Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

The Ninth Circuit’s ruling — limited in impact but full of mischief

Featured image Dan McLaughlin at NRO has written a good analysis of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling against the Trump administration’s travel ban. His analysis is comprehensive. In this post, I will quote what I consider the most significant portion: [T]he court found that the government was not likely to win its case – the standard on a preliminary injunction, before all the evidence has been heard – on whether the executive order »

Ninth Circuit maintains suspension of Trump’s order on travel [UPDATED TWICE]

Featured image A unanimous panel of Ninth Circuit judges has just refused to reinstate President Trump’s executive order banning certain travel into the U.S. The ruling, though inconsistent with the law, will surprise few who know anything about the Ninth Circuit. I’m sure we’ll discuss the merits once we have the opportunity to analyze the opinion. For now, let’s consider the administration’s legal options. It could seek rehearing by the Ninth Circuit »

U.S. General: Russia is helping the Taliban in Afghanistan

Featured image Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, testified today that Russia is helping the Taliban. He told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia has been publicly legitimizing the Taliban by claiming that it fights Islamic terrorists while the Afghan government does not. At the hearing, Nicholson declined to say whether Russia is providing material support — e.g., arms, training, etc. — for the Taliban (who, themselves, are »

Why not the “A Team,” Part Two

Featured image Yesterday, I asked why, during the oral argument before a Ninth Circuit panel, the Justice Department’s “A Team” wasn’t deployed to defend the Trump administration’s executive order limiting entry into the country. By the “A Team” I meant Noel Francisco, the acting solicitor general who until recently was a partner at the law firm of Jones Day. Both Francisco and acting assistant attorney general Chad Readler, also formerly of Jones »

Who won, McConnell or Warren?

Featured image Yesterday, in writing about the Senate’s rebuke and silencing of Elizabeth Warren for disparaging Jeff Sessions, I discussed the rule invoked by Mitch McConnell to accomplish this. Rule 19 provides that Senators are not allowed to “directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” I suggested that Rule 19 is an anachronism. It »

Sen. Shaheen sends mixed signals on a Gorsuch filibuster

Featured image Yesterday, in a speech on the Senate floor, New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen disavowed any intention of filibustering the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch. She stated: I wanted to respond to my colleague from South Dakota because I think for Senator Thune to come to the floor and castigate Democrats for holding up Judge Gorsuch, who has just been nominated, and for suggesting we are going to filibuster, the fact »

Games people shouldn’t play

Featured image That was the title of a January 1980 George Will column arguing that the U.S. should not participate in the 1980 Olympics, which were to be held in the Soviet Union. President Carter agreed. He said that if Soviet troops did not withdraw from Afghanistan, the United States would boycott the Moscow Olympics. They didn’t; we did. I thought of Will’s column when I learned that, in retaliation for President »

Why didn’t the “A Team” defend Trump’s immigration order? [UPDATED]

Featured image Scott has said that August Flentje, the Justice Department lawyer who defended the administration’s executive order limiting entry to this country, did not argue effectively. Even taking into account how difficult it can be for an appellate advocate to deal with a hostile panel, especially over the telephone, I must agree. I’m told that Flentje won an award from Eric Holder for leading the team that argued that DOMA was »

Elizabeth Warren rebuked, barred from speaking to Senate about Sessions

Featured image Sen. Elizabeth Warren, trying to stake her claim as the left’s darling for purposes of the 2020 presidential race, was delivering a rant against her colleague, Sen. Jeff Sessions. Warren asserted that “to put Senator Sessions in charge of the Department of Justice is an insult to African-Americans.” To support this claim, roundly disputed by African-Americans who know Jeff Sessions, Warren resorted to quotes from 1986 when the Senate did »

Sen. Cotton’s immigration bill

Featured image Sen. Tom Cotton and Sen. David Perdue have introduced a bill that would cut legal immigration to the U.S. in half. The legislation is called the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act. Its goal is to restore historical levels of immigration in order to give working Americans a fair shot at wealth creation. The current system fails to do this. Rather, as Sen. Cotton argues, by accepting an »

Fashion statement

Featured image In case you were wondering, the profound political thinkers in the fashion industry are “dismayed, angry, and frightened” by President Trump. So reports Robin Givhan, the left-winger who covers fashion for the Washington Post. Givhan tells us that designers are processing this dismay, anger, and alleged fear of Trump through their shows. One designer featured “beefy men in black velvet.” Givhan explains that this was “a brooding commentary on life »

Al Franken’s rambling, intellectually dishonest diatribe [With Comment by John]

Featured image During Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing, I wrote. the following about his exchange with Sen. Al Franken: Franken tried to show that Sessions [in answering a Senate questionnaire] “misrepresented” his role by listing several big civil rights cases as among the most important cases he participated in. Franken’s point was that, although Sessions signed the complaint, he hadn’t really participated. Franken relied mainly on Gerry Hebert, lead counsel in most »

The next Supreme Court nominee

Featured image Rumor has it that Justice Anthony Kennedy is seriously considering retiring from the Supreme Court at the end of this term. As the Supreme Court’s swing vote (once Neil Gorsuch is confirmed), Kennedy would regain his status as arguably the second most powerful person in America. That’s not something one gives up lightly. Nonetheless, one of his former clerks told John Fund: Those who know Kennedy wouldn’t at all be »

Trump still sees Putin and Bush as morally equivalent

Featured image Last night, I caught part of Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Trump, including an exchange that drained the moderate amount of enthusiasm I’ve been able to muster for the new president. O’Reilly asked Trump whether he respects Vladimir Putin. Trump said he does, but that this doesn’t mean he will get along with him. No major problem so far. In a sense, I think you have to respect what Putin, »

Theresa May crushes Jeremy Corbyn on Donald Trump

Featured image If you haven’t seen British Prime Minister Theresa May handle questions in the House of Commons, you might want to check her out. May was in top form when Jeremy Corbyn, the hard-left head of the Labour Party, recited a list of President Trump’s sins against leftism and then asked May what more it would take for her to revoke the president’s invitation to visit Britain. May replied: The Right »

Will prosecutors throw the book at inauguration rioters?

Featured image The women’s protest march on the day after the inauguration of President Trump was a peaceful affair. The protesters I encountered were mostly good-natured, especially given how disappointed they must have been. Inauguration day was a different story. Rioting left six police officers injured and caused tens of thousands of dollars in property damage to vehicles and store windows. Police arrested 230 people in connection with the riot. So far, »

A strange ruling from a strange judge

Featured image Jerome Woehrle at Liberty Unyielding provides a revealing look at James Robart, the federal judge who enjoined President Trump’s executive order temporarily restricting entry to the U.S. from seven highly problematic nations. Scott has observed that Judge Robart’s opinion is nearly devoid of legal analysis. Woehrle expands on this criticism: Judge James Robart’s order has no legal basis, and barely pretends to. [The] order against Trump sheds little light on »