Derek Reinbold , Raquel Dominguez  //  8/15/17  //  Daily Update

Commentary and reaction about President Trump's handling of the events in Charlottesville abound. The President said he might pardon controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio. And DOJ filed a brief in the case regarding the President's twitter usage.



After his widely criticized statement condemning violence “on many sides” in Charlottesville, President Trump issued a new statement today, saying “racism is evil” (WSJNYT).

  • The full text of his statement can be found here.
  • Vice President Pence condemned white supremacist groups on Sunday night (WSJ).
  • Vice President Pence also attempted to defend President Trump’s initial response condemning “many sides” (Politico).
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the violence met the definition of domestic terrorism (WaPoNYT).
  • Multiple Republican congress members criticized the President’s early responses (Politico).
  • Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck, resigned from the president’s manufacturing council in protest over President Trump’s slow reaction to the violence in Charlottesville on Saturday (PoliticoWSJWaPo).
  • William Antholis, writing for Lawfare, describes both the Charlottesville and Washington D.C. atmosphere.

Multiple groups have released statements condemning the events in Charlottesville.

  • The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund’s statement is here.
  • Lambda Legal’s statement is here.
  • The Human Rights Campaign’s statement is here.

Charlottesville shows that the First Amendment can be a double-edged sword, writes Josh Blackman on LawFare. 

Killings of black men by whites are more likely to be ruled “justifiable” than other combinations, a disparity that has persisted for decadesreport Daniel Lathrop and Anna Flagg at The Marshall Project. 

Defense Secretary Mattis left the door open for transgender military service members, saying the Pentagon is still studying the issue (WaPo). 

The Seventh and Eleventh Circuits have split over whether Title VII covers sexual orientation, setting up Supreme Court review (Washington Times).



The ACLU brought suit against ICE, alleging that the government is—without evidence—detaining immigrant children claimed to be gang members (ACLU). 

Approximately 100 immigration professors wrote a letter to President Trump outlining the legal support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) (here). 

President Trump has equated the travel ban with a Muslim ban at least a dozen timesdocumented David Bier for Cato Institute. 

In a speech supporting the RAISE Act, President Trump claimed high levels of legal immigrants hurt the job prospects of African Americans and Latinos, reports Kevin Johnson for the Law Professor Blog.

  • The RAISE Act is a return to the 1920’s nativism and protectionism, argues José Calderón for The Hill.

President Trump has twisted and exploited the story of Kate Steinle, a shooting victim, contends Jeremy Stahl on Slate.

Immigrants living in the United States must decide whether to leave America and reunite with deported family members or stay in America without them (NYT).

President Trump said he might pardon former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Politico).

  • Responding to the possible pardon, the ACLU stated that the pardon “would undo a conviction secured by his own career attorneys at the Justice Department” and amount to an “official presidential endorsement of racism.”



The Justice Department argued that President Trump can use Twitter as he sees fit, and that he is free to block users (Ars Technica). 

Intentional voter fraud is “pretty much nonexistent”—since 2008, Arizona State Officials have only sent 30 cases to the state Attorney General’s Office on allegations of double-voting (Arizona Central).



Senior administration officials downplayed the threat of war with North Korea (WSJ). 

A congressional budget rule could prevent enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized the substance (LA Times).

  • That rule, an appropriations rider, sends a strong signal that Congress wants states to allow medical marijuana, notes Jonathan Adler at Volokh Conspiracy. 

Though President Trump shows no signs of apology, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says their relationship has improved (Politico). 

The State Department has established a new cybersecurity office, perhaps as part of a rumored cybersecurity shakeup within the Department (The Hill).



The plaintiffs in CREW v. Trump should have their claims heardargue Leah Litman and Daniel Hemel at Take Care.



Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke reportedly pressured Senator Lisa Murkowski to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a move that may have violated anti-lobbying and bribery lawsnote Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler and Daniel E. Walters at The Regulatory Review.

President Trump has issued a flood of executive orders, most of which are of limited impactwrites Dan Farber at LegalPlanet.



Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump, the presidential Twitter case, raises an important separation of powers question: can federal courts enjoin the President? (Just Security). 

The Senate must keep the blue slip process, a “strong institutional check on the power of a dangerous and chaotic presidency,” argues Senator Mazie Hirono at ACSBlog.

President Trump has been remaking the judiciary, making appointments for over 100 vacancies on the federal bench (The Hill).



Special Counsel Robert Mueller has three potential options for making the grand jury report publicnote Ryan Goodman and Alex Whiting at Just Security.

When criminal and counterintelligence investigations overlap, potential indictments may take a long time to comewrites John Sipher at Just Security. 

Unlike then-independent counsel Kenneth Starr, special counsel Robert Mueller does not have the tenure afforded by the unique Watergate regulations, and thus does not have authority to indict a sitting Presidentargues Ronald Rotunda at Justia.


Daily Update | December 23, 2019

12/23/19  //  Daily Update

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seek to leverage uncertainties in the rules for impeachment to their advantage. White House officials indicated that President Trump threatened to veto a recent spending bill if it included language requiring release of military aid to Ukraine early next year. The DHS OIG said that it found “no misconduct” by department officials in the deaths of two migrant children who died in Border Patrol custody last year. And the FISA court ordered the Justice Department to review all cases that former FBI official Kevin Clinesmith worked on.

Emily Morrow

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 20, 2019

12/20/19  //  Daily Update

Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated the House will be “ready” to move forward with the next steps once the Senate has agreed on ground rules, but the House may withhold from sending the articles to the Senate until after the new year. Commentary continues about the Fifth Circuit's mixed decision on the status of the ACA.

Emily Morrow

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 19, 2019

12/19/19  //  Daily Update

The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump. Some Democrats urge House leaders to withhold the articles to delay a trial in the Senate. Meanwhile, the Fifth Circuit issues an inconclusive decision about the future of the ACA, and DHS and DOJ proposed a new rulemaking to amend the list of crimes that bar relief for asylum seekers.

Emily Morrow

Harvard Law School