I was very glad to see so many GOP officials condemn the violence and damage caused when Pres Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol.

But I am troubled to see how many continue to either equivocate about--or even explicitly support--false claims of election fraud.
If Republicans want to push for legislation that would make it more difficult to vote, they are free to do so in Congress and statehouses.

But they need to clearly and forcefully denounce false claims that Joe Biden won the presidency because of fraud.
The only reason that Pres Trump was able to rally his supporters and tell them to march to the Capitol on Wednesday was because the GOP failed to denounce his false claims about a stolen election.

Many members of Congress supported his claims even after the Capitol was stormed.
To watch some of these officials now say that Congress cannot impeach the president because it would be "too divisive" is a complete outrage.

You know what's divisive? Telling people that an election was stolen and that their candidate should have won!
Any calls for healing and unity from the GOP need to be accompanied by a clear and unambiguous statement that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election fair and square. It can't be muddied by statements about what isn't known or the need for more election integrity measures.
There are tens of millions of people out there who believe the President's lies about this election.

Wednesday proved that some of them are actually dangerous.

There can be no unity and no moving forward until and unless the rest of the GOP rejects those lies.

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More from @CBHessick

11 Jan
So strange that Law & Crime article questioning whether the Capitol rioters could be prosecuted for felony murder and it *never discusses* the most obvious predicate felony—burglary

lawandcrime.com/legal-analysis… via @lawcrimenews
As I will be teaching my first year criminal law students later this semester, felony murder is often a question of charging strategy for prosecutors. The defendant has often multiple felonies, some of which trigger felony murder and some of which don’t.
This article makes the classic mistake of analyzing only one possible underlying felony—sedition—and not the other, more mundane felonies, including burglary.
It’s the sort of error that loses students a lot of points on their final exam!
Read 12 tweets
7 Jan
I have seen so many people (including folks on #lawtwitter) comparing what happened at the Capitol yesterday with the violence and property damage that happened in some cities during protests last summer.

Let me explain what is wrong with that analogy . . . . .
To clarify -- my disagreement is not with those who are pointing out that law enforcement didn't respond with the same level of force and arrests at the capitol as it did during BLM protests.

That comparison deserves to be drawn and it raises some very important questions.
My disagreement is with those who are saying that what happened at the Capitol yesterday is so similar to what happened during protests this summer, that people's reactions ought to be similar--a suggestion that those reacting more strongly now are hypocritical.
Read 18 tweets
6 Jan
David has a great point--a lot of people's intuitions about whether DAs have a duty to bring all plausible charges are often bound up in their policy preferences about the particular types of charges/defendants.
To be clear, people often draw a distinction between a prosecutor's decision not to bring charges in an individual case and a decision not to charge a certain category of cases.
These arguments are reminiscent of the arguments we saw in the debate over Obama's DACA policy.
The argument essentially boils down to the idea that prosecutors' executive power gives them discretion in individual cases, but decisions not to prosecute entire categories of cases are akin to decriminalization and so they infringe on the legislative power.
Read 6 tweets
18 Dec 20
Let’s talk about this story. It discusses a NJ bill that is designed to make sentencing less harsh. The bill is being held up because a lawmaker introduced an amendment that would eliminate the mandatory minimum for one type of corruption. nytimes.com/2020/12/17/nyr…
First, let's talk about the framing of the story. The lede is about how the lawmaker who introduced the amendment has a girlfriend whose son is facing corruption charges. The story minces no words: It says the amendment was added specifically to help that man.
The idea of powerful people helping each other escape punishment is a powerful one. It is the stuff of headlines and outrage, and so I'm not surprised that this is how the story is being framed.
Read 25 tweets
29 Nov 20
The President is on Fox News right now saying that maybe the FBI and the Department of Justice were involved in the supposed election fraud in the 2020 election.

When will this nightmare end?
Update: He says "people keep asking" DOJ whether they are looking into all of the fraud allegations, and they have been told "yes, we are looking"
But "no one" has told him that they've arrested anyone who has done anything wrong.
Now Trump's asking why DOJ still hasn't done anything to prosecute Jim Comey, Andrew McCabe, and John Brennan.

I'm no fan of Bill Barr's, but this bizarre interview suggests that he has been resisting an awful lot of pressure from this president to persecute political enemies.
Read 4 tweets
28 Nov 20
One thing that I really like about traditional legal scholarship is that it asks the writer to deal with legal issues in the abstract.

That helps to ensure that legal principles and generalized analysis drive conclusions rather than just situational facts.
That's why, when it comes to the hot topic of the day, I am always eager to read the opinions from legal scholars who wrote about the issue before it became enmeshed with present-day politics
They are less likely to let the situation in which the issue arose affect their analysis
That's certainly not always possible. Some topics are just too obscure to have warranted the time and effort that is required to write traditional legal scholarship. (Hello, GSA ascertainment!!)

But for plenty of other topics there's at least a law review article or two.
Read 7 tweets

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