A Primer: the Election, the Russians, Spies & Leaks

A large group of Americans wants an investigation into how the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the election. Another group wants an investigation into the Obama administration’s domestic spying on the Trump campaign and Transition Office and the leaks of classified material from intelligence agencies during the campaign and continuing. The first group…

Judge Gorsuch and the Filibuster

The Kabuki theatre that is a Senate confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice is approaching opening night. The principal actors have exchanged scripts but they already know their lines well, having played both parts before. Some bitterness remains from the last production which closed out of town when one set of actors refused to go…

The Only Remedy for Trump’s Conflicts of Interest is Vigilance

[This post was a Cape Cod Times op-ed column but includes historical material cut from the column for reasons of space.] Even President-Elect Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters express concern about actual and potential conflicts of interest between his Presidential powers and his far-flung business activities. Trump may also try to work around the anti-nepotism statute to…

James Comey, Pontius Pilate

What is going on? What is Comey up to? Those are the questions dominating the end of this fevered political season. After castigating her handling of classified emails as “extremely careless,” Comey announced on July 5 that Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted under a statute requiring “gross negligence” which, any lawyer will tell you,…

Justice out of line

Boston Herald letter, July 21, 2016 Donald Trump is entitled to express his political opinions, no matter how silly, as is Herald columnist Peter Gelzinis. (“If Trump can speak his mind, why can’t RBG?,” July 14). U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as a sitting judge, is not. Judges have political opinions, of course,…

Hillary skates again

            July 6, 2016. Not many Americans will see more than brief news clips of the statement yesterday by FBI Director James Comey. They should read it all.             The FBI was investigating whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business violated the Espionage statutes and…

The Supreme Judicial Court Tanks an Investigation

June 2, 2016, West Barnstable MA. In a letter published in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Gants’ response to Speaker’s request a misstep on November 19, 2015 and in this blog, I wrote: To the editor: When The Boston Globe Spotlight team published a series of articles revealing, to no one’s surprise, that there was political patronage…

Not so fast on sentencing reform

Boston Herald Op-Ed, May 29, 2016 Federal and state government initiatives on the drug epidemic and sentencing reform are working at cross-purposes. Both are attempting to come to grips with the ever-increasing epidemic of opiate and heroin
addiction that has left death, crime and ruined lives in its wake at all levels of society. Both Congress…

Confirm Judge Merrick Brian Garland

Cape Coral FL, March 16, 2016 The Republican majority in the United States Senate should confirm the nomination of Judge Merrick Brian Garland to the Supreme Court. Not because of the name, although for some reason I find it appealing. I set out the smart move for Obama here on February 29 in  Replacing Scalia….

Scalia’s Posthumous Critics

Boston Globe Letter, February 29, 2016 On the day of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral, the Globe published four letters about him, all critical (“The Scalia way,’’ Readers’ Forum, Feb. 20). They objected to the policy consequences of his decisions, alleged that he applied religious beliefs to his decisions and failed to interpret the…

Replacing Scalia

February 29, 2016 Justice Scalia the giant cannot be replaced. Justice Scalia, the member of a sharply divided court will have to be. In the last half century the courts – the Supreme Court in particular – have become the forum of choice for partisan minorities of both the right and, especially, the left to…

Justice Scalia – An American Originalist

As with the loss of many charismatic public leaders, especially those with an outsize, engaging personality, the sudden death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13 leaves a great sense of individual loss in many of us who were not personally acquainted A brilliant and clear thinker, Judge Scalia expressed himself but…