Guest Post

  • April 20, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Caroline Fredrickson, ACS President

    Firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or any investigator in the Russia probe without cause would clearly create a constitutional crisis. We must get ready to respond now. That’s why I asked the Federalist Society to join us “in a united effort to avert a constitutional crisis relating to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election” in a letter, covered by Reuters, The Hill and Above the Law.

    And today over 400 ACS law students pledged “to ensure nobody is above the law” if Trump attempts to undermine Special Counsel Mueller. “If the Special Counsel or Deputy Attorney General is fired, we will find our voice and use it,” stated the student letter.

    President Trump and his enablers have engaged in a nine-month long smear campaign against the inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The aim of the campaign against the Mueller investigation – the most successful attack against officials in the executive branch since Joe McCarthy – is clear: obstruction of justice. We are watching a slow-motion Saturday Night Massacre.

    In a recent editorial, appropriately titled “The President Is Not Above the Law,” the New York Times concluded that “if the president does move against the investigators, it will be up to Congress to affirm the rule of law, the separation of powers and the American constitutional order.”

  • April 20, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Cynthia Romero, Director of Communications, Catholics for Choice

    On the heels of President Trump’s proclamation on Religious Freedom Day, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a controversial rule on January 19 that allows healthcare providers to deny care to patients for religious, moral or any other reasons. The department also created a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the Office of Civil Rights. These efforts are at the heart of a carefully crafted strategy by religious conservatives to radically redefine religious freedom and roll back progress on basic civil liberties— most notably a woman’s constitutional right to abortion and the rights of LGBT people.

  • April 20, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Laurie R. Blank, Clinical Professor of Law and Director, International Humanitarian Law Clinic, Emory University School of Law

    The moral imperative to respond to another ghastly chemical attack on civilians in Syria was powerful. The justification of destroying chemical weapons facilities and stockpiles to prevent or at least hinder future brutalities was sensible and narrowly tailored — although the lack of an overall strategy for after the strikes and the broader Syria conflict is troubling. But what about the law? Moral justifications are an essential tool for mobilizing public support and justifying the decision to put U.S. personnel in harm’s way, but they do not provide legal authority or substitute for solid legal arguments.

  • April 20, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Sarah Mahmood, Stanford Law School ‘19, ACS Co-President 2017-2018 and Sophia Carrillo, Stanford Law School ‘18, ACS Co-President 2016-2017, Next Generation Leader

    The weekend of January 27, 2017, we didn’t do any of our constitutional law reading. Instead, we swapped the library for the airport for a different kind of legal education. As we sat in circles on the airport floor, holding makeshift signs affirming our support for love and justice, we joined the crowd in its many choruses. And after “No bans, no walls!” came another refrain, one that reminded us of why we had applied to law school in the first place—“Thank you, lawyers!”

    Punctuated by claps, the chant was a moving tribute to the lawyers who had worked all night to free those detained at the airport as a result of President Trump’s travel ban. It was a humbling moment, one that reminded us that even when it seemed like everything was falling apart, we were not helpless, but there to help put things back together—that as lawyers and law students, we had both the immense responsibility and the incredible privilege to pursue justice and uphold the rule of law. 

  • April 19, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Reuben Guttman and Traci Buschner, Partners at Guttman Buschner & Brooks, PLLC*

    **This is part of ACSblog's Symposium on Whistleblowers.

    For centuries, the integrity of healthcare delivery has been premised on the words "first do no harm" which - though not technically part of the Hippocratic Oath - seem to find their origin in teachings of the Greek Physician, Hippocrates, who lived more than two millennia ago. Whatever the origin, it is a phrase which views healthcare delivery through the eyes of the physician; the presumptive gatekeeper of healthcare delivery.

    Today, it is true that physicians are still the gatekeepers. Yet, the swing of their gate is now subject to influences that are beholden to money and not medicine.