Today, the Supreme Court held in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue that, under the Free Exercise Clause, if a state has a program giving public dollars to citizens to use at private schools, it cannot tell those citizens that the money can only be used at non-religious private schools. Montana had decided that its scholarship program funds could not be used at religious schools under the state's Blaine Amendment, a legacy of a failed anti-Catholic amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Many First Amendment advocates hope this opinion proves to be a fatal blow to the discriminatory anti-religious Blaine Amendments still found in many state constitutions.Read more
Today, attorney and retired judge John Gleeson filed a brief on behalf of Judge Emmet Sullivan, defending Judge Sullivan’s decision to decline to immediately drop charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn at the Department of Justice’s request. Judge Sullivan’s position represents an improper encroachment on the power of the Executive. The brief is contrary to what Gleeson himself wrote while serving as a judge. In 2013, he that prosecutors have “near-absolute power” when dismissing a case unless the motion is “clearly contrary to manifest public interest.”Read more
As nationwide unrest continues over the tragic death of George Floyd, conversations continue on how to prosecute individuals who resort to violent tactics including rioting and looting. Attorney General William Barr has suggested that the Anti-Riot Act be utilized to hold criminals who co-opt peaceful protests accountable for their destructive behavior.Read more
Over the weekend, cities across the country experienced widespread demonstrations, many of which devolved into looting and rioting, after the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Attorney General Bill Barr has come out strongly against the violence, proposing that the 1968 Anti-Riot Act be used to prosecute those engaging in the violence and destruction.Read more
Carrie Severino wrote today about liberals' attacks on the rule of law and Attorney General Bill Barr, all as part of their efforts to "resist" the presidency of Donald Trump:
What we have been witnessing is an all-out assault on the rule of law from the woke Left, which has elevated its political ideology to something resembling a secular religion. By this mentality, Trump and his agents are monomaniacally recast as totems of sinister forces who must be stopped at all costs. Never mind notions of fair process and democratic deliberation that made the American system of law what it is.Read more
During a small Mississippi church's drive-in midweek service during Holy Week, police officers issued $500 citations to all the worshippers for violating the mayor's COVID-19 order. The worshippers were ticketed despite sitting in their socially distanced cars with their windows up when other people were allowed to pick up food from a drive-in restaurant with their windows down and despite the fact that the Mississippi governor's executive order regarding COVID-19 had specifically allowed religious services that followed social distancing guidelines.
The church sued and requested a temporary restraining order for violating its rights under the Free Exercise, Free Speech, and Right to Assemble Clauses of the First Amendment, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the relevant Mississippi executive orders. Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a Statement of Interest in the case.Read more
ICYMI: The Left, Right and Victims Are Concerned by the DOJ IG’s Findings About FISA and the Trump Campaign
There is a lot to unpack in Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report on the review of four FISA applications. It is impossible in one short blog post to detail all of the things uncovered. The only safe conclusion is all Americans should be upset by this report. As one group said (emphasis added):
For instance, the litany of problems with the Carter Page surveillance applications demonstrates how the secrecy shrouding the government’s one-sided FISA approval process breeds abuse. . . . The FBI must also adopt higher standards for investigations involving constitutionally protected sensitive activities, such as political campaigns.
That statement is not from a Republican or a conservative group, it is from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Speaking of Carter Page, he has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal which begins:Read more
If journalists were remotely objective, they would praise Attorney General Bill Barr for releasing virtually the entire “Mueller report.” On the other hand, if they were objective, they would condemn Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder for his complete stonewalling of the Fast and Furious investigation. That said, the rare objective journalist Sharyl Attkisson is still working on getting the truth of the Eric Holder Justice Department’s Fast and Furious scandal (emphasis in original):Read more
Democrats and the mainstream media have put the nail in the coffin on two key issues of past and future elections. From two different sources within the Department of Justice, news came today the media may have prematurely closed the book on some very newsworthy issues.Read more
Christopher Steele, author of the infamous Steele dossier alleging collusion between Trump and Russia, has agreed to speak with U.S. officials about his relationship with the FBI. According to The Hill:
"Republicans have long alleged it was Steele’s dossier that improperly led to an FBI inquiry, which ultimately morphed into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump and campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is investigating aspects of the Mueller probe, including whether officials abused their power when they ordered surveillance of a former campaign aide partially based on information from Steele’s dossier."