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. I simply googled the story when I saw it popping up on MSN so I do not think it was of a conservative or liberal bent, but it showed a communist hammer and sickle on the red Red Hen sign in front of the restaurant. If this is the case, I wonder if the restaurant owners support that philosophically and/or politically. If so, the pot inside the restaurant must really be black. How many millions of their own people have communist regimes killed in Russia, China, Cambodia and other places and how many other millions of their own people have they imprisoned for interminably long sentences and brainwashing. I know of our own treatment of native peoples, but these then paled in comparison to the workers paradise. While the left goes crazy over defense of our borders, they never really admit to how many illegal aliens they wish to admit. If they did so, then about 75% of the country would oppose their policies. Again if the hammer and sickle were on their sign, why was this not reported in the news coverage. After all, isn’t the story about how we should respond to others who hold different views.

  2. “We heard from local law enforcement that the Justice Department has issued a memo that forced the FBI NICS background check data base to drop more than 500,000 names of fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants because it was uncertain whether those fugitives fled across state lines.”

    Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein

    Please blog on this

  3. Hi

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  4. these two things always bothered me #1 why wasn`t eric holder charged with mass murder and treason for fast and furious. #2 how did general motors get away with killing 124 American citizens and no one goes to jail

  5. I am an independent voter in Massachusetts, and I have a question re the Comey firing I would like to see someone address in detail. My question: Given that so many, including Jonathan Turley, have described as highly egrigous the actions of former FBI Director Comey in the press conference he gave wherein he announced no charges would be filed against Hilary Clinton and then criiticized her, why didn’t then President Obama, a lawyer himself, immediatey fire Comey? This is what confuses me – if everyone knew what Comey did was so wrong, at that time, why was there no action taken at that time? In my view, the response should have bene immediate, and Comey should have been fired by Obama. Please explain why this did not happen. Thank you.

    PS I voted for Obama, and due in large part to what Comey was saying about Clinton, i did not vote for Clinton.

    1. I am also an Independent, from Ohio, and I also voted for Obama (in ’08, NOT in 2012). Whenever I mention that, I feel compelled to explain that the primary basis upon which Obama defrauded me out of my ’08 vote was his constant campaign railing against the warrantless wiretapping of GW Bush (the W stands for warrantless wiretapping). That he later was discovered to have taken W’s contempt for the 4th Amendment to a level W never dreamt of partially explains why I quickly jumped off the Obama bandwagon.

      Anyway, in response to your mentioning that Obama is an attorney (actually as supposed “constitutional scholar — LOL), I would posit to you that there are essentially two kinds of attorneys — those that use their knowledge of the law to uphold the law and those that use their knowledge to circumvent the law — and Obama is the latter.

      Take, for instance, this example:

      In a November 20, 2016, article in Ars Technica, referring to an interview of Obama in Der Spiegel, Obama was asked, “Are you going to pardon Edward Snowden?”

      Obama replied: “I can’t pardon somebody who hasn’t gone before a court and presented themselves, so that’s not something that I would comment on at this point.”

      Compare that claim that Obama can’t pardon someone before court proceedings with ACTUAL CONSTITUTIONAL LAW:

      “*** 9. The power of pardon conferred by the Constitution upon the President is unlimited except in cases of impeachment. It extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment. ***” Ex parte Garland, 71 U.S. 4 Wall. 333 333 (1866).

      Summary: Obama blatantly lied about his intentions to uphold the 4th Amendment, and related thereto he subsequently LIED about relevant Constitutional Law.

      It’s not surprising that Obama took no action related to the many crimes of James Comey.

  6. Can anyone help me?????? I went to a arraingment for civil traffic on 2/8/17 north valley justice courts . The judge ordered the sheriff to excort me out of my hearing for saying ” i reject your offer” upon being escorted out the sheriff stops me takes all my court papers and notes and starts asking me questions like what truck do i have and then says where i live and then reported his findings back to the judge.

    Please help me
    Keith 602-384-3727 i have aquired audio of the entire event and trust me i was very cool no attitude or anything .

  7. How do we restore a fractured Contitutional Republic when our judicial branch and executive branches of government along with the legislative are all misunderstanding each role. Each co-equal branch of government must not over reach and usurp unlawful powers.

  8. As we approach the weekend, I wonder if someone will take up this interview by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It seems to me she should recuse herself from this upcoming case on gay marriage. She clearly indicates in this public interview that she has already made up her mind about the case before even hearing any legal arguments. This judiciary is a joke. Justice is no longer blind.


  9. Congress’s Oath of Office?
    The U.S. Congress reported that, “Every year, thousands of experiments utilizing human subjects are still being conducted by, or on behalf of, the DOD.” These are Department Of Defense “experiments that were designed to harm”! They are identified in the 56 page U.S. Senate 1994, Report 103-97, “IS MILITARY RESEARCH HAZARDOUS TO VETERANS’ HEALTH? LESSONS SPANNING HALF A CENTURY.” with its 171 source “NOTES”. Under the Bill of Rights, Amendment VIII is, “…nor cruel and unusual punishments.”. This is reiterated in the, “U.S. Report under the International Convent on Civil and Political Rights, July 1994 Article 7 “Freedom from Torture, or Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.” As of 2014 (“HALF A CENTURY.”+ 20 years later) the U.S. Congress has yet “To make Rules…” preventing the “Degrading” rape of and the injurious, non-consensual experiments on all U.S. Military Personnel. 1994 noted were missing needed for treatment and experimentation verifying records! This is again verified by Congress’s subsequent EIGHT (8) times rejection of the “Veterans Right To Know Act”! On 25 July 2012 a U.S. Magistrate Judge ordered the VA to release these DOD experimentation records!
    Congress Overlooks:
    A..”To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.” is the U.S. Congress’s responsibility under the U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Sect. 8, Clause 14.
    B..”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.” This is the U.S. Congress’s Oath of Office.
    Please require your members of Congress to obey their abandoned Oath of Office! Shouldn’t U.S. Service Personnel have the same U.S. Constitutional, Amendment 8, Rights that: 1. Were given by the 26 February 1953 Secretary of the Department of Defense’s, to-date ignored, no non-consensual human experimentation order. And 2. Are given to convicted rapists and murderers under the Amendment VIII reiteration, “U.S. Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights July 1994, Article 7 – Freedom from Torture, or Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”
    “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW” is carved in stone above the main entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court Building. Please make this happen for veterans and active duty military men and woman!
    Thank you.
    David Marshall, 100% Disabled 1952-1956 USAF Veteran

  10. Pastafarian lawsuit

    Exerpted from article dated 9/22/2014:
    “Pastafarian and prison inmate Steven Cavanaugh has sued the Department of Correctional Services and the Nebraska State Penitentiary, saying penitentiary staff has discriminated against him by not allowing him the right to meet for worship services and classes or to wear religious clothing and pendants.”

    “The prison system recognizes 20 different religions. These include Ma’at and Thelema — which take their beliefs from ancient Egyptian deities — and Asatru and Theodism, which are rooted in Norse paganism of the Viking age.

    “Is the flying spaghetti monster all that much different than the ancient deities? Does a religion require dogma? If so, how does one account for Asatru, which has no universal means of practice? Does a religion have to be serious to be considered a religion?

    “Those are the questions that the court could answer if it seriously considers Cavanaugh’s suit — questions that are of some import in a nation that has embedded freedom of religion in its constitution.”


  11. Mr. Turley Without understanding how BUDGETS work in any Administration.. It is my belief that the HOUSE with the POWER of the purse can go so far…The transfer of money from one Agency to another Could (SHORE) up any shortfall that congress (HOUSE) has passed ??(and ) Then there is the REID factor in Closing down the government and putting things into his bill that would require that these two bills go to Conference etc….I think there is a boat load of Stimulus money somewhere!!

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