Opinion2017-05-19T20:27:29-04:00

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

Chief Justice Roberts Will Call Balls, Strikes at Impeachment Trial

The likely impeachment of Donald Trump will be the third presidential impeachment trial in our country’s history. The first two were Presidents Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999. Impeachment in the House needs only a majority vote, while conviction in the Senate requires two-thirds “of the [...]

The Supreme Court’s Busy 2019-20 Term

We are now two weeks into the 2019-20 Supreme Court term, and the Court has already heard several important cases. One of them, from Kansas, will decide whether that state’s abolition of the insanity defense is constitutional. Another will determine the validity of a Louisiana law that abolishes the [...]

Upcoming Supreme Court Cases – A Look Ahead (Part 1)

The first Monday of October marks the beginning of the 2019-20 Supreme Court term. Last year saw some momentous decisions and non-decisions, the former including the Court’s rebuff to the Trump Administration’s attempt to add a “citizenship” question to the 2020 census, the latter including the Court’s refusal to [...]

The Executive Branch Is Powerful, But Still has its Limits

Article II of the Constitution begins with the words “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” These words have always carried great weight, but they have taken on new meaning in the current administration. Just a year ago the Supreme Court [...]

The Sometimes Shifting Alliances of the Justices

Supreme Court opinions are sometimes unanimous. But in the important constitutional cases, the Court is almost always divided. Contrary to popular opinion, these split decisions do not always break down according to the Justices’ “liberal” or “conservative” leanings. Some members of the Court are quite predictable, Justice Thomas foremost [...]

Reflections on the End of the Death Penalty in NH

I spent my first year out of law school as a law clerk for Paul C. Reardon, a justice on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. We had many interesting cases, and I helped Judge Reardon draft opinions in the cases that the Chief Justice assigned to him. One such [...]

The Troubling Case of Julian Assange

In 2006, Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks in order to promote “information transparency,” which has consisted of releasing hundreds of thousands of hacked documents. He has waged an ongoing war against privacy and confidentiality, with notable success. More than a year ago, a federal grand jury in Virginia secretly indicted [...]

Is Impeachment Without Conviction Worth It?

*Published in Concord Monitor April 28, 2019 Nineteen years ago this month, I got a call from Donna Sytek, the Speaker of the House of the New Hampshire legislature. Peter Burling had given her my name, and she invited me to come to Concord to discuss the House-mandated investigation [...]

The Internet is Today’s Wild West of Speech

The Internet is a lot like the Wild West, but with at least one important difference – it is not entirely lawless. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 provides internet service providers (“ISPs”), the companies that connect all of us to the Internet, with protection from [...]

Special Prosecutors and the Appointments Clause

Article II of the Constitution includes the “Appointments Clause,” which says that the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, judges, and “officers of the United States,” while Congress may authorize the “Heads of Departments” to appoint “inferior officers.” With Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s [...]