Today's Op-Ed Publication    
Trump had every right to demand Comey's loyalty, but Democrats may not care 

Doug Mills/The New York Times
As FBI director James Comey testified before the Senate, recounting his version of a series of conversations with President Trump, senators, reporters and pundits focused on the meaning of Trump's reported words.  Was the president merely expressing to Comey a hope or suggestion that he drop the investigation of Michael Flynn and "lift the cloud" of investigation shadowing the Trump administration? Or, was the president explicitly ordering Comey to end the investigations?

Senators engaged in a game of semantics that unsuccessfully attempted to uncover Trump's intentions and how they relate to the various definitions of "obstruction of justice" under federal law. However, n otably missing from this debate is a disclaimer that, in the end, definitions and nuances of intention won't make much of a difference. 

   In Case You Missed It...  
The Coming Supreme Court  Shake-Up

Committee for Justice special report on judicial nominations.
Newsmax/June 2017
With the appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Trump has already begun to make his mark on the Supreme Court. Now, faced with rumors of Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, and tasked with filling a large number of federal court vacancies, Trump is presented with a unique opportunity to reshape the courts. 

In a cover story for  Newsmax magazine,  Committee for Justice president Curt Levey explores the  implications of Justice Kennedy's likely  retirement and  how President Trump might  shape the judiciary. 



Court to finally weigh in on issues of technology and the Fourth Amendment

The Committee for Justice applauds the  Supreme Court's decision,  announced  Monday, to review the Sixth Circuit's ruling in  United States v. Carpenter

"This case provides the Court with a much-needed opportunity to ensure that the principles behind our constitutional right to privacy are preserved in the digital age, as rapid technological advancements challenge courts' ability to apply older Fourth Amendment principles and precedents," said Committee for Justice (CFJ) president Curt Levey.

Ashley Baker, Director of Public Policy at CFJ, explained, "The central question in  Carpenter  is whether law enforcement agencies can use the third-party doctrine, an exception to Fourth Amendment guarantees, and the lower standards of the  Stored Communications Act  (SCA) to access location records from an individual's cell phone provider -  effectively turning that individual's cell phone into a tracking device  - without first having to obtain a search warrant.  The Court's decision will undoubtedly also have ramifications for other types of technology, such as the privacy of data conveyed to internet service providers (ISPs) or shared through the Internet of Things (IoT)... "

Skewed Priorities at Last Week's FISA Hearing

Congress needs to focus less on Trump drama, more on oversight of mass surveillance programs   

Last Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee convened a hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, key portions of which are set to expire at the end of this year. Among them is section 702, which authorizes the government to collect the communications of non-US citizens abroad that pass through US communications infrastructure without a warrant. Section 702 is controversial, however, because while the provision is aimed at foreigners, it nevertheless enables the warrantless collection of both foreign and US internet communications due to the way the internet is architected and the difficulties associated with disentangling target communications from those that are "incidentally" collected...
... The Intelligence Committee was forceful in asserting that it would pursue answers to its questions regarding Trump's conduct vis-a-vis the FBI investigation. It should be equally forceful in demanding answers regarding the scope of Ssection 702 surveillance - answers that it needs in order to do its job properly and ensure that Americans' Fourth Amendment rights are protected...

See our other work on privacy and Section 702, including...
CFJ President Curt Levey Speaks at Republican National Lawyers Association Annual Conference
Republican National Lawyers Association

At the Republican National Lawyers Association's annual policy conference, Curt Levey spoke about the federal judicial confirmation process and how it changed with President Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court justice.