Duke Law Professor Joins Complaint Against Kellyanne Conway

Michael E. Tigar, Professor Emeritus at Duke Law School, was one of 15 law professors who accused the presidential advisor of ethical violations in a complaint filed with the DC Court of Appeals on Monday. Here’s the Washington Post’s synopsis:

Conway should be sanctioned for violating government ethics rules and “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation,” the letter says.

The 15 professors, who specialize in legal ethics, cite several incidents, including a television interview in which Conway made the “false statement that President Barack Obama had ‘banned’ Iraqi refugees from coming into the United States for six months following the ‘Bowling Green Massacre,’?” and the use of her position to endorse Ivanka Trump products.

“We do not file this complaint lightly,” the professors said in their filing. “We believe that, at one time, Ms. Conway, understood her ethical responsibilities as a lawyer and abided by them. But she is currently acting in a way that brings shame upon the legal profession.”


Susan Ladd don’t like the Convention of States

N&R columnist Susan Ladd doesn’t like the ‘Constitutional cleanup’ taking place in the General Assembly these days.

A couple of things jump out here. Ms. Ladd—radical liberal that she is— usually is quick to pounce on any issue that could be remotely interpreted as racist. Yet–in response to the bill that would repeal the state Constitution’s literacy requirement for voting—a holdover from the Jim Crow segregation era—she makes a lame attempt at humor, writing “if the legislature continues draining resources from public schools to fund far-less-accountable charter schools, this will be a necessity in order to have a voting population in 10 years.” Ha ha.

But Ms. Ladd saves her strongest warning for— gasp—-the Article V Convention of States (emphasis mine):

By far the most alarming business before the General Assembly are resolutions in the House and Senate calling for a convention of the states to amend the U.S. Constitution. More than 38 states would have to sign on to such bills for a convention actually to take place, and many are considering similar resolutions. The right-leaning Convention of States favors amendments that would limit federal government spending and impose term limits on members of Congress.

But once convened, a convention could go much further. Senate Joint Resolution 40 calls for a “countermand amendment,” which would “authorize the states, upon a vote of three-fifths of the state legislatures, to nullify and repeal a federal statute, executive order, judicial decision, regulatory decision by a federal government agency, or government mandate.” In other words, the states could overturn federal law and Supreme Court rulings.

Limiting federal spending, Congressional term limits— the horror. I’ll add that the ability to overturn executive orders and judicial decisions works both ways, considering the outcry over over President Trump’s recent executive order and the continuing controversy over Citizens United decision.

Just more proof that liberals are never happy and never will be.

Wisconsin governor’s welfare reforms deserve to serve as model

Tarren Bragdon explains for the Washington Examiner why much of the country could benefit from a perusal of Wisconsin’s welfare reform ideas.

In the 1990s, Wisconsin recognized the devastating consequences of generations of families living on welfare and being trapped in poverty. So, then-Gov. Tommy Thompson, a Republican, sought new ways to motivate people by making welfare benefits contingent on work and limiting the amount of time someone could remain trapped on welfare. The result? Welfare rolls plummeted, people went to work, and they climbed out of poverty.

These results inspired the bipartisan federal welfare reform in 1996. Congress established work requirements for non-disabled adults without children on food stamps and the results were similar. Food stamp enrollment for this group dropped dramatically and millions went back to work.

But today, this proven work requirement does not apply to parents on food stamps or to any of the able-bodied adults receiving Medicaid or public housing assistance.

Walker is trying to change that.

As part of his executive budget, Walker is proposing an expansion of work requirements to able-bodied adults with school-age children on food stamps. In addition, he calls for extending these work requirements to childless adults on Medicaid and pursuing a pilot program to implement work requirement for able-bodied adults in public housing.

Walker’s reforms would counteract a wave of increased dependency and poverty. These work requirements would reinforce the idea that, to interrupt the generational cycle of poverty, able-bodied parents need to model work and not dependence.

Research published by the Foundation for Government Accountability found that after more than 40,000 childless adults on food stamps were faced with work requirements, record numbers went to work, their average incomes doubled and their income gains more than offset their lost welfare benefits.

Your tax dollars and Bigfoot

I’ll admit to being a fan of the television program “Finding Bigfoot.” (Typical dialogue: “Look! There’s a broken twig. Bigfoots break twigs. There must be a Bigfoot here!”)

Still, I suspect that other fans would join the rest of the taxpaying public in emitting a collective groan (or Bigfoot call?) over Elizabeth Harrington‘s latest report in the Washington Free Beacon.

The National Park Service is spending $50,000 researching Bigfoot, sea monsters, unexplained lights, and other paranormal activity.

Kawerak Inc., a nonprofit group that serves people of Eskimo, Aleut, or American-Indian descent in the Bering Strait region between Alaska and Russia, received the grant last year. The organization illustrates its project with a picture of “Hairy Man,” a mythical Bigfoot-like creature.

The group is not just interested in researching “Hairy Man,” but a whole host of “supernatural” creatures.

“Kawerak’s Social Science Program has recently initiated a new research project on the ‘Supernatural Environment,'” Kawerak’s description of the project reads. “Phenomena that can be described as ‘supernatural’ include, among others, things such as sea monsters, little people, wild babies, unexplained lights, animals that can change into other things, and invisible sea birds.”

The organization says the research is important to understanding how culture influences beliefs in the paranormal.

“The objective of the project is to document, in a serious and meaningful way, Bering Strait residents’ knowledge about, experiences with, and beliefs about supernatural phenomena,” the group said. “We think that this information is important to understanding how people relate to their environment and that there are culturally specific understandings of these phenomena which have not been previously documented.”

The National Park Services originally announced its intention to award a $150,000 grant outside the normal competitive process to Kawerak for the supernatural study in March 2016.

The grant announcement said the study would also include “animals with transformative powers, a variety of other non-human persons, landscape features with special powers, and other similar phenomena.”

Fourth Circuit proves an embarrassment again

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers territory that includes North Carolina, has displayed once again its disrespect for the Constitution. David French explains at National Review Online.

What happens when you mix contempt for individual rights with a healthy dose of willful ignorance and fear? You get the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court that’s teaching the legal Left the recipe for attacking the Second Amendment.

Twice in less than a month, the court has radically restricted the constitutional rights of gun owners. In January, it held that even lawful gun owners are inherently “dangerous” and can face limitations on their constitutional rights, including the right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure, simply because they possess a gun. In the words of a concurring judge:

In sum, individuals who carry firearms — lawfully or unlawfully — pose a risk of danger to themselves, law enforcement officers, and the public at large. Accordingly, law enforcement officers may frisk lawfully stopped individuals whom the officers reasonably suspect are carrying a firearm because a detainee’s possession of a firearm poses a categorical “danger” to the officers.

But this holding, as dangerous as it is, pales in comparison with the court’s decision yesterday, when it not only upheld Maryland’s assault-weapons ban but categorically stated that the Second Amendment does not protect the right to own so-called assault weapons or the right to own a magazine that holds more than ten rounds of ammunition.

How can it reach such a conclusion? Remember the formula: contempt, willful ignorance, and fear.

The battle over Obamacare’s future

Chris Jacobs describes at National Review Online the snags slowing congressional efforts to end the Affordable Care Act.

[M]uch of the debate within Republican ranks has its roots in fundamental disagreement about what an alternative to Obamacare should do. If two people or factions can’t agree about the ultimate goals of legislation, it shouldn’t be surprising to find them disagreeing on the policies to include in said bill.

For all the emphasis on the “repeal and replace” slogan since the day Obamacare passed Congress in March 2010, the current debate might be characterized as “repeal vs. replace.” Repealers focus more on eradicating the law, while replacers wish to make sure that an alternative does not leave many of Obamacare’s newly covered uninsured.

The repeal faction generally comes from the conservative wing of the party. It wants every word of Obamacare repealed — lock, stock, and barrel — and, in some cases at least, is willing to consider blowing up the Senate filibuster (a.k.a. the “nuclear option”) to do it. Repealers generally do not want to maintain many, or any, federal regulations on health insurance, deferring to the states (as was largely the case prior to Obamacare).

When it comes to alternative policies, some repealers don’t care about “replacing” Obamacare at all and would content themselves with a return to the status quo ante. Other repealers would focus more on enacting reforms to lower health-care costs rather than expanding coverage or providing subsidies to previous Obamacare recipients. …

… Whereas repealers want to eradicate the health law’s spending and taxes — to use the Washington lingo, they would return to the pre-Obamacare fiscal baseline — replacers focus on maintaining, or at least not eliminating, Obamacare’s coverage baseline. They would like an alternative to Obamacare to at least be competitive with current law when it comes to the number of individuals with health insurance — although for different reasons. Some replacers believe in the goal of universal health coverage, while others simply believe that an alternative, to be politically viable, must offer something to those currently covered by Obamacare.

This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio

North Carolina taxpayers have spent millions of dollars restoring a Hyde County landmark that could be turned over to a private partner to be run as a for-profit enterprise. Rick Henderson explains the controversy surrounding the Lake Mattamuskeet lodge project during the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio.

Dan Way explains how his attempt to cover a meeting of the N.C. Military Affairs Commission generated a dispute involving the state’s open-meetings law. Attorney Talmage Boston discusses lessons he learned about presidential leadership while cross-examining historians and other presidential experts.

Michael Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute discusses Betsy DeVos’ likely impact as the next U.S. Education secretary. Plus you’ll hear highlights from a recent legislative briefing on Duke Energy’s efforts to secure North Carolina’s electrical grid.

New Carolina Journal Online features

Dan Way reports for Carolina Journal Online on the N.C. Senate’s subpoena of one of Gov. Roy Cooper’s Cabinet nominees to appear at a confirmation hearing.

Rick Henderson’s Daily Journal explains why Cooper’s treatment of a bill to shrink the size of the UNC system’s Board of Governors will show whether he knows when to pick his political fights.