Category: Politics

No, Sen. Casey Calling Police Kidnappers Is Not “Mostly Right”

440px-Bob_Casey_Jr._official_photoI was recently called by the Philadelphia Inquirer on a fact check of Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) claim that officers in Portland of “kidnapping and holding citizens without charges.” I explained that the common hyperbolic claim of kidnapping is legally unfounded. The newspaper still found that Casey was “mostly right.”  This is why I believe he was wrong. He was not alone however in his judgment.

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Auburn Professor Under Fire For Profane Anti-Police Tweet

downloadAnother professor is under fire for a tweet this week. In a now-deleted post on Twitter, Auburn University professor Jesse Goldberg declared “f*ck every cop. Every single one.” He then added, “the only ethical choice for any cop to make at this point is to refuse to do their job and quit.” The university is reportedly considering actions against Goldberg.  As will likely come as no surprise to many on this blog, I do not agree that Goldberg should be subject to termination for the tweet which was the expression of his social and political views outside of the classroom.  As I stated in my testimony in the Senate this week, faculty across the country are being subjected to campaigns for their termination due to controversial statements on the current protests and their underlying causes.  While most of these cases involve professors who question the Black Lives Matter organizations or claims of systemic racism, it does not matter from a free speech perspective.

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Gallup: Almost Three-Fourths Of Americans View Media As Too Biased

Yellow journalismFor years, we have been discussing the rapid loss of objectivity and neutrality in the media where most viewers no longer trust what they read or hear.  Various cable networks and newspapers have openly embraced the echo-journalist model, including the shocking actions of the New York Times recently to apologize for publishing a dissenting view of the protests by the U.S. Senator.  Figures like CNN’s Jeff Zucker have openly abandoned any semblance of objectivity to seek ratings from viewers who only want to see and hear news that confirms their political preferences. This week, a leading producer at MSNBC became the latest journalist to quit due to the pressure to shape coverage to such bias. I testified in the Senate yesterday of this trend as part of the erosion of free speech in the United States. Now a Gallup poll has confirmed what these owners and editors have done to journalism in the United States. Almost half of those polled said that they viewed media as “very biased.” Continue reading “Gallup: Almost Three-Fourths Of Americans View Media As Too Biased”

Turley Testifies In Senate On Antifa and The Anti-Free-Speech Movement in the United States

downloadToday I am testifying in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution on the anti-free-speech movement in the United States.  The hearing is entitled “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence.” The hearing will be held at 2:30 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building and will be broadcast on C-Span and available on the Internet through the Committee. My testimony is below.

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“Blood-Chilling” or Just A Tweet? Debunking The Coup d’Trump

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the continued speculation over President Donald Trump delaying or cancelling the 2020 election. This conspiracy theory first appeared shortly after Trump’s election and became the rage when Vice President Joe Biden predicted that Trump would try to halt the election (and try to steal the election through the Postal Service). Despite the overheated coverage, Trump did not try to delay the election. He cannot delay the election. He asked a question of whether it should be delayed, which Congress can legally do. However, as I said immediately after the tweet, it is a question that is politically absurd and legally unfounded. However, the only thing more ridiculous was the response to this eleven-word question. It is all part of the panic disorder that seems triggered by Trump tweets on a daily basis.

Here is the column: Continue reading ““Blood-Chilling” or Just A Tweet? Debunking The Coup d’Trump”

Is The Boston Marathon Bomber Ruling Good News For Roger Stone?

download-5We have been discussing the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in tossing the death sentence of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev due to juror bias (as well as reversing some convictions). The ruling is a relatively rare case of a court taking such action.  Criminal defense attorneys, including myself, have long complained that judges talk a good game about fair trials but always seem to find a way of avoiding new trials in the face of even clear juror bias. That was my objection to the Stone trial where Judge Amy Berman Jackson refused to grant a new trial on grounds very similar to those of Tsarnaev, including alleged bias in forepersons in the both cases. While Tsarnaev only got a new sentencing proceeding, Stone should receive an entirely new trial.

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The Barr Hearing and The Triumph Of Small People In An Era Of Great Events

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Below is my column on the recent hearing before the House Judiciary Committee with Attorney General William Barr.  The hearing was widely ridiculed after Barr was repeatedly prevented from answering questions.  It was a great disappointment.  I just testified on the Lafayette Park controversy and many of us were waiting for a month to hear from Barr directly on the details, particularly the statements of many in the media that the Park area was cleared to allow President Trump to take a picture in front of St. John’s Church.  Democratic members continued to refer to that as a fact (as has many in the media) despite the federal agencies supplying information that shows that the plan was approved days before and the order was given with no knowledge of the photo op. Yet, on repeated occasions Barr tried to supply times and dates, Democratic members immediately “took back the time” and even got angry when he tried to answer.  The same is true on other controversies.  We lost an opportunity to actually answer these questions. Yet, after repeatedly blocking Barr from answering, Speaker Nancy Pelosi called him a “Blob” at the hearing.  He might seemed less blob-like if Democrats allowed him to speak. Instead, the hearing was an example of how Congress will work tirelessly not to find answers when a narrative is too good to check.

Here is the column: Continue reading “The Barr Hearing and The Triumph Of Small People In An Era Of Great Events”

Joe Biden: Nostradamus or Nut?

Nostradamus_by_Cesar23495344445_cb01041aeaThat seems to be the choice if you read accounts after President Donald Trump’s reckless tweet referring to a delay of the election.  While Trump last night stated that he is not seeking a delay in the election in his tweet, the tweet set off a firestorm. I was one of those who within minutes denounced the tweet as fueling a baseless conspiracy theory that Trump could delay the election. However, some writers claimed that Biden was right all along when he “predicted” that Trump would move to delay the election and noted that I made fun of him for warning voters of a move against the election.  I certainly did make fun of him, but it is worth noting that the column was not about whether Trump might suggest a delay but how such a delay could not happen. It is no “conspiracy theory” that Trump might suggest something outrageous on Twitter.  That is an established fact that occupies this blog on a daily basis. The theory was whether the election could be delayed by Trump unilaterally and it was alarming voters for no reason. I explained that the theory that the election would be canceled or stopped was “all the rage on the Internet” for months before Biden unwisely repeated it.

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“Delay the Election”: Trump Fuels New Questions Over The Holding Of The Presidential Election

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedWe previously discussed a conspiracy theory from Vice President Joe Biden that President Donald Trump could unilaterally cancel or delay the election day.  We then dealt with a baffling statement by Jared Kushner that it was too soon to tell if the election day would be delayed — a statement that was as politically unwise as it was legally unsound. Now, President Donald Trump is fueling this controversy with a bizarre tweet that we may need to delay the election day. He is not suggesting that he can do it unilaterally, but it is another statement at odds with the constitutional and statutory foundation for the election day schedule.  Even if Congress agreed to a different day, it would only move voting a few weeks later. Anything more would require pulling up our controlling law root and branch. Continue reading ““Delay the Election”: Trump Fuels New Questions Over The Holding Of The Presidential Election”

“Your Computers Will Start Crashing”: Twitter And Facebook Threatened With Divine Destruction By “Pro-Hydroxy” Doctor Supported By President Trump

804px-Luca_Giordano_-_The_Fall_of_the_Rebel_Angels_-_Google_Art_ProjectPresident Donald Trump has continued his dogmatic and potentially dangerous advocacy of the use of hydroxychloroquine despite recent studies questioning its benefits (and possible risks) as a treatment for COVID-19.  One doctor who disagrees with these reports, including some out this week, is Dr. Stella Immanuel. Immanuel’s views however have been censored by Facebook and Twitter after her video was removed as false information. That brought an attack from Trump over censorship and the President has encouraged action from Congress which is looking this week at the issue.  However, Dr. Immanuel called upon a higher source for intervention. She has warned the companies that Jesus will shutdown the companies unless her video is restored.

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“This Is A New Day Folks”: Professor Threatens K-12 Teachers Who Post “Pro-Police Anti-Black Rhetoric”

498px-Winthrop_University_seal.svgFor many years, we have discussed disciplinary actions taken against teachers for social media postings.  As a free speech blog, the trend has been alarming as teachers are fired for taking dissenting or controversial views.  Now, an incoming Winthrop University Professor, April Mustian, is openly threatening K-12 teachers that they are being watched for any “rhetoric” deemed pro-police or antiBlack.  A conservative group has objected to the now deleted Facebook posting from April 26th. This is a small such controversy but it is not isolated. It is indicative of thousands of such postings against free speech from academics across the country. This threatening posting was notable because it reflects a conscious effort to intimidate other teachers in their exercise of free speech. The whole purpose is to chill free speech by threatening their jobs and livelihood if they dare to voice opposing views.  This latest controversy highlights the unresolved question of what speech rights teachers still have in participating in the national debate over police abuse and systemic racism.

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‘This is Kidnapping”: MSNBC Host and AOC Denounce Use Of Unmarked Van By NYPD In Arrest

500px-MSNBC_2015_logo.svg440px-Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez,_official_portrait,_116th_CongressWe have been discussing the controversy of the use of unmarked cars by federal officers to arrest people in Portland. As I have written, the use of unmarked cars and (even those these officers worn police markings) plain clothes is a common practice and not unconstitutional. Now an arrest by the NYPD using an unmarked carhas led to similar objections.  MSNBC host Chris Hayes even declared that the view below constitutes a “kidnapping.” It isn’t. It is not even illegal or improper to use an unmarked vehicle.  The basis for the arrest can be challenged but the rhetoric of the coverage is outstripping the reality of the law. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has declared the video to be evidence of an authoritarian takeover.

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Can Portland Really Collect The Running Fine On The Federal Government? Probably Not.

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Did CNN’s Stelter Shatter The Sandmann Confidentiality Agreement?

SUNY-Binghamton Sued After Activists Assault College Republicans And Block Speak By Economist

 

State_University_of_New_York_at_Binghamton_SealThe State University of New York-Binghamton is the defendant in a new lawsuit over its failure to protect College Republicans and a leading conservative economist in public events last year. The Binghamton University College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) is suing Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger, Vice President for Student Affairs Brian Rose; Chief of Binghamton University Police Department John Pelletier, the College Progressives, and Progressive Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT) for the denial of First and Fourteenth Amendment violations.

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