News

Piers Morgan tells US lawyer that Harvard Law School is ‘somewhere south of Dumb & Dumber’

By on
30

But gets case law wrong

Outspoken TV presenter and journalist Piers Morgan has got into a squabble about US law with not one but two US lawyers.

The exchange began when Daily Mail editor-at-large Morgan told his six million followers that the US constitution is “absurd.” This, he said, is because it allows Nazism but bans shouting ‘fire!’ in a theatre. His comments are likely in relation to recent events in Charlottesville.

A quick Google search shows the whole shouting ‘fire!’ malarkey is not actually true.

Though the 1919 case of Schenck ruled that free speech laws do not protect dangerous speech (shouting ‘fire’ when there’s no fire being dangerous because it may cause panic), this was overruled in the 1960s. Now, inflammatory speech will be illegal if it: “is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action”. This is a much higher standard than is laid down in Schenck.

Despite this, the fire/theatre myth lives on. In 2012, US journalist and New York Law School grad Trevor Timm went as far as to say it is “perhaps the most well-known — yet misquoted and misused — phrase in Supreme Court history.” One tweeter, who describes himself as a lawyer on his account, was quick to point this out to Morgan:

But Morgan — not known for his compromising nature — hit back with this:

Perhaps in too deep at this point, Morgan then set his sights on Harvard Law School graduate and former Goodwin Proctor lawyer Ben Shapiro, who said:

And here’s US Celebrity Apprentice winner Morgan’s response:

Things took even more of a turn when — fittingly for A-level results day — Morgan and Shapiro began debating the reputation of university law schools. Shapiro began by telling 52-year-old Morgan:

Despite this tweet racking up 22,000 likes and 6,000 retweets, Morgan responded with:

Harvard is the top rated law school in the world and has alumni including Barack and Michelle Obama and various Supreme Court justices, for example Donald Trump’s nominee Neil Gorsuch and the Denning-esque Antonin Scalia. UK figures to have studied law at Harvard include MP for Tottenham David Lammy (the first black Brit to do so).

This is not the first time Morgan has got into a lawyer-related Twitter-off.

Earlier this year, a feud was ignited between the Good Morning Britain co-host and barrister and Labour MP Karl Turner when the latter said Morgan “puts me off my breakfast.” After a few sour-worded exchanges, Morgan accused Turner of “lying” about ITV contacting him to apologise for Morgan’s actions. Ouch.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub.

30 Comments

Anonymous

Comparing Denning to Scalia seems a bit insulting to Denning.

(32)(4)

Anonymous

What makes you say that?

(0)(4)

Anonymous

* Insulting to Scalia. FTFY.

(12)(12)

Anonymous

Denning was just a twat of a judge who complicated the law. At least Scalia has principle.

(9)(12)

Anonymous

Had* RIP Scalia

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Scalia was such a wretched POS.

This post has been moderated because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(4)(3)

Anonymous

The fascist moderators are at it again!

(1)(2)

Libeturd Leftie

Not one to kick a man when he is down… or in this case dead… may God rest his soul, but on which principles did Scalia actually stand?

(2)(1)

Corbyn. Symphathiser

Scalia was a dedicated torture apologist who cited the television show ’24’ as evidence that torture is effective and cool and good.

He was a complete buffoon.

(13)(5)

Scalia 4lyfee

Fuck you asshat

(2)(7)

Anonymous

Hi Trumpenkrieg, you fascist.

(1)(2)

Trumpenkrieg

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

Trumpenkrieg

So tired of these facist moderators at LC. They can suck my nutsack

Trumpenfuckoff

I know right? Private organisation decides not to publish whatever bullshit you typed out. What a bunch of fascists!

Anonymous

To be fair, they also deleted at least four posts pointing out mistakes in the article (like the misspelling of Antonin Scalia’s name in the original version) but hey, you didn’t come to LC for balanced observations and factual accuracy, did you?

Anonymous

As much as I disagree with the guy he was an originalist, and didn’t really deter from it even in cases like Johnson v Texts where he really didn’t like his own decision but made that decision for the sake of the Constitution. Either way Denning’s large ego made him desperate to change law when he didn’t need to, not caring about the future implications. Surprised many lecturers jack off to him

(4)(1)

Morgan

Classic Morgan!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Why are we giving this f*ck0muppet oxygen for his nonsense?

The first rule of t’Internet: DON’T FEED THE TROLLS!

(5)(0)

BPP PR GIMP

Good on you Morgs! Harvard, Yale, Princeton etc have nothing on the mighty law titan that is BPP law school!

(37)(1)

Anonymous

Not sure how you made this connection. He didn’t mention BPP or any of the UK Universities in comparison.

(1)(11)

Anonymous

Did you actually read the article?

Can you read?

(11)(1)

Anonymous

No but I just recently learned to count to 10 thanks to one of our genius slavedrivers… I mean partners!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I don’t agree with what he is saying since he does not have a degree himself or knows anything about law, but why is Harvard awarded the best law school in the world? Surely our Oxbridge is better? Fudge American Law and their Schools!

(3)(2)

Mike Ross

Because you can’t get into Pearson Spectre Litt without a degree from Harvard.

(19)(0)

Rachel Zane

I think you’ll find that you can.

(17)(0)

Robert Zane

Daddy’s little princess can do anything she wants. Even join Jones Day.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Why is Harvard the best in the world? The primary reason is the insane resources available. Harvard has a total endowment of almost $38 billion (USD). Their law school has it’s own endowment of $1.7 billion, with something silly like 13 law buildings for under 2000 students at any one time. Yale Law School is not far behind at $1.2 billion ( $25.4 billion for the whole university).

To put it in perspective, Oxford including the colleges has a total endowment of £5 billion and change, £6.25 billion for Cambridge. Although oxbridge’s resources are impressive and by far outpace any other UK university, you just can’t beat the figures of Harvard and Yale. The funds allow for greater research and publication grants, forking out salaries for the best legal minds in both private practice and academics from around the world, greater facilities, as well as an excuse to put money into their global networking initiatives.

A BCL from Oxford may be the most prestigious post-graduate law degree in the world, but a Harvard JD will forever remain the global king of undergraduate qualifying law degrees.

(5)(8)

Anonymous

Calm down, sunshine.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Jesus christ dude you need to get out more.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Pearson Spectre Clitt.

(2)(6)

Comments are closed.