Today I have the honor of speaking to the judges and lawyers in the 2023 Ohio Judicial conference on the Supreme Court in Columbus, Ohio. I will be discussing the last year of cases and controversies for the Court, incluiding recent and upcoming decisions. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said that “it’s hard not to have a big year at the Supreme Court.” However, this is shaping up as another huge year for the Court. Continue reading “Turley Speaks at 2023 Ohio Judicial Conference”
We previously discussed how Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson included a false claim to support her dissent in the Court’s recent opinion barring racial discrimination in college admissions. Now, the justice is accused of a second false claim derived from the same source: the amicus brief of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Notably, however, the media is still citing the first error as proof that race-blind admissions will kill Black citizens. Continue reading “Justice Jackson Accused of Second False Claim in Affirmative Action Dissent”
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has delivered a body blow to free speech as well as academic freedom in a ruling against a statistics professor at North Carolina State University. Professor Stephen Porter objected to what he considered the lower standards used by his school to hire minority faculty. The school declared such views as insufficiently “collegial” and retaliated against him. Now a divided panel has ruled that such views are not protected by the First Amendment — potentially opening up even greater retaliation against conservative, libertarian, and dissenting faculty. Rather than punish them for failing to echo the views of the schools, they can now be fired for their lack of collegiality in speaking against such policies and hires. Continue reading “Fourth Circuit Rules Against North Carolina State Professor Who Spoke Out Against Diversity Policies”
The last week’s historic decisions from the Supreme Court led to an array of factual objections from critics. In Justice Neil Gorsuch’s major free speech ruling in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, a man who believes that he is “Stewart” referenced in the case (as asking for a website for a same sex marriage) never made such a contact with the company. In Justice Sotomayor’s dissent to that case, the justice falsely claims that the Pulse mass shooting (“the second-deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history”) was an intended anti-LGBT attack. (The shooter apparently was unaware of what type of nightclub it was). Those mistakes, however, had little impact on the reasoning. That is not the case with a mathematical challenge raised to the dissent of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in the North Carolina affirmative action case. Continue reading “Crunching the Numbers: Does Justice Jackson’s Dissent on Affirmative Action Add Up?”
There is an interesting debate unfolding around the country in the aftermath of the Supreme Court barring the use of race in college admissions. For decades, colleges and universities have sought to downplay the weight given to race in court while insisting that it was one of a number of factors used in maintaining diversity. Now, however, schools are insisting that, without considering race, minority admissions will plummet. Continue reading “The Affirmative Aftermath: Schools Now Insist that Race had a Major Impact in Admissions”
Below is my column in the Hill on the ruling this week in Moore v. Harper — and the coup that never happened. After months of dire predictions of a coup in the making, the Court overwhelmingly rejected the underlying “independent state legislature,” as some of us predicted. There was little discussion of the prior hysteria or attacks on the integrity of the conservative justices. Political and media pundits will simply move on to the next jump scare item on the docket.
Here is the column:
After years of resisting demands under the Public Records Act (including alleged violations), UC Berkeley has finally turned over documents to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) on its hiring criteria. The files show that Berkeley has been grading faculty on their commitment to DEI, including viewpoints that should be protected by free speech or academic privileges. Continue reading “The Berkeley Files: Faculty Applicants Were Ranked on Their Support for DEI Policies and Practices”
Despite the reversal of Roe v. Wade and unrelenting attacks in the media and by Democratic members of Congress, the Supreme Court still has the overwhelming support of the American people. While figures like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) have called for court packing, the public in a just-released Mason-Dixon poll show that 68% of Americans oppose her efforts and those of various law professors. There were also a couple of surprises. Continue reading “Poll: Public Overwhelmingly Rejects Calls for Court Packing and Attacks on Supreme Court”
We are awaiting the potential blockbuster ruling of the Supreme Court in the Harvard and North Carolina college admissions cases. After decades of conflicting and confusing rulings on the use of race as a factor for admissions, the Court could be close to rejecting the practice. That is why the recent Pew survey is interesting. It shows that half of Americans disapprove of the use of affirmative action in admissions and only 33% approve of the practice. Continue reading “Pew: Half of Americans Disapprove of Affirmative Action in College Admissions”
Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit handed down a major ruling in favor of the Second Amendment rights of ex-felons. At issue was the federal “felon-in-possession” law—18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), which bars ex-felons from possession of firearms. While it is always risky to bet on granting of review before the Supreme Court, this en banc decision is well positioned for a Supreme Court showdown over the Second Amendment. Continue reading “Locked and Loaded: Third Circuit Declares Federal Gun Law Unconstitutional Over Ex-Felon Rights”
We recently discussed a federal judge enjoining the new Illinois law banning “assault weapons.” Now a gun shop in Naperville, Illinois has made it to the Supreme Court in seeking injunctive relief and Justice Amy Coney Barrett has given the proponents of the law until Monday to respond to the request.
This morning, Chief Justice John Roberts should get up, look into the mirror and declare “I deserve good things. I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with.” That mantra from SNL’s “Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley” seems appropriate after the former Smalley comedian (and former U.S. Senator) Al Franken declared Roberts a “villain” and his Court “illegitimate” in the latest attack on the institution. Continue reading “Daily Condemnations with Al Franken: Former Senator Denounces John Roberts and the Supreme Court”
In a surprising statement to The Wall Street Journal today, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito says he has a “pretty good idea” who leaked a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. He strongly suggested that it was someone who opposed the opinion and wanted to pressure the justices not to go forward with the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
There is an important ruling this month out of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which ruled against former high school music teacher John Kluge for refusing to comply with the school’s pronoun policy for religious reasons. What is most curious about the ruling is the timing. The Seventh Circuit opinion from April 7th is particularly interesting given the oral argument in the Supreme Court in Groff v. DeJoy only 11 days after the appellate ruling. Groff could gut the underlying standard used by the Seventh Circuit in its ruling for the school district. The opinion also puts the appellate court in conflict with the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in its recent Meriweather decision. Continue reading “Seventh Circuit Upholds Termination of High School Teacher Who Objected to Pronoun Policy”