure exposed in the Sussman indictment: Jake Sullivan. Continue reading “Is Durham Circling Jake Sullivan? The Special Counsel May Not Be Done With the National Security Adviser”

Learning To Fear Free Speech: How Politicians Are Moving To Protect Us From Our Unhealthy Reading Choices

Below is my column in the Hill on the increasing calls for censorship and speech regulation on the Internet.  The most recent push on Capitol Hill surrounds the testimony of former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen who alleges that Facebook has been knowingly harming children through promotion and access to certain sites. For some, the testimony follows a type of Trojan Horse pattern where anti-free speech measures are packaged as public safety measures.  Before embracing the proposals of these senators, the public needs to think long and hard over what is being lost in these “reforms.”

Here is the column: Continue reading “Learning To Fear Free Speech: How Politicians Are Moving To Protect Us From Our Unhealthy Reading Choices”