Tag: Federal Courts

Thinking Outside the Swamp


It should be no surprise if everyone on Team Swampy gets off without even facing charges voted out of a grand jury, even if FBI agents gave away secrets to a foreign spy. To restore justice, both real and perceived, it is time for Attorney General Barr to think outside the legal swamp. It is time to make a serious case, in public and all the way to the Supreme Court, for a change of venue to a pool of demonstrably fair-minded prospective jurors.

Without this credible threat, the chance of the outside review team, leaked to the New York Times to discredit any negative findings, actually unearthing the wrongdoing of Democrats in career prosecutor disguise will approach nil. The Flynn review will produce little in the way of real justice, that is in severe legal, financial, and career consequences to the team that perpetrated this fraudulent prosecution. The wider review of political prosecutions, together with the Durham legal campaign, will produce so little as to support the DNC, deep state, and TruCon lapdogs’ claim that it has always been noble public servants standing against Orange Man Bad and his Deplorables.

The case to be made is that voter rolls, campaign contributions, and geotagged social media posts, coded for political and social views and intensity, all overwhelmingly show what “everybody knows.” We all understand that the same group of voters who put the radical Democrats into power in Virginia is conflicted out of fairly considering grand jury testimony involving Orange Man Bad. This means every single case that every social media, print, broadcast, and cable forum is demonstrably coding as pro- or con-Trump and his Deplorables.

Let the Sun Shine In


As Mark Davis says “Trump makes everyone better.” President Trump just issued an executive order linking federal grants to real protection of free speech on college and university campuses. Unlike Obama administration “Dear Colleague letters,” this will be a publicly taken presidential action, with clear political accountability. This move suggests two other actions the president can and should take, in short order.

Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities

Issued on 21 March 2019, this executive order addresses the importance of free and open debate and the outrageous cost, with subsequent debt burden, of higher education.

James R. Copland joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss President Trump’s impact on the federal courts, the appointment of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and the diversity in conservative judicial philosophy emerging today.

The director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute, where he is a senior fellow, James Copland has written and spoken widely on how to improve America’s civil- and criminal-justice systems. “Toward a Less Dangerous Judicial Branch,” his article (coauthored with Rafael A. Mangual) assessing Trump’s court appointments, appears in the Winter 2019 issue of City Journal.

Supreme Court Rules for Fair Play in Trinity Lutheran Religious Freedom Case


In a case decided today at the United States Supreme Court, a church-run Missouri preschool asked a simple question: should religious groups have the same opportunity as secular groups to participate in generally-available public benefits?

The 7-2 decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer today, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, said that the state may not target religious groups for inequitable treatment on the basis of religion when it comes to public program participation.

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On Monday, June 27th, a federal judge ruled that clerks in Mississippi may not cite their religious beliefs as justification for denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves’ ruling came just days before a new law, HB 1523, was set to take effect that protected such religious objections. The editorial board […]

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Obamacare Suit Might Offer Path to Challenge Immigration Order


I just returned from a week of sun, fun, and politics with the happy National Review cruisers of the Allure of the Seas. One of the frequent topics of conversation (other than favorite Democrat loser on Nov. 5 or the Republican presidential nominee in 2016) was the White House’s coming order deferring the deportation of illegal immigrants. President Obama is flouting his fundamental duty, set out in Article II of the Constitution, to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” The President can only refuse to carry out an Act of Congress if it violates the higher law of the Constitution – which no one seriously claims is at issue with the immigration laws.

National Review speakers on the cruise, including me, were at a loss on how to oppose President Obama’s violation of the Constitution. Challenges to the White House’s earlier refusals to enforce Obamacare, immigration, and welfare laws have failed. Talk of impeachment may follow the Framers’ original design, but it is politically impossible and self-destructive. Conservatives are trapped because they favor a limited scope for judicial review by the federal courts. Under the doctrine of standing, long favored by conservatives, no individual can bring a claim unless they have suffered a discrete “injury in fact” that is traceable to the government’s conduct and can be redressed by the court. President Obama’s refusal to enforce the law affects us all by violating the Constitution, but it is hard to claim that it harms any individual citizen (it only benefits the illegal immigrant).

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Resolved, that 28 USC 1331 should be amended as follows:  “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States, except in those actions arising from any state constitutional provision relating to family or domestic relations.” Preview Open

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Memo to Judge Posner: Tradition Proves A Lot


shutterstock_162913184A couple weeks ago, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck down statutes in Indiana and Wisconsin that limited marriage to one man and one woman. It’s pretty much “same stuff, different day,” and I’m not much interested in substance of the decision. The way things are going, national same-sex marriage is all but inevitable, though it’s troubling that the issue should be resolved in federal court. As I read the Constitution, this is an archetypal issue for the states, but that’s probably a losing cause (at least in the short term) now that unelected judges with a clear agenda have asserted their powers as Philosopher Kings.

However, the Court did a great deal more than just overturn the collective wisdom of the electorate in Indiana and Wisconsin. The Court basically eliminated “tradition” as a restraint on power and, by extension, engaged in a preemptive strike against those who think the past is a road map to the present and the future. I’d go so far as to say that the Court has initiated a war against humanity.

Liberals, and some libertarians, are gaga over the rough treatment the court gave to the Assistant Attorney General who argued for the restriction. Columnist Steve Chapman laughed it up in a column at Reason, but this really isn’t a laughing matter.

A Bishop Who Refuses to Cower


Just issued by Rev. Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia:

Archbishop-ChaputToday’s federal district court decision striking down Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act is a mistake with long-term, negative consequences. Like many other Pennsylvanians, I hope that an appeal will be made promptly. Laws that defend the traditional definition of marriage were enacted for sound reasons—namely to defend the rights of children and contribute to the well-being of the larger community.

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Today, a Federal judge ruled Oregon’s traditional marriage measure to be unconstitutional. This really wasn’t a surprise, to tell the truth. Taking a cue from California, Oregon’s state government chose not to defend the measure, and the Federal judge disallowed anyone else to take up defense of the measure. It’s expected that same sex marriages will […]

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