Rachel Chung, Alexandra Widas  //  10/12/17  //  Daily Update

The Supreme Court dismisses as moot a challenge to Trump's travel ban version 2.0. Trump's words are not only cause for concern, but a possible basis for impeachment. McConnell suggests he will stop the practice of allowing Senators to block judicial nominees. The D.C. Superior Court finds that the DOJ overstepped by requesting IP addresses for anti-Trump protest organizers. Trump indicates that the U.S. will withdraw from NAFTA and that it should increase the size of its nuclear arsenal. And the Trump administration takes strides towards eliminating major Obama-era regulations, including the Clean Power Plan and the birth control-coverage mandate.



The Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to the travel ban as moot (WaPo).

  • A recap of the litigation and legal arguments is here.

The bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors called for the Administration to continue the DACA program (ImmigrationProfBlog).

Amnesties are central to how the U.S. legal system functionsargues Amanda Taub at the New York Times.



President Trump’s bully pulpit has serious consequences, since presidential speech carries more import than almost any other expressioncontends Mark Joseph Stern at Take Care.



Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will no longer allow Senators to block judicial nominees (WaPo).

The D.C. Superior Court said DOJ overstepped when it sought 1.3 million IP addresses that had logged into a website that helped organize anti-Trump protests on Inauguration Day (ArsTechnica).

The self-professed anti-Trump resistance is part of a “thinly veiled legal revolt,”argues Josh Blackman at the National Review.

A group of former Obama Administration lawyers moved for a temporary injunction against the President’s Election Integrity Commission, arguing it threatened the proper functioning of our democracy (McClatchy).

President Trump tweeted that it’s “frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write” (WaPo) and seemed to threaten that broadcast licenses should be limited depending on network coverage (NYTimes).

  • The President then clarified that he doesn’t think the press should be limited (WaPo).
  • What would happen if President Trump cracked down on media critiques?, asks Paul Waldman at WaPo.
  • Though often compared to Putin, the media comments resemble Turkish President Erdogan, argues Philip Bump at WaPo.
  • President Trump’s response to the press is Nixonian, writes Aaron Blake (WaPo).
  • President Trump neither values nor understands a free press, contends Callum Borchers (WaPo).


President Trump is increasingly suggesting it’s “possible” the U.S. will drop out of NAFTA (NYT).

The U.S. military flew strategic bombers over the Korean peninsula as President Trump met with top defense officials to discuss possible responses to any threat from North Korea (Reuters).

President Trump is seeking a significant increase in the number of nuclear weapons in the country’s arsenal, bucking the trend of recent presidential administrations (WaPo).

  • The President insists he seeks to modernize, not to increase, the arsenal (WSJ).

The President’s anger over the Iran deal has caused White House aides to scramble for possible compromises (WaPo).

  • Undoing the deal would undermine the longstanding power of America’s word in global security, writes Roger Cohen at the New York Times.
  • Even Ehud Barak, the former Israeli Prime Minister well-known as a hawk, urged the President to keep the deal (NYT).

Military officials at the Guantanamo Bay prison are waiting longer to intervene with medical attention when detainees go on hunger strikes (NYT).

President Trump will nominate Kirstjen Nielsen, deputy White House chief of staff and a cybersecurity expert, to replace John Kelly  as Secretary of Homeland Security (WaPo).


The Trump administration moved to repeal President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which targeted carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants (NYTimes).

  • The formal announcement can be found here.

New exceptions to the federal contraception mandate are unprecedented in scale, writes Linda Greenhouse (NYTimes).

  • An explanation of eligibility for religious exemptions can be found here.
  • An explanation of eligibility for moral exemptions can be found here.  
  • Pro-choice groups, such as the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Emily’s List, believe this action of the Trump administration provides a powerful mobilization tool (WaPo).

Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture, suggested that restricting access to food stamps for adults who can work would help lower enrollment in the plan (WSJ).

The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which prohibits the Justice Department from spending even a cent to prosecute medical marijuana users and sellers operating legally under state laws, may expire following an aggressive lobbying campaign by Attorney General Jeff Sessions (L.A. Times).


President Trump’s words reveal his inability to carry out his oath of office and provide a basis for impeachment, argues Jennifer Rubin (WaPo).

  • President Trump’s misuse of the English language, while egregious, is a violation of custom, not law, writes Greg Weiner (NYTimes).

Democratic Rep. Al Green (Tex.) read an impeachment resolution on the House floor Wednesday but did not appear later that day to offer the resolution for a vote (WaPo).

The Impeachment Clause is broad enough to allow for impeachment on the basis of incompetence, not just criminal activity, argues Gene Healy (Cato at Liberty).


Senate Democrats fear the Trump administration is dragging its feet on dealing with a Russian cyber threat that could impact upcoming races and sway which party controls the Senate (Politico).

The Russian government has used anti-virus software manufactured by Kaspersky Lab as an espionage tool; officials say this could only have happened with the knowledge and consent of the company (WSJ).

  • The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is planning to hold a series of hearings on Kaspersky Labs (The Hill).

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will release Russian-backed Facebook ads from the 2016  election season after officials from Facebook, Google, and Twitter testify before it (WaPoWSJ).



Daily Update | February 16, 2018

2/16/18  //  Daily Update

The Fourth Circuit has invalidated the third iteration of the Travel Ban, joining the Ninth Circuit, but the injunction is stayed pending Supreme Court review of the case. The Vera Institute of Justice told its lawyers nationwide not to discuss abortion access with undocumented immigrant minors in custody, for fear it would jeopardize a multimillion-dollar contract with HHS. President Trump’s inaugural committee paid nearly $26 million to an advisor to first lady Melania Trump, while donating $5 million less than expected to charity. The CFPB’s just-released strategic plan reflects a new restrained approach.

Kate Berry

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | February 15, 2018

2/15/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump threatened to veto any immigration bill that doesn’t meet the “four pillars” of his demands. Vice President Pence announced that the U.S. intelligence community universally concluded that Russia did not affect the outcome of the 2016 election, despite the fact that officials have made no such judgment. There is an increasing wave of efforts to punish or restrain judges who reject political districting. The United States may seek to put Pakistan on the Terrorism-Finance List.

Kate Berry

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | February 14, 2018

2/14/18  //  Daily Update

A federal judge issued a nationwide injunction temporarily maintaining DACA protections for those who applied before the Administration announced its repeal. Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray contradicted the White House’s statement that the investigation into staff secretary Rob Porter’s security clearance was ongoing at the time of his resignation. The Administration’s budget proposal shrinks the Department of Energy budget by more than $1 billion, including eliminating a popular program that provides grant funding to early-stage energy research.