Sunday, April 01, 2018

Donald Trump, Federal Courts Scholar

by Michael Dorf

Imagine my surprise when I awoke yesterday morning to find that I had been (more or less) name-checked by the leader of the free world. Although the initial tweet (below) did not use my Twitter handle, so many of my own followers alerted me to it that I could not scroll through them all.

Given the spelling, I at first assumed that the president with the very good brain was actually tweeting about law professor Michael Dorff or one of the many other Michaels Dorf/Dorff/Dorph out there. But after a bit of research, it turned out that I was indeed the target of the wrath of the Tweeter in Chief. I was honored.

That's not to say I wasn't also a bit mystified. True, I have opined about the case of Zervos v. Trump, most recently here. But I have chiefly been writing about procedural issues. In what I now realize was a terrible misjudgment, I attempted to clarify by tweeting back to @realDonaldTrump. I wrote: "Thanks for the free publicity, Mr. President, but I really didn't say anything about the substance of the case. I wrote about the applicability of the rule of Clinton v. Jones in state court."

Only twelve minutes later, the following ensued:

I knew that I couldn't fight this master of social media, so I did not reply. I had been wondering how Trump came across my blog post and, even more, why he bothered to respond. I got that the POTUS has an extraordinarily thin skin, but I am hardly the most pointed of his critics and even less so one of his most visible.

And then an anonymous reader alerted me to the fact that I had briefly appeared on FoxNews. Apparently, whoever has been impersonating Alan Dershowitz in the last few years wrote a column in which he argued that the SCOTUS would likely overrule Clinton v. Jones if the Zervos case were to reach the Court. His column disagreed with my blog post on a minor point, but it appeared in a box when neo-Dershowitz was on air. My name thus appeared onscreen as an apparent antagonist of Dershowitz, and thus of Trump, for all of three seconds. Trump's initial tweet asserting that I was "WRONG WRONG WRONG" was posted one minute later.

The upshot of this little brush with fame is that I have new respect for Trump. He may have small hands, but he sure has fast fingers.


Marty Lederman said...

April Fools posts don't work any longer, in the Age of Trump, because they don't compare to the reality, which is so grotesque it is now impervious to satire.

Shag from Brookline said...

Mike, here's a "SUMMER" libation to take your mind off the Donald's speedy digitals:

Cock/Tail Recipe:


1. Gently pour Ginger Beer over rocks

2. Layer lavishly with plenty of JACK* DANIELS.

3. Garnish rim with Orange slice and float two (2) skewered
Passion Fruit balls


Michael C. Dorf said...

Marty, you're mistaken -- or as both fake and real Trump would say "WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!". I've already heard from people who were fooled by this post. Although perhaps that's your point? People will believe this sort of nonsense but it doesn't make them fools, because the real news is even more nonsensical.

Kara said...

The fact that I had to even for a moment think this could be true and consider going to Trump's timeline to look says everything about this Administration.

Happy April Easter Fool's to you, too!

Shag from Brookline said...

The reality is that Trump fired VA Secretary Shulkin by tweet and nominated as successor Trump's personal physician (in his presidential capacity), Dr. Ronny Jackson. In real time following Dr. Jackson's recent medical exam of Trump, at a White House press conference Dr. Jackson lauded [lorded?] the excellent physical and mental health of Trump, despite Trump's fast foods diet, stating that President Trump has great jeans. I don't recall having seen video or photos of Trump in jeans. Maybe Dr. Jackson had in mind "Mom" jeans.

As a post-Korea, pre-Vietnam veteran, I am in the lowest priority for VA treatment. Questions have been raised about the results of results of Dr. Jackson's exam of Trump, in particular Trump's height of 6' 3", whereas Trump's DMV license lists his height at 6' 2". I'm 87 and Trump is 71. I have had a number of renewals of my MA driver's license over the years, with no changes listed in my height. I have lost two inches in height over the years, measured in stockinged feet [I don't wear elevator socks] that is fairly normal with aging. I don't know if Dr. Jackson's exam included a measurement of Trump's height in bare or stockinged feet, but perhaps Trump many years ago was 6' 2" tall. To my knowledge DMV license renewals do not require re-measurements of height. (By the way, DMV license renewals do not seem to require updated ID photos. So maybe it would be good to look at the most recent driver's license of Trump.)

The "skinny" on this height difference has to do with Trump's reported weight of 239 lbs. At 6' 2", this would make Trump obese; but at a height of 6' 3" Trump would be just short of obese. Now this is where the great jeans come in. Can great jeans change someone who is obese into not quite obese? How might this impact the millions of veterans treated at the VA? Might Dr. Jackson as head of the VA reduce obesity by similar measures?

Sometimes it's difficult telling the difference between FAKE news and REAL news. This particular April Fools Day is a good day to resurrect this issue.

John Barron said...

If judges can make facts up and rewrite the law to reach a predetermined outcome, why can't docs?

Everyone knows what the doc was up to. He had to come up with a conclusion that DT was not obese--if he didn't, Kim Jong-un could tease him mercilessly. Yeah, it was a Trump-sized fib, but is anyone really hurt?

When judges make it up, people are HURT. But that doesn't seem to bother you, Shag....

Shag from Brookline said...

Was it a judge who put the "HURT" on John Barron that required his two knee replacements? (I assume the judges in CO know the real identity of our John Barron who may appear in their courts. If not, ....)

By the Bybee [expletives deleted, despite Gina] John, just the thought of the mage of the just short of obese Donald Trump with his great jeans hurts!

Shag from Brookline said...

Speaking of Dr. Ronny Jackson, Sen. Lindsey Graham (Cracker, S. Car.) made an apropos April Fools Day appearance on Fox and told us of a meeting he attended a couple of weeks ago where he met and spoke with the good Doc, who expressed dismay with the VA's operation and suggestions that smack of a privatization movement that apparently the Koch-heads are investing in politically (according to Bernie Sanders).

By the Bybee [expletives deleted, despite Gina], was Dr. Jackson's exam of Trump covered by Medicare or Obamacare?

Query: Will Trump's tariffs on China exports exempt goods made for Trump Enterprises and Ivanka Trump?

John Barron said...

Translated, Shag is quite literally incapable of engaging in logical argument.

NFJ said...

@Marty you may not have fallen for Professor Dorf's prank, but I did, and I was halfway through a scathing message to the Whitehouse when I realized I'd been pranked. The best April's Fools gags are the ones that are believable. It is a shame that that Professor Dorf's joke is so believable.

Shag from Brookline said...

BREAKING NEWS! President Trump's Revengelical base reacted to his Easter Sunday Decree of Death to DACA by sponsoring Ann Coulter for Sainthood. Ann declined unless and until President Trump resurrects his promised southern border wall, even if Trump has to pay for it personally.

Shag from Brookline said...

Check out "Solum on Pedantic Originalism" over at Balkinization:

setting froth the abstract with a link to the full article. I'm still working on the Introduction, but preparing for the de bait. (Quick! Get the gaff!)

Shag from Brookline said...

Query: Is the Originalism Blog a day late (and a scholar short) with its post on "Cultural Originalism"? Seriously, does originalism have culture, considering it surfaced in the late 1970s (long after the 1787 Constitution was ratified)? Of course culture is necessary to make yogurt, which has been around for thousands of years.

John Barron said...

Shag put on his Laura Ingraham wig and trolled:

"Was it a judge who put the "HURT" on John Barron...."

Let's apply Shag's Rule. "David Hogg, STFU! Ella Gonzales, STFU! Black Lives Matter, your lives don't! Rosa Parks, STFU! MLK, Jr., STFU!" Victims of our broken system have NO STANDING to complain!

MLK curtly replies: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." When it happens, it becomes incumbent upon the academy and bar to speak out against it. The late Judge Roger Miner elaborates: "In my opinion, one of the most important societal duties of lawyers is the duty to criticize the courts. It is my premise that informed criticism of the courts and their decisions is not merely a right, but also an ethical obligation imposed on every member of the bar."

For the incurably senile, Shag's screed is a circumstantial ad hominem argument, one of the most common logical fallacies. Whether I have been injured personally is irrelevant--unless you argue that David Hogg and Ella Gonzales have heightened standing on account of their being in the line of fire.

Pick a lane, Laura Shag-raham.

Laura Shag-raham quotes Professor Pozen: "Solum on Pedantic Originalism"

The actual article is "Semantic Originalism," which has been Prof. Solum's primary area of study. He is attempting to work out a unified field theory of originalism, and he is well on the way to getting there.

Laura Shag-raham: "Seriously, does originalism have culture, considering it surfaced in the late 1970s (long after the 1787 Constitution was ratified)?"

Seriously, it has been demonstrated beyond cavil that "originalism" was how the Framers understood and interpreted their Constitution. How else do you interpret a contract?

Richard Primus argues that you can't beat something with nothing, and the LC types have bupkis.

It is unfortunate that Shag-raham chooses to gaslight, as opposed to shining light on this debate.

Shag from Brookline said...

Query: Was Laura Ingraham a Roger Ailes reject? Was John Barron a Roger Ailes reject?

Is "Cultural Originalism" a variation of "Constitutional Probiotics Originalism"?

Joe said...


‏Verified account @NPR
3h3 hours ago

In response to Russian news reports that President Trump will invite Vladimir Putin to the White House, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reaffirmed that such a meeting is under consideration.

Shag from Brookline said...

News Item: DJI DOWN over 600 points.

Shag from Brookline said...

DJI closes only 458+ down. I wonder if there are day-traders in the White House. Maybe Wall Street will creat a "TWEET" index.

Shag from Brookline said...

Regarding financial markets, post-April Fools Day 2018 is no laughing matter as noted at tonight's NYTimes website lead article:

"Markets That Climbed the Trump Bump Are Tumbling Down From It" By MATT PHILLIPS APRIL 2, 2018

Trump's "Only I can fix it" may not apply to his tariffs and trade wars, and at a time when Trump is to meet with Kim Jong un of NoKo and there may be a summit between Trump and Putin with the Russia probe still underway, with a new National Security Adviser and Secretary of State to soon takeover (the latter subject to Senate approval, all with the mid-term 2018 elections looming. But the good news is that Roseanne got great ratings!

John Barron said...

Just a normal correction, Shag. Should go down to 20,000.