Opinion2017-05-19T20:27:29+00:00

The following articles, except where noted, were originally published in the Keene Sentinel.

The President Has No Power to Undo Birthright Citizenship

Dred Scott was born into slavery in 1795 and lived as a slave in Missouri. His owner, a military man named Emerson, took Scott with him when he was transferred first to Illinois and later to the Wisconsin Territory, neither of which had slavery. As a result of several [...]

What Can be Done About Partisan Gerrymandering?

We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes During the recent Kavanaugh confirmation process, much was said and written about the future of Roe v. Wade. In 2003, Kavanaugh questioned whether that case is “settled law.” He [...]

An Open Letter to Senator Susan Collins

September 7, 2018 Dear Sen. Collins I started my voting life as a New Hampshire resident, and, after nearly a lifetime’s absence living and practicing law in Boston, I have returned to my home state.  So I am not one of your constituents except to the extent that what [...]

Security Clearance and the Unwritten Rules of Democracy

On August 15, President Trump announced that he was revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, an outspoken critic of the President, citing his “frenzied commentary.” And Trump is threatening to do the same to others, including James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence; James Comey, [...]

Executive Privilege and the Kavanaugh Nomination

In 1974, the Supreme Court decided the case of United States v. Nixon, popularly known as the “Nixon Tapes” case. The question before the Court was whether President Nixon could defy a subpoena, obtained by the Special Prosecutor in the federal conspiracy trial of Attorney General John Mitchell and [...]

Court Upholds Travel Ban, and Our Country is the Poorer For It

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 “Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas.” Notably, the Order did not mention Japanese-Americans. It simply authorized “Military Commanders” to exclude “residents” from their communities in order to protect the western part of the country [...]

Wedding-cake Ruling Falls Flat on Key Issues

June is brides’ month. It’s also Supreme Court month, the time when the Court issues its blockbuster decisions for the term and then recesses until October. On June 4, the Court decided Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. That is the case where Jack the baker refused to [...]

When Being Called a Liar Becomes a Federal Case

I don’t know whether our first president actually said “I cannot tell a lie,” but I do know that defamation law is experiencing a resurgence of “liar” cases, including one against our current president. That case is being brought by a woman named Sumner Zervos, who appeared on “The [...]

Non-Disclosure Agreements and the Art of the Deal

Ten days before the 2016 presidential election, “Peggy Peterson (PP)” entered into a non-disclosure agreement with “EC, LLC and/or David Dennison (DD).” The deal was simple. She got $130,000, and he got her silence in the form of a promise not to disclose any “Confidential Information” about “Dennison,” including [...]

Union Dues and the Constitutional Right Not to Speak

The United States is a land of free speech. Nowhere is speech freer. Winston Churchill I’ve never doubted that freedom of speech and of the press are the cornerstones of American democracy. The right of free speech is not absolute, but if the government wants to limit or restrict [...]