Could the End of the Gerrymander Be In Sight?

This term the Supreme Court is going to hear a very important case involving partisan gerrymandering that, for the first time, has a real chance of getting the court to intervene in redistricting cases involving partisan, rather than racial, gerrymandering. … [Read more...]

6th Circuit: Christian-only Legislative Prayer is Unconstitutional

Here's a church/state case from right here in Michigan that I wasn't aware of. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Jackson County Commission's prayers to open meetings, done by commissioners and always Christian, were a violation of the Establishment Clause. … [Read more...]

Buchanan Tells Trump to Defy the Courts

Authoritarian strongman wannabe Pat Buchanan is telling authoritarian strongman wannabe Donald Trump that the way to handle the federal courts rejecting his travel ban is to simply refuse to follow the court's ruling. Because that's exactly what a dictator would do. … [Read more...]

New Trump Spokesman Doesn’t Understand Separation of Powers

For some bizarre reason, the Trump administration decided to send the toxic Steven Miller, the architect of some of his worst policy ideas, on television as a spokesperson. It worked out about as well as Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer. Miller's ignorance of judicial and executive power was on full display. … [Read more...]

No, Public Facilities Cannot Refuse to Allow Use by Religious Groups

Here's another case where a government facility that offers its property for use by community groups doesn't get that they can't then say "but no religious groups." This issue was settled, unanimously, by the Supreme Court nearly three decades ago. And this case is here in Michigan. … [Read more...]

Trump Has No Idea What Asset Forfeiture Is

I wrote last week about the meeting Trump had with a bunch of county sheriffs in Texas where civil asset forfeiture came up and Trump simply couldn't believe that anyone would want it curtailed. But a look at the full conversation shows that Trump has absolutely no idea what it is or how it works. … [Read more...]

Important Suit Filed Against Louisiana’s Indigent Defense System

A major class action suit has been filed by a coalition of civil rights organizations against the state of Louisiana for failure to provide adequate legal representation to poor people accused of crimes. Almost 90% of those arrested in that state require a public defender. … [Read more...]

Shocker! Trump Likes Asset Forfeiture

Donald Trump held a meeting with sheriffs from Louisiana the other day and -- surprise, surprise -- he's a fan of civil asset forfeiture. In fact, he expressed disbelief that a state legislator wanted to rein in that unconstitutional nightmare, "joking" that he would destroy him. … [Read more...]

Gorsuch Rejects a Right to Die

One of the things that really bothers me about Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is that he wrote an entire book arguing that assisted suicide, or voluntary euthanasia, should be illegal. As someone who has been involved in several such situations, I find this barbaric and inhumane. … [Read more...]

Cruz is Outraged — OUTRAGED! — That Democrats Might Obstruct Gorsuch

Ted Cruz, who pointedly refused to accept even an initial hearing for the possible confirmation of Merrick Garland for all of last year, is now outraged -- outraged, I tell you, outraged! -- that the Democrats would dare to obstruct the Neil Gorsuch nomination. … [Read more...]

Will Gorsuch Pick Encourage Justice Kennedy to Retire?

Donald Trump has picked Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court. Some court watchers are speculating that part of the reason he was picked was to send a signal to Justice Kennedy that it's okay to retire. … [Read more...]

Denver Police Need Some Remedial Work on the First Amendment

Like many other major cities, Denver's airport is the scene of protests against Trump's bigoted, vastly overreaching immigration order. And a police commander there seems to be having a hard time figuring out what the First Amendment actually means. … [Read more...]