Helen Klein Murillo, Derek Reinbold  //  6/2/17  //  Daily Update

In the travel ban cases, DOJ filed emergency stay applications and a petition for certiorari at the Supreme Court late last night. President Trump announced that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, and a deluge of legal and political analyses followed. News also leaked that the administration is considering broad new exemptions to the requirement that employer-based health insurance provide contraception coverage. And former FBI Director Comey's congressional testimony has been set for next week, which has prompted discussion of whether the President could invoke executive privilege to prevent him from testifying.



In the travel ban cases, DOJ filed emergency stay applications and a petition for certiorari at the Supreme Court late last night. 



President Trump announced that he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord (NYTWSJ)

  • President Obama issued a brief, but scathing, response to President Trump’s decision to depart the agreement (WaPo).
  • A leaked statement between 28 EU member states and China confirms their commitment to the Paris accord, as well as their plan to deepen cooperation on climate change in the absence of American leadership (ClimateChangeNews).
  • The U.S. cannot formally withdraw from the agreement until 2020, and the decision to withdraw could be changed any time until November 2019, but those who recognize the threat of climate change cannot afford to sit idly by, argues Dan Farber at LegalPlanet.
  • How President Trump withdraws the U.S. from the Paris Agreement may matter as much as the decision to withdraw, notes Ann Carlson at Take Care.
  • Leaving the accord will take time; William Maudlin outlined the process at the Wall Street Journal.
  • Leaving the Paris agreement is a terrible, harmful idea, writes Eli Savit at Take Care from mid-May.
  • President Trump has thrown the world into harm’s way, and his decision will have ripple effects throughout the United States—increased respiratory and other health issues, flooding, drinking water contamination, among others, writes Alice Hill at Lawfare.
  • Adam White argues that the litigation risk of activist judges striking down regulation in light of the Paris agreement, as some accused the D.C. Circuit of in the Obama era, might be a rational basis to withdraw from the agreement (Lawfare).
  • This morning, before President Trump made his announcement, Ann Carlson at LegalPlanet collected her past commentary on the Paris Agreement.
  • The New York Times editorial board criticized the decision, calling it “disgraceful” (NYT).
  • In a Washington Post op-ed, John Podesta argues that because actually withdrawing from the agreement will take until 2020, President Trump has drawn the battle lines for the 2018 and 2020 elections.
  • The Trump administration has several international legal avenues for exit, writes Duncan Hollis at Opinio Juris.

The Trump administration is considering broad exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate (Vox).

  • The revision could leave hundreds of thousands of women without birth control coverage (NYT).
  • The draft rule is procedurally flawed—it breaks with prior law, but has not gone through notice and comment procedures, notes Nick Bagley at Take Care.

On this week’s Versus Trump podcast episode, Easha Anand and Jason Harrow dive into the House v. Price litigation, which addresses appropriation of payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act (Take Care).

Congressional lawmakers have introduced legislation to modify union voting requirements that would make organizing for better pay substantially more difficult, argues Nicole Knight (Rewire).

In its effort to undo net neutrality rules, the FCC is now arguing that it should redefine broadband as an information service rather than a telecommunications service (Ars Technica). 

The Trump administration is rolling back nutritional standards for school lunches, but the focus of food in schools should be on access for all, not "choices" for those who can already afford healthy food, argues Jazmine Walker (Rewire).



The Ninth Circuit has control over whether President Trump’s travel ban will make it to the Supreme Courtargues Amir Ali at Take Care. 

United States consular officers around the world have begun implementing more intensive vetting procedures for visa applicants, pursuant to executive order (WaPo).

New data indicate that immigrants entering the United States today are substantially more likely to have a college degree than a quarter century ago (ImmigrationProf Blog).

  • The data were compiled by the Migration Policy Institute and are available here

A local police department in Washington State has released videos seeking to calm the fears of its immigrant population (ImmigrationProf Blog).

A man charged with metro train fare evasion is now facing deportation, highlighting the wide net the administration is casting for criminal offenses subject to removal prioritization, argues Kevin Johnson (ImmigrationProf Blog).

U.S. immigration policies are inflicting mental and social harm on American children, argue Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard, Grace Napolitano, and Pramila Jayapal (The Hill).

Jessica Colotl shares her personal account of growing up undocumented in the United States and receiving DACA status, only to have the Trump administration recently revoke it (ACLU).

An altercation broke out in the Texas legislature after one lawmaker declared that he was calling ICE to report protesters there to voice opposition to a measure against sanctuary cities (Rewire).

An increasingly difficult migration climate, due only in part to the Trump effect but also to structural issues, is affecting would-be migrants across Central America, explains Stephanie Leutert (Lawfare).



Although the Trump administration’s revised parental leave proposal contains some key improvements from the original, the plan remains inadequate, argue Lenora M. Lapidus and Vania Leveille (ACLU).

Nooses found yesterday at the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in D.C. marks the latest in a string of race-related hate incidents (CNN, NPR).

The U.S. Department of Education launched a new website resource yesterday for information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, three months after the old version crashed (Disability Scoop).



President Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity is a sham that poses an actual threat to American democracy, argues Jason Kander (CNN).

The Supreme Court granted certiorari this week in the Ohio voter rolls purge procedure case, which could have major impacts on voting rights across the country, explains Matt Ford (The Atlantic).

A new Democratic super PAC, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, has launched a campaign to combat GOP-tilted gerrymandering, reports Eliza Newlin Carney (The American Prospect).



New congressional legislation aimed at protecting police officers may further criminalize communities of color while protecting officers from civil and criminal liability, argues Auditi Guha (Rewire).

President Trump announced that he would not move the U.S.’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem at this time (NYT).

Most leadership at the State Department remains temporary and in limbo as the Trump administration struggles to fill key posts (WaPo).



The CREW Emoluments Clause lawsuit against President Trump added Eric Goode, owner of New York hotels, to its lawsuit, further buttressing the claim to standing (NYT).

President Trump has extensive business interests in Saudi Arabia and Israel, two of the countries he visited on his first presidential trip abroad, details Maya Gold (CREW).

After pressure, the White House publicly disclosed its ethics waivers online (Sunlight FoundationPOGO).

  • White House counsel Donald McGahn and other former Jones Day lawyers received blanket waivers allowing them to bypass President Trump’s ethics executive order (ABA Journal).



Stating that judges who rule against the Trump administration (and those who support those decisions) are part of the “resistance” suggests lawlessness, feeds the delegitimization of the judiciary, and undermines the rule of lawargue Leah Litman, Steve Vladeck, and Helen Murillo on Take Care.



Former FBI director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee next Thursday (WSJ).

  • It is not clear whether President Trump can block Comey from testifying because arguably President Trump already breached confidentiality by revealing their conversations, notes Noah Feldman at Bloomberg.
  • On Twitter, Jack Goldsmith wrote that President Trump will not be able to stop Comey from testifying.
  • Meanwhile, Nora Ellingsen offers an inside assessment of the mood among rank-and-file FBI employees following the Comey firing (Lawfare).

Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted at Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, a shift from his previous blanket denials (NYTThe Hill).

Congressional investigators are examining whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions had further private meetings with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak (CNN).

The White House and a Russian state-owned bank offered contradictory accounts of why Jared Kushner conducted a secret meeting with the bank’s chief executing during the presidential transition (WaPo).

The appointment of a Special Counsel should not stop Congress from investigating Russian influence on the 2016 presidential electionwrites Daniel Van Schooten at POGO.

  • In the second part of a series on the special counsel investigative authority, Aditya Bamzai argues that although DOJ’s special counsel regulations aren’t a perfect fit for delegating, as here, a counterintelligence investigation, the Acting Attorney General may have that authority apart from the special counsel regulations (Lawfare).

Democrats are criticizing House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes for violating his recusal from the Russia investigation by issuing subpoenas relating to “unmasking” (The Hill).


And that’s our update today!  Thanks for reading.  We cover a lot of ground, so our updates are inevitably a partial selection of relevant legal commentary.

If you have any feedback, please let us know here.


Daily Update | December 23, 2019

12/23/19  //  Daily Update

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seek to leverage uncertainties in the rules for impeachment to their advantage. White House officials indicated that President Trump threatened to veto a recent spending bill if it included language requiring release of military aid to Ukraine early next year. The DHS OIG said that it found “no misconduct” by department officials in the deaths of two migrant children who died in Border Patrol custody last year. And the FISA court ordered the Justice Department to review all cases that former FBI official Kevin Clinesmith worked on.

Emily Morrow

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 20, 2019

12/20/19  //  Daily Update

Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated the House will be “ready” to move forward with the next steps once the Senate has agreed on ground rules, but the House may withhold from sending the articles to the Senate until after the new year. Commentary continues about the Fifth Circuit's mixed decision on the status of the ACA.

Emily Morrow

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 19, 2019

12/19/19  //  Daily Update

The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump. Some Democrats urge House leaders to withhold the articles to delay a trial in the Senate. Meanwhile, the Fifth Circuit issues an inconclusive decision about the future of the ACA, and DHS and DOJ proposed a new rulemaking to amend the list of crimes that bar relief for asylum seekers.

Emily Morrow

Harvard Law School