Mackenzie Walz  //  2/15/19  //  Daily Update


President Trump is expected to sign Congress’ budget as well as declare a national emergency to obtain the remaining funds necessary for the construction of a southern border wall. A group of civil liberties organizations filed a lawsuit against the administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols policy, arguing it violates US immigration laws, the APA, and international human rights law. The Senate confirmed the nomination of William Barr as attorney general along partisan lines. If Congress tries to access the July 2018 Helsinki meeting notes, President Trump may be able to claim executive privilege, but that privilege is not absolute.

 

IMMIGRATION

A group of civil liberties organizations filed a lawsuit against the administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols policy, arguing it violates US immigration laws, the APA, and international human rights law (WaPo; ACLU).

  • The complaint can be found here.

As Attorney General, Jeff Sessions took significant power away from immigration judges, slowing down the system and provoking calls for an independent immigration court system, explains Domenic Powell at The Regulatory Review.

A federal judge dismissed the North American Butterfly Association’s lawsuit, which sought to block the administration’s plan to construct a border wall near their Center (The Hill).

President Trump is expected to sign Congress’ budget as well as declare a national emergency to obtain the remaining funds necessary for the construction of a southern border wall (WaPo; WSJ).

  • President Trump lacks the authority to use emergency powers to fund a border wall, explains Ilya Somin.
  • Advocacy groups have already prepared lawsuits in anticipation of President Trump’s declaration (The Hill).
  • Greg Sargent discusses some of the legal obstacles the President will face in declaring a national emergency.

 

DEMOCRACY

There are many differences between the Trump Administration and the previous administrations when it comes to protecting our democracy, discuss Charlie Gerstein and Protect Democracy at Take Care.

There are several takeaways from the briefs filed in the Texas redistricting litigation on whether Texas should be “bailed in” under Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act, discusses Travis Crum at Take Care.

 

CHECKS AND BALANCES

If Congress tries to access the July 2018 Helsinki meeting notes, President Trump may be able to claim executive privilege, but that privilege is not absolute, contends Andy Wright at Just Security

The Senate confirmed the nomination of William Barr as attorney general along partisan lines (CNN; WSJ).

Declaring a national emergency would disrespect the separation of powers, as Congress has the constitutional responsibility of appropriation (NYT).

 

RULE OF LAW

The appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller is unlawful and unconstitutional, argue Steve Calabresi and Gary Lawson in a newly released manuscript.

  • The full manuscript can be accessed here.

 


Daily Update | March 21, 2019

3/21/19  //  Daily Update

Until a recent D.C. Circuit decision becomes final, District Judge Kollar-Kotelly says her injunction barring the Administration from introducing limits on the service of transgender individuals in the military remains in place. Eighteen states have considered legislation this year that would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to post their tax returns in order to appear on a ballot. Senator Marco Rubio plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to limit the number of Supreme Court justices to nine. Analysis continues of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow ICE to detain migrants with criminal records long after their release from custody. Despite a variety of inquiries from the House Oversight and Reform Committee, the White House has refused to hand over any requested documents or produce any witnesses.

Hetali Lodaya

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | March 20, 2019

3/20/19  //  Daily Update

White House lawyers want an opportunity to claim executive privilege and review Robert Mueller's report before it reaches lawmakers and the public. Search warrants obtained in the New York case against President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen were unsealed. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard argument in an anti-corruption case against President Trump regarding his violations of the Constitution's emoluments clauses. The Supreme Court’s latest opinion adds to a string of decisions with sweeping views of ICE’s power to confine migrants. Federal judges have ruled against the Trump administration 63 times over the past two years.

Abigail DeHart

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | March 19, 2019

3/19/19  //  Daily Update

If the federal appeals court allows the Emoluments Clauses challenge against President Trump to move forward, he may be forced to disclose financial information related to his businesses. In addition to reviewing the statutory issues concerning the 2020 census citizenship question, the Supreme Court will also review the constitutional issue. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen declared that the United States is not prepared to handle foreign cyber attacks but is taking steps to identify and combat these threats. The Department of Defense produced a fact sheet listing all military projects from which funding could potentially be diverted to build the southern border wall. Democratic congressional leaders requested the FBI open an investigation into Chinese American executive, Li Yang, for misusing her personal ties to President Trump.

Mackenzie Walz

University of Michigan Law School