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 | September 24, 2018

9/24/18  //  Daily Update

Former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland reversed her statement to Special Counsel Mueller about former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, now saying that Flynn may have spoken to her about discussions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential transition. The White House and its allies are divided over the possibility of firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. DOE announced it will “rethink anything and everything” related to its approach to special education, with more deference paid to local decision-making. A federal judge in New York ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to be deposed as part of a lawsuit challenging the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The New York Times sued the FCC over its refusal to release records that the Times thinks might shed light on Russian interference in the net neutrality repeal proceeding.

Abigail DeHart

Michigan Law School

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | September 21, 2018

9/21/18  //  Daily Update

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford says she would agree to testify at a Senate hearing next week, but would not be prepared to do so on Monday. The Trump Administration plans to shift $260 million from program like cancer research and AIDS prevention to cover the cost of housing thousands of undocumented immigrant children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Pentagon stopped announcing body counts of Taliban and Islamic State fighters killed in battle in Afghanistan, a practice which had begun in January. The Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has begun dismantling decades-old policies meant to improve racial disparities in youth incarceration. A number of Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin managed to build relationships with elements of the Trump campaign in 2016.

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | September 20, 2018

9/20/18  //  Daily Update

As election day nears, many states and counties are beefing up their plans to deal with cyberattacks on election infrastructure. Undocumented immigrant families affected by Hurricane Florence are wondering whether seeking government resources like shelter, food, or other aid would put them at greater risk. State Department officials are facing backlash over the decision to drastically limit the number of refugees who will be permitted to settle in the U.S. The Office of Inspector General criticized the Bureau of Prisons’ management of female prisoners. Terrorism is down worldwide, but the State Department says that Iran maintains a ‘near-global reach’ as the leading state sponsor of terrorism. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un committed to some concrete steps towards denuclearization, but fell short of what American officials have demanded.

Hanna St. Marie

Columbia Law School