Thoughts On Originalism In The Age Of Gorsuch

Today marked the fourth day of hearings on the nomination of Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to become a justice of the Supreme Court.  After three days of questioning Judge Gorsuch, the Senate Judiciary Committee turned its attention to testimony from a number of individuals, including Law Professor William Marshall of the University of North Carolina.

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In Search of Intellectual Honesty: A Belated Memoriam To Justice David M. Borden

“I hope I’ll be remembered as a judge who was intellectually honest about his craft.”

Justice David M. Borden

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Ninth Circuit Upholds TRO Against Presidential Order

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.

That “So-Called” Judge Ctd.

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:

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That “So-Called” Judge. . . .

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.

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Malloy Nominates D’Auria For Supreme Court

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.

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Yale Federalist Society Hosts Symposium On Justice Thomas

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!

My Proposed Financial Disclosure Amendment To The Constitution

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.

The Stories Behind The Stories

Dear Readers,

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.

You can register online at or by email at

I look forward to seeing you there!

I hope to see you there!

To Avoid A Constitutional Problem, The Legislature Should Vote On Union Contracts

Please see this post on the CT Good Governance blog.