Impact of Supreme Court Rejecting NC Redistricting

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday struck down North Carolina’s 1st and 12th congressional district lines drawn by state legislators in 2011. A three-judge federal court ruling had previously found that lawmakers relied too heavily on race when drawing the boundaries. “You’re likely to see state legislature be extremely careful in using race in redistricting, because uses of race are likely to be struck down by a federal court,” says law professor Guy Charles.

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Billboard Bills Would Mar NC’s Beauty

“Our roads and highways serve as the front porch of our state,” writes law professor Ryke Longest. “North Carolina’s natural beauty is one of our greatest assets; don’t let the General Assembly sell out our state’s roadways to support a struggling billboard industry. Our elected representatives should know better than to put TVs out on our state’s front porch.”

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Former FBI Director to Investigate Links Between Trump, Russia

The testimony of fired FBI Director James Comey, possibly next week, will be a crucial turning point. “This is an iceberg where we still don’t really know how big it is,” says law professor Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor. “Were there other conversations (between Trump and Comey)? Were there other memos? It’s not going to get any better for the president at this point.”

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Why President Trump is Disregarding ‘Constitutional Norms’

Law professor Neil Siegel says the most troubling aspect of Donald Trump’s conduct during and since the 2016 presidential campaign is not any potential violations of the U.S. Constitution or federal law, but his disregard of norms that had previously constrained presidential candidates and his flouting of constitutional conventions that had previously guided occupants of the White House.

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What Is Obstruction Of Justice? An Often-Murky Crime, Explained

Law professor Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor who led the Justice Department’s Enron task force, was initially skeptical about whether the mere firing of FBI Director James Comey could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that President Trump had an improper mental state. But he says subsequent revelations have made the evidence much more robust. “The evidence of improper purpose has gotten much stronger since the day of Comey’s firing,” he says.

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Memo to White House Staff: ‘Lawyer Up’

Donald Trump fired James Comey after asking him to drop the FBI investigation of Michael Flynn raises the spectre of obstruction of justice. Law professor Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor, talks about the legal issues surrounding possible obstruction of justice.

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Trump Should Appoint A Democrat To Run The FBI

Walter Dellinger, a law professor emeritus, writes that “the single best way to maintain the essential credibility of federal law enforcement would be for President Trump to name a Democrat to run the FBI. He also suggests one possible person for the job is Duke Law Dean David Levi, “a Republican most of his life and now a registered independent.” President Ford appointed Levi’s father, Edward Levi, to be attorney general after Watergate.

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Trump Call On Afghan Surge: Another Step Away From ‘America First?’

Trump is “having trouble sticking to the ‘America First’ approach to foreign policy that he advocated in the campaign, and there’s a reason for that,” says public policy professor Bruce Jentleson, a former State Department policy planning official. “He’s finding out that ‘America First’ is hard to do in a way that doesn’t leave you shooting yourself in the foot.”

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The Alleged Trump Tapes: What’s Legal?

“… It’s not legal to use tapes to try to intimidate a witness,” says law professor Samuel Buell about President Trump’s threat that fired FBI Director James Comey “better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.” Adds Buell: “It wouldn’t even be legal to pretend to have tapes in an effort to intimidate a witness. And what we need at this point is an investigation to look into this and certainly one of the first things that any prosecutor would do in this situation is to subpoena any tapes to find out whether they exist.”

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Reports Of Trump Sharing Classified Info Point To Growing Fear Of Him

“They’re truly frightened about him,” public policy professor Bruce Jentleson says of U.S. intelligence officials. Jentleson, who served as a foreign policy aide in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, notes that an inadvertent disclosure of classified information to Russian officials would demonstrate “incompetence, impetuousness” and “mania,” adding: “I’m scared, too.”

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Trump’s Infrastructure Plan: Will It Ever Break Ground?

Civil engineering professor Henry Petroski says spending on roads and construction is “like apple pie and motherhood — everybody’s for it.” It’s still taking shape, but based on previous reports and statements from Trump administration officials, it would include a combination of government investment, new funding mechanisms to encourage private investment, and regulatory reform to help accelerate approvals and construction timelines.

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We Must Root Out The Torturers In Our Midst

That’s why I agreed to support the NC Commission of Inquiry on Torture, a grassroots effort to build momentum for genuine national accountability. The federal government and courts won’t guarantee justice but people can if they insist on transparency and truth,” writes Robin Kirk, co-chair of the Duke University Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute.

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