Law

Mueller’s empire

Featured image President Trump is now in a death struggle with Robert Mueller and James Comey. That’s the conclusion I draw from former Assistant United States Attorney Andrew McCarthy’s gimlet-eyed American Greatness column “Mueller’s empire.” Andy’s column makes several important points on which I have slightly expanded: • Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein fundamentally violates the applicable regulation. The regulation requires that the Attorney General or »

An acquittal in Milwaukee

Featured image Last August, Dominique Heaggan-Brown, an African-American police officer in Milwaukee, shot and killed Sylville Smith, an African-American suspect with a lengthy record who was armed and fleeing the police. Anti-police rioting ensued. Four officers were injured. It was clear from the beginning that the African-American policeman did not shoot Smith for reasons having anything to do with race. But this didn’t matter to the local rioters or to Black Lives »

Don’t subpoena me, bro

Featured image I’ve got a pen and I’ve got notes, to borrow a phrase. I have notes of comments made by President Trump at the White House reception for conservative media on April 24. I used my notes to write up my account of the reception for Power Line readers in “At the White House with Trump.” Now in a scenario out of Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits, I am awaiting »

Supreme Court: There’s no “hate speech” exception to 1st Amendment

Featured image The Supreme Court ruled this morning that the government cannot deny full trademark protection to allegedly racially offensive trademarks. The opinions are here. The case involved an Asian-American band called “The Slants.” It sought federal registration of that mark. The Patent and Trademark Office denied the application under a Lanham Act provision prohibiting trademarks that may “disparage. . .or bring. . .into contemp[t] or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.” »

Dear Ms. Lin: I would prefer not to

Featured image In “Trumplaw tolls for me” I wrote about the letter and draft subpoena served on me by Tana Lin of the Keller Rohrback firm’s Seattle office in the “travel ban” case pending before Judge James Robart in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle. I responded to Ms. Lin’s letter this morning. This is the text of my message: Dear Ms. Lin: Over the »

Trumplaw tolls for me

Featured image These are strange days. I seem to have been caught up in the so-called “travel ban” litigation challenging President Trump’s executive orders “Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States.” Yesterday I was served with a letter and draft subpoena from one Tana Lin of the Keller Rohrback law firm’s Seattle office alerting me to my “document preservation obligations with respect to documents that are relevant or »

Comey’s calculations

Featured image “James Comey is a ‘leaker’ — but that doesn’t make him a criminal.” That’s the headline of a Washington Post story by Matt Zapotosky. The Post’s story tries to create the impression that, in fact, Comey is not a criminal. But Zapatosky undertakes no analysis of the law. Instead, he cites “legal analysts.” However, none of the analysts in question addresses the question of whether Comey committed a crime. The »

The Washington Post’s pitiful analysis of “obstruction”

Featured image “Comey lays out the case that Trump obstructed justice.” So declares the Washington Post in a front page “news” story about James Comey’s testimony. The story, by Matt Zapotosky is based on shoddy legal analysis and held together by quotes from lawyers and professors of no great prominence. Zapotosky doesn’t bother to include the views of the many prominent legal analysts — Alan Dershowitz and Andy McCarthy to name just »

Trump’s tweets and the travel ban case

Featured image I agree with Scott that President Trump’s tweet attacking his Justice Department was disheartening. It shows Trump at his worst — trashing his own team and refusing to accept responsibility for his actions. He was the one who signed the “watered down, politically correct” executive order. From a lawyers’ perspective, Trump is the client from hell — a point made, though not in these words, by Alan Dershowitz and David »

Cardiac Arrest: Howard Root unbound

Featured image John recently hosted our friend Howard Root at a packed Center of the American Experiment lunch forum in downtown Minneapolis. Howard told the story of his experience as chief executive officer of Vascular Solutions caught in the crosshairs of the federal government when prosecutors sought to put him in the big house and his company out of business. It was the most powerful 45-minute presentation I have ever seen. Howard »

The North Carolina redistricting case — political warfare by judicial means

Featured image Modern voting rights cases involving redistricting can be thought of as a tale of two dilemmas — one legal, one political. The legal dilemma is this: if a state legislature takes race into account in drawing districts, its action is subject to challenge under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution; but if it doesn’t take race into account, its action is subject to challenge under the Voting Rights Act. »

The presumption of regularity

Featured image During the past week, President Trump fired FBI director Comey at least in part due to dissatisfaction with an investigation the outcome of which matters to Trump. At first, the administration said the firing was based on the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General, who believes Comey mistreated Hillary Clinton and hasn’t acknowledged his error. Later, the president admitted that he would have fired Comey regardless of what the Deputy »

CNN hosts accuse Trump of “witness intimidation” [UPDATED]

Featured image Today, in advance of Sally Yates’ testimony before a Senate committee, President Trump tweeted: Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel. Yates was asked that question at the Senate hearing. She responded that she didn’t know. Former DNI James Clapper was asked the same question. He gave the same answer. CNN host John King »

Judge Orrick’s bizarre decision

Featured image The more I think about Judge Orrick’s decision striking down President Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities, the more outrageous it seems. Kent Scheidegger at Crime and Consequences tears the decision to shreds. Scheidegger starts, as one normally should, with the relevant language from the executive order at issue: Section 9. Sanctuary jurisdictions. It is the policy of the executive branch to ensure, to the fullest extent of the law, »

The sanctuary cities ruling turns out to be nothing much

Featured image There is considerably less to Judge Orrick’s ruling on “defunding” sanctuary cities than initially seemed to be the case. Andy McCarthy explains that the ruling is basically an “advisory opinion” (which courts aren’t supposed to issue). The ruling is advisory because neither San Francisco nor Santa Clara, the municipal plaintiffs before Judge Orrick, faced any sort of enforcement action pursuant to the executive order they challenged. Indeed, no entity anywhere »

Judge blocks Trump’s order on sanctuary cities

Featured image Judge William Orrick, III, appointed by President Obama after he raised at least $200,000 for his fellow left-liberal, has issued an order blocking President Trump from withholding funds to communities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities. Judge Orrick ruled that the president has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending. The ruling sounds high-minded and principled. However, as someone said in an email, if a city wanted »

75 year-old vet acquitted of placing American flag at VA facility

Featured image A U.S. District Court in California has declared 75-year-old veteran Robert Rosebrock not guilty of violating federal law in a prosecution for allegedly displaying two four-by-six inch American flags above a Veterans Affairs fence on Memorial Day 2016. Rosebrock had been charged with hanging the two napkin-sized American flags on a section of the fence adjacent to the entrance to the VA facility in violation of a VA regulation prohibiting »