Ryan Hayward, Eve Levin  //  5/26/17  //  Daily Update

The en banc Fourth Circuit largely upheld a nationwide injunction against the revised travel ban. The latest episode of Versus Trump covers transgender rights and a challenge to Trump's 2-for-1 executive order. Democrats have launched new efforts to protect the right to vote. President Trump met with NATO allies amid tensions and uncertainty. The Trump Organization has adopted a plan for foreign payments at hotels that fails to stop Foreign Emolument Clause violations. And it has been reported that the FBI is now investigating Jared Kushner's connections to Russia. 



new episode of Versus Trump addresses the status of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, a major case about transgender rights.  It then includes an interview with Patti Goldman of Earthjustice about an important lawsuit that her organization has filed. 



The en banc Fourth Circuit largely upheld the nationwide injunction against the revised travel ban in a 10-3 decision (NYT, WSJ, WaPo).

  • The decision is here.
  • Leah Litman summarizes the decision and the separate opinions at Take Care.
  • Amy Howe also summarizes the Fourth Circuit’s reasoning for SCOTUSBlog.
  • Early analysis of the decision comes from Corey Brettschneider, who argues that the Acting Solicitor General unwittingly undermined his own position (Take Care).
  • Ilya Somin agrees that the government’s reasoning was flawed and predicts the case will soon be before the Supreme Court (Volokh).
  • Ruthann Robson highlights the opinion’s key arguments at Constitutional Law Prof Blog.
  • The suit will be moot before it reaches the Supreme Court, predicts Gerard Magliocca at Balkinization.

President Trump’s budget will have dramatic and grave consequences for undocumented immigrants living in the United States, write Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Ron Nixon (NYT).

Commentary continues on the observed decline in crime reporting in Latino communities under the Trump administration.

  • “The fact that public approval and trust in the police are necessary conditions for effective policing seems to have been lost on . . . the Trump administration,” argues Matthew Feeney at Cato.

To effectively counter Iranian support for terrorist groups, the United States must reset its relations with its Middle Eastern allies, argues Daniel Byman at Lawfare.



Democrats are launching a new effort to protect voter rights in the face of President Trump’s new voter fraud commission (HuffPo).

  • Senator Chris Coons spoke to the Brennan Center’s Nicole Austin-Hillery on the importance of voting rights in the Trump era.
  • “This is certainly not what I envisioned as a reasonable alternative to Trump’s sham ‘election integrity commission,’” writes Rick Hasen (Election Law Blog).
  • At the New York Times,Linda Greenhouse comments on the ongoing “election wars” at the Supreme Court.



Gavin Grimm’s Title IX transgender bathroom lawsuit has returned to the Fourth Circuit for a third time, but now with a different (fuller) name, notes Lyle Denniston.

The removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans rightfully recognizes that expressive harms are real harms, write Richard Schragger, Micah Schawartman, and Nelson Tebbe at Take Care.

Politicians must pay attention to the needs of women of color in the Trump Era, notes Auditi Guha at Rewire.

Here are three reasons the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Wikimedia Foundation v. NSA may have huge consequences for surveillance law, courtesy of Steve Vladeck at Lawfare.

How have reproductive rights fared in the first 100 days of the Trump presidency? Jamille Fields outlines six ways things have changed for the worse at ACSBlog.



President Trump called for an investigation into U.S.-sourced leaks of sensitive information regarding the Manchester bombing (WaPo, NYT).

  • Prime Minister Theresa May scolded the U.S. government for the leaks as she met with President Trump (Politico).
  • Reports suggest the UK has stemmed the flow of intelligence to the United States as a result of the leak (Politico).

Senators Jeff Flake and Tim Kaine introduced a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) (Politico, Lawfare).

  • Ryan Goodman annotates the proposed legislation here (Lawfare).

A U.S. warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of a Chinese-claimed island in the South China Sea yesterday, prompting condemnation from the Chinese government (NYT).

  • This may have been the Trump Administration’s first “freedom of navigation operation” in the South China Sea, observes Julian Ku (Lawfare).
  • James Kraska explains the territorial dispute over the so-called Mischief Reef (Lawfare).

The Pentagon confirmed the death of 105 civilians in a Mosul airstrike but blamed ISIS for the casualties (WaPo).

An expansion of the existing TSA laptop ban to cover flights from Europe may still be “imminent,” despite conflicting reports (Politico).

“The idea that putting Americans “first” requires a withdrawal from the world is simply wrongheaded,writes Colin Powell in this New York Times op-ed.

Senators on both sides of the aisle strongly condemned President Trump’s praise for Philippine President Rodrigo Duerte’s thousands of extrajudicial killings (Intercept).

The United States must get serious about investigating unlawful deaths during wartime under the 2016 Minnesota Protocol, argues Lt. Col. (ret.) Jay Morse (Lawfare).

Will the Trump Administration enforce a global anticorruption statute against Russia as it said it would? Experts are skeptical, writes Ilya Zaslavskiy (Global Anticorruption Blog).

At a meeting with fellow NATO members in Brussels, President Trump chastised other member nations for “not paying what they should be paying” (WaPo).

  • The President was also vague about the United States’ commitment to NATO’s mutual defense pledge (NYT).
  • The reaction to the speech has been “overwrought,” opines the Wall Street Journal.

Rachel Brand, a former Bush Administration official, has become the first woman to serve as associate attorney general (WaPo).

Former President Obama’s subtle opposition to President Trump was on full display this week during a visit to Germany, observes Edward-Isaac Dovere at Politico.

Russia is engaged in “dark arts” which stoke “the domestic challenges we face [that] represent an existential threat to our national security,” warns John Reed at Just Security.

The possible appointment of Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke to the Department of Homeland Security drew strong rebukes from Congressmen (The Hill) and advocacy groups (Brennan Center, HRC).

President Trump and the European Union are trading places, claims Matthew Kaminski at Politico.

Will the G-7 meeting be de ja vu all over again? (Climatewire).

  • Reports suggest “disarray” in advance of the meeting (Climatewire).

Experts doubt Attorney General Jeff Session’s claims that a War on Drugs 2.0 would reduce violent crime (Brennan Center).

  • Heather MacDonald disagrees, arguing the policy will make the country safer for the innocent and won’t impact “harmless stoners” (WSJ).

After the President’s lavish welcome in Saudi Arabia, Michael Dorf wonders whether Democrats can learn anything from the Saudi monarchy’s dealings with him (Dorf on Law).



At Take Care, Joshua Matz argues that the Trump Organization is mistaken if it believes its proposed approach for handling payments from foreign governments will solve President Trump’s Emoluments Clause problems.

The New York Times editorial board surveys some of the Trump Administration’s unresolved conflicts of interests and ethical shortcomings thus far.

According to the former head of the General Services Administration, President Trump’s hotel lease at the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, D.C. did not require him to divest from that property (WaPo).



At Take Care, Leah Litman continues a dialogue with Larry Solum with regard to constitutional issues surrounding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in PHH v. CFPB.

  • At CFPB Monitor, Alan S. Kaplinsky describes the mostly “bad news” for the CPFB in President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget.

Energy Department policy, rather than that of the EPA, may provide the best indication of the Trump Administration’s climate change policy thus far (NYT).

  • The Energy Department is also moving forward with three Obama-era efficiency rules (The Hill).

Several Senate Republicans sent a letter to President Trump urging him to abandon the Paris climate accord (The Hill).

  • Administration policies likely mean the United States will not hit its carbon-emission commitments (Vox).

Democratic leaders have asked the Department of Interior to not eliminate national monuments established under President Obama (The Hill).

At Notice & Comment, Andrew M. Grossman argues that the Trump Administration’s anti-regulatory agenda has “virtue” because of its “honesty” and “transparency.”



In a speech at Harvard, former acting attorney general Sally Yates said she refused to defend President Trump’s entry ban because “law and conscience intersected” (NYT).



A bipartisan group of senators is introducing legislation to “assert more congressional power over the post-9/11 war on terror” (Politico, Lawfare).

Senate leaders are considering a change to the Senate’s longstanding “blue slip” tradition, which provides that judicial nominations will not proceed unless a nominee’s home-state senators give their consent (WaPo).



At President Trump’s urging, Wisconsin is experimenting with drug screening for Medicaid participants (WaPo).



President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is now a “subject” of the FBI’s Russia investigation (WaPo, NBC, The Hill, CNN).

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was advised not to disclose meetings with Russian officials when he applied for a security clearance (NYT).

Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee have been given power to issue subpoenas in the Russia investigation (The Hill).

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort continued to advise President Trump and his advisers after the FBI launched its Russia investigation (Politico).

The Washington Post describes how “Russia-friendly adviser” Carter Page found his way into the Trump campaign.

House Oversight committee chairman Jason Chaffetz has asked the FBI to turn over more documents regarding former FBI director Jim Comey’s interactions with the White House (AP).


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