Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

Criminalization of politics: one data point

The urge to criminalize the other guy’s politics and advocacy seems to be running especially strong these days. If you doubt it, here’s another data point: a Latino advocacy group called, following Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial comments critical of immigration, called for arresting Trump. Not only did this not stir any great outcry, but rival Democratic presidential candidate Bernard Sanders has now hired’s executive director to lead his Latino outreach.

One reason our elections and public debates are intensely fought is that they carry high stakes. Their stakes will be higher yet if the price of coming out on the losing side in an election or debate is to face potential prosecution.

Politics roundup

  • “Executive Power in the Age of Obama,” podcast interview with Prof. David Bernstein about his new book Lawless, from Encounter Books [Liberty and Law] And so many choices: Bernstein picks his top five acts of Obama administration lawlessness;
  • Donations-wise, law firms love Hillary Clinton [Above the Law] as do teachers’ unions [RiShawn Biddle]
  • “The Criminalization Of Politics: Is It Happening, And Is It A Problem?” David Lat covers the Federalist Society convention panel [Above the Law]
  • Donald Trump’s fondness for legal threats can be traced back to his early association with infamous attorney Roy Cohn [Business Insider video with Michael D’Antonio; June 1989 Spy magazine “Those Who Can, Sue” noting the Trump/Cohn connection; a Steven Brill anecdote about Cohn and Ford Motor that I quoted in my first book] More: @andrewmgrossman on “Ex. 1 to defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion,” Trump on Kasich;
  • “Sheldon Silver lied to us” [New York Daily News editorial] More: Lawyers for Silver “don’t plan to call any witnesses. They will instead enter some documents as evidence in their defense, offering a case so minimal that U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni used air quotes when referring to it.” [WSJ]
  • Raunchy emails in Kathleen Kane saga: “Pennsylvania’s attorney general seems to have decided that if she has to go, she’s going to take others down with her.” [AP/Yahoo]
  • Eternal return? Ex-con reinstalled as mayor of Bridgeport, Ct. played key role in cities-sue-gun-business episode [U.S. News, back then]

School and college roundup

  • Far-reaching, legally dubious new mandate: 37-page “Dear Colleague” letter from Washington launches new “education equity initiative” directing local schools to ensure all children “equal access to educational resources” [R. Shep Melnick, Education Next and WSJ]
  • “‘Tag is not banned,’ [the school district] insisted.” [Fred Barbash, Washington Post; Lenore Skenazy; Mercer Island, Wash.]
  • University of Texas now blurs racial preferences into “holistic” admission review, Supreme Court should take look [Ilya Shapiro]
  • Feds vs. due process: Michigan State case goes well beyond itself-notorious OCR Dear Colleague letter [KC Johnson; related Hans Bader on Tufts and other cases] Emily Yoffe: not so fast on latest “one in five” study [Slate; more, Stuart Taylor Jr.] “You cannot build justice for women on injustice for men.” [powerful Wendy McElroy speech debating Jessica Valenti]
  • Trashing copies of a student paper to keep content from being read? 171 Wesleyan students/alums: “Go for it!” [Popehat, Scott Greenfield] “Editorial independence remains a huge priority for us” says the Wesleyan Argus editor. Doesn’t sound as if her adversaries see it that way [Robby Soave, Reason]
  • Robert Klitzman: Institutional Review Boards at research institutions could benefit from transparency and respect for precedent [via Zachary Schrag]
  • Donald Trump’s battle with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over proprietary “Trump University” [Emma Brown, Washington Post]

More cease/desists: Presidential candidates vs. their fans, and opponents

Ben Carson’s lawyers to CafePress, printer of shirts and other message products: take down unauthorized merchandise supporting our guy. Paul Alan Levy responds [Metafilter] And candidate Donald Trump, whose lawyer-intensive ways it seems we were covering only yesterday — wait a minute, it was only yesterday — is making more news: “The presidential campaign of Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened legal action against a politically oriented clothing outlet for using the GOP front-runner’s name, which is trademarked, in its domain name and merchandise.” The outlet, Boston-based, is trying to drum up opposition to Trump. [Igor Bobic and Cristian Farias, Huffington Post, via Eugene Volokh, who doesn’t think much of the claims]

Donald Trump sends nastygram to Club for Growth

Public figure Donald Trump, target of a Club for Growth attack ad, has responded in characteristic manner by firing off a cease and desist letter to the club [Business Insider, Chris Cilizza/Washington Post] Trump lawyer Alan Garten calls the ad:

“…replete with outright lies, false, defamatory attacks and destructive statements and downright fabrications which you fully know to be untrue, thereby exposing you and your so-called ‘club’ to liability for damages and other tortious harm,” Garten wrote.

Garten said he was only willing to offer the Club for Growth a “one-time opportunity to rectify this matter” and avoid “what will certainly be a costly litigation process.”

“In the event, however, that we do not receive these assurances, please be advised that we will commence a multi-million dollar lawsuit against you personally and your organization for your false and defamatory statements,” he concluded. “Please be guided accordingly.”‘

Four years ago I wrote about Trump’s long record of using litigation and its threat as a weapon against critics and journalists whose account of his business dealings he found displeasing, and questioned whether this pattern harmonized well with general Republican/conservative disapproval of the unnecessary use of litigation. Earlier on Trump. More: Jonathan Adler (“suit has no legal basis” and “is what is commonly known as a SLAPP suit — a suit that’s designed to shut people up.”)

Politics roundup

  • Prohibition triple threat: Sen. Marco Rubio would “crack down on marijuana if elected President,” cites “damage” alcohol is doing America and is foe of online gambling too;
  • An ever-so-sympathetic take on invading/disrupting other people’s political events, and don’t even ask what the press coverage would be like if Tea Partiers were doing this to anyone;
  • Hey, I didn’t meet with a lobbyist! It was a…strategic consultant, yeah, that’s it [Crain’s New York last year]
  • Ideology matters: Democrats still more likely than Republicans to support rural subsidies even though they now represent few rural areas [David Henderson]
  • Wisconsin John Doe investigator: “No one is going to know what you and I talk about today.” Uh-huh [Right Wisconsin]
  • Jack Shafer on Trump’s appeal [Politico] “Trump Lawyer Bragged: I ‘Destroyed’ a Beauty Queen’s Life” [Tim Mak/The Daily Beast, earlier, more]
  • Harry Reid raises $1 million from trial lawyers after flying to fundraiser on one of their private jets [Politico]

July 29 roundup

  • Former NYT Peking correspondent Richard Bernstein, who now co-owns two nail salons, challenges Times blockbuster on prevalence of labor exploitation at NYC salons [New York Review of Books, Elizabeth Nolan Brown and followup, Times rebuttal. More: Bernstein rejoinder]
  • More details on how studios used Mississippi attorney general’s office as cut-out against Google [Mike Masnick, TechDirt, earlier here and here, more on AG Jim Hood]
  • Of course licensing laws “are only there to protect consumers and are enforced in a totally neutral way that has nothing to do with viewpoints or political pull (lol).” [Coyote on Boston mayor’s “not welcome in our town” message to Donald Trump]
  • Speaking of Donald Trump, would his lawyer threaten litigation to intimidate reporter Tim Mak? Only in a totally classy way [Daily Beast, S.E. Cupp/New York Daily News (Cohen, 2011: “I’m going to come at you, grab you by the neck and I’m not going to let you go until I’m finished”), earlier from the vaults on Trump’s use of litigation]
  • Things class-action lawyers sue over: “Beggin’ Strips Don’t Have Enough Bacon” [Reuters, New York Post]
  • As Lois Lerner targeting scandal drags on, time for Congress to impeach IRS officials? [Mike Rappaport, Liberty and Law]
  • Welcome to AFFH-land: Bharara, on behalf of feds, says Westchester County should pay for not squeezing Chappaqua hard enough to approve housing project [Journal-News, earlier here and here]

Wrong opinions? No permits for him!

Boston mayor Martin Walsh gives Donald Trump the Chick-Fil-A rush over his immigration opinions [Boston Herald]:

If Donald Trump ever wants to build a hotel in Boston, he’ll need to apologize for his comments about Mexican immigrants first, the Hub’s mayor said.

“I just don’t agree with him at all,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh told the Herald yesterday. “I think his comments are inappropriate. And if he wanted to build a hotel here, he’d have to make some apologies to people in this country.”

More on the use of permitting, licensing, and other levers of power to punish speech and the exercise of other legal rights at Overlawyered’s all-new regulatory retaliation tag. And no, I’m not exactly thrilled with Mayor Walsh for making me take Trump’s side in an argument.

P.S. Now the NYC sequel, from Mayor Bill de Blasio: no more city contracts for the guy with the wrong opinions [The Hill] And welcome readers from the Foundation for Economic Education, which generously calls this blog “indispensable.”

July 15 roundup