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 | May 20, 2019

5/20/19  //  Daily Update

The federal government’s ban on spending federal funds on abortions means that Medicaid recipients cannot access abortion, creating a burden on women of color and women living in poverty. A new rule proposed by the Trump administration would prohibit families from obtaining subsidized housing if any family member is undocumented. The Fourth Circuit found that the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA was arbitrary and capricious – and therefore unlawful – because it was not adequately explained and the administration did not address the impact of this decision on DACA-recipients’ reliance interests. The White House has released a new tool to solicit information from people who believe that their social media posts have been censored by politically biased social media companies.

Karen Kadish

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | May 16, 2019

5/16/19  //  Daily Update

The Trump Administration’s forthcoming immigration plan will focused on increasing the educational and skills requirements for people who are allowed to migrate to the United States and would scale back family-based immigration. Loose regulation of government websites allows executive agencies to weaken policies the executive branch opposes, such as the Affordable Care Act, which has been censored at least 26 times on HHS websites. The Trump Administration will not sign an international pledge to combat extremist content online, potentially because of First Amendment concerns. A new report from Paul C. Light outlines the ways that the House has investigated presidents since World War II, and gives an analysis of how Congress can conduct a meaningful probe into Presidential actions.

Karen Kadish

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | May 15, 2019

5/15/19  //  Daily Update

The Alabama Senate approved a measure that would outlaw abortion at all stages of pregnancy except in cases where the mother’s life is at serious risk; it awaits signature by Governor Kay Ivey. A new law will impose financial burdens on individuals convicted of felonies that make it harder for them to vote in Florida, despite the passing of Florida’s ballot initiative to restore voting rights to felons. Action from the FCC has continued to increase tensions between the United States and China following a unanimous vote to block China Mobile, and threatening public statements from President Trump. Donald Trump Jr. has agreed that he will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee behind closed doors, following a fight between Republican lawmakers. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis claimed he was not allowed to say which two Florida counties were hacked by Russians in the 2016 election.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School