Below is my column in The Hill on the call for bans and limits on guns like the AR-15 since the massacre in Texas. Both President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama have blamed the gun lobby for the violence in calling for new major gun controls. However, the barrier to banning weapons like the AR-15 rests more with the Second Amendment than the gun lobby. Any effort to reach some “commonsense” solutions will depend on the willings to end the sweeping rhetoric and deal with the realities of the constitutional limits on gun control.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday repeated a claim about the Second Amendment that some of us have repeatedly challenged as untrue. In asserting that “the Second Amendment is not absolute,” President Biden repeated his claim that certain weapons were prohibited at the time that the Second Amendment was ratified. That is simply untrue. Continue reading “President Biden Repeats False Claim about the Second Amendment”
Below is my column in USA Today on the strikingly absolutist language being used by Democratic leaders in defining the right to abortion after the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Yet, when pressed, these same politicians have been declining to address the implications of leaving the decision entirely to the woman at all stages of a pregnancy. Addressing the scope of this right is key to defining and supporting this right in constitutional law. Many Americans are open to protecting the right to choose, particularly in the first trimester. However, many politicians are pushing an unlimited view of the right that raises both constitutional and political questions — an approach that far exceeds what the current Roe case law supports. Conversely, Republicans are dealing with their own extreme responses to the pending decision in both the Senate and the states.
Here is the column:
There is a controversial decision out of a French administrative court this week to suspend a policy allowing for Muslim women to wear “burkinis” in municipal pools in the city of Grenoble. The court ruled that such policies “undermin[ed] secularism.” While a long advocate of the separation of church and state, I have opposed these bans on burkas and burkinis as inimical to religious rights. France has Europe’s largest Muslim population and devout Muslim women can only use the pools with such coverings under Islamic teachings. France also has a long and proud history of supporting women in making their own choices — the very essence of Joan of Arc who followed her own religious dictates to heroic ends. This is a denial of such self-determination and self-expression for French Muslim women.
The ruling is reportedly based on a 2021 “separatism” law passed in President Emmanuel Macron’s first term, which allows the suspension of measures that would “undermine secularism and the neutrality of public services.”
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin publicly supported his ministry filing an objection against the burkini policy in Grenoble. He announced that “The administrative court considers that the mayor of Grenoble, with his decision allowing burkinis in municipal pools, is seriously undermining secularism.”
Many opposed the proposal by Mayor Eric Piolle and conservative leader Marine Le Pen declared that she wants to introduce a law banning burkinis in municipal pools.
The ban undermines free speech and associational rights as well as the free exercise of religion. Many people find such coverings sexist and offensive. However, this is a long-established matter of religious faith within the Islamic community. I fail to see how this harms others or society as a whole. French society can remain neutral and secular by neither opposing nor endorsing such clothing choices. If France supports the right of women to make their own choices in society, that freedom should include the right to choose to follow a devout religious lifestyle.
Joan of Arc famously declared “I was in my thirteenth year when I heard a voice from God to help me govern my conduct. And the first time I was very much afraid.” While she wore armor rather than a burkini, the same religious imperative dictated her actions and she is now celebrated as martyr for France.
Whatever harm is perceived from burkinis, it pales in comparison to the harm from banning such swimwear in a nation committed to the freedoms of religion, expression, and association.
Below is an expanded version of my column in The Hill on the implication of Hillary Clinton in false Alfa Bank claims of Russian collusion. While most media ignored the testimony of Clinton’s former campaign manager in the Sussmann trial, it adds to a damning record on how the Clinton campaign was behind arguably the most successful disinformation campaign in American political history with both the Steele dossier and the Alfa bank claims. Ironically, despite Sussmann efforts to conceal his connections to Clinton in the FBI meeting, it was his counsel who effectively outed Clinton in the scandal. Former Clinton Campaign manager Robby Mook then violated the Eleventh Commandment of Democrats: Thou shalt not name a Clinton in a scandal.
Here is the column:
In our age of rage, humor was one of the earliest victims. It is not that humor is not allowed, it is merely selectively tolerated. Thus, Twitter suspended the satirical site, Babylon Bee, with the support of many who claim to support free speech. In Canada, a comedian was actually prosecuted for trash talking in a comedy club. Even non-comedians can find themselves on the wrong side of a punch line. Recently, Ben Domenech of The Federalist found himself pursued over a single tweet teasing the employees at his publication. After referencing the struggle of Vox Media with a union, Domenech joked in a tweet that the salt mines await any employees who spoke of unionizing. No one was calling for a union at The Federalist and it was received by the staff as an obvious joke. However, a liberal lawyer from Massachusetts, Joel Fleming, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. In a highly controversial opinion, NLRB administrative law judge, Kenneth Chu, ruled against The Federalist. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit just overturned Chu and stated the obvious: it was a joke. Continue reading “No Laughing Matter: The Third Circuit Reverses NLRB Sanction Over Joke”
Below is my column in the New York Post on the implications of the recent civil lawsuit against Steve Wynn for allegedly working as an agent for China. The lawsuit was brought under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The timing of the shift to civil penalties is significant given the ongoing investigation of Hunter Biden for possible FARA violations. The decision of the Biden Administration to move away from criminal charges under FARA could prove highly advantageous for Hunter Biden.
Below is my column in The Hill on the Sussmann trial and the striking comparisons with prior prosecutions of Trump officials like Michael Flynn. The court has limited the evidence available to the prosecution, the scope of questioning, and cleared a jury that includes three Clinton campaign donors. A jury of your peers is not supposed to literal with an array of fellow Clinton supporters. Those negative rulings continued during the trial, including a refusal to dismiss a juror whose daughter is playing on the same team with Sussmann’s daughter. For John Durham, it may seem that the only person missing from the jury at this point is Chelsea Clinton.
New financial controversies have arisen about the use of donations by Black Lives Matter (BLM), including additional allegations that co-founder Patrisse Cullors used BLM funds and resources to benefit herself and friends. I previously wrote a column asking why Democratic prosecutors like New York Attorney General Letitia James shown comparably little interest in these allegations even as James sought to disband the National Rifle Association (NRA) over similar allegations. In the meantime, the Washington Examiner is reporting that former Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias has left a “key role” after his firm, the Elias Law Group, had “taken control of its books and finances.”
This weekend, I was unable to attend our law school graduation after traveling to Utah to speak to the Federal Bar Association. I have only missed a couple of graduations in almost 30 years of teaching. I soon, however, received emails from students and colleagues that made me somewhat thankful that I was unable to attend.
This year’s commencement speaker was Rep. Susan Wild (D) who represents the 7th District in Pennsylvania and is a distinguished graduate of our law school. Wild chose the commencement address to launch into a personal attack that accused me of being an example of the use of law for “wrongful ends.” She falsely accused me of changing a critical legal point in my testimony in the Clinton and Trump impeachment hearings on whether impeachable conduct must be indictable crimes. I felt that a response was warranted. Continue reading “The GW Commencement Controversy: A Response To Rep. Susan Wild”
Below is my column in the Hill on claims being made about the post-Roe world and the sweeping away of such rights as interracial marriage and the use of contraceptives. The “parade of horribles” seems to get longer by the day but it may actually be undermining the good-faith arguments made by pro-abortion advocates.
Politicians have long viewed tragedies and crises as opportunities not to be “wasted.” Most recently, Samantha Power, Biden’s Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, told ABC that they did not want to waste the war in Ukraine as a way of pushing green initiatives. She explained to George Stephanopoulos that you should “never let a crisis go to waste.” Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY), adopted the same approach to the massacre in Buffalo in renewing calls for censorship on the Internet. While many drew the connection between the shooting and the need for greater gun control measures, Hochul notably went further to demand the curtailment of free speech protections. Speaking later at a church, she pledged to “silence the voices of hatred and racism and white supremacy all over the Internet.”
Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence Tribe has long been an endless font for the media in claiming clear evidence of a variety of crimes for the imminent prosecution of Donald Trump. Tribe declared evidence supporting criminal charges of witness tampering, evidence of obstruction f justice, criminal election violations, Logan Act violations, extortion and poss
Below is my column in the Hill on the call for the use of a federal law to arrest protesters outside of the homes of justices. The crushing irony is that many of these critics have spent years calling for the denial or curtailment of the free speech of others. Yet, these justices being targeted in their homes would likely narrowly construe or bar the use of this law.
Here is the column: