Category: Testimony

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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Turley To Testify Before The Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice

US-DeptOfJustice-Seal_svgToday, I will be testifying before Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice on the legal and policy implications of biometric and facial recognition technology.  I have a forthcoming law review article on privacy in the age of biometrics. Much of my testimony will focus on that research.  The testimony is public and will be held at 2 pm (ET). This will be the final meeting of the Commission and, due to the pandemic, it will be handled telephonically rather than the planned culmination in Tampa, Florida.

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Turley Testifies On The Lafayette Park Controversy [Updated]

downloadThis afternoon, I am testifying on the hearing on the controversy surrounding the clearing of Lafayette Park on June 1, 2020.  I was called to appear to address the underlying legal and constitutional standards governing such mass demonstrations.  For roughly 14 years, I was one of the lead counsels in the World Bank litigation that helped establish guidelines and case law governing such operations.  I have been critical of the force used to clear the park as well as the attack on a team of Australian journalists covered the protests.

The operation to clear the Park began two days before with the plan to install fencing.  By Monday, a small barrier was in place around the park itself and the clearing operation was to push back the crowd to a perimeter to allow the higher fencing to be installed beyond the range of debris or objects.  The crowd was pushed back to I St. from H St. by the line of officers.  (The hearing title and the testimony refers to the “Lafayette Park” or “Lafayette Square Park” generally.  In fact, the immediate park was closed off and we are discussing the operation to clear the area for the installation of the higher fence).

As I state in the testimony, I believe the order to clear the area would be found lawful. It is the level of force (and a charging of the line of officers) that is likely to be the focus of any court.  I still do not see the need for this level of force in the use of batons and pepper spray.

I have attached my testimony below.

The hearing went until after 2 pm.

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TURLEY TESTIFIES AT TRUMP IMPEACHMENT HEARING

This morning I will be testifying at the House Judiciary Committee in the opening hearing into the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump. My testimony is available below.

It has been roughly 20 years since I testified at the same hearing in the impeachment of President William J. Clinton and roughly 10 years since I was lead counsel at the last Senate impeachment trial (with my co-lead counsel Daniel Schwartz).

The hearing will be held at 10:00 am in 1100 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515. It is open to the public.

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Federal Judge Rules Against Trump On Subpoena For Financial Records

U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta has issued a 41-page opinion in favor of the House Oversight Committee in its subpoena of the accounting firm Mazars USA to obtain financial documents related to President Donald Trump. It is a significant victory for the Congress in its fights with the White House given the ambiguously stated legislative purpose behind the demand. However, as I testified last week before the House Judiciary Committee, Congress is likely to win such fights over legislative purpose and courts are unlikely to entertain challenges based on alleged improper or political motives by Congress. It is important however to note that this was a subpoena of a private party to gain private records of Trump as an individual. Far more difficult questions are raised by a subpoena for someone like Don McGahn who did not appear today at the House Judiciary Committee.

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Turley To Testify On War Powers In Senate Today

Jonathan-Turley-e1416865770538I will be testifying today in the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management.  The hearing is entitled War Powers and the Effects of Unauthorized Military Engagements on Federal Spending” and will address the new proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) proposed by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).  As my testimony below discusses, the new legislation would represent an unprecedented change in the law governing war powers.  The new AUMF amounts to a statutory revision of one of the most defining elements of the United States Constitution. Putting aside the constitutionality of such a change absent a formal amendment, the proposed legislation completes a long history of this body abdicating its core responsibilities over the declaration of war.  Continue reading “Turley To Testify On War Powers In Senate Today”

TURLEY TESTIFIES IN SENATE GORSUCH CONFIRMATION HEARING

This morning I will testify at the confirmation hearing on the nomination of the Hon. Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court.  The hearing will commence around 9 am at the hearing room of Hart 216. Ironically, it is the same room that I litigated much of the Porteous impeachment case before final arguments before the 100 Senators on the Senate floor.  Below is my written testimony. Continue reading “TURLEY TESTIFIES IN SENATE GORSUCH CONFIRMATION HEARING”

TURLEY TESTIFIES IN HOUSE SCIENCE COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE CONTROVERSY

800px-Capitol_Building_Full_ViewI will testify this morning before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on the controversy over dueling state and federal investigations involving the climate change debate. After various state attorneys general announced investigations of Exxon Company over its opposition to climate change theories (including subpoenas either to or concerning conservation public interest groups), the Committee issued its own subpoenas to the prosecutors and environmental public interest groups involved in the campaign. That has triggered a confrontation as the prosecutors and environmental groups raised constitutional objections to the House subpoenas. The full committee hearing will start at 10 am in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.

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TURLEY TESTIFIES ON THE CHEVRON DOCTRINE IN HOUSE HEARING

800px-Capitol_Building_Full_ViewI will be testifying Tuesday afternoon before the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law of the Committee on the Judiciary
in the United States House of Representatives. The hearing is entitled “The Chevron Doctrine: Constitutional and Statutory Questions in Judicial Deference to Agencies”. The hearing will be held in Room 2141 (Rayburn House Office Building) and begin at 1:30 PM. My written testimony is below

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Did The Justice Department Lie to the Supreme Court…And Get Away With It?

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)- Weekend Contributor

Thanks to the disclosures made by whistleblower Edward Snowden, we now know how far our government went to hide the warrantless surveillance by the NSA. “If you blinked this week, you might have missed the news: two Senators accused the Justice Department of lying about NSA warrantless surveillance to the US supreme court last year, and those falsehoods all but ensured that mass spying on Americans would continue. But hardly anyone seems to care – least of all those who lied and who should have already come forward with the truth. Continue reading “Did The Justice Department Lie to the Supreme Court…And Get Away With It?”

Phylogenetics: Finding The Smoking Genome

By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

maeso-hepatitis-valencia_thumbBespectacled Juan Maeso led a fairly mundane life as an anesthetist in the Spanish coastal town of Valencia. All that changed in 2007 when Maeso was convicted of serial murder. A morphine addict, Maeso had been skimming the painkiller meant for his patients and then using the same compromised needle to inject them. Over a decade, 275 patients contracted hepatitis-c (HCV)  and four of them died from complications from the disease. A Spanish court sentenced Maeso to 1,933 years in prison but the sentence pales in interest to how the murderous soporifist was finally caught.

A fascinating article in the journal Nature details the laboratory hunt for the killer with all the twists and turns of an Arthur Conan Doyle story. Led by researchers at the University of Valencia, the work involved analyzing and categorizing 4200 viral sequences to backtrack to Maeso’s particular strain of hepatitis-c. The process known as phylogenetic forensics has been successfully used to track down the origins of such infamous cases as the 2009 anthrax-laced heroine scare in Europe and the case of Bruce Ivins, a microbiologist at the US Army Medical Research Institute, strongly suspected of sending anthrax tainted letters to Senators in 2001. Ivins committed suicide before charges were placed.

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Congress Considers Legislation To Respond To Executive Nonenforcement Of Federal Law

260px-capitol_building_full_viewThis morning I will be testifying before the House Judiciary Committee at 10 am. (I hope to post other stories after I return from Congress this afternoon) The hearing is entitled “Enforcing the President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws” and will explore the options for Congress in resisting the encroachment of executive power. I was critical of such encroachment under Professor George W. Bush and I believe that danger has grown under President Barack Obama. UPDATE: Here is the video link to the testimony.

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Think You Can Rely On Your Local Crime Lab For The Unvarnished Truth? Think Again

By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

Forensic-Science-S_2132330bA 2009 report by the National Research Council (NRC) passed quietly into the night (except in legal and forensic circles) while barely garnering more than a ripple in the public’s psyche. It should have been a tidal wave given news last December  that a  48-year-old New Jersey man, Gerard Henderson, who spent 19 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, was done in by faulty crime lab work. Henderson was convicted largely on “bite mark” evidence. Bite mark evidence is a process used to exam indentations and anomalies on a victim’s body and  ostensibly made by human teeth which are then matched to a defendant’s dentures in an effort to prove that he/she was the perpetrator of the crime. Convicted in 1995, Henderson proved that state testing of the bite marks on the back of 19-year-old victim, Monica Reyes, was deeply flawed and conducted without sufficient safeguards to insure its reliability.

Independent forensic scientists working for Project Innocence could not reproduce findings by the state crime lab which is the gold standard for scientific verifiability. Henderson became one of the more than two dozen people wrongfully convicted of rape or murder  since 2000 as a direct result of flawed bite mark evidence analysis all duly attested to as accurate by the local crime lab.

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House Judiciary Committee To Hear Testimony On President Obama’s Authority To Suspend Or Change Federal Laws

260px-capitol_building_full_viewThis morning I will testify in Congress before the House Judiciary Committee on “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws.” The hearing will address areas where President Obama has ordered the delay or nonenforcement of federal laws. While I happen to agree with some of these policies, I have great reservations about this record and its implications for the separation of powers.

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Kangaroo Commissions and Torture

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

The five alleged 9/11 defendants currently being held at Guantanamo Bay where they have been detained since 2006, are currently preparing their defenses for trials that are scheduled for September 2014.  All five defendants have been subjected to what the United States government called enhanced interrogation techniques at CIA black sites even before they got to Gitmo. Continue reading “Kangaroo Commissions and Torture”