Richard O. Lempert

Richard O. Lempert is the Eric Stein Distinguished University Professor of Law and Sociology emeritus at the University of Michigan. 

Recent Articles

Claims That Clinton Lied About Emails Dissolve Under Scrutiny

The media has created a misleading narrative about her honesty.

AP Photo/John Minchillo
Donald Trump’s supporters seem to feel that you can tell that Hillary Clinton is lying just by seeing her lips move. While their view might be dismissed, many people who favor Clinton also believe she has problems with the truth. She certainly has an image problem. Fact checkers such as The Washington Post ’s Glenn Kessler have identified far more misstatements by Trump than by Clinton, and the proportion of Trump to Clinton misstatements grows larger if one only considers four Pinocchio whoppers. Opinion polls nonetheless indicate that voters think Clinton is as likely as Trump to lie or more likely. This election cycle, no allegation of lying has been more prevalent and done more to harm Clinton than the claim that she has repeatedly lied when discussing her email and, in particular, when denying or explaining away the presence of classified information on her server. The Post ’s Kessler has given two of her statements four Pinocchios and accorded three Pinocchios...

Six Ways to Rewrite America’s Rules

Not everyone wants help. Many only want justice.

Alex Menendez via AP
The ideas that Hillary Clinton has offered in her campaign respond to people’s needs but not to their anger. Americans are angry because they see the game of life as rigged, full of rules they never agreed to and that never favor them. They don’t just want to be helped—in fact, many do not seek help at all. They want justice and fairness: rules that will give them their due, protect their freedoms, and let them help themselves. Here are six initiatives, consistent with other Clinton commitments, that advance fairness. They should become part of her plan. Health Care 1. Require drug companies to price drugs in the United States no higher than in other rich countries. Americans should not have to pay more than Canadians, Germans, or Japanese for drugs that often exist only because of research funded by the National Institutes of Health and paid for by American taxpayers. Require drug companies to charge American consumers no more than the lowest price they charge for...

Why Hillary Won't Be Indicted and Shouldn't Be: An Objective Legal Analysis

There is no reason to think that Clinton committed any crimes with respect to the use of her email server.

AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File
News reports suggest that the FBI is nearing the end of its inquiry into the legal issues surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal server for government emails and into the legal ramifications of classified information found in messages to and from her. Most of the reporting—and virtually all political discussion—reads as if reporters and pundits know little about the rules regarding the classification of information and what they imply not just for the likelihood of a Clinton indictment but also for whether she violated other rules regarding the proper handling of classified information, whether or not the violations constitute crimes. What follows reflects the knowledge and experience I have gained from working at the Department of Homeland Security from 2008 until 2011. While there, I took the lead in drafting a security classification manual for one of the divisions of the DHS science and technology directorate. In this discussion, I offer answers to...