Eve Levin, Ian Eppler // 4/23/18 //
The Democratic National Committee sued the Russian government, Russian government entities, the Trump campaign, Wikileaks, and Trump campaign officials alleging a conspiracy to hack DNC servers and release information during the 2016 election. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told White House Counsel Don McGahn that he would consider resigning if President Trump fired Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The Trump administration will pivot its teen pregnancy prevention funding efforts toward abstinence-based programs and away from comprehensive sexual education. The CIA’s campaign for controversial deputy director Gina Haspel to be confirmed as its director is atypically public and political. The future of the Iran nuclear deal will be central to meetings between French President Emmanuel Macron and President Trump next week.
TRUMP: INVESTIGATIONS AND LITIGATION
The Democratic National Committee sued the Russian government, Russian government entities, the Trump campaign, Wikileaks, and Trump campaign officials alleging a conspiracy to hack DNC servers and release information during the 2016 election (Ars Technica, NYT, Politico, WaPo)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions told White House Counsel Don McGahn that he would consider resigning if President Trump fired Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, report Sari Horwitz, Rosalind S. Helderman, Josh Dawsey and Matt Zapotosky in the Washington Post.
Former FBI Director James Comey’s memos show that President Trump was irate when former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn failed to tell him about a call from Russian President Vladimir Putin and frequently spoke with Comey about allegations in the Steele dossier (WaPo).
The DHS’s draft regulation denying immigration applications from people likely to rely on government services has seven serious problems, argues David Bier in an in-depth analysis at Cato.
Several Congressmen wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to express concern that the DOJ is politicizing the hiring of immigration judges in violation of department policy and federal law (ImmigrationProf Blog).
The Seventh Circuit upheld a nationwide district court injunction against Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attempt to deprive “sanctuary cities” of federal funding (Chicago Tribune).
Justice Gorsuch’s opinion in Sessions v. Dimaya may indicate that he will advance his philosophy on the administrative state through immigration cases, observes Jill Family at Notice and Comment.
An ICE raid at a Tennessee meat-processing plant prompted some conservative voters to rethink their support of President Trump; Jonathan Blitzer provides a look at the aftermath at the New Yorker via ImmigrationProf Blog.
Data from the Immigration Court show a dramatic rise in the proportion of cases involving long-term residents of the United States (ImmigrationProf Blog).
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Pereira v. Sessions, a seemingly arcane immigration case with potentially far-reaching implications (ImmigrationProf Blog).
Next week, the Supreme Court will also hear oral arguments in the travel ban case.
More than 700 children have been separated from their parents by Border Patrol officials, and there is no clear process for reuniting them, a report by Caitlin Dickerson at the New York Times reveals.
The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a class action challenging conditions at immigrant detention centers run by private prison company CoreCivic (ImmigrationProf Blog).
A video released this month shows Border Patrol agents attempting to dump an injured, incoherent man on the Mexican side of the border without any verification whether he was American or Mexican (ImmigrationProf Blog).
Immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, pay billions of dollars in taxes each year (ImmigrationProf Blog).
The Seventh Circuit struck down an Indiana law from Vice President Pence’s tenure as Governor that prohibited abortions sought because a fetus had been diagnosed with a disability (IndyStar).
The DOJ civil rights division again recommended pursuing a case against the police officer responsible for Eric Garner’s death, but it remains to be seen whether Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and Attorney General Sessions will greenlight the prosecution (WaPo; NYT).
Controversy continues over the nomination of Kyle Duncan to the Fifth Circuit due to his long history of litigation against LGBTQ rights.
The State Department eliminated references to women’s reproductive rights and uses of the phrase “Occupied Territories” in connection with Gaza and the West Bank in its annual human rights report (WaPo).
HHS must do better to balance healthcare providers’ interest in their religious beliefs with patients’ right to receive unfettered access to healthcare services through referrals, argues Cynthia Romero at ACSblog.
The Trump administration will pivot its teen pregnancy prevention funding efforts toward abstinence-based programs and away from comprehensive sexual education (The Hill).
The administration plans to roll back an Obama-era rule prohibiting medical providers who receive federal funds from discriminating against transgender individuals (NYT).
The Department of Education began using a controversial new rule that permits it to dismiss civil rights cases from serial filers or those that put an “unreasonable burden” on department resources (NYT).
Sen. Ted Cruz’s view that Facebook must choose between the First Amendment and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is incorrect, argues Catherine Padhi at Lawfare.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next week in a case to determine whether Texas Republicans’ redistricting was a racial gerrymander (Austin American-Statesman).
Christian television stations have become increasingly ardent in their support of President Trump, writes Ruth Graham at Politico.
JUSTICE AND SAFETY
Critics claim the State Department’s human rights report muted criticisms of countries the administration considers friendly and amplified those of countries it considers rivals (NYT).
Congress can and should take five steps to protect America against foreign intelligence operations, write Laura Rosenberger and Jamie Fly at the Hill.
Mike Pompeo “has the intelligence, the integrity, and the experience to serve as America’s secretary of State,” argues Sen. John Barrasso at the Hill.
Commentary continues on the lawfulness of the President’s strikes in Syria and the future of the AUMF.
In a tweet, President Trump rejected the notion that the United States would give up too much in negotiations with North Korea due to the President’s eagerness to reach a deal (NYT).
American foreign policymakers must reconsider the U.S.’s “global posture” and adapt to “a world with many capable actors,” argues Christopher Preble at Cato.
The future of the Iran nuclear deal will be central to meetings between French President Emmanuel Macron and President Trump next week (WaPo).
The President once again berated his Attorney General on Twitter, a pattern the ACLU’s David Cole calls “curious” at the New York Review of Books.
The President is considering a posthumous pardon for boxer Jack Johnson at the urging of actor Sylvester Stallone (NYT).
The CIA’s campaign for controversial deputy director Gina Haspel to be confirmed as its director is atypically public and political, write Adam Goldman and Matthew Rosenberg at the New York Times.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Political groups supporting President Trump are spending millions of dollars at Trump properties (Politico).
The Trump administration may attempt to use the Defense Production Act of 1950 to support coal and nuclear power plants, reports Megan Geuss at Ars Technica.
The administration is seeking to impose Medicaid work requirements on Native American tribes (Politico).
RULE OF LAW
While serving as a state legislator in Oklahoma, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt used a shell company to purchase a home from a lobbyist at a below market price, and several business associates who assisted with the transaction now work at the EPA, report Steve Eder and Hiroko Tabuchi for the New York Times.
Despite denials, records reveal that the lobbyist whose wife rented a townhouse to EPA Administrator Pruitt at a below-market rate was lobbying the EPA at the time Pruitt was renting from his wife, report Theodoric Meyer and Eliana Johnson in Politico.
CHECKS AND BALANCES
Fearful that the Senate may change party control after the 2018 election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving to quickly confirm President Trump’s judicial nominees (Politico).
A bipartisan group of senators is currently working to revive a proposed election security bill that would help states prevent against cyberattacks (The Hill).