Julia Sherman, Joshua Matz  //  5/8/17  //  Daily Update

Today, the Fourth Circuit hears oral argument on the revised travel ban. Analysis continues of President Trump's religious liberty executive order. Conduct by the Kushner family has raised new questions about conflicts within the Trump Administration. The American Health Care Act now moves to the Senate. Amid questions about the future of U.S. climate and environmental policy, EPA Chief Scott Pruitt has recused himself from key lawsuits challenging Obama-era rules against his agency.


Today, sitting en banc, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral argument on President Trump's revised travel ban.

President Trump is responsible for ICE's mistreatment of DREAMers, explains Leah Litman on Take Care.

Even a live-tweeting U.S. senator cannot stop a deportation (NYT).

We are now facing troubling parallels to the Chinese Exclusion Act (NPR).

Here's a profile of Becca Heller, a leader of the legal campaign against the revised travel ban (NYT).

Sen. Ron Johnson (R. Wisconsin) and Rep. Ken Buck (R. Colorado) have proposed greater state control over migration (Volokh Conspiracy).

A Muslim Advocacy group has filed a FOIA request seeking material "relating to the government’s border searches of electronic devices in the possession of persons from the seven Muslim-majority countries covered by [Trump’s] January 27, 2017 Executive Order" (Religion Clause).

The Trump Administration has proposed heightened social media vetting of visa applicants (Ars Technica).


Analysis continues of President Trump's executive order on religious liberty.

  • Richard Schragger analyzes a legal challenge filed last week (Take Care).
  • Tim Jost offers helpful background and analysis at Health Affairs Blog.
  • Noah Feldman concludes at Bloomberg that this is an order "to shrug at."
  • Senator Jeff Merkley (D. Oregon) argues that we've come too far on LGBTQ rights now to reverse course under Trump (ACLU).
  • David Post expressed bafflement at the incoherence of Trump's remarks accompanying this EO.

Trump's Army Secretary nominee has withdrawn following criticism of his anti-LGBT views (HRC, WaPo).

The recently-signed Budget Act contains several "international religious freedom" provisions (Religion Clause).

The frontrunner to lead DOJ Civil Rights defended Abercrombie & Fitch in an important Supreme Court employment discrimination case (WaPo).


How did Trump successfully campaign against "political correctness" when that phenomenon "began to decline in significance after peaking in the mid-1990s, roughly two decades before Trump launched his presidential campaign"? (Dorf on Law).

The passage of Trumpcare signals further decay in the U.S. constitutional order, contends Sandy Levinson (Balkinization).

Analysis of Stephen Colbert, the FCC, and the First Amendment (Constitutional Law Prof Blog).


Stanford-affiliated legal scholars have sought access to sealed surveillance records, but a federal magistrate judge appears skeptical of their request (Ars Technica).

An update on two Guantanamo cases pending before the Supreme Court (Lyle Denniston).

Jeff Sessions is following "the Obama script" on prosecuting cops, but not on police reform (WaPo).

Trump has pushed back against the ban on state medical marijuana interference (The Hill).

Trump might retreat from the federal drug war through major budget cuts to key offices (Sentencing Law & Policy Blog).

Paul Collier and Alexander Betts have published a reform proposal for global refugee policies (Lawfare).

Rand Paul has requested information on whether President Obama surveilled him (The Hill).


The sister of White House advisor Jared Kushner spoke at an event in China on Saturday, encouraging investment in a family property in exchange for EB-5 visas (NYT, WaPo).

  • Materials at the event highlighted Trump as the “key decision maker” on the fate of the controversial visa program (NYT).
  • This has given rise to new questions about conflicts of interest between the Kushner family and the Trump Administration (The Guardian).


Don't forget about the role of HHS in implementing the GOP healthcare law, cautions Rachel Sachs (Take Care).

The Congressional Budget Office is expected to issue a score of the American Health Care Act this coming week (NYT).

  • Andrew Sullivan contends that "Trumpcare destroys any notion that American conservatism gives a damn."
  • The Trump Administration has worked to undermine the Affordable Care Act, argues Jonathan Gruber (WaPo).

How will the D.C. Circuit resolve the pending Clean Power Plan case? Nick Parillo offers thoughts at Notice & Comment.

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt has recused himself from key lawsuits challenging Obama-era rules against the Agency (NYT, The Hill).

The Trump Administration is deflecting questions from foreign nations on the future of U.S. climate change policy (The Hill).

  • President Trump will gain no practical advantage from leaving the Paris Climate Agreements, argues David Roberts at Vox.
  • Ivanka Trump and Scott Pruitt will meet this week to discuss their different views about the Paris Agreeement (The Hill).

On Friday, House Republicans took a small step towards dismantling the Dodd-Frank Act (NYT).

Twenty-seven national monuments could lose their protected status due to an executive order signed by President Trump last month (The Hill).

The Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a significant step backward for anticorruption, argues Kaitlin Beach (GAB).

A major debate over the future of the FISA Amendments Act and NSA surveillance programs is shaping up in Congress, reports Charlie Savage (NYT).

The FDA has announced that it will delay enforcement of e-cigarette rules (The Hill).


The Senate has requested records of communication with Russians from a number of associates of President Trump (NYT, The Atlantic, The Hill).

  • Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday (WSJ, Politico).


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.  

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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