Helen Marie Berg, Caroline Cox  //  7/11/18  //  Daily Update


Michael Flynn’s brief appearance in federal court on Tuesday showed that while the former national security adviser wants to proceed to sentencing soon, his cooperation with Robert Mueller’s team is a priority. As the NATO summit sits on the horizon, President Trump and European leaders are engaging in a hostile back-and-forth on Twitter. Rudy Giuliani is simultaneously working for foreign clients while representing President Trump, a position that could violate federal ethics laws. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is likely run the agency for a significant time as Senate Republicans seek to delay confirmation hearings for a permanent replacement for Scott Pruitt. A new executive order upends the typical method of hiring administrative law judges from a central pool of candidates, and directs executive agencies to directly hire judges.

 

TRUMP: INVESTIGATIONS AND LITIGATION 

Democratic Senators are calling for President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, to recuse himself should he be confirmed from any legal cases tied to the Mueller probe (The Hill).

  • The Hill further reports that Senator Chuck Schumer alleges that Kavanaugh’s nomination is tied to White House fear of the special counsel’s investigation. 

Michael Flynn’s brief appearance in federal court on Tuesday showed that while the former national security adviser wants to proceed to sentencing soon, his cooperation with Robert Mueller’s team is a priority (Politico).  

A U.S district court ordered that President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, move to an Alexandria, Virginia detention center to await trial (Politico).

Regardless of the constitutional issues at play, Special Counsel Robert Mueller does not have sufficient authority from the Department of Justice to indict President Trump, argue Samuel Estreicher and David Moosmann at Just Security.

 

IMMIGRATION

A judge for the U.S. District for the Central District of California ruled that the Trump Administration cannot amend the 1997 Flores settlement to permit the extended detention of migrant families (WSJ).

  • Politico has published a copy of the order.

The government is starting the court-ordered reunification process for migrant children separated from their families, writes Manny Fernandez and Caitlin Dickerson at The New York Times.  

  • The Hill reports that the government will not be able to reunite all 102 children eligible for reunification by the deadline. 

Mexico and the United States are debating a proposal that could further limit the number of asylum seekers entering the United States (WaPo).

 

CIVIL RIGHTS

The Department of Education announced that it is postponing the implementation of a rule meant to prevent the “significant disproportionality” of students from certain backgrounds in special education, writes Michelle Diament at Disability Scoop.

 

DEMOCRACY

A federal judge provided permission to plaintiffs in a suit over the inclusion of the new citizenship question on the 2020 census to search government files for evidence of bad faith in the Commerce Department’s decision (NYT).

 

JUSTICE AND SAFETY 

President Trump pardoned the two Oregon men charged with arson whose arrest sparked the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (NYT). 

As the NATO summit sits on the horizon, President Trump and European leaders are engaging in a hostile back-and-forth on Twitter (Politico).

President Trump’s strained relationship with European allies is primarily the result of a refusal of the Trump Administration to collaborate or provide much predictability, explains David M. Herszenhorn at Politico.

 

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Rudy Giuliani is simultaneously working for foreign clients while representing President Trump, a position that could violate federal ethics laws (WaPo). 

The Trump Administration is once more cutting funding for Affordable Care Act enrollment outreach (The Hill).

 

REGULATION 

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is likely run the agency for a significant time as Senate Republicans seek to delay confirmation hearings for a permanent replacement for Scott Pruitt (Politico).

 

CHECKS & BALANCES

A new executive order upends the typical method of hiring administrative law judges from a central pool of candidates, and directs executive agencies to directly hire judges (WaPo). 

President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, received the support of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (WaPo).

 


Daily Update | July 20, 2018

7/20/18  //  Daily Update

A federal judge ordered the pretrial detention of alleged Russian covert agent Maria Butina. The Trump administration announced new guidance for asylum officers, instructing them to scrutinize applications according to stricter standards and to weigh claims of fear against whether applicants have previously entered the country illegally. The White House withdrew the nomination of Ryan W. Bounds to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after he faced intense opposition for past writings about multiculturalism and race. Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be targeting U.S. officials who worked on Russian sanctions, including former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul. European and Asian countries are taking affirmative steps to protect the global trade institutions and relationships the Trump Administration appears ready to abandon. In voting unanimously against the Sinclair/Tribune merger, the FCC blocked Sinclair Broadcast Group’s attempts to create a market share which would give the company access to nearly 75% of American households with a television.

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | July 19, 2018

7/19/18  //  Daily Update

At a news conference, President Trump walked back comments he made which contradicted the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. Sikh Indian asylum seekers have reported that their turbans were taken away in a federal prison in Oregon. The Ninth Circuit denied the Trump administration’s motion to stay the preliminary injunction that prevents the implementation of a plan to ban transgender people from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Services. Secret Service documents received through FOIA requests revealed that taxpayers spent nearly $250,000 for two overseas trips by Eric and Donald Trump Jr. in which they visited Trump family businesses. New York City and State filed lawsuits over the DOJ public safety grants that require sanctuary cities to work with ICE.

Abigail DeHart

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | July 18, 2018

7/18/18  //  Daily Update

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is seeking immunity for 5 witnesses who are expected to testify against Paul Manafort at his impending trial. Maria Butina, who was indicted Tuesday on charges of acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian government, had developed extensive ties within the conservative movement. The Trump administration’s proposal to impose Medicaid work requirements puts it on course to break the law by reducing tribal health care funding by millions of dollars. The Internal Revenue Service will no longer require some non-profit groups to disclose the names of large donors. The Department of Labor rescinded an Obama-era regulation that would have required companies to disclose their use of consultants to undermine labor organizing efforts.

Jacqueline Sahlberg

Harvard Law School