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

Even the Worst Among Us Deserves a Fair Trial

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is no Walter McMillian, the central figure in Bryan Stevenson’s landmark book (now a movie) “Just Mercy.” McMillian spent six years on Alabama’s Death Row for a murder he did not commit, while Tsarnaev is, in plain English, a cold-blooded killer. On Patriots’ Day, April 15, 2013, [...]

The Supreme Court Doesn’t Always Side with the Trump Administration

The Supreme Court decides two kinds of cases, those that deal with constitutional rights and those that do not. This year’s term, now at the finish line, has produced some blockbuster decisions in both categories. Chief Justice Roberts has been with the majority in practically every instance, and despite [...]

In a Democracy We Do Not Allow Prior Restraints

This article originally appeared in the June 23, 2020 Concord Monitor. During the 18th century, a man named Blackstone wrote “Commentaries on the Laws of England,” the definitive treatise on English law. In that book, he explained that freedom of the press “consists of laying no previous restraints on [...]

Freedom of Assembly: Not a Privilege, It’s the Law of the Land

The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market. The Constitution is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes I’ve been looking through the Constitution for a place where it says the [...]

Constitutional Issues in the Time of Coronavirus

This article appeared in the May 20, 2020 issue of New Hampshire Bar News, published by the New Hampshire Bar Association You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:9-18) In Schenck v. United States (1919), the Supreme Court upheld punishment for circulating flyers urging men not to register [...]

What’s Going on at The Supreme Court During the Pandemic?

The Supreme Court is not conducting business as usual, but it is conducting business. One unusual development has been Court hearings by telephone. Previously, you had to wait a few days before you could listen to recorded oral arguments but in May, for the first time, the public could [...]

Can Attorney General Barr Unring a Bell?

This article appeared in the May 16, 2020 Concord Monitor As early as Roman times, the law has recognized the doctrine of non bis in idem ("an issue once decided must not be raised again"). It is enshrined in the Fifth Amendment as the double jeopardy clause. If a [...]

Constitutional Issues in the Time of Coronavirus

According to the seventeenth century poet John Donne, “No state is an island entire of itself; every state is a piece of the continent.” As you may have noticed, I changed a word. He used the word “man” where I have inserted “state.” My altered version serves as an [...]

Eight Qualities of Good Leadership

This article was originally published in the March 27, 2020 edition of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. If you Google the words “leadership qualities” you will find no shortage of entries. But rather than open those links and write about what others have to say, I decided to offer observations based [...]

Donald Trump Sues the Press, Claiming Defamation

In 1964, the Supreme Court decided a case called New York Times v. Sullivan. That historic decision “constitutionalized” the law of defamation (meaning both libel and slander) by adding First Amendment protections to what had always been considered a common law civil offense, inherited from English law, having nothing [...]

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