Tag: Law

How Much Do You Trust Bill Barr?

Bill Barr, the once and likely future attorney general, had one mission on Capitol Hill on Tuesday: convince the Senate that he would be an honorable man. In a day-long confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the nominee reassured lawmakers that he would maintain the Justice Department’s independence from […]

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A month after the statutory restoration of expat Canadians’ voting rights, Supreme Court says taking those rights away was illegal

In 2015, Stephen Harper’s Tory government began enforcing a 1993 law that stripped expatriate citizens like me of our right to vote in Canada; last month, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government restored our voting rights. But it turns out that the Liberals’ action was largely symbolic: yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada broke with […]

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It’s Not a National Emergency. It’s Also Not the Dawn of Dictatorship.

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? The unstoppable force declares a national emergency to go around it. That option appears to be President Donald Trump’s endgame to resolve the current standoff over the border wall. His demand that lawmakers provide $5.7 billion for a concrete barrier […]

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The Operative

Imagine a pivotal moment in the history of the Supreme Court. A longtime partisan political operative is nominated and confirmed to the court. The party putting him forward is in the peculiar position of controlling all three branches of government, and yet is acutely concerned about future shifts in the […]

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Why Aren’t Democratic Governors Pardoning More Prisoners?

Christmas is often described as the season of mercy, forgiveness, and redemption. For a handful of prisoners each year, that description has even greater meaning. Governors traditionally use the holiday season as a thematic backdrop for pardons, and last month was no different. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder issued one for […]

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In a huge win for open data, Congress passes the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary Government Data Act

In 2009, Obama signed an executive order requiring the administrative branch to embrace the broadest, most liberal approach to the Freedom of Information Act, reversing John Ashcroft’s 2001 memo that instructed government agencies to turn over as little information to the public as possible. At the time, I published a column in Make […]

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What the Next Criminal-Justice Reforms Should Be

Earlier this week, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the First Step Act, effectively guaranteeing that it will become the most significant federal criminal-justice law passed in the last quarter-century. (The House is expected to approve the bill, which President Donald Trump supports.) Even still, as the product of bipartisan compromise, the […]

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Robert Mueller’s Legal Masterpiece

It’s been 18 months since Robert Mueller took over the Russia investigation, and still nobody really knows what he’ll do next. The Daily Beast reported on Thursday morning that the special counsel’s inquiry is entering a new phase focused on influence from Middle Eastern countries. Later that evening, The Washington […]

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The Criminal-Justice Reform Bill Is Both Historic and Disappointing

Congress is on the brink of a first for the Trump era: the passage of a major piece of bipartisan legislation. It may also be the last. Lawmakers have wrangled for five years over criminal-justice reform, but after months of recalcitrance, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Tuesday that […]

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James Alex Fields, Nazi who drove car into Charlottesville protesters, found guilty of murdering Heather Heyer

Jury finds James Fields found guilty on all 10 charges, including first degree murder of Heather Heyer. Never forget: Trump said they were ‘very fine people.’ During the 2017 racist rally in Charlottesville, white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. deliberately drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, and killed two of the anti-racism demonstrators […]

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The Supreme Court’s Double-Jeopardy Dilemma

The Supreme Court appeared hesitant on Thursday to overturn almost two centuries of precedents that allow state and federal prosecutors to each charge a defendant for the same crime. In Gamble v. United States, one of the most closely watched cases of the term, the justices debated whether they and […]

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The Real Impact of George H. W. Bush’s Presidency

George H. W. Bush, who died on December 1, is remembered more for his influence on world events than for his domestic policies. That may be an inevitable byproduct of serving as president during the end of the Cold War and organizing the international coalition in the Gulf War. But […]

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The GOP’s Laboratories of Oligarchy

In the classic comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, the titular characters occasionally play a game known as “Calvinball.” The rules are simple: Hobbes makes them up as he goes. In one strip, the imaginary stuffed tiger declares mid-game that Calvin has entered an “invisible sector” and must cover his eyes […]

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The Whitaker Solution

Chief Justice John Roberts took an extraordinary step last week by publicly reaffirming that the federal judiciary is nonpartisan and independent. Now, an unusual filing by one of the nation’s most prominent appellate lawyers has given him and his colleagues a chance to prove it. Tom Goldstein, a prominent appellate […]

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Robert Mueller Has an Impeccable Sense of Timing

Michael Cohen’s latest guilty plea is both surprising and unsurprising. The president’s former personal attorney admitted on Thursday to having lied to Congress about the extent of President Donald Trump’s business dealings with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. “I made these statements to be consistent with [Trump]’s messaging and […]

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The State of Indiana May Be About to Lose a Land Rover

Forecasting the Supreme Court’s final decision based on oral arguments is risky at best. The justices’ questions during the hour-long sessions don’t always reflect their actual views. Not all of court’s members actively participate in the back-and-forth deliberations. The justices’ minds can change as the final opinions are written. No […]

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Mueller says Manafort violated his plea deal by lying to investigators

Breaking News: Robert Mueller says former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort violated his plea deal by lying to investigators. Paul Manafort and Donald Trump thinking they’re going to outmaneuver Robert Mueller: pic.twitter.com/HhSZjntb3c — Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) November 27, 2018 Federal investigators wrote in a court filing [which you can read here in PDF] that Manafort’s […]

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