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Under Color of Law: November - Shanlon Wu

Under Color of Law: November

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Read Shan’s take on various political and cultural happenings (and Tweets!) below.The gag orders imposed on former President Trump by Judge Engoron (New York Attorney General civil suit) and Judge Tanya S. Chutkan (Jan 6 DOJ criminal case), are being treated more as suggestions than orders. In New York, despite Engoron’s anger at Trump and his lawyers attacking his law clerk, the fines issued against Trump have been insignificant - $5,000 and $10,000 — and Chutkan’s initially stayed her own order to give the parties time to brief the matter before lifting the stay after reading Trump’s arguments. She could have saved herself the trouble since D.C. Circuit court of appeals then imposed a stay while it considered Trump’s appeal. Here's the problem: Both judges are overly conscious of Trump’s purported First Amendment rights as a “leading Presidential contender” as the First Amendment doesn’t depend on voter polls. Giving him…
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Under Color of Law September - Shanlon Wu

Under Color of Law: September

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Read Shan’s take on various political and cultural happenings (and Tweets!) below.At first blush, Vivek Ramaswamy may seem only to be the 3.0 version of the GOP’s taste for poster-boy minority males – remember Dr. Ben Carson and the late Herman Cain? – but his rise to the Number Two contender for the Republican Presidential nomination reflects that he has learned well how to use disinformation about his own origin, poverty, history and anything else to get attention. That’s what is insidious about his success. Let’s start with his cheerful frat-boy performance at the first Republican debate where he basked in the spotlight of being schooled on his lack of foreign policy credentials by former Governor of Louisiana and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. It didn’t matter to him that claiming he is the incarnation of Nixon and Kissinger’s realpolitik strategy is completely at odds with asserting independence from China as…
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Under Color of Law: july - Shanlon Wu

Under Color of Law: July

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Read Shan’s take on various political and cultural happenings (and Tweets!) below.As we all wait for what appears to be an inevitable second federal indictment of Trump, it is already clear that as righteous as these prosecutions may be, the timing is likely far too late. As I wrote in The Daily Beast: “The Trump and Nauta defense lawyers don’t need any brilliant or innovative legal strategies to slow down and delay the documents case trial. Standard tactics of delay will work just fine to postpone the case into the presidential election red zone. The only counter to this expected tactic would have been for Merrick Garland's DOJ to have gotten off to a much earlier start.” https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-trial-delay-strategy-is-criminal-defense-101 A person could be forgiven for looking at the end of the 2022-23 SCOTUS term decisions as being a mixed win for liberals and conservatives, but that would be wrong. The high…
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Under Color of Law: june Shanlon Wu

Under Color of Law: June

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Read Shan’s take on various political and cultural happenings (and Tweets!) below.Former VP Mike Pence joined the growing number of Republicans willing to compete against twice-impeached and now twice indicted former President Trump. With a record like that it’s astonishing the ranks of GOP wannabe contenders doesn’t number in the hundreds. It was Rolling Stone magazine that reported the allegation against former Vice President Mike Pence that he calls his wife “mother.” While many parents refer to each other as “Mom” or “Dad” the Pence allegation – sourced to Democratic guests at a dinner with Pence when he was still governor of Indiana – somehow carries with it a high creepiness factor – right up there with the infamous fly that appeared in Pence’s hair during the debates. But maybe Pence wasn’t actually referring to former Indiana First Lady – who Pence also dubs his “Prayer Warrior” – not sure…
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Under Color of Law: March + April - Shanlon Wu

Under Color of Law: March + April

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Read Shan’s take on various political and cultural happenings (and Tweets!) below.Many people are disappointed with Dominion reaching a settlement with Fox for about half as much money as they had sued for and I share the disappointment of not seeing Fox news anchors like Tucker Carlson having to testify and be subject to cross-examination. But a large part of the damages would have been based on what is termed “growth damages” meaning what damage to Dominion’s potential growth was caused by Fox’s alleged defamation. Such damages were far from certain and would have resulted in battle of dueling economic experts so it was smart lawyering on the part of Dominion lawyers to avoid that uncertainty for the certainty of a settlement totaling nearly 800 million dollars. Far less certain though is whether this settlement will have any real deterrent effect on Fox or other news outlets that depend on…
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Under Color of Law: February - Shanlon Wu

Under Color of Law: February

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Read Shan’s take on various political and cultural happenings (and Tweets!) below.East Palestine residents have been told by EPA officials that they are not in any danger, but videos surfacing regularly showing plants and animals dying and complaints of chlorine smells in the rain have all contributed to alarming questions about the long term health concerns of exposure. Over 200 citizens attended and voiced their concerns at a town hall in the small city of 5,00. So far, more than 2 million gallons of water and liquid waste have been removed along with 1400 tons of solid waste. The EPA has mandated Norfolk Southern do extensive testing as well as provide compensation to the lives disrupted, but this isn’t the first derailment to this capacity we’ve seen. Regulations like higher safety standards for trains carrying hazardous materials, electronic braking systems for those trains, and a now-delayed deadline for instituting more…
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Under Color of Law: January - Shanlon Wu

Under Color of Law: January

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In only the first month of 2023, a lot happened on the U.S. political stage. Read Shan’s take on various political and cultural happenings (and Tweets!) below.Will AG Garland be as quick to appoint a special counsel over former VP Pence’s classified documents as he was for Biden?  Read TweetThe discovery of classified documents at former VP Pence’s home in Indiana puts AG Garland in a box – having prematurely appointed a Special Counsel for Biden’s documents Garland now likely must appoint one for Pence as well.  Read the article The early facts we know from the discovery of “several classified documents from President Joe Biden’s time as vice president” by Biden’s lawyers while packing up his former office at the Penn Biden Center, show very little similarity to the discovery and recovery of hundreds of classified documents found to have been kept by former President Donald Trump at his…
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Under Color of Law: November and December - Shanlon Wu

Under Color of Law: November and December

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Under the Scope: The midterm election results demonstrated a path forward for our country as well as highlighted ongoing issues of law, policy and social justice. Senator Warnock won his second run off in Georgia, securing 6 more years in the Senate and the majority for the Democrats, despite the fact that the run-off process in Georgia is itself descended from racist efforts to suppress black representation.  Georgia has seen some of the harshest voter suppression policies in the United States but was still able to mobilize for success in this election, but this model isn’t sustainable. Warnock’s win means senators  Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin will have diminished power to hold legislation hostage. Senator Sinema declared herself an independent, which many felt was some sort of protest to these results but more likely it had to do with the likelihood that she would lose a Democratic primary to Ruben…
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Under Color of Law: September and October

Under Color of Law: September and October

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These past few months, I’ve had my eyes on:  Individual Cases and Elections Adnan Syed, the subject of the popular podcast Serial, had his charges dismissed by the Baltimore State Attorney’s office. This followed two decades of controversy about Syed’s innocence. The charges were dismissed because the prosecution discovered evidence suggesting Syed’s innocence that was never disclosed to his original defense attorney. Instances like this show the unique position that prosecutors are in to not only represent their client – the state – but to also constantly be moderating whether justice is being upheld in the court room. Prosecutors in Florida have recently shown a similar respect for the fair implementation of law by refraining from prosecuting abortion cases. Keith Ellison is up for re-election for Attorney General of Minnesota, and the GOP is pouring support into his opponent, an inexperienced prosecutor who has never tried a case. The narrative being…
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Shan Wu slams Elon Musk for enabling hate - Shanlon Wu

Shan Wu slams Elon Musk for enabling hate

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If you have a Twitter – and even if you don’t – you’ve probably heard about the Elon Musk takeover during the last few weeks. Musk’s blustering statements about free speech and censorship have made headlines, but so have criticisms of the mogul’s policies. Former federal prosecutor Shan Wu has made a recent foray into the national discourse by tweeting a bold condemnation of Musk for enabling hate speech. Read on for more context behind Shan’s most recent viral analysis. Musk’s rocky takeover For those who haven’t been following the saga, here’s a quick rundown of the events: Musk first began buying up Twitter stock in January of 2022. He then announced that he planned to buy the social media company in April. He publicly promised Twitter a $44 billion price tag, then promptly backed out of the deal a few weeks later. Twitter took Musk to court, and the…
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