Samantha Jaffe , Helen Marie Berg  //  1/12/18  //  Daily Update

The latest episode of Versus Trump dives into a recent lawsuit against the Trump administration—by its former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. President Trump disparaged Haiti and Africa in talks about the bipartisan immigration bill. In tweets, President Trump wavered between opposition and support of the FISA Reauthorization. On the 16th anniversary of the prison’s founding, Guantanamo Bay prisoners filed a mass habeas petition. The Trump Administration said that states may impose work requirements for Medicaid.



Post by Peter M. Shane: Jon Michaels understates the danger posed by a lack of social solidarity in America, a state of alienation Americans feel from one another that has been deliberately fed by right-wing politicians for at least the last four decades.

Post by Ian Millhiser: Is an administrative separation of powers mandated by the Constitution, as Michaels suggests that it is?



In the latest episode of Versus Trump,  Take Care dives into a recent lawsuit against the Trump administration—by its former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.



In the wake of meeting with President Trump, some Democrats worry that the proposed bipartisan immigration deal will concede too much (Politico).

  • President Trump’s alleged concessions seems to clash with House Republicans hard-line stance (NYT).
  • During the bipartisan immigration meeting President Trump suggested bringing back the pork barrel buffet (NYT).
  • The Wall Street Journal analyzes the effect of the President’s rhetoric on the right.

President Trump says lawmakers are ‘getting close’ on a DACA deal (WSJ).

  • Politico argues that the solution to a DACA deal is to ‘go big’.  
  • The Wall Street Journal dives into what compromise legislation will mean for Dreamers.
  • Politico says that senators have reached a preliminary deal, but President Trump seems unlikely to sign off.

President Trump disparages Haiti and Africa in talks about the bipartisan immigration bill (NYT, LA Times).

  • The White House hasn’t denied the President’s remarks (Politico).
  • The New York Times analyzes all of President Trump’s remarks on chain migration.
  • The Washington Post examines these remarks in the context of other racist rhetoric from the President.



Texas’s argument in Garza v. Hagan—that the undocumented women seeking abortions have no substantive due process rights—is outlandish but straightforward, argues Leah Litman on Take Care.

Maintaining its blanket policy, federal agency prevents another undocumented minor from getting an abortion and the ACLU files suit (ACLU).

  • Buzzfeed analyzes the scope of the lawsuit.

After yearlong investigation, the Department of Education orders Texas to correct violations in services to disabled students (NYT, Disability Scoop).  



Solicitor General changes course from  prior administrations and supports Ohio’s argument that voters should be removed from voter rolls for not voting (SCOTUSblog, oral argument transcript here).

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, of the recently disbanded Kobach Commission, calls for its documents to be released to the public (Who.What.Why.).  



In tweets, President Trump wavers between opposition and support of the FISA Reauthorization (NYT,  Cato Institute, LA Times)

  • Lawfare lays out the damage of the contradictory tweets.
  • Just Security notes the absurdity of President Trump’s flip-flop.
  • The New York Times analyzes the tweets.
  • The Washington Post dives into the President’s habit of not knowing what his White House is doing.
  • The White House says that there was no contradiction (WaPo).
  • Paul Ryan believes President Trump understands the FISA (WaPo).

White House ‘listening session’ with criminal justice reform advocates focuses on prisoner reentry (CNN).

  • Attendees include the Koch Industries’ attorney and Republican governors (The Hill).

DOJ’s shift in marijuana law enforcement is a call for greater reform of federal drug prosecution, argues Alex Kreit at ACS Blog.

On the 16th anniversary of the prison’s founding, Guantanamo Bay prisoners file mass habeas petition (Just Security, WaPo).

  • The petition alleges that detentions have gone on too long (WaPo).
  • A tweet from President Trump is central to the petition (Buzzfeed).

President Trump’s new ambassador to the Netherlands refuses to answer questions regarding false claims made about Muslims (NYT), 

The North Korean state media says that ‘Fire and Fury’ ‘foretells Trump’s political demise’ (NYT).

  • President Trump stated he has a ‘very good relationship’ with North Korea (NYT).

President Trump signals openness to talks with North Korea in revealing interview (WSJ)

  • Interview transcript here.



The end of individual mandate hurts the wealthy, explains Nick Bagley at The Incidental Economist.

Leandra English is expected to appeal the denial of a request to remove Mick Mulvaney as CFPB director (LA Times).

The president’s declaration of an opioid emergency has changed absolutely nothing, says Brianna Ehly at Politico.

A probe into the Treasury Department’s role in the Trump Administration’s tax plan found no evidence of political interference (NYT).

With the release of a new IRS guidance for employers, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin promises that employees will see greater take-home pay (The Hill).  

  • The Trump Administration is asking employers to implement the new tables by Feb 15 (Politico).

The Trump Administration says that states may impose work requirements for Medicaid (NYT, LA Times, WaPo).

  • The work requirement harms the poor, says The New York Times Editorial Board.
  • The suggested work requirement for Medicaid creates a heavy burden,argues Aaron Carroll at JAMA Forum.
  • Requiring people to work doesn’t actually make them healthier, writes Margot Sanger-Katz at The New York Times.

The Trump Administration has adopted a Medicare model startling similar to the Obama-era one it rejected (NYT).

  • The Wall Street Journal analyzes the mixed messages sent by the Trump Administration regarding Medicaid and Medicare.

The Trump Administration always planned on taking apart Obamacare, writes Jennifer Haberkorn at Politico.

Proposal to shift gun export licensing power from the State Department to the Commerce Department worries experts and Democrats in Congress (The Hill).



No President has appointed more federal appellate judges in his first year than President Trump, an accomplishment that may define his legacy  (The Economist).



House Democrats are pushing for subpoenas targeting President Trump’s private company’s operations (Politico).



Bannon is expected to testify in closed-door session with the House Intelligence Committee (LA Times).

  • Bannon hires a lawyer as he prepares for testimony (WaPo, Politico).

Senate Judiciary Committee’s criminal referral of the Steele dossier contains some procedural anomalies, explains Don Wolfensburger at The Hill. 

The Kremlin has called the Senate Democrats report on election meddling ‘unfounded’ (LA Times).

How far will the President go to avoid an interview with Mueller,  asks Paul Waldman at The Washington Post.

The White House has denied Russian collusion over 140 times (WaPo).


Daily Update | January 18, 2018

1/18/18  //  Daily Update

The Chief of Staff recently told lawmakers that President Trump was not sufficiently informed of the facts when he promised a border wall during the campaign. Senator Chuck Schumer announced that Senate Democrats are seeking a vote to prevent the FCC from repealing net neutrality. Numerous members of the National Parks System Advisory Board have quit in protest of the way in which the Trump Administration has handled the park system.

Daily Update | January 17, 2018

1/17/18  //  Daily Update

The Department of Justice will ask that the Supreme Court immediately review a district court ruling that required the government to continue the DACA program. In light of the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, commentators reflected on the President’s legacy on issues of race. The Office for Civil Rights within the Department of Education is rejecting discrimination complaints from transgender students. 22 state attorneys general have filed suit to enjoin the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. A military doctor claims Trump got a perfect score on a test designed to identify cognitive impairment, concluding the president “does not suffer from mental issues that prevent him from functioning in office.”

Daily Update | January 15, 2018

1/15/18  //  Daily Update

Following a federal court ruling, the Trump Administration will begin accepting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applications again. A leaked copy of the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review shows that the government wants to update the nuclear arsenal with new types of weapons. The Trump Administration approved Kentucky’s plan to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients, paving the way for other conservative states to follow suit.

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School

Jacqueline Sahlberg

Harvard Law School