Legal Commentary: John Dean Archive

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TOM RIDGE'S NON-TESTIMONIAL APPEARANCE BEFORE CONGRESS:
ANOTHER NIXON-STYLE MOVE BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses what he contends are recent parallels between the Nixon and Bush Administrations -- relating both to the structure of the Office of Homeland Security, and to Tom Ridge's refusal to testify about planned appropriations for the Office before Congress, offering only a "briefing" instead. Dean discusses the problems that can occur when the Executive Branch freezes Congress out.
Friday, Apr. 12, 2002

LET THE NEXT FIGHT BEGIN:
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM GOES TO COURT

FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean answers some central questions about the coming legal fight over the newly-enacted Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. Dean describes the act's proponents and opponents, President Bush's stance on the act, and the process for its expedited review by the Supreme Court, and predicts what the Court likely will do when it hears the case.
Friday, Mar. 29, 2002

WRITINGS OF AN INFLUENTIAL AND CONTROVERSIAL FOUNDER:
ALEXANDER HAMILTON'S PAPERS, EDITED BY JOANNE FREEMAN

FindLaw book reviewer and columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean reviews a recent Library of America collection of the papers of Alexander Hamilton, edited by Yale history professor and expert on dueling Joanne Freeman. As Dean notes, the volume contains much more than the Federalist Papers Hamilton wrote -- including Hamilton's public letter dispelling an accusation of corruption with an admission of adultery, and a number of writings relating to the notorious Burr-Hamilton duel -- such as the letter Hamilton penned to be given to his wife if he were to die.
Friday, Mar. 22, 2002

ON LIE DETECTION
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses lie detection and its flaws. Are ordinary jury members, law enforcement personnel, and polygraphs likely to be good at detecting lies? Are there truly telltale signs of a liar? Can a polygraph be fooled? Drawing on the work of psychologist Aldert Vrij, Dean provides surprising answers to these and other questions about lie detection.
Friday, Mar. 15, 2002

A LITMUS TEST FOR LITMUS TESTS:
WHY THE PICKERING NOMINATION WILL INDICATE WHETHER BUSH CAN GET CONSERVATIVE JUDGES CONFIRMED

FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses the President's nomination of Mississippi federal trial judge Charles Pickering to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Dean explains why the Senate Judiciary Committee's apparent opposition to Pickering may lead Senator Trent Lott to employ an unusual procedural gambit that could bypass the committee, and why the fate of Pickering's nomination may act as a harbinger of the fate of other Bush-nominated judges to come.
Friday, Mar. 01, 2002

ENRON IS NOT YET A POLITICAL SCANDAL, BUT IT WILL BECOME ONE:
WHY CONGRESSMAN WAXMAN IS CORRECT TO SEEK AN INVESTIGATION OF ENRON'S APPARENT INFLUENCE-BUYING

FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean contends that the current financial scandal surrounding Enron will ultimately give rise to a companion political scandal, which will put at issue Enron's apparent ability to buy political influence with contributions. Among other points, Dean discusses Congressman Waxman's recent letter to the Bush Administration complaining about the Enron's investigation's narrow, financial focus and citing instances of possible influence-buying by Enron.
Friday, Feb. 15, 2002

GAO V. CHENEY IS BIG-TIME STALLING:
THE VICE PRESIDENT CAN WIN ONLY IF WE HAVE ANOTHER BUSH V. GORE- LIKE RULING

FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean argues that Vice President Cheney's arguments against the GAO's request for information relating to the Energy Group have no basis in law, and mischaracterize the nature of the request. Dean contends that if the GAO lawsuit reaches the Supreme Court, only a strongly partisan decision could save the Vice President from an adverse ruling.
Friday, Feb. 01, 2002

SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT ENRON'S CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS:
DID ENRON SUCCESSFULLY BUY INFLUENCE WITH THE MONEY IT SPENT?

In Part One of a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses the Enron scandal -- both chronicling what has happened so far, and noting the main questions that investigations by Congress, the SEC and others will aim to resolve. Dean contends that, contrary to the assessment of some commentators, Enron did indeed buy a significant amount of political influence with its millions of dollars of campaign contributions over the years.
Friday, Jan. 18, 2002

REHNQUIST'S UNSUNG REPORT ON THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY:
HOW TO MAKE THE ANNUAL ROUNDUP RHYME

FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean offers an innovative new way for Chief Justice Rehnquist to interest more of the press and media in his annual Report on the Federal Judiciary. Dean also comments on the subtext of this year's Report.
Friday, Jan. 04, 2002

THE HISTORY OF, AND CHALLENGES TO, PRESIDENTIAL LAWMAKING: WHY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S USE OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS IS NOTHING NOVEL
FindLaw columnist and former Counsel to the President John Dean discusses the tradition by which Presidential Executive Orders and other directives began to be used and then grew in importance, and the court challenges that have threatened to disrupt that tradition. Dean contends that the Bush Administration's use of executive orders is not unusual, viewed in historical context.
Friday, Dec. 21, 2001

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