Adam Smith  //  3/15/19  //  Daily Update

Anticipation for the Mueller report continues to build, as the House calls unanimously for its release and a key member of the Special Counsel’s team prepares to leave his post. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he won’t share the President Trump’s tax returns with Congress. A New York appeals court ruled that the President could be sued by a former Apprentice contestant for defamation. The Senate voted to deny the President his national emergency at the southern border — but the President’s own veto is all but assured. The Connecticut Supreme Court held that Remington and other manufacturers of the AR-15 rifle could be sued by the families of victims of the Sandy Hook mass shooting.



The House of Representatives unanimously called for the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election (NYT).

  • And the imminent departure of Andrew Weissman, a key member of the Special Counsel’s team, may signal that Mueller’s investigation is winding down (NPR).

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated that he would deny any Congressional requests for the President’s tax returns (NYT).

A New York state appeals court ruled that President Trump was not immune to a defamation suit brought by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos (The Hill).



The Senate voted 59-41 to block President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the nation’s southern border, setting the stage for the first veto of the Trump era (NYT; WaPo).

  • Indeed, the President had only a single-worded tweet in response: “VETO!”
  • As the seeming boundlessness of executive emergency power dominates the headlines, perhaps it’s time to reconsider the legislative veto, suggest Geoffrey Manne and Seth Weinberger at JustSecurity.



In a significant blow to gun-manufacturer immunity, the Connecticut Supreme Court held Thursday that the families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings could sue Remington and other producers of the AR-15 rifle (NYT).



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reticence to impeach President Trump seems aligned with a broader consensus on the removal power, argues Bob Bauer at Lawfare.

Daily Update | August 21, 2019

8/21/19  //  Daily Update

House Democrats asked a D.C. federal judge to expedite the release of President Trump’s tax returns. Days after indicating his support for federal background-check legislation, the President reportedly reversed course in a call with NRA officials. The NYPD fired the officer whose chokehold killed Eric Garner in 2014. The Trump administration told the Supreme Court that its attempt to end DACA was lawful.

Adam Smith

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | August 20, 2019

8/20/19  //  Daily Update

DOJ asked the Second Circuit to block House subpoenas for President Trump’s financial records. Civil rights groups filed suit against ICE over the quality of medical and mental health care at detention facilities. HUD proposed a rule that would make it substantially more difficult for plaintiffs to bring “disparate impact” claims under the Fair Housing Act. Planned Parenthood announced that it will withdraw from the Title X family planning program rather than comply with a Trump administration prohibition on abortion referrals. In the wake of Jeffrey Epstein’s death, AG Bill Barr announced that former Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer will replace Acting Director Hugh Hurwitz as the new director.

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | August 16, 2019

8/16/19  //  Daily Update

The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Corey Lewandowski and former White House aide, Rick Dearborn, regarding President Trump’s potential obstruction of justice. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a court order requiring the Trump Administration provide hygiene supplies to children in the Rio Grande Valley detention facilities. The Israeli government announced that Representatives Omar and Tlaib are prohibited from visiting Israel during their upcoming trip after President Trump advocated for the prohibition on Twitter.

Mackenzie Walz

University of Michigan Law School