Raquel Dominguez , Ian Eppler  //  9/14/17  //  Daily Update


Coverage and analysis of the Supreme Court’s allowance of parts of the travel ban continues. The ACLU will challenge warrantless searches of phones and laptops at the border. President Trump nominated Trey Trainor, a Texas lawyer and opponent of campaign finance regulation, to the Federal Election Commission. The House has voted to curb federal asset forfeitures, a program Attorney General Jeff Sessions had reinstated. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has endorsed a proposal to eliminate the “blue slip” procedure that would allow Democrats to block President Trump’s circuit court nominees from their home state.

 

IMMIGRATION

The Constitution and various statutes support cities’ ability to declare themselves sanctuary cities, argue Seth Davis, Annie Lai, and Christopher Lasch on Take Care.

  • Sheriffs struggle to balance demands by the White House and the courts (NYT).

Congress’s plans to address DACA may have stalled (NYT).

Coverage and analysis of the Supreme Court’s allowance of parts of the travel ban continues (NYTWaPoWSJUSA TodayWashington TimesAPBloombergCNNBuzzfeedThe Hill).

  • The Supreme Court’s order can be found here.
  • For a broad summary of the issues, see Steven Mazie’s article in the Economist.
  • Lyle Deniston believes the decision signals the Court’s desire to spend more time analyzing the subject.
  • It is unlikely the Court will protect sponsored refugees from the travel ban prior to oral argument on October 10, writes Peter Margulies at Lawfare.
  • The Department of Homeland Security is expected to soon submit a report to President Trump on whether the travel ban should be extended, reports Matt Zapotosky at the Washington Post.

The Department of Homeland Security has waived environmental and historical preservation laws to speed construction of border barriers in Southern California (Hill).

Arizona, Maryland and Wyoming have signed up for the Department of Homeland Security’s RIDE program, which augments the accuracy of the E-Verify system using state-level DMV records (CATO).

 

CIVIL RIGHTS

The ACLU will challenge warrantless searches of phones and laptops at the border (ACLUThe Hill).

The ACLU pressed Congress members to stop President Trump’s transgender military service member ban (ACLU).

 

DEMOCRACY

It is believed that Hans von Spakovsky, a member of President Trump’s election fraud  Pence-Kobach Commission, wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions objecting to the appointment of any Democrats or mainstream republicans to the Commission (HuffPostGizmodo).

  • Bob Bauer, of More Soft Money Hard Law, called for the resignation of Han von Spakovsky from the Pence-Kobach Commission.
  • The Commission, and its vice chairman Kris Kobach, remain controversial (TPM).

Repeated, harassing emails to government officials and their offices may be criminally prosecutable (WaPo).

President Trump nominated Trey Trainor, a Texas lawyer and opponent of campaign finance regulation, to the Federal Election Commission (Election Law Blog).

 

SAFETY AND JUSTICE

The House has voted to curb federal asset forfeitures, a program Attorney General Jeff Sessions had reinstated (WaPo).

While some Congress members have voted to extend a controversial warrantless surveillance program, they have also pushed for limits to the law (The Hill).

The Malaysian Prime Minister, while visiting the White House, urged President Trump to support progressive Muslim regimes (Whitehouse.gov).

  • The Malaysian Prime Minister stayed at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. (NYT).

North Korea expressed dissatisfaction with the United States’ role in crafting the U.N. sanctions (WaPo).

  • Meanwhile, the United States remains dissatisfied with China’s unwillingness to impose harsh sanctions on North Korea.

Two former US Attorneys object to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ charging guidelines, which ask prosecutors to charge the most serious offense in almost all cases (National Review).

President Trump’s new approach to Afghanistan is just a repackaging of old ideas, reinforces the dilemma between Pakistan and India, and ignores China, criticizes Sahar Khan at CATO.

 

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Despite extensive efforts, Jared Kushner’s real estate company has been unable to secure foreign investors for its building at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York, report Michael Kranish and Jonathan O’Connell at the Washington Post.

 

REGULATION

A group of Republican senators, led by Lindsey Graham (SC) and Bill Cassidy (LA), proposed legislation that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but it is unclear whether the bill would attract sufficient support in the Senate (Health AffairsNYTWaPo).

  • The Trump administration endorsed the proposal.

The Trump administration’s proposed “one in, two out” requirement for federal regulations will likely lead to legal challenges and will not increase efficiency, writes Sarah Kramer at The Regulatory Review.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has proposed relaxing an Obama-era mine inspection rule (WaPo).

 

RULE OF LAW

For the second day in a row, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested that former FBI director James Comey broke the law by sharing details of unclassified memos regarding conversations with President Trump, but stopped short of reiterating a call for him to be prosecuted (CNBCPolitico).

  • Suggesting that Comey broke the law is both baseless and an abuse of power, argue Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare.
  • Sanders also suggested that ESPN reporter Jemele Hill should be fired for calling President Trump a “white supremacist” (WaPo).

 

CHECKS & BALANCES

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has endorsed a proposal to eliminate the “blue slip” procedure that would allow Democrats to block President Trump’s circuit court nominees from their home state (NYT).

Senate Republicans should retain the blue slip as a check on the executive, argues Dahlia Lithwick in Slate.

 

RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has refused a second subpoena to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee (CNN).

  • There are several legal means by which Flynn can resist these subpoenas, write Kate Brannan and Andy Wright at Just Security.
  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also investigating the lobbying activities of Flynn’s son (WaPo).
  • While working in the White House, Flynn promoted a nuclear power initiative that he had worked on in the private sector (WSJ).

Contact between Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Felix Sater regarding a proposed change to US policy on Ukraine likely began during the presidential campaign, argues Ryan Goodman at Just Security.

 


Daily Update | September 22, 2017

9/22/17  //  Daily Update

Reports emerge about controversial document requests by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The President is reportedly reviewing a security report that may serve as the basis of a new or revised Muslim travel ban.

Hanna St. Marie

Columbia Law School,

Daily Update | September 21, 2017

9/21/17  //  Daily Update

Due to concerns about processing 50,000 applications, the Department of Homeland Security has recommended cutting the number of refugees allowed into the country in 2018 to 40,000. Trump says he has made a decision on the Iran deal, but has not announced the decision. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and other watchdog groups filed a motion seeking a federal court order requiring the Trump Administration to explain the decision to withhold visitor logs from Mar-a-Lago. President Trump endorsed the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill, the latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has requested from the White House documents about the firings of former F.B.I. director James Comey and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Jacqueline Sahlberg

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | September 20, 2017

9/20/17  //  Daily Update

Additional briefs are filed in the Supreme Court in the travel ban case, and commentary ensues. Reports emerge about close industry ties for several of the President's pending nominees. And the Senate confirms a new Solicitor General in a close vote.