The Gorsuch Nomination

Neil Gorsuch

As I have previously written, the most damning argument against Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation has nothing to do with his bona fides, which are impressive. It is the inescapable fact that his elevation to the Supreme Court will be illegitimate–the result of a very dangerous and cynical misuse of political power. The Republicans’ refusal to afford Merrick Garland a hearing has been widely […]

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Dirty Harry, Mitch McConnell and the Rule of Law

Merrick, McConnell and Gorsuch

A former student recently asked for my opinion on Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the current Supreme Court vacancy. As I told him, my concerns about Gorsuch pale in comparison to my deep disquiet over the Senate’s refusal to “advise and consent” with respect to President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. Let me be very clear: Had Mitch McConnell and […]

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SCOTUS Sends Back Virginia Transgender Student Case

Gavin Grimm lawsuit against Gloucester County School Board heading to SCOTUS

The Supreme Court just vacated the ruling in a case involving transgender student rights sending the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.  The decision not to hear arguments in the case follows the Trump administration’s move to rescind the Obama administration’s Title IX guidelines outlining protections for trans students. The refusal to hear the case marks one […]

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Oklahoma: SB 450 Would Force Religion on Students

religious proselytizing - prayer in schools

Legislation flying unchallenged through the Oklahoma legislature would allow unmitigated proselytization in public schools. SB 450 – also known as the ‘Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act’ for Schools – would protect “voluntary religious expression in the classroom.” While student prayer in public schools is already protected under the First Amendment, SB 450 takes this much, much further to the point of allowing students to […]

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SCOTUS Nominee Neil Gorsuch is a Danger to LGBTQ Rights

Neil Gorsuch

While many in the mainstream media are painting Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch as a moderate, sensible choice for the high court, the truth as demonstrated by his on-the-record statements and legal decisions paint a different picture. Gorsuch – who currently serves as a federal appellate judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit – prides himself on being a Constitutional originalist and supporter of textualism. That in […]

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WA: Bill Would Legalize Religious Proselytizing at Schools

Former Coach Joe Kennedy prayed with students and wants his job back to do it again - religious proselytizing

Republicans in the Washington state legislature proposed legislation this week that would allow sports coaches to proselytize their religious beliefs on public school grounds following games. HB 1602 – otherwise known as the act “Concerning the exercise of expressive rights following school sports activities” – has roots in the ongoing controversy over an assistant football coach losing his position over illegal religious proselytizing […]

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The Supreme Court Vacancy: Legitimacy Cannot Be Stolen

Supreme Court

Power can be stolen. Legitimacy must be earned. I was reminded of the difference by a recent Huffington Post article by Geoffrey Stone. Stone is an eminent Constitutional scholar who teaches at the University of Chicago; I’ve used his texts on constitutional history and analysis both as a law student and more recently as a professor. As he writes, Throughout […]

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Flag Desecration: Trump Threatens Free Expression

Donald Trump and Jason Miller want to make flag burning and all flag desecration illegal.

Early this morning President Elect Donald Trump tweeted that flag desecration – a protected form of constitutional expression – should be punished by either a year in jail or loss of citizenship. While the act of flag desecration is wildly unpopular (particularly among conservatives) violating both the Constitution and the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding that right crosses one of the […]

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The Reality of “Repealing” Roe v. Wade

Abortion - Roe v. Wade

On 60 Minutes, Donald Trump evidently claimed that “repealing” Roe v. Wade would be a priority. Among the many, many things our next President does not understand is how government actually works. He may be surprised to discover that Congress–even one dominated by GOP culture warriors–cannot “repeal” a Constitutional right. That is not to say that Roe is safe, only that it […]

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