Emily Morrow  //  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.



The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, making him the third president in history to be impeached (PoliticoNYTWaPo).

Some Democrats are urging House leaders to hold the articles of impeachment in the House, delaying a trial in the Senate (PoliticoWaPo).



Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified that he was concerned with the FBI’s investigation of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, but that this did not “infect” separate investigation efforts (NYTWaPo).

A New York state judge dismissed residential mortgage fraud charges against Paul Manafort since the local charges constituted double jeopardy (WaPo).

Public debate on President Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s pressure on Ukraine leaves out the practical impact: the effort “to deceive and manipulate American voters and undermine their ability to cast an informed vote,” writes Viola Gienger at Just Security.


DHS and DOJ issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would amend regulations to include misdemeanors on the the list of crimes that bar asylum relief (ImmigrationProfBlog;NYT).

USCIS released and expanded policy guidance on the good moral character requirement for naturalization (ImmigrationProfBlog).

The ACLU sued the CBP to order the agency to release information about training and guidelines for Tactical Terrorism Response Teams (“TTRT”) operating at airports and other ports of entry (ACLU).



The NLRB ruled that employers can ban employees from using work email for union organizing (Ars Technica).

  •       The ruling is here.

President Trump nominated Bryan Ware as assistant director of cybersecurity of the DHS (The Hill).

The benefits of administrative agencies would be better realized if independent courts heard agency adjudications and Congress decided whether to approve major regulationswrites Michael Rappaport at The Regulatory Review.



The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the ACA’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, but declined to rule on the question of severability (The HillBuzzFeedPolitico).

  •       The opinion is here.
  •       The California Attorney General plans to seek certification at the Supreme Court (The Hill).

The investigation of Medicare and Medicaid chief Seema Verma demonstrates the need for the HHS OIG to have permanent, Senate-confirmed leadershipwritesDonald K. Sherman at CREW.



A federal district court ruled that Edward Snowden is not entitled to collect the profits of his memoir, because he failed to clear material with the NSA and CIA in advance (The HillNYT).

A federal district court ordered the Department of Defense to provide documents, including pertaining to the policy justification, in litigation regarding the transgender military ban (Lambda Legal). 

  •       The ruling is here.


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