Mike Lee’s bogus conservative case for criminal justice reform

Featured image Senator Mike Lee takes to the pages of the Washington Examiner to make what he calls the conservative case for criminal justice reform. The criminal justice reform Sen. Lee has in mind is the softer sentencing and release of many criminals called for by the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (SRCA), of which he is a sponsor. Lee’s case for such reform turns out not to be conservative »

Bipartisan sentencing reform proposal would free gun-carrying felons

Featured image As John noted, President Obama barely waited for the blood to dry in Oregon before seizing on the mass shooting at a community college to call for “common sense gun safety laws.” Ironically, at just about the same time a bipartisan group of Senators was introducing criminal sentencing reform legislation that would cause the release from jail of criminals who carried guns while committing drug felonies. As Bill Otis explains, »

Form SF-312 and its potential consequences for Hillary Clinton

Featured image Back in March, as the Hillary Clinton email scandal heated up, the question arose whether Clinton executed Form OF-109 when she left the State Department. This is the form in which a departing official certifies, under penalty of perjury, that she has “surrendered to responsible officials all unclassified documents, and papers relating to the official business of the Government acquired by me while in the employ of the Department” (emphasis »

Kim Davis released from prison, but may be destined to return

Featured image A federal judge ruled today that Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, may leave jail. However, her release is conditioned on not interfering with the deputies who have been issuing licenses to such couples. Davis’ lawyer says she will not adhere to this condition: Nothing has been resolved. She told the court Thursday that she can’t allow licenses to go out »

What is to be done?

Featured image President Obama has failed to comply with the conditions of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (the Corker-Cardin bill) that he himself signed into law. By its express terms the law required Obama to transmit to Congress “the agreement. . . . including all related materials and annexes.” He was obligated to do this “not later than five days after reaching the agreement.” Obama has not done so. The administration »

Why did Hillary’s staffer plead the Fifth?

Featured image As John noted yesterday, Bryan Pagliano, the Hillary Clinton staffer who worked on her campaign in 2008 and set up her private email server in 2009, will plead the Fifth Amendment in response to a Congressional subpoena. To the casual observer, this might seem odd. Pagliano didn’t send or receive information on the server, nor did he conceal or destroy any records. What crime might he have committed? Shannen Coffin »

CRB: Two cheers for originalism

Featured image Today we conclude our preview of the new (Summer) issue of the Claremont Review of Books with a bonus edition featuring a book by a friend. Subscribe to the CRB here for the heavily subsidized price of $19.95 and get online access thrown in for free. Michael Stokes Paulsen is the University Chair & Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities. Through his contributions »

IRS sued over treatment of Americans who bank abroad

Featured image The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires, in essence, that U.S. citizens who reside outside the U.S. disclose to the IRS all of their foreign banking assets including retirement plans, savings accounts, etc. It also requires foreign banks to assist the IRS in applying the disclosure rules or else face enormous penalties. As its not-so-subtle acronym suggests, the Act purports to be an anti-fat-cat measure through which to crack »

141 counties have more registered voters than eligible live citizens

Featured image The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), of which our friend Christian Adams is president, has put 141 counties on notice that they have more registered voters than people alive. These counties encompass 21 states. Michigan leads the way with 24 counties, followed by Kentucky (18) and Illinois (17). Here is the list of such counties. The notification letters sent by PILF are a prerequisite to bringing a lawsuit against the »

Obama’s end-run around the nuclear non-proliferation treaty

Featured image In an article for Forbes, Harold Furchtgott-Roth argues that President Obama’s executive agreement with Iran violates and/or modifies the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1969. Thus, it cannot lawfully take effect without true congressional approval (as opposed to the process established by the Corker-Cardin legislation). Furchtgott-Roth’s article appeared about a month ago, but has only recently come to my attention. It is axiomatic, I should think, that an executive agreement cannot »

More twists and turns in Hillary’s email saga

Featured image On Friday, things began heating up again in the legal proceedings regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails. Readers will recall the Judge Emmet Sullivan, a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., had ordered the State Department to ask Clinton, her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and her former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin to personally vouch that they’d turned over all records responsive to a Freedom of Information Act »

Report: Investigation of Hillary is a “criminal probe”

Featured image The New York Post reports that the FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s unsecured e-mail account is a criminal probe. The Post’s source said, “It’s definitely a criminal probe; I’m not sure why they’re not calling it a criminal probe.” Me neither, but I can guess. The source explained that the Justice Department and the FBI can conduct civil investigations in limited circumstances, but that’s not »

The Judiciary Below the Water Line

Featured image Decisions of the Supreme Court understandably get a lot of attention, but what about the decisions of the Circuit Courts of Appeals, not to mention District Court and state appellate courts? Their decisions are often very important to the evolution of case law, but receive much less attention and often don’t get appealed successfully to the Supreme Court (except, it would seem, for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals because »

Kerry refuses to commit to follow U.S. law on sanctions

Featured image John Kerry testified today before the House Foreign Relations Committee about the Iran deal. I watched only a small portion of it. The debate, though very important, is becoming stale. For me, the most interesting moment occurred when Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, asked Kerry whether, if Congress disapproves of the agreement and overrides President Obama’s veto of its disapproval, the administration would follow the law regarding what »

With Justice Alito

Featured image In his new Conversation, Bill Kristol sits down with Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito (video below). We proudly published Justice Alito’s review of Michael Paulsen’s new book on the Constitution here this past April. It is good to have the opportunity to hear him speak off the bench at length on matters of interest and importance. The video is posted in full and broken into chapters here; the transcript »

Good news from Wisconsin

Featured image The Wisconsin Supreme Court has put an end to the John Doe investigation tormenting conservative activists in the state. This particular show featured the true face of contemporary liberalism. Litigation stalled the show. Despite exposure preeminently by the Wall Street Journal — but also by National Review and others — as a tyrannical monstrosity, the show persisted. Bill Jacobson has excerpted and posted the Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion here. The »

Judge Kozinski is not amused

Featured image In its Notable and Quotable space on the editorial page this morning, the Wall Street Journal excerpts Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski’s preface to the Georgetown Law Journal’s “Annual Review of Criminal Procedure” (2015). The Journal notes that Judge Kozinski “writes in the preface about the 2008 federal case against Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, who died in 2010.” Judge Kozinski looks back in anger: Senator Stevens was charged with corruption »