Cornell English Department Declares “English” Title To Be Racially Insensitive

Faculty members at Cornell University’s English Department have reportedly voted to change the department’s name as an anti-racist reform. To avoid the “conflation of English as a language and English as a nationality,” the Department will now be called “The Department of Literatures in English.”

Barrett: There Is Nothing Super About The Precedent In Roe v. Wade

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on Roe v. Wade and the doctrine of stare decisis (or the respect and preservation of precedent). One of the most notable moments in the hearing came when Judge Barrett suggested that Roe was not “super precedent.”  Indeed, she noted that the concept of “super precedent” is the work of others in academic publications. However, on Roe, Judge Barrett had an interesting exchange with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. in which she identified Brown v. Board of Education as such super precedent. However, when pushed on Roe, she noted  “I’m answering a lot of questions about Roe which I think indicates that Roe doesn’t fall into that category.”

This issue was addressed in the column: Continue reading “Barrett: There Is Nothing Super About The Precedent In Roe v. Wade”

Turley Speaks At Brookings On Legislative History and Judicial Interpretation

Today I have the pleasure of speaking at Brookings Institution as part of the Washington University’s speaker’s series.  Ironically, the speech is on the use of legislative history, a subject much discussed yesterday in the confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.  I will therefore step away from blogging for an hour to appear virtually. Continue reading “Turley Speaks At Brookings On Legislative History and Judicial Interpretation”

Douglas Kahn: There Is No Basis To Assume That Barrett Would Strike Down The ACA

We occasionally have the opportunity to publish columns from other academics on pressing legal or political issues. In the column below, Professor Douglas A. Kahn discusses the charge that Judge Amy Coney Barrett would clearly vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the pending case of California v. Texas. Professor Kahn is the Paul G. Kauper Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Michigan. He taught for decades at Michigan and has written a host of books and articles in his distinguished career. He is also a graduate of our law school at George Washington University. It is my distinct honor to post his thoughts on the ACA issue below.

Continue reading “Douglas Kahn: There Is No Basis To Assume That Barrett Would Strike Down The ACA”

Gallup Poll: Voters Do Not Support Claims Of A “Packed” Supreme Court

We have been discussing the recent talking point emerging from the Biden campaign and Democratic leaders on court packing. While continuing to refuse to state their position on packing the Supreme Court to create an ideological majority, various Democratic figures have been calling the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett (and all of the Trump nominees) a form of court packing. A recent Gallup poll found only 32 percent of voters thought that the Supreme Court was dominated by conservatives. Continue reading “Gallup Poll: Voters Do Not Support Claims Of A “Packed” Supreme Court”

Tinkering With Free Speech: Federal Court Rules Against Louisiana High School After Painting Over Student’s Trump Mural

Many of us in the free speech community have long complained that the 1969 case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District is often dismissed in cases addressing the free speech rights of students. The famous decision declared that students “do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Yet, courts have regularly curtailed free speech rights in deference to school officials maintaining discipline and order in their schools, even in the regulation of speech outside of schools. One rare victory emerged this week in Louisiana where a federal judge ruled that Superintendent Frances Varnado and Washington Parish School District board violated the rights of a high school senior by painting over his mural of President Donald Trump. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon relied on Tinker and declared the mural to be protected political speech.

Continue reading “Tinkering With Free Speech: Federal Court Rules Against Louisiana High School After Painting Over Student’s Trump Mural”

The Truman Show Election: How The Public Is Left In The Dark Pending The Election

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the array of issues that now appear to be on hold pending the outcome of the election. This weekend former Vice President Joe Biden went so far as to say that voters do not “deserve” to know his position on packing the Court, reaffirming that voters must wait until after they elect him for an answer.  It has a familiar ring for those who watched the movie The Truman Show. 

Here is the column:

Continue reading “The Truman Show Election: How The Public Is Left In The Dark Pending The Election”

No, Barrett Should Not Recuse Herself From Any Election Challenge

Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer and various commentators have called for Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself from any decision on the 2020 general election. There is no reason for such a recusal, which would be unprecedented in these circumstances.  Moreover, it would establish a dangerous precedent of nominees securing their positions by promising results or positions if confirmed by the Senate. Continue reading “No, Barrett Should Not Recuse Herself From Any Election Challenge”

Louisiana Priest Arrested In “Demonic” Act With Two Women On Church Altar

A Visit To The Glenstone

This weekend, my family and I visited the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland. I am embarrassed to say that, despite living in Washington for much of my life, I have never been to this extraordinary art museum. Funded by billionaire Mitchell Rales and curated by Emily Wei Rales, the museum is an amazing blending of art, natural landscape, and architecture.  The result is one of the most beautiful and unique spaces in the world.  You can stroll through the exquisite buildings which are as impressive as the art that they contain.  The galleries are surrounded by trails through gorgeous forests on over 200 acres. I strongly encourage anyone in the area to make a reservation and visit the museum (which is about 30 minutes outside of Washington). Continue reading “A Visit To The Glenstone”

Whitmer Lashes Out At Barr Over Kidnapping Plot Despite The FBI Uncovering The Plot And The DOJ Prosecuting The Plotters

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was the target this month of a plot of extremists to kidnap her and storm the state capitol.  After the arrests of the primary suspects, Whitmer lashed about at President Donald Trump for failing to condemn right wing violence. That is certainly a common criticism. However, Whitmer also attacked Attorney General Bill Barr and suggested that he knew about the plot.  It was a curious attack since the FBI uncovered the plot and the DOJ is prosecuting the plot. There is no indication that the DOJ was delaying action. To the contrary, it acted to thwart the plot and protect Whitmer.  The other question is why would Barr lie about his knowledge?  To what logical end? He was not asked about any threats but specifically if he knew about signs and statements made a protest in Lansing, Michigan in June — a protest that was under state, not federal, jurisdiction.

Continue reading “Whitmer Lashes Out At Barr Over Kidnapping Plot Despite The FBI Uncovering The Plot And The DOJ Prosecuting The Plotters”

What Will Our Words Today Afford Us In Five Years: Blessings or Discord?

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

I thought this week I would share with you an important life-lesson I experienced decades ago. What will the words we express today afford us or others five years in the future? This is how I learned then the virtue of good teaching and how I’ve come to realize in the strife of much of today’s discourse that sowing discord is the antithesis of prosperity.

In my case it was a simple lesson that had a profound outcome.

 

Continue reading “What Will Our Words Today Afford Us In Five Years: Blessings or Discord?”

More Trick Than Treat: Yakuza Barred From Handing Out Halloween Treats This Year In Japan