Law

Fifth Circuit schedules hearing in executive amnesty case

Featured image The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has issued an order that sets oral argument in Texas v. United States for April 17. This is the case in which Texas and other states challenge President Obama’s executive amnesty. In district court proceedings, Judge Hanen temporarily enjoined the government from enforcing Obama’s program to grant lawful status to millions of illegal immigrants. The government has moved for a »

Federal judge asks, “Can I trust what the president says?” DOJ lawyer gives wrong answer

Featured image Judge Andrew Hanen, the federal judge who blocked President immigration executive action, suggested yesterday that he might order sanctions against the Justice Department if he rules that it misled him about when the administration began implementing one of its immigration measures. Judge Hanen is concerned that the Justice Department misled him into believing that a key part of Obama’s amnesty program would not be implemented before he made a ruling »

Subpoena Hillary’s server

Featured image Trey Gowdy, chairman of the special House Committee that’s investigating Benghazi, said today that his committee lacks the power to subpoena Hillary Clinton’s email server because it is personal property. At the same time, Gowdy called on Clinton to turn over the server voluntarily. Clinton “doesn’t get to determine what’s a public record and what’s a personal record,” said Gowdy. Actually, in the absence of a subpoena, Clinton gets to »

King v. Burwell, the day after

Featured image The consensus following oral argument in King v. Burwell is that the votes of two Justices are in play. Based on the questioning, it seems clear that the four-judge liberal bloc will vote to affirm the decision that Obamacare subsidies may be granted to those using the federal exchange. Justices Scalia and Alito appear set to vote to reverse that decision. Justice Thomas did not ask questions — his usual »

Triumph of the leftist will

Featured image The Supreme Court held oral argument in King v Burwell yesterday. The Supreme Court has posted the transcript of the oral argument here. At issue in King is the legality of the IRS’s provision of tax credits in Obamacare exchanges established by the federal government. As Professor Jonathan Adler writes in USA Today, the case “presents a straightforward case of statutory interpretation.” As such, it’s not a hard case; it’s »

King v. Burwell: a discouraging mid-argument report [UPDATED] [WITH FINAL UPDATE]

Featured image Eric Citron at Scotusblog provides a mid-argument report on King v. Burwell, the vital Obamacare case being heard by the Supreme Court today. According to Citron, the petitioners, who argue that subsidies are not available on the federal exchange faced a troubling question from Justice Kennedy, on whose vote the case may very well turn. Kennedy, says Citron, “expressed deep concern with a system where the statute would potentially destroy »

NY jury rejects PA BS

Featured image There is at best one degree of separation between the Palestinian Authority or the PLO and the terrorist attacks carried out in Israel by Palestinian Arabs. A federal jury in Manhattan returned a verdict against the PA/PLO in favor of American plaintiffs injured as a result of terrorist attacks carried out in Israel between between 2002 and 2004. The New York Times reports: The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation »

Obama administration will seek a stay of adverse immigration ruling

Featured image There has been plenty of speculation about how the President Obama would respond to Judge Hanen’s order that blocks him from granting, via executive fiat, lawful status to millions illegal immigrants. Would the administration seek an expedited appeal or would it seek a stay of Hanen’s order? Might it do both? Or would Obama reverse his initial decision and simply defy the court order? This afternoon the Justice Department announced »

Will Obama’s immigration defeat be sustained — Part Two

Featured image In my post last night about the district court decision blocking President Obama’s executive order granting lawful status to as many as five million illegal immigrants, I did not discuss the important threshold issue in the case — whether the plaintiff states have standing to challenge the order. Judge Hanen found that they do. I believe this finding is well-reasoned and correct. Texas argued, and Judge Hanen agreed, that Obama’s »

Will Obama’s defeat on his immigration order be sustained?

Featured image When I first heard that Judge Andrew Hanen had blocked President Obama’s executive order granting lawful status to as many as five million illegal immigrants, I was inclined to downplay the ruling’s significance. Judge Hanen is an able jurist, but a conservative one, and only a district court judge. The opinions that truly matter will be rendered by less conservative judges further up the ladder. That’s still, perhaps, the best »

Cotton on Gitmo, Take 3

Featured image Last night, Sen. Tom Cotton appeared on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program to respond to criticism of his statement that terrorists at Gitmo should “rot in hell.” Kelly asked Senator Cotton to address the specific (and entirely bogus) complaint by the attorney for the 9/11 mastermind that Cotton’s statement endangers American captives abroad). Scott posted Senator Cotton’s response here. After Senator Cotton’s appearance, Kelly trotted out Andrew Napolitano, Fox News’ »

Lying isn’t what it used to be

Featured image Lying used to be an offense that caused people to stop trusting and believing you. Now, it’s a “mistake” that’s to be weighed against the liar’s virtues before deciding if he is to be trusted. I noticed this in my law practice. When I first started out, you hit the litigation jackpot if you could show that the opposing party had lied about any semi-material fact. If you showed this »

Kane cant

Featured image We tuned in to the saga of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (a Democrat) in three posts last year: “Culture of corruption,” followed by “Culture of corruption update” and “Philadelphia four run for reelection.” Kane appeared to me to be guilty of questionable professional conduct that she defended through the deployment of race and sex cards. Having killed an investigation of black Philadelphia officeholders when she assumed office, she accused »

Our “politicized” judiciary — let’s be thankful for it

Featured image How about this for a scoop: judges are more conservative on average than lawyers. That’s the conclusion reached by two political scientists — Adam Bonica of Stanford and Maya Sen of Harvard’s Kennedy School — based on an analysis of “the ideological positioning of nearly half a million judges and lawyers” as reflected in their campaign contributions. Bonica and Sen attribute this ideological mismatch to the “politicization” of courts that »

Loretta Lynch declines to answer

Featured image In her confirmation hearing last week, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch declined to elaborate her views on the president’s power to suspend enforcement of federal law. Obama has not only done so with respect to immigration law, he has established an administrative apparatus to implement the regularization of millions of illegals. Once upon a time, the illegality of such conduct would have been widely understood, relentlessly condemned and intensely resisted. »

Trust us, we’re the government, Obama administration tells Supreme Court [With Comment by John]

Featured image Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard a case in which the Obama administration made the extraordinary claim that there can be no judicial review as to whether a government agency met a statutory prerequisite for filing a lawsuit. The case is Mach Mining v. EEOC. The Federalist Society asked me to report on the case via audiotape. My report is here. The Civil Rights Act requires the EEOC to »

Disparate impact’s day in court

Featured image Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. The issue presented is whether claims of “disparate impact discrimination” can be brought under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). As I explained here, disparate impact discrimination occurs when a policy disproportionately excludes or injures a particular group and the policy is not shown to be justified by legitimate interests. »