Weekend Bloggers


On weekends, it is a time for the blog to hear different voices and perspectives. We are fortunate to have a group of popular weekend bloggers from a broad array of different backgrounds from law enforcement to teaching to psychology. These contributing writers post from Saturday morning to Sunday night every week. We occasionally will have Guest Bloggers on the weekend on a trial or temporary basis.

Postings by both Weekend Bloggers and Guest Bloggers express only their views and not the views of the host (Jonathan Turley) or others on this blog. They post their own material under their own name and are solely responsible for the content and displayed material in their columns. They are not edited or approved by the host in advance of postings.

Here is our weekend team:


Mike Appleton

Mike AppletonMike Appleton is in private practice in business and commercial litigation and appeals. His pro bono work is focused on the representation of abused and neglected children as a guardian ad litem through the Orange County (Florida) Bar Association. A little known fact is that Mike once once represented Linda Lovelace in a contract dispute. Mike was born in New York but was raised mostly in the west and southwest. He graduated from high school in El Paso, Texas in 1964 and entered the Jesuit novitiate at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Within six months he determined that the priesthood was not his calling and left. He entered Harvard in the fall of 1965 and took an A.B. in philosophy. He returned to Texas and received a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1972, where he served on the prestigious Texas Law Review.

Kimberly Dienes

Kimberly DienesKimberly Dienes is an assistant professor of clinical psychology at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and also has a part time private therapy practice. Her research focuses on stress sensitivity, psychoneuroendocrinology, and depression, and her clinical work centers on relational issues and stress. She has published in the areas of bipolar disorder, depression, cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, relational therapy, and psychoneuroendocrinology. Kim received her B.A. in Human Biology and M.A. in Psychology from Stanford University, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA. She completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. In summary, she was born in Maryland, lived for 12 years in California, and now resides in the Midwest; the true all-American experience. Kim spends her free time reading, watching terrible reality TV, and lifting heavy weights in the gym with her husband of one year, Simon Williams. In the last year Kim has lived in Chicago, Cambridge, Cardiff, and Bethesda. She is about to take part in probably the only Welsh-American wedding in Northern Ireland (the civil ceremony was last year in Las Vegas).

Cara Gallagher

Cara GallagherCara Gallagher started teaching government, politics, and law to high school students in 2006. Today she teaches at The Latin School of Chicago. Her affinity for the law and legal education began in college when she first joined the Mock Trial team as a student at the University of Illinois-Chicago. In 2004 she began working as a paralegal during the summers and continues that work today. Since 2010, Cara has spent every summer creating her own legal education by taking courses and workshops at Georgetown, Stanford, and Yale Law Schools. Cara served as the Senior Education Fellow for C-SPAN in 2013 and spent June of 2013 and 2014 reporting for the network on the U.S. Supreme Court. She’s published several entries on police procedure in CQ Press’ Encyclopedia of the 4th Amendment, and in the fall of 2013 she merged her passions for both education and the law by creating http://www.SupremeBystandr.com. SupremeBystandr is a website and podcast for students, educators, and Supreme Court fans. Cara bleeds Cubbie blue.

Lawrence Rafferty

Lawrence RaffertyLawrence Rafferty is an attorney in Illinois with over 30 years of varied legal experience in private practice, Trust and Title insurance companies. Happily married for 37 plus years with 4 adult children and two grandsons and a granddaughter, Larry comes from an Irish-German-Swedish American family of 5 and was raised by his mother. He hold a bachelors degree in Political Science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a Juris Doctor degree from The John Marshall Law School of Chicago. He attributed his success in life to his family and “the good Benedictine Sisters of St. Lambert’s School who somehow got me through 8 grades of Catholic school while spending a few of those years out in the hall!” He is an ardent fan of the Chicago White Sox, Bears and Bulls and college basketball, especially the Salukis. He is an avid biker in his spare time as well as messing around with his Yellow Lab Buster.

Darren Smith

Darren Smith is a former law enforcement officer and retired as a Deputy Sheriff. He specialized in patrol operations with emphasis on developing anti-crime programs, which have significantly reduced offenses in several communities. He also investigated financial crimes, bank fraud, and forgery of currency, government documents and identification. He has expertise in computer forensics and cyber-crimes. After working nine years as a software engineer at firms including Microsoft and as a manager for e-Software Inc. and Direct Source Global Purchasing, he became (and continues as) a small business owner with ventures in retail and real estate. Darren received an AAS degree in Administration of Justice from Spokane College (1988) along with later coursework in accounting and investments. He graduated from the Washington Criminal Justice Academy in 1991. He enjoys travel and visited countries throughout Europe and Asia, including the Soviet Union in 1985. Darren has been married since 2000 and shares hobbies such as antique computers, outdoor recreation, reading, antiquities, and the arts.

44 thoughts on “Weekend Bloggers”

  1. This is so funny. Maybe somebody official might want to post a short article about this twitter going viral.

    Mitt Romney respects the sneeze guard, but Obama overreaches as if the sneeze guard were only Congress or the Constitution.

    How could we have gotten it so, so wrong?

  2. James Madison – “Is there no virtue among us?”

    Is the law merely a set of mechanical interactions whereby virtue is reduced to nothingness, the better angels of our nature set aside as we seek power, rationalizing ideology and contempt justify any means, including putting at risk our own survival as a constitutional democracy?”

    A generation ago we had a sixteen minute gap in the Nixon tapes. We “progressives” were outraged. Written by Bernard Nussbaum and (Hillary Rodham), Aritcle 2 of the Impeachment of Richard Milhouse Nixon cites his attempt at influencing the IRS Commissioner to target his political enemies. Nixon was in fact not successful in his attempt as the the IRS Commissioner turned Nixon away, juxtaposed against the current successful orchestration by this administration to fix an election using blunt force intimidation of American citizens by the IRS.

    This goes to the heart of our constitutional government, the fact that partisan donors have been appointed to key positions (Kostenen and the president – see Forbes magazine article), of an agency that has a sworn duty to be non-political, is frightening. That key evidence has been (destroyed) in multiple legal investigations, we hear nothing but silence from “progressives.” Does the Constitution mean so little to us? Has this administration effectively rendered the law null and void? Are not the other branches of government concerned, applying the same outrage we did a generation ago?

    Senator Irvin I relinquish my time to Senator Nunn….it is time.

  3. someone please explain to me: if this is a government of checks and balances why is there not a way to stop the abuse of the constitution by the president? if there is indeed a way, why are our elected officials not enforcing it? everyone has their panties in a bunch, including me, regarding him disregarding the law. why aren’t they doing something about it. to be sure, this is not what the founding fathers envisioned. thanks.

  4. I have an article I wrote, just finished in fact, that I would like to post on the Jonathan Turley blog. I have been a long time blogger here, and really appreciate the analysis and banter, but would also like to contribute as a weekend blogger article poster.
    What do I need to do to do this?

  5. There is an interesting case about children tweeting airlines pretending to be terrorist.

    Dutch girl arrested after tweeting terror threat to American Airlines, garners copycat.

    A Twitter user named ‘Sarah’ wrote on Twitter over the weekend that she was a member of Al Qaeda and that she would ‘do something really big.’ She later backtracked, saying she was joking. Despite her arrest, another Twitter user sent a similar threat to Southwest Airlines.

    Read more:

  6. “Based on what Director [John] Brennan has informed us, I have grave concerns that the CIA search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution including the Speech and Debate clause,” she said. “It may have undermined the constitutional framework essential to effective congressional oversight of intelligence activities or any other government function.”

    Is it more detestable that an intelligence agency spy on members of congress rather than members of society? Why the selective outrage? We are in deep s**t and we are expecting a disaster to happen because of an imperial presidency.

    There is no virtue among us any longer. The great experiment in democracy is purposefully being undermined.

  7. Is it hypocritical for the USA to condemn Putin for his intervention in the Ukraine when America has done similar things in the name of “national security”? Can he not claim national security and stand on the same playing field we do? We may claim a higher moral plane because of our constitution but in terms of measurable behavior what is the difference?

  8. Jonathan, one of my dearest friends was Junious Marion (Jim) Turley of Clinton, Tennessee — a relative of yours, sir? — john

  9. Regardless of one’s political views, all decent Americans should be concerned about the current administration’s extra-Constitutional actions. Executive orders should not be used to undermine laws passed by Congress (and signed by the President). The Founding Fathers, in their infinite wisdom recognized the need for a separation of powers. Our heritage demands action; our future as a civilized democracy depends on it. When the Constitution is subverted and ignored, we all need to speak out and prevent further damage, irrespective of our political ideology.

  10. We the people; has become a joke, an after thought, I feel powerless to stop that which I believe will destroy the country that I love, an imperial president. The press which is suppose to help be a check on power is a cheering squad. The demonizing of critiques of this president have left our country paralyzed. I’m truly afraid of the country that we are going to pass down to our children and grandchildren. I don’t feel free. Thanks Professor Turley, it will be people like you that will help to right this ship, I hope that you are not too late.

  11. Professor Turley,

    I’m a Constitutional Conservative. I certainly understand and recognize the policy differences between the progressive left and the conservative right. I love to see these debates as they happen…but now I’m starting to become very concerned, and actually, quite frightened by the actions and the absolute power grab of this administration. No one is speaking out, and the press and most of the Congress are silent on this issue. I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your integrity and your willingness to speak out. I certainly recognize that you have the same love of this Country and it’s Constitution as do I and people on the left and the right.

    How can we join together and preserve this extraordinary and exceptional Country called the United States of America.?

  12. I often disagree with professor Turley but I admire his courage to stand up and sound an intellectual alarm about the needed separation of powers. Professor Turley is absolutely correct our Nation only functions when the three branches of government respect our constitution and our laws. Worrysome events and times.

  13. It is becoming obvious that the great flaw in our wondrous Constitution is aligning the DOJ and AG with the Executive Branch. AG should be elected as they are in every state. Congress and, separately, the Judicial should have some initiative over the DOJ injustices. THAT would maintain order and have a much better chance of insuring the future of our Republic. The King’s excesses have taught us much.

  14. Article V of the Constitution allows for an Article V Convention of States (COS). The founders in their wisdom understood that the federal government may become tyrannical so they allowed for the states to propose changes to the Constitution and bypass a Congressional vote. Nine states have already filed or pre-filed for a COS. One state has passed the COS through one or both houses. All other states except 10 have statewide volunteer leadership. Contact your state representatives and ask for an Article V Convention of States.

  15. What can the man on the street (Me)do to help preserve the balance of powers that our Constitution requires. The usurpation of power by recent presidents is reminiscent of Rome’s transition from Republic to Monarchy or Germany’s transition in the same way. Our citizens are sacrificing freedom for the “bread” of government. This is frightening. Ideology and behaviors matter because they set the course if history. We are on a course to Dictatorship. What can we do?

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