Law Articles

A New Constitutional Convention?

Greg Abbott's plan to limit federal power.
Feb 08, 2016

As Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott spoke with evident pride about how many times he’d sued the federal government. The total came to 31, and invariably the lawsuits challenged actions that Abbott believed violated federal statutes or the Constitution. Now, as Texas governor, he is no longer in court but has hardly quit objecting to federal overreach. In a speech last month to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Abbott declared it's time for state legislatures to address the problem by amending the Constitution.

Note that Abbott is focused on state legislatures. There is a reason for that.

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Who Gets In, Who Doesn’t?

Dec 07, 2015

Next month the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, one of the most important cases this term. In 2008 Fisher, a white high school senior in Texas, applied for admission to the university and was turned down.

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Headline of the Week

Dec 07, 2015

Oh, holy Moses. It’s probably the headline of the year, and possibly even of the millennium. From Haaretz, November 23: “Jewish Law Was Never Meant to Be Set in Stone.”

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Everyone’s Least Favorite Aunt

A tale of tort law run amok.
Dec 07, 2015

At first she was the “Aunt From Hell,” with an #AuntFrom-Hell hashtag to match. Jennifer Connell, age 54, had sued her young nephew, Sean Tarala, for $127,000 over an incident at the boy’s eighth birthday party in 2011. Sean had impetuously jumped into Connell’s arms to greet her when she arrived at the party, causing her to fall and break her wrist.

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Obama Blames Gun Laws After Terror Attack

8:29 AM, Dec 05, 2015

President Obama used the terror attack in California this week to push gun control. In his weekly address, Obama called the massacre an "act of terror" but then pivoted to talking about American gun laws.

"We know that the killers in San Bernardino used military-style assault weapons—weapons of war—to kill as many people as they could. It's another tragic reminder that here in America it's way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun," Obama said in his weekly address.

"For example, right now, people on the No-Fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane. If you're too dangerous to board a plane, you're too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun. And so I'm calling on

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Judging Roberts

The Chief Justice of the United States, ten years in
Nov 23, 2015

Is John Roberts a good judge? Ten years ago, President Bush appointed him chief justice of the United States. His anniversary, coinciding with the Supreme Court’s reconvening last month, naturally caused lawyers, scholars, and politicians to reflect upon his legacy on the Supreme Court.

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The Sentencing Trap

Don’t undo our greatest policy success.
Oct 26, 2015

What’s the biggest domestic public policy success of the last two generations? In our view, it’s the plummeting crime rate that began with a changed approach to crime in the Reagan years.

The new approach had two major components—proactive policing and mandatory minimum sentencing that set floors below which judges cannot go in sentencing serious offenders.

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Online and on the Bench, the ‘Tweeter Laureate of Texas’ Is All About Judicial Engagement

Meet Justice Don Willett.
11:09 AM, Sep 17, 2015

I first learned of Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett on Twitter—fittingly—in 2013, when he asked

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On Constitution Day

7:45 AM, Sep 17, 2015

In 1878, William Gladstone described the U.S. Constitution as “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.” Gladstone was right.

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Jail Is on Hillary's Mind

9:29 AM, Sep 08, 2015

In a Labor Day speech, Hillary Clinton promised that, when she is president:

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Top Dem: Obama May Go Beyond Law for Iran Deal

4:21 PM, Jul 30, 2015

A top Democratic believes President Obama may break the law to implement the Iran deal. The Democrat is Brad Sherman, a congressman from California, who made the comments after meeting with Obama personally about the Iran deal.

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Obama: If I Ran for a 3rd Term, 'I Could Win'

'I actually think I'm a pretty good president.'
6:45 AM, Jul 28, 2015

In Africa today, President Obama said that he think he's a "pretty good president." So good, indeed, that if he ran for a third term, he "could win." But he cannot, he acknowledged, because it's against the law.

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Justice Alito: Judicial Restraint Amidst The Court's 'Postmodern' Activism

7:04 AM, Jul 20, 2015

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made news recently, when she said—bragged, it seemed—that she and her fellow liberals on the Court were going out of their way to stifle their individual voices in high-profile cases.

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The Big, Fat, Gay Marriage Post-Mortem

1:38 PM, Jul 01, 2015

Look, it's not the end of the world.  

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The False Assurances of Anthony Kennedy and Barack Obama

7:09 AM, Jun 29, 2015

Justice Anthony Kennedy, while dictating one of the most sweeping social changes in history in his opinion in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalized same-sex marriage across America, waxes magnanimous towards foes of the expansion of the millennia-old definition of marriage.

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Obama: Send Trade Bill 'My Desk as Quickly as Possible'

2:34 PM, May 19, 2015

President Obama wants Congress to send the trade bill to his desk. Right away.

"I have made rigorous trade enforcement a central pillar of U.S. trade policy, and we have moved aggressively to protect American workers and to improve labor laws and working conditions with trading partners across the globe," Obama says in a statement to the press.

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Kerry: Internet 'Needs Rules to Be Able to Flourish and Work Properly'

Calls for more international Internet laws.
1:15 PM, May 18, 2015

In a speech today in South Korea, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Internet "needs rules to be able to flourish and work properly." This, according to Kerry, is necessary even for "a technology founded on freedom."

Speaking on behalf of the Obama administration, Kerry said that Internet policy is "a key component of our foreign policy."

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Dem Senator Accuses Obama of Sexism Toward Elizabeth Warren

3:00 PM, May 12, 2015

Democratic senator Sherrod Brown is subtly accusing President Barack Obama of sexism in his attacks on Senator Elizabeth Warren, also a Democrat. 

"I think the president was disrespectful to her by the way he did that...made this more personal," Brown told reporters.

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98% of Harvard Law Faculty Political Donations Go to Democrats

8:09 AM, May 01, 2015

There are almost no Republican donors teaching at Harvard Law School. Ninety-eight percent of the political donations from faculty go to Democrats. 

Indeed, across the university, most political donations go to Democrats. The findings are part of an analysis done by the Harvard Crimson.

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Pro-Israel Group: Iran's Comments Prove Bill Needs to Be Strengthened

6:36 PM, Apr 29, 2015

Bill Kristol, chairman of the Emergency Committee for Israel, has released a statement calling on senators to strengthen the Corker-Cardin Iran bill:

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Jindal: Christians Being Discriminated Against

11:20 AM, Apr 05, 2015

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal talked about religious liberty on NBC's Meet the Press this morning:

"Well let me ask you this," Todd said. "Do you agree with some other folks and conservatives that you think Governor Pence and Governor Hutchinson in Arkansas and Indiana have essentially caved too much pressure?"

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Special Editorial: Kill the Deal

10:45 AM, Apr 04, 2015

Commentators have exposed how bad the Iran deal is in various ways; the point, however, is to kill it.

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Holder Sues University for Transgender Discrimination Against Professor

6:37 AM, Mar 31, 2015

Less than four months ago, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice had concluded that the transgendered are among the classes of persons protected, unbeknownst to the framers of the legislation at the time, by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

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Senator Introduces Law to Eliminate Amnesty Bonuses

8:24 AM, Mar 17, 2015

Senator Ben Sasse has introduced a law to eliminate the amnesty tax bonuses, according to a press release from his office.

“Presidents should enforce the laws—not unilaterally rewrite them—and it’s time for Congress to hold this Administration accountable,” Sasse says in a statement. “By preventing this Administration from issuing new Social Security Numbers to illegal aliens, the ABE Act would help restore the rule of law and save taxpayers billions of dollars.”

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Hillary Deleted Emails Without Opening and Reading Each Piece

4:55 PM, Mar 12, 2015

Hillary Clinton's internal review of her personal email account did not involve opening and reading each piece of mail, according to a report in Time magazine.

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Hillary Clinton Coordinates With Pro-Hillary Super PAC

7:23 PM, Mar 11, 2015

Under federal election law, candidates are not allowed to coordinate with the super PACs that support them. But since Hillary Clinton is not yet an official candidate, she's been coordinating with Correct the Record, a project of the Democratic-aligned super PAC American Bridge 21st Century.

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The Roots of Roberts's Remark in King v. Burwell

12:41 PM, Mar 06, 2015

Chief Justice Roberts has said he likes mystery novels; once, as a lower-court judge, he invoked Sherlock Holmes's "dog that didn't bark." But at the King v.

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Will Hillary Need a Pardon From Obama?

4:17 PM, Mar 04, 2015

The revelation that Hillary Clinton used a private email address for most if not all of her official internal correspondence is raising all sorts of questions.  According to widespread reporting, Mrs. Clinton turned over some 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department two months ago, long after she stepped down from her post in early 2013, and only after they were vetted by her loyalists.

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Hillary on Email in 2011: 'A Lot of Security Restraints on What I Can and Can’t Do'

9:30 AM, Mar 03, 2015

Hillary Clinton is under increasing pressure for her exclusive use of a personal email address during her four years as secretary of state. In October 2011, Mrs. Clinton was interviewed by Savannah Guthrie of NBC's Today Show, and Guthrie asked about her personal email address. While Mrs. Clinton did not directly answer the question, she did acknowledge that she had "a lot of security restraints on what I can and can’t do":

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