Zak Lutz  //  2/8/19  //  Daily Update


After earlier saying he would not testify before Congress unless the subpoena threat were removed, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said he would testify before the House Judiciary Committee. Federal investigators have given David Pecker, chief of the National Enquirer’s publisher, immunity to cooperate with the investigators. The HHS Office of Population Affairs removed content about birth control and related medicine from its Title X website. The  FEC adjusted the individual contribution limit to $2,800 per person for the next election cycle. DOJ awarded $8.3 million to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. President Trump is likely to sign an executive order banning Chinese telecom equipment next week. The Trump Administration relaxed rules for gun exports. The CFPB proposed new regulations on payday loan lenders that would rescind “ability-to-repay” provisions.

 

TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS & LITIGATION

After earlier saying he would not testify before Congress unless the subpoena threat were removed, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said he would testify before the House Judiciary Committee (Politico, NYT, WaPo).

  • If Matthew Whitaker declines to testify before Congress, a contempt of Congress charge will be “ripe for consideration,” argues Andy Wright in Just Security.

The District Court for the Southern District of New York is still investigating Michael Cohen for campaign finance crimes (Election Law Blog).

Federal investigators have given David Pecker, chief of the National Enquirer’s publisher, immunity to cooperate with the investigators (NYT).

Investigations into the Trump Administration are already slowing congressional action (WaPo).

  • Today, a hearing began meant to obtain President Trump’s tax returns (WaPo).

 

CIVIL RIGHTS

President Trump lied about abortion laws in the State of the Union address, argues Governor Andrew Cuomo in the New York Times.

  • Other commentators have also argued that Trump lied about abortion in the State of the Union address (NYT).

The Pain-Capable Unborn Children Protect Act would be unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause, suggests Gerard N. Magliocca in Balkinization.

The Trump administration argued in the D.C. Circuit against granting a habeas corpus petition for a Guantanamo Bay prisoner (Lawfare).

The HHS Office of Population Affairs removed content about birth control and related medicine from its Title X website (Sunlight Foundation).

The Indian Child Welfare Act infringes on parents’ and children’s rights, argue Walter Olson and Nathan Harvey in Cato at Liberty.

When colleges confine free speech to a “zone,” it isn’t free, argue Emerson Sykes and Vera Eidelman at the ACLU.

 

DEMOCRACY

The FEC adjusted the individual contribution limit to $2,800 per person for the next election cycle (Election Law Blog, Inside Political Law).

The United States Election Assistance Commission swore in two Commissioners to reach a quorum of four for the first time in a decade (Election Academy).

If President Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey, then unintended consequences will follow for judges and lawmakers, argue David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey in the Wall Street Journal.

America can constitutionally tax wealth, argues Neil H. Buchanan in Verdict.

 

JUSTICE & SAFETY

DOJ awarded $8.3 million to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting (Hill).

DOJ intensified its scrutiny of class action lawsuits in an appellate brief in the Sixth Circuit, explains Alison Frankel at Reuters. 

While litigation about death penalty injections are before the Court, Tennessee is moving to execute more inmates (NBC).

Mitch McConnell submitted an amendment that may justify military operations against Iran, explains Brian Egan and Tess Bridgeman in Just Security.

It is plausible for “the future” to have standing to challenge climate change policies, argues Dan Farber in Legal Planet.

It is a “moment of truth” for cyber insurance policies, explain Ariel Levite and Wyatt Hoffman in Lawfare.

 

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

DOJ issued issued a legal opinion long sought by Casino Magnate Sheldon Adelson (WaPo).

 

REGULATION

President Trump is likely to sign an executive order banning Chinese telecom equipment next week (Politico).

The Trump Administration relaxed rules for gun exports (Hill). 

The CFPB proposed new regulations on payday loan lenders that would rescind “ability-to-repay” provisions (Consumer Finance Monitor).

In Kisor v. Wilkie, the Supreme Court should reject Chevron deference but heed caution before ruling on any further deference issues, argues Samuel Estreicher in Verdict.

The FCC’s plan to create a disconnected phone number database could limit exposure to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, explains Barbara Mishkin in the Consumer Finance Monitor podcast.

The CFPB entered a settlement with a payday loan lender (Consumer Finance Monitor).

 

RULE OF LAW

Originalism does not demand conservative policy outcomes -- and liberals, in fact, have argued against “fauxriginalism,” argues Praveen Fernandes in Take Care.

DOD has been slow to implement reforms according to the Government Accountability Office (GovExec).

 

CHECKS & BALANCES

Judges must carefully consider whether they should participate in legal proceedings in which toddlers appear without legal representation, explains Craig B. Mousin in The American Medical Association Journal of Ethics.

 

FEDERALISM

Maryland sued in district court attempting to enforce the Affordable Care Act and lost after the court found no live case or controversy, explain Jason Harrow and Easha Anand on this week’s Versus Trump podcast.

Judge Jeffrey Sutton’s 51 Imperfect Solutions proposes a radical new approach in which states protect individual liberty, say John C. O’Quinn and Jason M. Wilcox in The Federalist Society.

 


Daily Update | April 24, 2019

4/24/19  //  Daily Update

The post-Mueller cold war between President Trump and House Democrats intensified on Tuesday, as the President indicated that he would fight any Congressional requests for additional information or testimony related to the Special Counsel’s investigation. The White House reportedly plans to invoke executive privilege to prevent former White House Counsel Donald McGahn from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. After hearing oral argument in a challenge to the Commerce Department’s addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, the Supreme Court seems poised to rule in the Department’s favor. And the House sought a preliminary injunction to bar President Trump from using military funding to build a wall on the nation’s southern border.

Adam Smith

Harvard Law School

Kyle Skinner

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | April 23, 2019

4/23/19  //  Daily Update

The Supreme Court granted certiorari on a trio of cases that will decide whether Title VII protects LGBTQ workers from employment discrimination. President Trump and the Trump Organization sued the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in an effort to prevent the committee from subpoenaing the company’s financial records. The House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena to former White House Counsel Don McGahn as part of its investigation into obstruction of justice by President Trump. Mississippi’s arguments in defense of its ban on abortions at or after 15 weeks of pregnancy underscore how aggressively some states are seeking to evade constitutional precedent on abortion jurisprudence without overturning it.

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | April 22, 2019

4/22/19  //  Daily Update

The fallout from Thursday’s release of the Mueller Report continues to spread, as do calls for the dissemination of an unredacted version of the report — and for the President’s impeachment. The Ninth Circuit dealt another blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to undercut the authority of sanctuary cities and states. A proposed OPM rule that would likely limit the access of graduates of pre-trial diversion programs to federal jobs is drawing criticism from criminal-justice reform advocates.

Adam Smith

Harvard Law School