Category: Politics

New Emails Raise New Allegations of Influence Peddling By Hunter Biden And Direct Knowledge Of President Biden

We have previously discussed the concerted and often embarrassing blackout in the media on stories involving Hunter Biden’s influence peddling during his father’s tenure as Vice President. That includes the burying of the laptop story and the growing contradictions over his father’s denial of any knowledge or involvement in his shady business dealings. Even recent reports that Hunter may have paid prostitutes with his father’s account were blacked out by mainstream media which exhaustively pursued any story related to the Trump children and their dealings and life styles. Now, however, there is a major allegation that Hunter used access to his father to seal previously unknown deals with Mexican businessmen, including Carlos Slim. A picture shows Hunter with the businessmen in the Vice President residence with his father. Continue reading “New Emails Raise New Allegations of Influence Peddling By Hunter Biden And Direct Knowledge Of President Biden”

Trophy Kill: Trump CFO Does Perp Walk Over Corporate Perks

Yesterday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.  and New York Attorney General Letitia James paraded triumphantly in front of hundreds of cameras to charge the Trump Organization and its finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, 73, with a 15-count indictment for failing to pay taxes on corporate perks. Weisselberg was a trophy defendant that needed to be prominently displayed. James ran for Attorney General on the pledge to get Trump and his associates.  The excitement around the courthouse itself had the feel of a thrill kill as the heavily Democratic city celebrated the arrest of someone close to Trump. Continue reading “Trophy Kill: Trump CFO Does Perp Walk Over Corporate Perks”

Supreme Court Strikes Down California’s Donor Disclosure Law

In the final decision of the Supreme Court before its summer break, Chief Justice John Roberts delivered a major ruling striking down the California law requiring the disclosure of donors for charities. The law attacked so-called “dark money” but the Court ruled that the state was curtailing free speech in a 6-3 decision. Continue reading “Supreme Court Strikes Down California’s Donor Disclosure Law”

“A Half-in, Half-Out Regime”: Thomas Slams the Continued Criminalization of Marijuana in Little Noticed Opinion

As we wait for the final cases from the Supreme Court this week, Monday was confined to orders of the Court, including the granting and denial of review of cases. One of the cases that was declined was Standing Akimbo, LLC v. United States. That is hardly news on a Court that rejects most petitions for a writ of certiorari. However, this denial was accompanied by an opinion from Justice Clarence Thomas who slammed the current federal policy on marijuana as “a half-in, half-out regime that simultaneously tolerates and forbids local use of marijuana.”  He is, of course, correct. The current position of marijuana criminalization is incomprehensible and conflicted. However, the criticism from one of the Court’s most conservative members was particularly notable. The timing is also notable. This week, the Mexican Supreme Court decriminalized recreational use of marijuana.

Continue reading ““A Half-in, Half-Out Regime”: Thomas Slams the Continued Criminalization of Marijuana in Little Noticed Opinion”

Politics By Other Means: Why Giuliani’s Suspension Should Worry All Lawyers

Below is my column in The Hill on the suspension of Rudy Giuliani by the New York Bar. The widespread hatred for Giuliani may be blinding many to the more troubling aspects of the opinion by the New York Supreme Court.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Politics By Other Means: Why Giuliani’s Suspension Should Worry All Lawyers”

“Blow Up Republicans”: UNC (Wilmington) Professor Triggers Firestorm With Call For Killing Republicans [Update]

Dan Johnson is an associate professor at the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences at University of North Carolina Wilmington with apparently equal interest in politics and polytechnics. He posted a short but clear message on Facebook: “Blow Up Republicans.” The detonation of people seems to be in vogue with professors this year. As will come as little surprise to many on this blog, I do not believe Johnson should face discipline for his violent political ideations. [Update: A university Trustee has now asked for an investigation by the university].

Continue reading ““Blow Up Republicans”: UNC (Wilmington) Professor Triggers Firestorm With Call For Killing Republicans [Update]”

The Right to Exclude: The Supreme Court Delivers Haymaker Reversal of the Ninth Circuit In Major Takings Ruling

While not one of the matinee cases often discussed in the press, the Supreme Court handed down a major ruling this week on takings under the Fifth Amendment. In a 6-3 decision that broke along ideological lines (a departure from a long line of unanimous or non-ideological rulings), the court ruled in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid that a California law was a takings under the Constitution. As I mentioned yesterday, I expect to be teaching this case in the fall and it represents a very significant new precedent in the area. Continue reading “The Right to Exclude: The Supreme Court Delivers Haymaker Reversal of the Ninth Circuit In Major Takings Ruling”

Court Dismisses BLM Lawsuit Against Federal Agencies Over Lafayette Park Protests

We recently discussed the Inspector General report on the Lafayette Park protests and the debunking of claims that the federal government and specifically Attorney General Bill Barr cleared the area for the controversial photo op of President Donald Trump in front of St. John’s Church. For a year, legal and media experts have stated as fact that area was cleared for that purpose and that Barr was lying about the federal agencies using tear gas as opposed to pepper balls (even though the legal and practical difference is largely immaterial). Some tried to keep the myth alive by criticism the IG report and its scope. Now, federal judge Dabney L. Friedrich has dismissed the lawsuit by the ACLU and Black Lives Matter as based on unsupported and unsubstantiated claims against the federal agencies. Ironically, the court allowed the lawsuit against the MPD under Mayor Muriel Bowser to continue. The Bowser Administration admitted recently that it used tear gas near the park on that night and that such use was perfectly reasonable. Both the Bowser and Biden Administrations sought to dismiss the BLM lawsuit as unfounded and unsupportable — a striking departure from what Bowser has stated publicly. Continue reading “Court Dismisses BLM Lawsuit Against Federal Agencies Over Lafayette Park Protests”

Biden’s Bad Run: Is The Biden Administration Doing Worse Than The Trump Administration In The Courts?

Below is my column in the Hill on the growing number of losses by the Biden Administration in courts around the country, including a particularly embarrassing loss before the United States Supreme Court. What is notable is that such losses in the early days of the Trump Administration led to coverage declaring a war on the “rule of law” and even indications of authoritarianism. The Biden losses have received little coverage despite what could be a worst record in the early days of his Administration. The fact is that such adverse decisions are not uncommon as Administrations try to fast track changes. However, the Biden Administration has actually had some very serious losses, including some which are being appealed. Yet, many previously outspoken legal experts have either blamed conservative judges  or simply ignored the losses all together. It is a continuation of an interesting pattern where Democrats are adopting the very rationales that they once denounced.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Biden’s Bad Run: Is The Biden Administration Doing Worse Than The Trump Administration In The Courts?”

“Your Unethical Nature”: Northwestern Journalism Professor Trashes Columnist For Waiting For The Facts On Police Shooting

There is an interesting conflict playing out on the pages of the Chicago Tribune over the coverage of killing of Adam Toledo.  We previously discussed the shooting of Toledo after police responded to a shooting and the suspension of a prosecutor who noted that Toledo was armed. In a June 18 column,  Tribune columnist Eric Zorn defended his coverage in April that it “was still too soon to draw conclusions.” He specifically responded to Steven Thrasher, the Daniel H. Renberg Chair of social justice in reporting at Northwestern, who trashed him for his circumspection and insisted he was excusing the murder of a child and it’s ‘never too early’ to think they are worthy of murder.”  Thrasher’s view of ethical journalism was on display in Fort Lauderdale this week when its mayor declared that a tragic accident involving an elderly driver was an act of murder and terrorism by anti-LGBT forces. He also believed that it is never too soon to declare murder.

Continue reading ““Your Unethical Nature”: Northwestern Journalism Professor Trashes Columnist For Waiting For The Facts On Police Shooting”

New Emails Show Unsuccessful and Unrelenting Pressure on Barr and Rosen from Trump to Intervene in the Election

Newly released emails show the pressure brought by the White House on both former Attorney General Bill Barr and his brief successor, acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, to intervene in the 2020 election.  Both Barr and Rosen refused to intervene and pushed aside numerous efforts to arrange meetings with Trump counsel and to file federal complaints.  What is astonishing is the degree to which these pressures continued in the brief period in which Rosen served as acting Attorney General in the final days of the Administration. Continue reading “New Emails Show Unsuccessful and Unrelenting Pressure on Barr and Rosen from Trump to Intervene in the Election”

E Pluribus Unum: The Supreme Court Continues to Defy and Debunk its Critics

Below is my column in USA Today on the remarkably united and non-ideological line of cases handed down by the Supreme Court.  As Democratic leaders demand to pack the Court to create a liberal majority, the Court itself appears to be speaking through these cases.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “E Pluribus Unum: The Supreme Court Continues to Defy and Debunk its Critics”

Will The Senate Democrats Now Apologize To Justice Barrett?

During the confirmation hearings of now Justice Amy Coney Barrett, I repeatedly objected to the clearly false narrative that she was nominated to vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act in the pending case of California v. Texas. The case was highly unlikely to result in such a decision and the Democrats knew it. The case was  focused on a highly technical and limited issues of severability. It would either be resolved on that limited basis or dismissed for standing. While Barrett might view the ACA as unconstitutional (as many do), I noted that she was more likely to dismiss the challenge or sever the individual mandate than to strike down the Act in the case. That is what she did in joined the 7-2 decision to dismiss the case. Continue reading “Will The Senate Democrats Now Apologize To Justice Barrett?”

The McCloskeys Plead Guilty To Minor Misdemeanors in Conclusion of St. Louis Protest Case

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A year ago, we discussed the charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey of St. Louis after their armed standoff with protesters.  I was highly skeptical of the charges brought by Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who was later removed from the case due to ethical concerns. Now, the couple has been allowed to plead to two minor misdemeanors in the conclusion of a highly politicized case.

Continue reading “The McCloskeys Plead Guilty To Minor Misdemeanors in Conclusion of St. Louis Protest Case”

Politico Fact Bombs New York Times Over Criticism of Leak Prosecutor

The New York Times faced a stinging contradiction from Politico this week after it ran a story besmirching the lead prosecutor in the leak investigation launched under former Attorney General Bill Barr. The article relies on anonymous sources to claim that Assistant U.S. Attorney Osmar Benevenuto of the District of New Jersey was brought in by Barr as part of his “small circle of trusted aides officials.”  In reality, it appears that Benevenuto was not initially selected by Barr and does not appear to have known him. Continue reading “Politico Fact Bombs New York Times Over Criticism of Leak Prosecutor”