Zachary Piaker  //  2/5/19  //  Daily Update


Prosecutors in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York plan to subpoena President Trump’s inaugural committee. Rinat Akhmetshin—a Russian-born lobbyist and former Soviet military officer who attended the a Trump Tower meeting with senior Trump campaign officials  in June 2016—received a series of suspicious payments in 2016. The Trump Organization has fired at least eighteen undocumented workers from five golf courses over the past two months, in part of a purge apparently set in motion after a series of media reports about the clubs’ employment of workers without legal status. Republican congressional leaders are increasingly concerned with the vast number of executive branch positions currently unfilled by a permanent officeholder. As we learn more about the process that led to the Trump Administration’s travel ban, its roots in anti-Muslim animus become clearer, as do the parallels between the Supreme Court’s decisions in Trump v. Hawaii and Korematsu. 

 

TRUMP: INVESTIGATIONS AND LITIGATION

Prosecutors in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York plan to subpoena President Trump’s inaugural committee, John Santucci and Josh Margolin report in ABC News.

Rinat Akhmetshin—a Russian-born lobbyist and former Soviet military officer who attended the a Trump Tower meeting with senior Trump campaign officials  in June 2016—received a series of suspicious payments in 2016, report Emma Loop, Anthony Cormier, Jason Leopold, Tanya Kozyreva, and John Templon in Buzzfeed.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held a sealed hearing to consider whether Paul Manafort lied to federal investigators after agreeing to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, write Andrew M. Harris and Erik Larson in Bloomberg.

  • Judge Jackson also delayed Manafort’s sentencing hearing until March 13 (Politico).

The European Parliament’s Committee on Tax Avoidance held on Deutsche Bank’s role in a possible money-laundering scheme, in proceedings watched closely by Democratic lawmakers eager to investigate the bank’s role in providing millions of dollars in loans to the Trump Organization, Zachary Warmbrodt and Bjarke Smith-Meyer report in Politico.

 

IMMIGRATION

The Trump Organization has fired at least eighteen undocumented workers from five golf courses over the past two months, in part of a purge apparently set in motion after a series of media reports about the clubs’ employment of workers without legal status, report Joshua Partlow and David A. Farenthold in the Washington Post.

 

CIVIL RIGHTS 

Under the Trump Administration, the Department of Justice has repeatedly reversed its prior positions on discrimination policies, writes Joan Biskupic in CNN.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s proposed revisions to how schools handle sexual assault and harassment allegations under Title IX could work, with some revisions, argues Louise Melling in the Los Angeles Times.

The D.C. Circuit reversed an FCC decision that would have made it harder for Native American  tribes to receive a federal subsidy for broadband service, Jon Brodkin writes in Ars Technica.

  • Read the opinion here.

 

DEMOCRACY

The Supreme Court is set to once again consider the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering this term, writes Amy Howe in SCOTUSBlog.

The Federal Circuit is hearing a challenge to the legality of the PACER system’s 10-cent-per-page fees, Adam Liptak writes in the New York Times.

  • Read the plaintiffs’ brief here.

 

JUSTICE & SAFETY 

As we learn more about the process that led to the Trump Administration’s travel ban, its roots in anti-Muslim animus become clearer, as do the parallels between the Supreme Court’s decisions in Trump v. Hawaii and Korematsu, Leah Litman argues in Take Care.

The Department of Defense has launched a far-reaching investigation into civilian deaths from military operations, including an assessment of the way the Pentagon plans and conducts airstrikes, reports Missy Ryan in the Washington Post.

  • The internal review was quite narrow in scope and, as a result, does not answer some of the biggest questions about the principal causes of civilian casualties, argue Daniel R. Mahanty and Rita Siemion in Just Security.

Congressional Democrats wrote to White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney demanding that Senior Advisor Jared Kushner has his security clearance revoked in the wake of reports that a political appointee overrode the recommendation of career security officials in granting the clearance, Mary Papenfuss writes in the Huffington Post.

  • Read the letter here.

 

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

David Dunlap, a former Koch Industries official, is in charge of research that will shape how the government regulates a class of toxic chemicals contaminating millions of Americans’ drinking water—an issue that could have major financial repercussions for his former employer, reports Annie Snider in Politico.

 

REGULATION

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has made a number of important, and unheralded, contributions to the administrative state in the last two years, argues Bruce Levinson in the Regulatory Review.

Under Neomi Rao, President Trump’s nominee to the D.C. Circuit, OIRA embraced politicized regulatory obstruction, Patrice L. Simms writes in ACSBlog.

The Supreme Court in Kisor should make clear that Chevron-type deference is inappropriate, but should go no further, Samuel Estreicher argues in Verdict.

 

RULE OF LAW

Republican congressional leaders are increasingly concerned with the vast number of executive branch positions currently unfilled by a permanent officeholder, Juliet Eilperin, Josh Dawsey, and Seung Min Kim report in the Washington Post.

 

CHECKS & BALANCES

Federal judges should tread carefully in deciding whether to consider tweets by President Trump in litigation against the administration, Amelia Thompson-Deveaux writes in FiveThirtyEight.

The U.S. government may already be in an unrecognized constitutional crisis, Sandy Levinson muses in Balkinization.

 

FEDERALISM

States must step up to fill the regulatory void as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau steps back from curbing regulatory lending under President Trump, James Gutierrez argues in the Hill.

 


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