Gorsuch Hearing To Start Monday; Turley To Testify On Thursday

Neil_Gorsuch_February_2017

The Senate Judiciary Committee has released the schedule and witness list for confirmation hearing of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch for the United States Supreme Court.  I have been called as a witness for the majority and will likely testify on Wednesday or Thursday.  The hearings will begin on Monday.  Questions for Judge Gorsuch will begin on Tuesday and likely continue into Wednesday.

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Shaken Not Scripted: Spicer Repeats Allegation That British Intelligence Spied On Trump For Obama . . . Administration Reportedly Apologizes [UPDATED]

sean_spicerDie_another_Day_-_UK_cinema_posterYesterday’s press conference by White House Spokesman Sean Spicer seemed uncomfortably close to a Saturday Night Live parody as Spicer spared with CNN and other news outlets over President Trump’s wiretapping allegations.  I actually was sympathetic with Spicer on one point:  the media continues to take a literal meaning of Trump’s reference to “wiretap.”  Some after the first tweet, I stated on CNN that I did not believe that Trump was speaking literally and that he likely meant “surveillance.”  I have written and litigated in the field of surveillance over the course of decades and the use of “wiretap” to mean surveillance is a common, if inartful, practice  — particularly among older Americans.  That does not mean that Trump’s allegation of surveillance is true or supportable.  That should be the focus, not this recurring rhetorical point.  However, there has been a truly shocking lack of discipline among high-ranking Trump staffers in their public comments, including comments that have undermined the immigration orders.  A good example of that ongoing problem is the suggestion that British intelligence surveilled Trump for Obama. This allegation had no place in a White House briefing and led to a reported embarrassing apology from the Administration to the British and a promise not to repeat it. It appears that there was no James Bond contract to surveil and the Administration is again shaken not stirred scripted. [UPDATE: CNN is reporting late Friday that Sean Spicer has denied that any apology has been made to Britain.  For its part, Fox News reportedly is saying that it has no support for the allegation raised by Judge Napolitano]

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Five Ninth Circuit Judges Issue Rare Dissent Rebuking The Panel In Immigration Ruling

Federal Judge In Hawaii Enjoins Second Executive Order

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedDerrick_Kahala_WatsonLast night, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson issued a
temporary restraining order
that prevents the second immigration order of President Donald Trump from going into effect on Thursday.  The 43-page opinion is scathing and relies not only on the statements of President Trump but the recent statements of his chief aide Stephen Miller.  While I respectfully disagree with Judge Watson and view his decision as contrary to the weight of existing case law, the opinion again shows the perils of presidents and their aides speaking publicly about litigation.  Political facing saving comments can be case legal damaging comments.  Yet, I still believe that Judge Watson relied too much on campaign statements and television interviews to overcome the facial neutrality of the language of the executive order.

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