Adam Smith  //  3/14/19  //  Daily Update

Minutes after Paul Manafort received his second federal sentence in less than two weeks, Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance added a sixteen-count state indictment into the mix. DOD announced that it would begin implementing President Trump’s transgender service ban, despite a number of pending challenges in the federal courts. The Sixth Circuit upheld Ohio’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood. California imposed a death-penalty moratorium. President Trump grounded the Boeing jet blamed for deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.



On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Charlie, Easha, and Jason discuss a new lawsuit by Huawei against various Trump Administration officials, plus they delve into international extradition law and look at the case of the company's detained CFO. 



A Manhattan grand jury indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on sixteen counts of mortgage and insurance fraud (NYT; WSJ).

  • The full text of the indictment is available here.
  • Such state-level charges could render Manafort “pardon-proof,” note Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky at The Washington Post.

The indictment was announced shortly after a Washington, D.C., federal judge sentenced Manafort to 43 months for a raft of campaign-related offenses (WSJ).



The Supreme Court's decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop offers no warrant for rampant free exercise exceptionalism, in which the normal rules of constitutional law are suspended or inverted, writes Joshua Matz on this blog. 

The Pentagon announced that President Trump’s transgender military-service ban will take effect on April 12 (NYT).

  • Lawyers representing trans service-members in a challenge to the so-called Mattis policy filed for an emergency injunction (WaPo).

An en banc Sixth Circuit upheld Ohio’s decision to strip Planned Parenthood of its state funding (AP).

  • The opinion is available here.



In the aftermath of an election riled by allegations of vote-tampering and voter suppression, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is expected to sign a controversial overhaul of the state’s voting systems into law (AP).

  • All the more reason for Congress to enact a comprehensive voting-rights program, argues Sayu Bhojwani at The Hill.



California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a moratorium on the state’s use of the death penalty, staying the executions of more than 700 people (NYT).

  • California may have sounded a death knell for capital punishment in the United States, writes the editorial board of The New York Times.
  • And Newsom’s decision would do Justice Harry Blackmun proud, contends Charlie Pierce at Esquire.



Following a spate of deadly crashes overseas, President Trump overruled the FAA and grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft (WaPo; AP).

  • The President’s intervention spotlights DOT’s “lax” enforcement of federal air-travel regulations, writes Scott McCartney for The Wall Street Journal.


Daily Update | March 21, 2019

3/21/19  //  Daily Update

Until a recent D.C. Circuit decision becomes final, District Judge Kollar-Kotelly says her injunction barring the Administration from introducing limits on the service of transgender individuals in the military remains in place. Eighteen states have considered legislation this year that would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to post their tax returns in order to appear on a ballot. Senator Marco Rubio plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to limit the number of Supreme Court justices to nine. Analysis continues of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow ICE to detain migrants with criminal records long after their release from custody. Despite a variety of inquiries from the House Oversight and Reform Committee, the White House has refused to hand over any requested documents or produce any witnesses.

Hetali Lodaya

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | March 20, 2019

3/20/19  //  Daily Update

White House lawyers want an opportunity to claim executive privilege and review Robert Mueller's report before it reaches lawmakers and the public. Search warrants obtained in the New York case against President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen were unsealed. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard argument in an anti-corruption case against President Trump regarding his violations of the Constitution's emoluments clauses. The Supreme Court’s latest opinion adds to a string of decisions with sweeping views of ICE’s power to confine migrants. Federal judges have ruled against the Trump administration 63 times over the past two years.

Abigail DeHart

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | March 19, 2019

3/19/19  //  Daily Update

If the federal appeals court allows the Emoluments Clauses challenge against President Trump to move forward, he may be forced to disclose financial information related to his businesses. In addition to reviewing the statutory issues concerning the 2020 census citizenship question, the Supreme Court will also review the constitutional issue. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen declared that the United States is not prepared to handle foreign cyber attacks but is taking steps to identify and combat these threats. The Department of Defense produced a fact sheet listing all military projects from which funding could potentially be diverted to build the southern border wall. Democratic congressional leaders requested the FBI open an investigation into Chinese American executive, Li Yang, for misusing her personal ties to President Trump.

Mackenzie Walz

University of Michigan Law School