Civility Rule


Civility and Decorum Policy:

This blog is committed to the principles of free speech and, as a consequence, we do not ban people simply because we disagree with them. Indeed, we value different perspectives and do not want to add another “echo chamber” to the Internet where we each repeat or amplify certain views. However, the Turley blog was created with a strong commitment to civility, a position that distinguishes us from many other sites. We do not tolerate personal attacks or bullying. It is strictly forbidden to use the site to publish research regarding private information on any poster or guest blogger. There are times when a poster reveals information about themselves as relevant to an issue or their experiences. That is fine and is sometimes offered to broaden or personalize an issue. For example, I am open about my background and any current cases to avoid questions of conflicts or hidden agendas. However, researching people or trying to strip people of anonymity is creepy and will not be allowed.

Frankly, while I have limited time to monitor the site, I will delete abusive comments when I see them or when they are raised to me. If the conduct continues, I will consider banning the person responsible. However, such transgressions should be raised with me by email and not used as an excuse to trash talk or retaliate. I am the only one who can ban someone from the blog and I go to great lengths not to do it or engage in acts that might be viewed as censorship. We do not delete comments as “misinformation” or “disinformation.”  Yet, we have had a few people who simply want to foul the cyber footpath with personal name-calling, insults, and threatening or violent language. We will delete personal threats and openly racist comments. If such posters will not conform to our basic rules (which should not be difficult for any adult person in society), they will have to move on.

We do allow comments as well as anonymity, which some sites have disallowed. It is a curious thing how anonymity will unleash vile and dark impulses in people. Yet, anonymity is part of free speech and, while we have discussed eliminating anonymous comments due to abuses, we are trying to preserve this important element to free speech. It is possible to be anonymous but not obnoxious.

The blog is for civil dialogue on all manner of topics and not the promotion of commercial interests. If you have a product or service for sale, please refrain from including that in the comments section.  Also we will delete long reproductions or copying of the work by other authors or publications without their consent.

Given my family and professional responsibilities, I cannot continually monitor the comments. It is a challenge to post multiple stories early in the morning each day. This is reflected by the typos that sneak into my posts at 5 in the morning while I am trying to pour caffeine into my body. For that reason, this site relies heavily on its regulars to preserve decorum and civility. The failure to delete or respond to a post is not a reflection of any agreement or content-based review. All comments are solely the view of the poster and not the blog, myself, or the guest bloggers. We get thousands of comments and have only limited screening ability for foul language. For that reason, your help is not just welcomed but absolutely necessary in maintaining the character and tenor of this blog.

Like all sites, we attract trolls and juvenile posters who want to tear down the work of others. It is a sad reality of the Internet and the worst element of our species. Don’t feed the trolls. Ignore them. They are trolls and live under cyber bridges for a reason.

We have often been described as a place where people can have passionate but respectful discussions. That is not for everyone. Indeed, one of the leading legal blogs expressly rejected a civility rule as boring and unnecessary. We disagree. If you find it difficult or unfulfilling to discuss issues without personal insults or foul language, please move on. Our Guest Bloggers are asked to avoid any tit-for-tat fight with trolls and critics. Likewise, most of our regulars refuse to engage in such exchanges. Please help us keep this an island of civility and mature discourse on the Internet. Address the issues and not the individuals in our debate. Be passionate but don’t let it get personal.

And thanks again for being part of our blog community.

Jonathan Turley

96 thoughts on “Civility Rule”

  1. Prof Turley, I greatly appreciate your stance on allowing all comment meeting the civility rule on your site. However, you might be able to minimize bickering if you provided the opportunity to create an “Ignore List” to allow reader to selectively eliminate commentators.

  2. I do luv ur sincerity and ur stance…..but am afraid “you’re” speaking to the congregation…….AND THEY ARE ASLEEP’!

  3. Wow,

    So much…”stuff” to shovel and me just one Angryman.

    Democrats willing to do anything?
    This from the Party of Mitt Romney (that F-F-F-F-Flip-Flopping Liar).

    Libertarians are one half of a good Party. The other half are serious Progressives.
    Mix the two and you get the Dream Team.
    Fewer laws from the Libs; a little social responsibility from the Progressives.

    A little “I get to keep my guns”, from the Libs; a little “what we need is less laws restricting people and more laws restricting corporations”, from the SERIOUS

    Seems like a plan but never to be. Too much compromise required from both sides.

    Going around Congress is “Presidential Politics 101”.
    Right or wrong.
    “Res ipsa loquitur”

    If you aren’t willing to go around Congress; stay home and blog. Don’t run for President.

    As someone else said. Everything would have been different if the U.S. House had ever; at any time since 2010 tried to co-operate with the President’s agenda.

    And let’s face it; as every president has discovered.

    Congress is ok for mulling over the details of a water rights contract or deciding whether to hold a ceremony to honor the inventor of chicken wire.

    They are “Aces” when it comes to voting themselves pay-raises and giving themselves better health care and retirement than a Third World Tyrant.

    The Congress is exceedingly adept at forming committees to ferret out who is mmming the President’s mmm and screamingly good at considering bills that have been defeated 40 or 50 times before just to make a point.

    They are great at having lunch with Lobbyists and small Thai children with Corporate CEOs. (Ouch!)

    If these are not the results you would like your administration to be remembered for you will find a way to “Go Around Congress”.

    If; as is the case with our present POTUS; you wish to accomplish something that is of any value to the actual people of America; such as The Affordable Care Act or relaxation of Marijuana Prohibition etc.; you will find a way to “Go Around Congress”.

    Now I also wonder if it has occurred to any of our conservative friends just how bad your position relative to ObamaCare really is.

    I think I’ll save this for a post. Everyone is welcome to stop by for a read if you want. So far the only person that I know of stopping by from here was apparently interested in mining my bio for weaknesses to attack; if ineptly. That seems to have happened twice I believe. And I’ve only been back a few days.

    I try to keep my cool here because of the mood of the sight and the importance of the issues we discuss.
    On my own sight; my reaction to being called a girl or other such suggestion would get a more; shall we say energetic response?

    Here; I figure if I can keep my cool; almost everyone should be able to.

    But really? A girl? Why Angry-MAN? Sorry your depressed?

    Yeah I’m sorry too; Pal. It sucks. But if you take it seriously it can be controlled.

    I can do about five or six paragraphs on the nature of the various mental illnesses common in my area if you wish but suffice to say that depression is not equivalent to: insanity, stupidity, or a lack of self respect outside the boundaries of the uncontrolled depression. So yeah I suffer from Depression; but if you think that will give you an advantage over me; you will find you are in error.

    As I have explained to someone yesterday; I sometimes play the Don Quixote role. For instance; I realize that we will never attain the utopian world I recommend we seek.
    We will never end war. we will never feed all of the hungry. Other things we probably will never accomplish.

    And yet; like Quixote; I feel compelled to champion their cause because to do so seems the only course worthy of a man.

    To accept human cruelty, starvation, atrocities, genocide, etc. while seeking excessive wealth for the sake of wealth; seems distinctly unworthy of a man.

    Where does enough become too much? I can’t say. At what point does ambition become greed? Each must decide for themselves but like so much these days; I can’t describe it but when I see it ; I know it.

    This is me. I will accept criticism of my hypocritical stance on “Obamacrime” but not from anyone who is a Republican or a Libertarian because THAT would be the epitome of Hypocrisy and I can’t let you do that to yourselves.

    Nick has already declined to engage me; wishing me luck with all of you.
    If anyone else chooses to avoid meeting me in the lists; I will of course accede to your wishes by not expecting a response. I will also of course; still comment as I see fit.

    I can only assume; though I have no wish to seem conceited; that the reason a Conservative would avoid a Progressive offering combat is the fear that his weapons cache is inferior or that the skills of the Progressive knight are overwhelming.
    Seriously? Naaaaaah. Must be something else. LOL

    Peace folks. Just yanking your chain with that last paragraph.

  4. Since there is no spot on the blog to suggest a topic, I will suggest one here. It is a civil topic. Glenn Greenwald is in the states publishing and promoting his book. He was on CSPAN and PBS last night and is an outstanding speaker and conversationalist. The mainstream media has gone corrupt. We need our blogs and our off shore journalists to help keep America from going Fascist. The topic, or one on this area of topics: The First Amendment prongs and their impact on free speech, right of assembly, right to communicate, right to petition our government for redress of grievances and to expose high crimes and misdemeanors. The role of the Blog. The rights of Bloggers. The privacy rights of all.

  5. Mr. Turley,

    I have followed you since your Area 51 case against the Clinton Administration. Then, as now, While I disagree with many of your political views, I have great respect for your depth of knowledge of our Constitution and the intent of our founding fathers design of our government.

    The check and balance system was set up to reflect the will of the people, but protect the rights of the minority viewpoint from being trampled. I believe it was in the Federalist papers that Madison stated that it should become harder to pass laws as the nation matured due to the balance of the 3 branches and the requirement for compromise.

    The ability of the minority viewpoint to hold up legislation was designed in on purpose, much like a game of medicine ball in gym class.While I am a fiscal conservative, but I have always viewed the political situation through the lense of our founding fathers intent, even when it went against my desired political outcome.

    During the most recent State of the Union speech, I was just as appalled as you were when the Democrats got up and applauded the POTUS when he made the statement he would use Executive Order to go around Congress.

    The will of the We the People was reflected in 2008 when Mr. Obama and the Democrats took total control of the Congress and the POTUS.

    The will of We the People was reflected just as well in 2010 when the Democrats lost control of Congress.

    The majority of We the People did not like Obamacare or how it was passed in Congress, thus the swing back towards the Republicans. Since then, very little compromise has taken place in Congress, yielding very few laws passed.


    If compromised cannot be reached, NO LAWS should be passed, PERIOD! This is what Madison stated in the Federalist Papers, proof that this is what our founding fathers intended.

    I agree with your assessment that the current slide to having an “Uber POTUS” bypassing Congress with Executive order did not start with Mr. Obama, but it has rapidly expanded under him.

    Our Constitution states that ALL LAWS MUST ORIGINATE IN CONGRESS. The President does not have the authority to execute any law that did not start there.

    Your recommendation for a solution on Hannity last night was the first time I had heard anyone arrive at the same conclusion that I came to years ago.
    Congress needs direct access the Supreme Court to provide a quick Constitutionality ruling on actions taken by the President. The current methods take far to long for a decision, thus yielding the POTUS dictatorial powers.

    We have lost civility in Congress. The Democrats are bent of achieving their goals at any cost.

    If we have truely reached the reach a point where one party or the other desire political victory at the expense of our Constitutional Rule of Law, we are lost as a country.

    Jim Rose

  6. Obama not following constitution? Obama is not a “natural born citizen” of the United States. Thus, he does qualify to serve as president. A “natural born citizen” of the United States is a person whose mother and father were both citizens of the United States when the person was born. Obama’s father was never a citizen of the United States. perhaps Mr. Turley will address this constitutional question?

  7. Bill, you’re right. I shouldn’t just write a snarky remark for the sake of it; I don’t want to be troll.

    I get pissed off whenever someone starts spouting Fox News talking points. Unless you’re wiping your ass with hundred dollar bills. Then I understand completely, because Libertarianism is going to work very, very well for you. But if not, then you should get your kids a set of shackles and see how they like them. If you get your way, they’ll need to get used to them.

    Whenever Libertarians start whining about government, they’re talking about regulation and taxes. They always manage to overlook the things that have been built up in this country with federal money, like roads and bridges. It never ceases to amaze me when Libertarians assume that the benefits of a federal society, like roads, just exist like the air we breathe.

    Libertarians often sound about as mature as child who doesn’t want to be told to go to bed. They don’t want to be told that can’t fill in a wetland or that they have to limit the mercury coming out of their smokestacks. Libertarianism is about selling tainted peanuts that cause death for dozens of people who eat them. The leaders of your movement always tell you that the market punishes companies that do those kinds of things. Good luck finding out who’s responsible.

    Quick, what’s the name of the company that spilled a chemical into the water supply out in West Virginia? No fair Googling!

    That’s a trick question. I know you didn’t even know there was a chemical spill that poisoned the drinking water for tens of thousands of West Virginians. Stop Googling.

    The fact is, Libertarianism doesn’t work. I have proof. It’s called history.

    Take just one example: the Mississippi River Flood of 1927. Herbert Hoover – yes, that Herbert Hoover – was put in charge of relief operations. As Relief Ops Herb, he was there at the scene, face to face with human suffering. Know what he did? He asked President Coolidge for federal funds. Coolidge was a Libertarian before it was the term was invented. He refused – at first. He finally relented, but not before going on vacation. A lot of people lost their lives in the mean time. That’s the main reason why the Libertarian leadership doesn’t express admiration for Coolidge…openly.

    Hoover, of course, once he got to the White House, thanks to the reputation he earned due to his Flood relief effort, couldn’t see the suffering taking place at the outset of the Depression, so he refused to do anything. Which made the Depression worse.

    But the Flood…in addition to the loss of live and -brace yourself – property, the Flood affected the economy of the entire country, not just the several states that experienced flooding. Overall, economic loses in this country approached a billion dollars. In 1927, a nickel could buy you dinner. The lesson:don’t expect that individual states are all capable of filling the gap

    Don’t confuse civil libertarianism for the economic variety. The federal government has had to step in to fix a failed experiments in one of your “labs”. And, once you start relying on your fifty laboratories, it’s going to be a race to te bottom, with elected officials competing to see who can flog their citizens the most in exchange for cash and prizes.

    So, for those reasons, and many more, I think you’re a fool who hasn’t a clue about what you’re talking about.

  8. Saw your appearance on the Kelly files. Nice to know that there is a liberal Democrat who does not believe the end justifies the means. I hope many more follow. So many people are willing to look the other way, believing the righteousness of their cause implies a righteousness in their actions.

  9. Given my background (Vietnam, JD 1979), I would note that it isn’t just the presidency which has lost respect. Roberts on the Supreme Ct wrote most of the Obamacare dissent, and not one single American — including Obama — ever believed Obamacare was a tax, yet that was the purported rationale for permitting the individual mandate. America, once the best big country in the history of manking, is losing its former greatness at an alarming rate.

  10. I, as a lover of this great country hope that with great respect Mr. Turley will help us keep our country. Mr. Turley, you may be our ONLY hope.

  11. It is so easy for someone to type a two sentence reply that says I don’t have a clue. What is much harder to do is say why. The book is not mine but I would be proud to lay claim to it for it is a brilliant work. Have you read it and if not, how could you comment on it? Also, please tell me what your concern is regarding having states institute these types of programs, creating not only a competition for American citizens, but individual laboratories that allow the best of programs to survive. The floor is now yours not only to express your views, but show us all how smart you are, or not.

  12. Billy C. sez “I want a federal government that does no more than providing laws protecting my God given freedom, and a military that protects our shores. Let the states and their citizens decide how much government gets to enter our lives, fifty different ways.”
    You don’t have clue, Billy. I hope your able to sell that book on amazon.

  13. Mr. Turley,

    I have seen you on various news programs of late due to you concerns about President Obama ignoring our Constitution and legislating or dictating from the Oval Office. You seem like a true gentlemen with genuine concern for our nation and the dangerous course that it is now traveling. I consider myself a conservative in my personal life and libertarian when considering what others do with their lives. I believe that most when subject to their own mistakes will correct them and those that don’t will pay their consequences. I am not nearly as educated as you and wouldn’t dare consider myself as knowledgeable regarding our Constitution as you. Much of my understanding aside from reading the document itself comes from several books including those by Mark Levin and the 5000 Year Leap by Cleon Skousen.

    The reason I state the above is because I find it hard to reconcile that you say you agree with Obama’s policies but consider his legislating to be bordering on tyrannical. I consider most of what the Federal government does to be tyrannical based on the last 80 years of legislation. When I read of the intentions of the founders it becomes my impression that legislation such as the ACA, Social Security and Medicare are all tyrannical programs that offer the average American no escape because they are done on a Federal level. Yet with all of these programs I would have no issue if they were done on a state level. I fully accept the premise that we as Americans should have fifty different laboratories with which to conduct these social experiments. This would leave citizens the ability to flee to or from those that do or don’t work. No state would want to enact an absolute failure such as the ACA that sends it’s tax paying citizens seeking refuge. The same can be said for a Social Security system that will take my money for over fifty years and give me a return of $1200 a month.

    I guess the main reason for my writing this tonight is my inability to see how a Constitutional scholar such as you or Obama can see it any other way. I don’t understand the disdain that progressives have for letting citizens have options and choices in their personal lives including the right to escape oppressive or dictatorial legislation. I want a federal government that does no more than providing laws protecting my God given freedom, and a military that protects our shores. Let the states and their citizens decide how much government gets to enter our lives, fifty different ways. I think I gained a better understanding of our founders and their incredible document from the 5000 Year Leap than you did with your very expensive college education. I could have saved you many thousands of dollars by having you purchase a twenty dollar book.

    Bill Caravello

  14. Folks, The reason many people comment here is because of the intellectual honesty and integrity of Mr. Turley. Stay around and comment. The more the merrier.

  15. I came across your site by sheer accident. Following your blog has changed my way of thinking and thus how I will proceed in this life. I was born into a middle class family and was brainwashed in the US public school system. I would have never dreamed in a million years that America would turn on it’s own people – but now I see. Thank you Turley – for waking me up. I am no longer an American sheep. I wish i could see your Kelly File but I don’t have TV reception – I am one of the former middle class Americans and cannot afford that luxury anymore. Will it be available online or in a transcript?
    p.s. I believe that Republicans and Democrats are controlled by the same force – the super wealthy. Unless a third party comes into play in US politics, i don’t see any point in voting. America has been sold to the highest bidder. God says we are not supposed to be fearful and I am trying so hard not to be…but I am.

  16. I agree with your comments on the Kelly show last evening. It is just stunning that there are not people in congress speaking out. The president is doing exactly what he complained that Bush was doing only on steroids. You are the first democrat who has made any sense in some time. Just signed up for your email. Thank you for speaking out as the media is silent on this and many other issues that effect the people.
    Jane Wegener
    P. S. I voted for Romney and will vote for a republican in future elections.

  17. I agree with William Fallon about Kay Frank’s post. I liked the Professor’s comments on the Kelly File. It seems to me that any president who does not get what he wants from the Congress could use Ms. Frank’s argument to go around Congress with “executive authority.” It also seems to me that there should be a somewhat adversarial relationship between the executive and legislative branches of our government. What we have is a system of government based on principles set forth in the Constitution. What we cannot have is a president, of any political party who is willing to toss that system on its head because the Congress will follow his directions.

  18. I was interested in your interview tonight on Fox News with Megan Kelley. I thought your comments accurately described the situation in which we American citizens now find ourselves. President Obama is tipping our system of checks and balances and laughing as he does it ! You mentioned that there might likely come a day when a lot of us look around and wish that we had done something. My husband and I have been doing what we can to write our congressional representatives and senators and the most we get is a polite response that is somewhat condescending. Most of the time there is NO response. We also worked with our local Republican Party because we feel that they are much more likely to support the Constitution, but lately even that is in question. Other than grabbing our BB guns and marching towards Washington, what can we do? This is not the America we know ! Thank you very much for your insight. Melinda Lucas
    P.S. We voted for Romney and would do it again. 🙂

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