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 | September 24, 2018

9/24/18  //  Daily Update

Former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland reversed her statement to Special Counsel Mueller about former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, now saying that Flynn may have spoken to her about discussions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential transition. The White House and its allies are divided over the possibility of firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. DOE announced it will “rethink anything and everything” related to its approach to special education, with more deference paid to local decision-making. A federal judge in New York ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to be deposed as part of a lawsuit challenging the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The New York Times sued the FCC over its refusal to release records that the Times thinks might shed light on Russian interference in the net neutrality repeal proceeding.

Abigail DeHart

Michigan Law School

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | September 21, 2018

9/21/18  //  Daily Update

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford says she would agree to testify at a Senate hearing next week, but would not be prepared to do so on Monday. The Trump Administration plans to shift $260 million from program like cancer research and AIDS prevention to cover the cost of housing thousands of undocumented immigrant children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Pentagon stopped announcing body counts of Taliban and Islamic State fighters killed in battle in Afghanistan, a practice which had begun in January. The Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has begun dismantling decades-old policies meant to improve racial disparities in youth incarceration. A number of Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin managed to build relationships with elements of the Trump campaign in 2016.

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | September 20, 2018

9/20/18  //  Daily Update

As election day nears, many states and counties are beefing up their plans to deal with cyberattacks on election infrastructure. Undocumented immigrant families affected by Hurricane Florence are wondering whether seeking government resources like shelter, food, or other aid would put them at greater risk. State Department officials are facing backlash over the decision to drastically limit the number of refugees who will be permitted to settle in the U.S. The Office of Inspector General criticized the Bureau of Prisons’ management of female prisoners. Terrorism is down worldwide, but the State Department says that Iran maintains a ‘near-global reach’ as the leading state sponsor of terrorism. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un committed to some concrete steps towards denuclearization, but fell short of what American officials have demanded.

Hanna St. Marie

Columbia Law School