Ian Eppler  //  3/13/18  //  Daily Update


President Trump backed away from his proposal to raise gun purchase age limits, claiming “not much political support.” A Department of Homeland Security proposal to implement continuous automated social media monitoring of visitors and immigrants to the United States is a “Muslim ban by algorithm.” 12 consolidated lawsuits challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules will be heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Stormy Daniels has offered to return a $130,000 payment from President Trump made as part of a non-disclosure agreement regarding an alleged affair.

 

IMMIGRATION

The federal government’s lawsuit challenging California’s immigration laws is unlikely to succeed due to 10th Amendment protections for states, contends Ruthie Epstein at the ACLU’s blog.

California’s immigration laws should be understood as state civil rights laws rather than efforts to preempt federal immigration laws, suggests Cyrus Mehta at his eponymous blog.

A Department of Homeland Security proposal to implement continuous automated social media monitoring of visitors and immigrants to the United States is a “Muslim ban by algorithm,” argue Faiza Patel and Harsha Panduranga at Just Security.

The Department of Homeland Security is unprepared to assess the effectiveness of President Trump’s proposed border wall, reports Nick Miroff in the Washington Post.

In a filing, Department of Justice lawyers “seemed to ridicule” California’s request that the federal lawsuit challenging California’s immigration laws be transferred to San Francisco where “sanctuary city” litigation is ongoing (Politico).

 

JUSTICE & SAFETY

President Trump backed away from his proposal to raise gun purchase age limits, claiming “not much political support” (WSJ).

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations announced that the United States may intervene in Syria if the UN Security Council does not secure a cease fire (WaPo).

President Trump blocked an attempted takeover of Qualcomm by the Singapore-based Broadcom, citing national security concerns (NYTimes, Politico, The Hill, WaPo, WSJ).

The Trump administration has failed to use U.S. military support as leverage to pressure Saudi Arabia and the UAE to end the war in Yemen, argue Eric Eikenberry and Kate Kizer at Just Security.

 

REGULATION

A federal district court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency’s delay in implementing an ozone pollution rule violated the Clean Air Act (The Hill).

The United States Department of Agriculture withdrew an Obama-era rule on animal welfare standards for organic meat (The Hill).

Conservative commentator Larry Kudlow is likely to replace Gary Cohn as director of the National Economic Council (Politico, WSJ).

12 consolidated lawsuits challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules will be heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Ars Technica).

 

RULE OF LAW

Incidents involving White House Counsel Don McGahn and President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen imply that President Trump has limited respect for the rule of law, contends Bob Bauer at Lawfare.

Stormy Daniels has offered to return a $130,000 payment from President Trump made as part of a non-disclosure agreement regarding an alleged affair, reports Jim Rutenberg in the New York Times.

The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee asked the committee to subpoena documents from the Trump Foundation, citing possible illegal aid to President Trump’s campaign (The Hill).

 

RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE

The House Intelligence Committee concluded its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The Republican majority claimed that it found no evidence of collusion or intent by the Russian government to support the Trump campaign, but Democratic members disputed this conclusion (NYTimes, Politico, The Hill, WaPo, WSJ).

The Special Counsel’s choice of charges in the indictments that have been released thus far indicate potential exposure for high-level Trump administration figures, suggests Sam Berger at Just Security.

In a letter, Congressional Democrats urged President Trump to request the extradition of several Russians indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for interfering in the 2016 election (NYTimes, The Hill).

After the British prime minister announced that Russia was likely responsible for the poisoning of a former Russian spy living in the UK, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say whether the United States agrees with the assessment (WaPo).

 


Daily Update | December 18, 2018

12/18/18  //  Daily Update

Two business associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn were indicted for conspiring to serve as unregistered foreign agents of Turkey and lying to federal investigators. Congressional Republicans continue to attempt to convince President Trump not to shut down the government if there is no funding allocated for a border wall. Democrats in Michigan have turned to Governor Rick Snyder in hopes of blocking Republican legislation that would strip significant authority from the Democratic Secretary of State and Attorney General. An official statement from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sharply criticized the United States Senate for claiming that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was at least partially responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi. The Senate Intelligence Committee released two reports on Russian social media activity during the 2016 election. Russian disinformation teams targeted special counsel Robert Mueller with claims that he was corrupt and had ties to extremist groups.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 17, 2018

12/17/18  //  Daily Update

A federal district judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act after the Trump administration declined to defend the law. Nearly every organization that President Trump has led in the past decade is under criminal investigation. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned after allegations of financial misconduct. Two years after its publication, many of the claims in the Steele dossier have been confirmed by other investigations. Kim Jong-un publicly warned that increased sanctions from the United States could end any chance of North Korean denuclearization. The Trump administration has aggressively sought to expedite high-profile cases to the Supreme Court in the hopes of securing victories from its conservative majority. A new report prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee reveals that Russian government support for President Trump on social media was more widespread than previously known.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 14, 2018

12/14/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump claimed he “never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,” and publicly criticized his former attorney following Cohen’s sentence to three years in jail. A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after being taken into Border Patrol custody a week ago according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The United States Senate voted 56 to 41 to withdraw American military assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen, going against President Trump’s defense of the nation following the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed two requests at the Supreme Court asking it to stay injunctions from three lower courts on the Trump administration’s ban on transgender individuals from serving in the military. National security advisor John Bolton outlined a new strategy for the The Trump administration in Africa aimed primarily at opposing China. Maria Butina pled guilty to conspiracy to act as a foreign agent, and agreed to cooperate with with federal prosecutors going forward.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School