Law

Supreme Court overturns Robert McDonnell’s conviction

Featured image In its final decision of the term, the Supreme Court today unanimously overturned the public corruption conviction of former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell. The court stated that it has no opinion as to whether McDonnell should be retried under the stricter standard (described below) it imposed for these kinds of cases. I have mixed feelings about the outcome, but I agree with the decision. You don’t have to be the »

Officer Goodson acquitted on all counts

Featured image Caesar Goodson, Jr., the Baltimore police officer who allegedly gave Freddie Gray a “rough ride” that killed him, was acquitted today of all charges by Circuit Judge Barry Williams. The decision probably means that all of the officers being prosecuted in the Gray matter will be found not guilty (assuming charges aren’t dropped). Judge Williams had already acquitted Edward Nero. Taken together, the judge’s rulings seem to imply that, in »

Divided Supreme Court upholds blockage of Obama’s executive amnesty

Featured image By a 4-4 vote, the Supreme Court today let stand a lower court decision blocking President Obama’s executive action that would have made roughly five million illegal immigrants eligible for legal status and work permits. This result kills Obama’s executive amnesty, though because of the split vote, it might successfully be revived in the future. The Court rendered its decision succinctly. It just said: “The judgment is affirmed by an »

The defense rests in Caesar Goodson’s case

Featured image Testimony has concluded in the case of Caesar Goodson, Jr., the police officer who drove the van that held Freddie Gray. The defense rested on Friday without putting Goodson on the stand. Closing arguments will take place on Monday, with a verdict from the judge (Goodson waived his right to a jury trial) expected later in the week. Goodson faces the most serious charges of any defendant in this matter, »

Where was Harold Koh, Part Two

Featured image Harold Koh is a left-wing professor at Yale law school where he once was the Dean. Koh served as Legal Adviser at the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State. We criticized the selection of Koh for this key post here and here. Last month, Koh popped up (though not by name) in the Inspector General’s Report dealing with Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. »

Dear AG Healey (Rated R for language)

Featured image I can’t say that this is how all overreaching government authorities should be answered, but it does set an inspirational example. At the Daily Caller Michael Bastach explains: Alex Epstein had a terse response to a subpoena sent by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey Wednesday. Healey demanded the oil giant ExxonMobil hand over 40 years of documents, including information pertaining to the company’s dealings with about a dozen think tanks »

Court Case of the Week

Featured image Normally the DC Circuit Court of Appeals hears important cases involving the reach and scope of the powers of the administrative state, and last week’s decision in Wallaesa v. FAA is no exception, except that the facts of the case are laughable while reminding us how much we love flying: On November 6, 2009, Wallaesa, a passenger on Southwest Airlines flight 3049 from Baltimore to Las Vegas, struck up a »

Our under-incarceration problem, Orlando edition

Featured image Time and time again, in the aftermath of a horrific crime, we learn that the criminal previously had been incarcerated for crimes serious enough that he should have been in prison at the time of the latest offense. I call this our under-incarceration problem. In the case of Omar Mateen, killer of four dozen at an Orlando club, I haven’t seen anything that shows he should have been in jail. »

Taya Kyle pins Jesse Ventura on appeal

Featured image I wrote about Jesse Ventura’s defamation/unjust enrichment lawsuit against the estate of Chris Kyle in “American Sniper on trial” and in “American Sniper on trial: The verdict” and in American Sniper on trial: The appeal.” The case arises from a couple of pages now excised from the book about Kyle’s close encounter with Ventura at a bar in southern California. Ventura alleged that the story Kyle recounted was false and »

No bias evident in key Trump U rulings

Featured image Donald Trump’s attack on Gonzalo Curiel, the judge in the Trump U case, isn’t a legal argument or strategy. It’s venting, plus an attempt to go on the offensive regarding a political line of attack which almost certainly will be raised against him by Hillary Clinton. Even so, I thought it would be worthwhile to see whether Judge Curiel’s key rulings in the case suggest bias against Trump. Because I »

What Trump’s attack on Judge Curiel tells us

Featured image What to make of Donald Trump’s attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the Trump U case? Is it a counterintuitive litigation strategy? Is it, as Steve suggests, an attack, witting or not, on the premise of diversity? Is it, as the Washington Post and many others say, new evidence of his unfitness for the presidency? In my view, it isn’t really any of the above. Rather, Trump »

Judge acquits officer in Freddy Gray case

Featured image Judge Barry Williams today acquitted Officer Edward Nero on all counts brought against him for his treatment of Freddy Gray, who died in police custody. Nero was acquitted of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and two counts of misconduct in office. The prosecution argued that Nero assaulted Gray by detaining Gray without justification. The reckless endangerment charge was based on his role in putting Gray into an arrest wagon without buckling »

The Year in Law, from The Green Bag

I’m still chortling over the heartburn created on the left by George Mason University’s coup of naming its law school after Antonin Scalia, especially since I am certain that Virginia’s squalid partisan governor and raging Clintonite Terry McAwful wanted to prevent it, but couldn’t. The Scalia Law School at George Mason University also happens to publish the most interesting and worthwhile law review in the nation—the Green Bag. I made »

El Nino Comes to George Mason

Featured image News out just this afternoon that George Mason University’s fine law school will be renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University. I know that the law school’s dynamic dean, Henry Butler, has been working on this idea for a while, and secured $30 million in new contributions to the school (which will go mostly to student scholarships).* So congrats to Henry and GMU. And expect lefty »

Second federal judge orders discovery regarding Clinton emails

Featured image Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. district court in Washington D.C. today became the second federal judge to order discovery regarding Clinton emails. Both cases were brought by the invaluable Judicial Watch. As we have discussed, Judge Emmet Sullivan, a Clinton appointee, has already granted Judicial Watch discovery on the Clinton email matter in separate litigation. Judicial Watch’s discovery plan in that case seeks the testimony of eight current and »

Judge Davis says no

Featured image In “Judging the ‘Minnesota men,'” I wrote about Judge Michael Davis’s experimental sentencing program in the Minnesota ISIS wannabe cases. Based on Andy McCarthy’s comments on the program (quoted in the article), I’m skeptical of it. Yet I like and respect Judge Davis. He has capably handled the Somali terrorism cases for several years now. I think it’s fair to say that he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. (The thumbnail photograph »

A bad day for the DOJ in court; a good one for electoral integrity

Featured image Last evening, District of Columbia federal district court Judge Richard Leon issued an order denying the request by the various left-wing organizations to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) barring the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) from instructing residents of Alabama, Georgia, and Kansas that they must comply with state laws requiring proof-of-citizenship when they register to vote. Judge Leon issued this ruling even though the Justice Department, representing the »