Bert Fields was, as The New York Times put it, the "lawyer to the stars" -- from Dustin Hoffman to Warren Beatty to Tom Cruise to John Travolta, not to mention industry heavyweights like Jeffrey Katzenberg. In Hollywood, he was almost as famous as his clients.
He was also my lawyer.
And as much as any lawyer I've known, he taught me what it ...Read more
The case for Joe Biden's presidency has always turned on two things: experience and character.
Experience in politics has, in recent elections, been a mixed blessing. Unlike in things that really matter, like picking a plumber and electrician or someone to color your hair, all of them choices made better by experience, the outsider argument ...Read more
Two days after Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected a ban on abortion in their state, the other front-runner for the Republican nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, went out of his way to cement his hardcore anti-choice stance. On Thursday, he issued an order suspending a county prosecutor who had signed a pledge not to prosecute doctors or...Read more
On the same day that Kansas (yes, Dorothy, it was Kansas) voted against allowing the legislature to ban abortion, the Justice Department announced that it was bringing suit against Idaho, which has the near absolute bar that Kansas rejected. In explaining the Justice Department suit, Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized that federal law...Read more
On Wednesday, just as the bad news was coming on the economy, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin announced that he had reached an agreement with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the president's signature legislative package. Build Back Better has now become Stop Inflation Now, or some such name, but what it really is is America's signature move to...Read more
The shocking revelations of the Jan. 6 committee, and the news that Vice President Mike Pence's top aides are testifying before a criminal grand jury investigating the matter, have given new urgency to the question of whether the Justice Department will try to prosecute the former president. Ultimately, that is a decision that must be made by ...Read more
If the numbers are to be believed, more than 100,000 Americans are testing positive for COVID-19 every day, an increase of almost 20% in the last two weeks.
But who believes the numbers?
In real life, the president gets tested every day, but most of us don't; and more and more people these days are testing at home, or not at all, and just ...Read more
The blame game around the Senate's failure to pass global warming legislation is in full swing. The obvious target is West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, with his one-man veto power over the Democratic Party. But he's not the only one. There's Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader who can't corral his troops, and of course President Joe Biden,...Read more
The prospects of a rematch on the 2020 presidential race seem to grow dimmer every day. Biden versus Trump? Not likely. And that means an open road for every senator and governor who sees a president in the mirror every morning when they shave (or put on lipstick, even).
On the Democratic side, it's hard to see how Biden turns things around. ...Read more
It was one of those days that you spend most of on hold, waiting for the best health care system in the world (which ours is) to liberate you from all the new automatic choices and let you speak to a real human being. In my case, the real human being was a pharmacist, who might tell me where the refill I need was hiding (in the bushes, as it ...Read more
It was a strange coincidence that Justice Stephen Breyer's last day on the court, the final day of the term, was also the day the court dealt a potentially devastating blow to the regulatory system that Breyer has written about, taught about, worked in and reformed for his entire career.
The supposed ground for the court blocking climate ...Read more
The latest inflation figures for May were better than some expected, with a rate of only 6.3%.
Could have fooled me. It feels like 10%. And I'm not alone.
According to the latest Monmouth University poll, more than 4 in 10 Americans now say they're struggling to stay where they are economically, the highest number since they started asking ...Read more
It was in 1977 that Justice William J. Brennan, in a much-quoted Harvard Law Review article, called on judges and advocates to look to their state constitutions for the protection of individual rights. Brennan was a former state court judge; he was also the most liberal member of a very conservative court.
Of course, that was the very ...Read more
He knew they were armed.
He knew they meant harm.
He sent them to the Capitol.
He wanted to go with them.
He had to be restrained.
What more do we need to hear?
We've already heard that he knew it was a Big Lie and lied anyway.
We've already heard about the fake electors that he knew were fake.
We've already heard about the pressure ...Read more
Sometimes justice delayed is still justice. That was the case this week for Judy Huth, who met once-beloved comedian Bill Cosby back in 1975 and was 16 years old when he sexually assaulted her while giving her a tour of the Playboy Mansion. A California jury found that Cosby intentionally caused harmful sexual contact with Huth, and awarded ...Read more
Long before his "army" stormed the Capitol, the president and his team were guilty of inciting violence against state election officials. In the fourth day of testimony, the House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots heard in-person and taped testimony from those who were called, cajoled and threatened by the president of the United States...Read more
In the polls at least, the Supreme Court is no longer the respected institution that it once was. Consider these numbers from the Marquette University Law School poll. In September 2020, the week before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, 66% of all Americans approved of the Court. In the latest poll, taken after the leak of the draft opinion ...Read more
It's a textbook case. Fraud starts with a lie or, if you prefer the dictionary definition, an "intentional perversion of the truth," which is intended to and does induce others to rely on the lie and part with something of value, like money.
Two hundred fifty million dollars, to be exact, which is how much former President Donald Trump and ...Read more
In the years after Roe v. Wade, even the most ardent opponents of abortion supported an exception for rape, incest or the life of the mother. Even the Hyde Amendment, which singles out abortion as the only medically necessary service for which there is no Medicaid funding, includes an exception for rape and incest.
All that is changing, and ...Read more
The bluest state in the nation is bleeding red. In San Francisco, progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin, scion of a famous liberal family, was soundly recalled. In Los Angeles, billionaire developer Rick Caruso (full disclosure, a friend from my University of Southern California days), who was a Republican until three years ago, led the ...Read more