Uncommentable: President Trump Appoints Himself Attorney General, Finds Own Executive Order “Most Constitutional” Ever Written

Editor’s note: Uncommentable is The Commentator’s satirical news imprint. All articles and quotes published under the Uncommentable banner are false and intended for entertainment purposes only.

Written by Naeem Crawford-Muhammad, Editor-in-Chief

In a startling turn of events, President Donald Trump took the unprecedented step of appointing himself acting Attorney General of the United States. During a hastily arranged Rose Garden ceremony in front of throngs of cheering actors supporters and stunned reporters, Mr. Trump swore himself in saying, “King Kong ain’t got nothing on me. In fact, he’s very weak on borders, low stamina, low energy. I’ll be a much better attorney general. The best, that’s what all the real Americans are saying.”

Wasting no time at all, President Attorney General Trump, as he now wishes to be called, immediately reversed the ruling of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates. She had refused to enforce President Trump’s executive order barring citizens of Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, before she was fired on a special episode of NBC’s The Apprentice: White House Edition. Instead, President Attorney General Trump found his own executive order the “most constitutional” ever written.

“Everyone said we couldn’t do it. That we needed an attorney general. But you know what folks? You know what? We don’t. We do not need them. We do not need them in a house. We do not need with a mouse. We do not need them here or there. We do not need them anywhere!”

After pausing for suspense, the actors resumed their cheers.

Said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, “President Attorney General Trump is merely doing exactly what he promised he would do when he ran his record-setting campaign and received more votes for president than anyone in the history of the Galactic Republic since Chancellor Palpatine…”

“… who was very good for America by the way,” interrupted President Attorney General Trump. “Don’t let anyone tell you he wasn’t good for America. He was great for America. Loved by the generals. Protected religious minorities like the Sith, whom he always welcomed,” said Mr. Trump.

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway noted, “The liberal media is just so focused on Crooked Hillary’s shocking loss that they can’t even understand why the American people support this nation’s first-ever president attorney general. When you look at it, the alternative facts presented during the President Attorney General’s news conference earlier, it becomes clear that this action is both precedented and constitutional, and certainly one or the other.”

In other news, the Statute of Liberty has announced she is moving back to France following the revocation of her visa.

Uncommentable: Campus Safe Spaces Suffer Severe Overcrowding Post Trump Inauguration

Editor’s note: Uncommentable is The Commentator’s satirical news imprint. All articles and quotes published under the Uncommentable banner are false and intended for entertainment purposes only.

Written by Naeem Crawford-Muhammad, Editor-in-Chief

Following the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, campus officials have described a “mad rush” on safe spaces across New York University. While safe spaces are nothing new at the Law School, the fact that they are now perennially over capacity has students demanding change.

“$60,000 in tuition and I can’t even get a seat at a table,” said one disgruntled second-year law student. “Seriously, what’s the point of going to the sixth-best, top-three law school in America if, when bad things happen, there’s no free food and coffee?”

Calling an emergency meeting of the Student Bar Association, SBA President Evan Shepherd vowed swift action to remedy the quickly-deteriorating situation. “YOU get a safe space! And YOU get a safe space! And YOU get a safe space! SAFE SPACES FOR EVERYONE!” vowed Mr. Shepherd to thunderous applause from the fifteen students assembled, some of whom were simply early for their next class.

In an email to the campus community, New York University President Andrew Hamilton promised that all new construction would include “state-of-the-art” safe spaces replete with free food, including locally-sourced, gluten-free, organic, vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, Kosher, and Halal options.

“Schools like Harvard and Yale may sit higher than us in things like ‘rankings’ and ‘resources,’ but when it comes to safe spaces, NYU is the world leader,” said President Hamilton triumphantly.

When reached for comment at the White House, NYU Law alumnus and presidential Senior Advisor Jared Kushner said, “Come on… Do you know how tough it is to get him to sign on the dotted line? The man uses ‘bigly’ in sentences ON PURPOSE. I can’t be held responsible for what happens next. How’d you get this number anyway?”

While it is unclear how much these new safe spaces will cost, New York University recently announced that tuition will increase to $250,000 per semester starting this fall.

 

Law School Community Mobilizes in Defiance of Donald Trump

Written by Naeem Crawford-Muhammad, Editor-in-Chief

There is one topic of conversation dominating the halls of New York University School of Law – the hectic first days of President Donald Trump’s term in office. Following through on his campaign promise to impose a “total and complete shutdown” on Muslim immigration into the United States, Mr. Trump ordered a “travel ban” on citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations in the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen). While much of the law was stayed by multiple federal court rulings, thousands of protesters, including many NYU Law students and alumni, are crying foul.

Posted on Salon.com, 50 members of the Class of 2007 sent an open letter to their classmate, Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to President Trump, raising “serious concerns regarding Mr. Trump’s stated policies and policy proposals.” Citing Mr. Kushner’s status as the grandchild of a Holocaust survivor, the alumni encouraged their classmate to “use his deep sense of compassion to influence the Trump Administration in a positive way.” According to the posting, an earlier version of the letter sent last December received no response.

The Muslim Law Students Association released a statement condemning a policy that they felt unfairly, and unconstitutionally, targeted individuals based on their faith and country of origin. “This order is very clearly a ‘Muslim Ban.’ During his campaign, President Trump repeatedly promised that he would ban Muslims from entering the United States. The President’s intent to establish a Muslim ban was corroborated by top Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani in a recent interview with Fox News, where he remarked that President Trump asked how to make such a ban legally possible,” said Nealofar Panjshiri.

In a letter to the Law School community, Dean Trevor Morrison raised objection to Mr. Trump’s travel ban, pledging to support the students, faculty members, and their families who hail from the affected countries. “We are committed to doing all we can to keep them safe,” said Dean Morrison. When reached for comment, Law School Public Affairs Director Michael Orey confirmed that no NYU Law students, faculty, or administrators have been refused entry to the United States as a result of Mr. Trump’s executive order.

Although no members of the Law School community have been directly impacted by the travel ban, appeals for students to volunteer their legal services or to participate in protests have proliferated across the campus in recent days.

Freshly returned from a regional meeting in Boston with over 20 chapters of the National Black Law Students Association, where responses to the Trump Administration were discussed, Kayla Vinson of the Black Allied Law Students Association released a statement calling on students to join protests and make their voices heard. “Implementation of this Executive Order will only lead to further harassment and racial profiling of marginalized communities. BALSA strongly opposes the Administration’s attempt to spread fear, racism, and Islamophobia.”

Frances Hartmann of Resisting Injustice and Standing for Equality (RISE), a student advocacy group founded by alumni from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last December, encouraged students in need to make use of resources available at the Law School. “Students and staff seeking immigration legal advice should contact NYU’s Immigrant Defense Initiative (IDI) at 212-998-6640 or immigrant.defense@law.nyu.edu for a free consultation. The IDI is being coordinated by NYU Law’s Immigrant Rights Clinic in partnership with WilmerHale.”

Professor Alina Das, director of the NYU Law Immigrant Rights Clinic, is providing legal services to those who have been detained at airports and other points of entry, according to Dean Morrison’s statement. Professor Das will also join colleagues Adam Cox and Nancy Morawetz for a forum discussing the impact of the travel ban on Wednesday.

Claudia Carvajal and Nicolas Duque-Franco, co-chairs of the Latino Law Students Association (LaLSA) were concerned that the “travel ban” did not appear to undergo enough scrutiny from within the Trump Administration before it was signed.

“We are appalled that the President would issue a categorical ban on travel, or any such policy based on race or national origin, that violates the Constitution. Reports that (1) [Customs and Border Patrol] officials have, in certain places, ignored Judge Donnelly’s stay, and (2) that the travel ban was issued without [Homeland Security] or [Justice Department] review, are alarming to say the least. This raises serious concerns about the legitimacy of future policies issued by the White House.”

 

Law School Statement on President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order

The below statement was sent from the Office of the Dean to members of the Law School community earlier today. It is reprinted in full below.

Dear NYU Law Community:

As you are all no doubt aware, on Friday, President Trump signed an executive order that temporarily bars all refugees into the United States and indefinitely bars all Syrian refugees, and that temporarily bars nearly anyone from seven specified countries (all of which are majority Muslim), regardless of visa type.  On Saturday night, amidst swelling protests at airports around the country, a number of federal courts issued orders temporarily suspending certain aspects of the executive order, pending further litigation.

The leaders of institutions of higher education across the country—including NYU’s President Hamilton—have raised alarms about the executive order and its potential impact on our students and our schools.  I share that concern for the NYU Law community, which includes students and scholars from the listed countries or who have family there, and Muslim students who feel that the order is hostile to their religion or who fear that their countries of origin may be targeted next.  We are in touch with members of our community who may be immediately impacted to offer our support.  These students and scholars are all full members of the NYU Law community, and we stand behind them.  We are committed to doing all we can to keep them safe.

We at NYU Law know that our strength lies in our diversity, in our promotion of the free flow of ideas, and in our provision of a welcoming intellectual home for all of our members, without regard to religion or viewpoint.  Openness is the heart of our enterprise.  While this may be true at any institution of higher learning, it is especially so at our Law School, whose commitment to global engagement is deep and longstanding.  Having grown up outside this country before coming to the U.S. for graduate school, the potential repercussions of this executive order resonate especially powerfully with me.  Speaking for myself, I simply cannot square it with our core values.

I am proud that members of our community, led by Professor Alina Das, are providing legal assistance to people detained at airports and others whose immigration status is now in doubt.  Our students and alumni likewise are organizing to offer legal assistance to those impacted.  Together, these members of the NYU Law community are helping to ensure that any new immigration policy is consistent with our constitutional values and is implemented lawfully.  We will also provide opportunities to discuss these issues on campus.  This Wednesday’s Forum will focus on the executive order and will feature analysis and commentary by Professors Adam Cox, Alina Das, and Nancy Morawetz.

This is a time of uncertainty and fear for many.  For the time being, we recommend that members of the NYU Law community from the seven countries named in the order who are in the United States on a visa, or who are lawful permanent residents here, do not travel outside the country.  If you have any concern about how the executive order could impact you, please contact our Immigrant Rights Clinic’s Immigrant Defense Initiative or NYU’s Office of Global Services.  Our Office of Student Affairs and Office of Graduate Affairs can also offer guidance and support.  And, as ever, please feel encouraged to call the Wellness Center for counseling if you need it.

Sincerely,

Trevor W. Morrison
Dean

 

Op-Ed: Nasty Woman: Why This Republican is Swiping Left on Trump

Written by Cristina Stiller

Believe you me, it is a lonely road being a Republican at NYU Law.

There’s this party game—it’s like truth or dare, but without the dare—where a group of friends can ask you anything for two minutes and you have to answer every question truthfully. As you can imagine, the game almost immediately devolves into a series of increasingly intimate questions about your sex life. But when my friends found out I was a Republican? Well apparently, that’s even kinkier than that one time you tried a butt plug and liked it.

For two minutes, my friends drilled me on the intricacies of my political beliefs. Here’s the TL;DR results of that endeavor: I’m a fiscal Republican, in the purest sense of the word. I’m a big fan of keeping the federal government (and the states) out of my bed and out of my womb. And I fully support policies that ensure they stay out of everyone else’s as well. You could say I lean Libertarian (although I know where Aleppo is—shocking, but true). But I keep my Republican registration card because, well, primaries are a thing.

There aren’t many of us roaming the fabled halls of this venerated institution. But for those of you who want hard, quantitative facts, let me give you a totally statistically relevant, not-at-all anecdotal idea of the ratios we’re dealing with. Last year, Professor Nelson asked the roughly 100 kids in my Property class, “How many of you are Conservatives?” I was the only person to raise my hand. You can’t argue with the facts, people.

Now, maybe there were one or two closeted Republicans lurking in the back row. Or maybe, everyone knew that whoever raised their hand would be required to have their ass in the chair for the remainder of the semester, never to skip again, if only to defend the faith. But whatever the case, the number of us who would actually dare to mutter those three dirty words, “I’m a Republican,” are thin on the ground.

And this was all well before my party decided that now was as good a year as any to totally and completely botch the presidential election.

So let me tell you a little bit about my party’s candidate. He wants to ban me. If he can’t get away with that, he at least wants to register me. He’s probably not a big fan of my Hispanic mom. He’s certainly not a fan of the fact that we speak Spanish in these United States of America. Oh yeah, and he wants to grab my…

I’d comment on his fiscal policies, but to be honest I’m not really sure he has any. Before law school, I worked as the Communications Director of a hotly contested Congressional (yes Republican) campaign, so I like to consider myself generally abreast of these sorts of things. But when you pick through the “I’m very, very rich,” it’s hard to find much policy left.

Heck, I’d even comment on his social policies. But given that the Liberal Media and Crooked Hillary apparently keep twisting everything the Donald says—even if he’s said it on tape, because how reliable can that be, am I right?—well, it’s even hard to put a finger on what those social policies might be.

So while it’s safe to say that we don’t really know what my party’s candidate actually believes, what I do know is this: there is no choice to be made here. This is not a case of the lesser of two evils. Do I love Hillary Clinton? No. Am I chiming into the endless siren song of #imwithher that has overtaken each and every one of your NYU Law friends’ Facebook feeds? Hardly.

But I value living in a country where I’m represented by someone who is smarter than me; not someone who just says they’re smarter than me. I value living in a country where the person I nominate for president is someone who is intensely qualified for the job, even if she doesn’t agree with everything I believe. I value living in a country where I will be represented by someone who will fight to ensure that the freedoms I enjoy today will still be here come November 9th; not someone who will endeavor, as a matter of great pride, to set the clock back 50 years.

So let me be the first to say: my party fucked up. Royally. We’ve made a mockery of this election; we’ve made a mockery of this country. We have paraded a racist, bigoted, womanizing Oompa Loompa in front of televisions and newspaper reporters worldwide and we have said, “Look world: this is who we are and this is what we have become.”

But this is not who I am. And this is not what we have to become. That’s why I’m proudly supporting Hillary Clinton this election. She’s got my woman’s vote. She’s got my Muslim vote. She’s got my Latina vote. And she’s got my Republican vote.

Can the American Bar Association’s New Anti-Discrimination Rules Stop Donald Trump?

Written by Aditi Juneja, Columnist

The American Bar Association’s (ABA) amended model ethics rule may create problems for lawyers advising Donald Trump on policies such as a temporary ban on those from Muslim majority nations (now shifted to a ban on nations with a record of terrorism). The new amendment to the ABA’s Model Rule 8.4 would make it professional misconduct to behave in ways an attorney knows or should reasonably know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law.

Reading about this amendment, I began to wonder if it would be possible for a lawyer to ethically advise a presidential candidate to pursue discriminatory policies. The amendment does not require that a lawyer have discriminatory intent, per my reading, merely that it has that effect. Thus, the only way I can imagine a lawyer could ethically propose policies, such as a ban on those from majority Muslim nations, in a way that falls under the exception of “legitimate advice or advocacy consistent with these rules” is if advising a candidate to pursue discriminatory policies is not “related to the practice of law.”

Coded racial appeals, or “dog whistles,” are nothing new in presidential politics. Kevin Phillips, a lawyer and political strategist for Richard Nixon was open about the “Southern Strategy” to win an emerging Republican majority through “hostility to blacks and browns among slipping Democrats.” In fact, Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman and a lawyer, ran Reagan’s Southern operation in the 1980s with racially tinged appeals. It is not surprising, given the background of his former advisor, that Donald Trump made similar efforts to appeal to racist ideologies in ways reminiscent of post-slavery Reconstruction-Era politics that played off of the discontent of voters opposed to those changes.

However, opposition to this new rule was not based in the ethics of lawyers who represent politicians. Rather, it focused on an attorney’s free speech rights and duties to advocate zealously for their clients. In response, Professor Noah Feldman wrote it is possible to advocate zealously without crossing the line into harassment or discrimination. I believe that if lawyers are going to craft the rules of society, it is about time that we are obligated to do so in a way that is inclusive of all of its members.

As a law student, I have been taught to comfort myself about the moral implications of advocacy by deferring to the adversarial process, which is supposed to yield fair and just results. Lawyers are taught to think through arguments and counterarguments, but rarely taught to consider the morality of advocacy. If we hope to learn from our history, and avoid repeating it, it would seem that making it unethical for lawyers to engage in discrimination and harassment in their legal practice is a good first step.