Click here to read the Ninth Circuit’s decision upholding a temporary restraining ordering (TRO) against Mr. Trumps executive order (EO) concerning immigration. Remember, this ruling is not a final adjudication of the merits of the legal arguments in support of, or against, the TRO. It only addresses whether enforcement of the EO should be stayed pending a thorough review of its legality. To be sure, part of the inquiry includes a preliminary review of the merits of the parties’ legal arguments.
Not content with his previous verbal lashing against the federal judge who enjoined his travel ban, the president has escalated his verbal assault on the judge with his latest tweets:
Mr. Trump’s tweets about the judge have gone well beyond fair criticism and now border on express incitement. He is trying to intimidate the judge, indeed all judges who would dare to question the constitutionality of his executive orders. The president’s attacks on our independent judiciary are beyond irresponsible.
The words of one Connecticut lawyer are not enough to persuade the president of the importance of our federal and state judiciaries. But if the members of our profession stand and speak together, I believe we can make a difference. I ask all bar associations across the country to condemn the president’s reckless comments. We must all speak, now, before it is too late.
As most readers probably already know, our president is referring in this tweet to Federal District Court Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee who had the audacity to rule in favor of the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota on a lawsuit they brought seeking to overturn the president’s travel ban.
Judges are not above criticism. But when the president of the United States publicly belittles them, he undermines respect for the judiciary. Through tweets like the one above, Mr. Trump does much more than show his personal contempt for the rule of law; he reveals that he is a clear and present danger to the rule of law and to an independent judiciary. His tweets and other verbal assaults that single out particular individuals embolden his followers to show the same contempt for the law and for judges, AND the tweets put the identified judges at risk of their personal safety. There is little doubt that the president intends his tweets to “chill” other judges from rendering impartial opinions unfavorable to his position on any issue. That is how autocrats behave, not presidents of the United States of America.
While the nation’s attention has been focused on President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court, Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced the nomination of Gregory T. D’Auria to the Connecticut Supreme Court. D’Auria, 53, will fill the vacancy created by the recent retirement of Justice Peter Zarella.
On February 10-11, the Yale Federalist Society and Yale Law School will host a conference in honor of Supreme Court Justice and YLS alumnus Clarence Thomas. The conference, which is open to the public, will feature an array of distinguished speakers. Whatever your legal or political philosophy, the conference is sure to be thought-provoking and, therefore, worthwhile. Check it out!
Donald Trump will become President of the United States tomorrow at noon. He still has not released his tax returns, and he probably never will. We still know very little about his actual finances, business arrangements with domestic and foreign entities, and financial debts to foreign lenders (especially the Chinese). What we do know, however, gives us good reason to believe that his financial and business interests around the world will create serious conflicts of interest that will affect his judgment as president.
The recent presidential campaign proved that longstanding norms that have governed candidates for the highest office in the land–such as disclosure of tax returns–are insufficient. We need something much stronger than norms, stronger even than a statute. We need a constitutional amendment.
I propose the following as the Twenty-Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution:
No person shall be eligible to appear on any ballot for election to the offices of President or Vice President of the United States who has not at least six months before the election disclosed to the public his federal and state tax returns for the preceding seven years and a current statement of all assets and liabilities.
As many of you know, I am a long-time advocate for open government. I am also the immediate past-president of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government (CFOG), a tax-exempt, not-for-profit corporation founded in 1991 by citizens of Connecticut interested in promoting open government and the public’s right-to-know.
Please join CFOG and its supporters on Monday, January 23, from 5-7 pm at the Lyceum in Hartford, for the organization’s first important event of 2017–“The Stories Behind the Biggest Stories of 2016 . . . and the Storm on the 2017 Horizon.” WNPR’s Colin McEnroe and CT News Junkie’s Christine Stuart will moderate a discussion by a star-studded panel including some of our state’s leading journalists. They will highlight the “real” stories behind 2016’s headline news in Connecticut and predict the major stories of 2017. A small $10 donation is all that is required to attend this terrific event.
I look forward to seeing you there!
I hope to see you there!
Please see this post on the CT Good Governance blog.
Just in case you missed it, on December 12 the Attorney General filed his opening brief in the Supreme Court in his challenge to the trial court’s dramatic ruling last fall in the long-running CCJEF v. Rell case, about which I’ve written previously.
I had the pleasure of joining Marcia Chambers today on Legal Eagle, her weekly radio show on WNHH, the New Haven Independent’s affiliated radio station. We discussed a wide range of topics, including the recent arrest of a reporter in New Haven for photographing a potential crime scene, President-Elect Donald Trump’s impending violations of the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution, and a potential constitutional problem with a recent deal between the Malloy administration and public employee unions to fix the state pension system. Click here to listen to the show on SoundCloud.