Raquel Dominguez , Eve Levin  //  9/15/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump and Congressional Democrats might have reached an agreement in principal to protect DACA recipients from deportation and to give them and others a path to citizenship in the United States, prompting vigorous criticism from right-wing Republicans. Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill, which President Trump described as a “curse on the U.S. and its people,” that would allow all Americans to access Medicare. Reports have surfaced that President Trump berated Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III during an oval-office meeting after Sessions’s recusal from the investigation into Russian meddling into the US Presidential election. Meanwhile, President Trump reminded reporters that when Nazis marched in Charlottesville last month, leading to many injuries and one death, “you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also.” 



Congressional Democrats and President Trump have agreed to work together to find a solution for DACA (WaPoNYTLA TimesWSJ).

  • Jason Harrow and Charlie Gerstein, from Take Care, discuss President Trump’s revocation of DACA and the lawsuit filed by several state attorneys general challenging the revocation (TakeCare).
  • Josh Blackman, on Josh Blackman’s Blog, does not believe the lawsuits challenging the revocation of DACA can succeed solely on the basis of alleging a racist President.
  • Some DACA recipients remain skeptical of President Trump’s commitment to the DREAM Act (LA Times).
  • Some conservatives disagree with President Trump’s willingness to support Dreamers (NYT).

The Trump Administration has imposed visa sanctions on countries that refuse to take back deportees (NYT).



President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Eric Dreiband, draws mixed reviews (Hill).

A lawsuit challenging warrantless searches of phones and laptops at U.S. border crossings is the first of its kind, reports Cyrus Farivar with ARS Technica.

The ACLU has asked a federal court to immediately halt the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military (Hill).

  • Chase Strangio, a Staff Attorney with the ACLU, has this explanation for why the ACLU is suing.



The Pence-Kobach voting commission continues to draw criticism, even from its own members (NYTPortland Press Herald).

The Office of Government Ethics has reversed policy so that aides caught in the Russia probe may receive anonymous gifts to their defense funds (Politico).

In a lawsuit before the Seventh Circuit challenging some residents’ of US Territories inability to vote, the Department of Justice has argued that the remedy to an equal protection violation is stripping other residents of those rights (Pacific Daily News).

Benjamin Wittes has sued the FBI to uncover documents that would refute President Trump’s statements about the “turmoil” the agency experienced under Former Director Jim Comey’s leadership (LawFare).



President Trump doubled-down on his assertions that both sides are to blame for the violence in Charlottesville (NYT).

While the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran’s long-term fate remains in question, President Trump waives sanctions against Iran for this month (WaPoWSJ). 

The Department of Homeland Security ordered all government agencies to stop using Russian produced software from Kaspersky Lab (Hill).

  • Facebook remains uncertain of the extent of Russian ad buys during the election (CNN).

President Trump has blocked a Chinese-government-owned investment firm from acquiring a maker of field-programmable gate arrays, citing national security concerns (ARS Technica).

Jared Kushner is soliciting recommendations for improvements to mentoring and job training programs in prisons (WaPo). 



Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is again receiving criticism for trying to use the government’s private jet—and taxpayers’ money—for personal use (NYTLA Times).

  • Mnuchin responded that the flight request was “not about convenience” (Politico).



The rescission of the DOE’s 2011 Title IX guidance letter will undo a move that “effectively eliminated centuries of due-process rights at” U.S. colleges, claims Daniel Henninger at the Wall Street Journal. 

  • Betsy “DeVos’s Education Department is particularly ill-suited to deal carefully with” the difficult issue of campus sexual assault, observes Neil Buchanan at Dorf on Law.

The Trump administration has not maintained the website for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), shielding its activities from public view, notes Cass Sunstein at Bloomberg.

The President’s flip-flops on tax reform and other issues are probably for the best, writes Gail Collins at the New York Times.

President Trump tweeted that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s proposed single-payer health care plan is a “curse on the U.S. & its people” (Politico).

  • Here’s a thorough breakdown of the proposed Medicare-For-All Act of 2017, courtesy of Katie Keith and Timothy Jost at HealthAffairsBlog.
  • Sanders’s “biggest ally in his push for single-payer health insurance may well be the Republican Party,” claims David Leonhardt at the New York Times.
  • The country is more likely to get to universal healthcare if Democrats and Republicans alike start from “a baseline of reality,” charges Catherine Rampell at the Washington Post.
  • Eugene Robinson disagrees, and argues that the bill has the most important thing of all going for it: “It’s the right thing to do” (WaPo).
  • Republicans’ proposed Graham-Cassidy Act is better than the status quo under the ACA, argues the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

Courts could stop ACA waivers from taking effect even if HHS grants them, argues Nicholas Bagley at Notice & Comment.

The House voted Wednesday to strip funding for an Obama-era pollution rule at the EPA (Hill).

Reports suggest the Trump administration may replace, instead of only repealing, the Clean Power Plan, to the ire of conservative commentators (Politico).

Two Democratic Senators are threatening to delay the confirmation of two key EPA enforcement officers (Hill).



A Senate Select Committee report noting concern about inadequate whistleblower protection for the intelligence community did not go far enough, argues Liz Hempowicz at the Project on Government Oversight.

President Trump sharply criticized former national security adviser Susan Rice for unmasking the names of his aides in intelligence reports and said the unmasking is “just the tip of the iceberg” (Hill).

  • Audio of the exchange is available here from the Washington Post.
  • The entire Susan Rice affair is a “faux scandal,” charges Max Boot at the Los Angeles Times.



Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued that Senate blue slips should not act as “blackballs” for circuit court nominees (NYTHillBuzzfeed).

  • Here are ten things to know about blue slips, courtesy of Chris Kang at ACSblog. 

In the midst of a controversy over Senator Feinstein’s questions to a Catholic judicial nominee, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved several of President Trump’s nominations (WSJ).



Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is homing in on the role of social media in Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 presidential election (BloombergHill).

  • Similarly, Rep. Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, stated that Representatives of social media platforms should testify before the committee as to Russian influence in the election (Hill).
  • Reports suggest Facebook is still unsure of the extent of Russian ad buys during the election (CNN).

President Trump berated Attorney General Jeff Sessions and called for his resignation shortly after Robert Mueller’s appointmentreport Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman at the New York Times.

The spokesman of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will testify before a grand jury in connection with an investigation into Manafort’s business transactions (Politico).



Offenses committed prior to taking office can be impeachable, Bob Bauer concludes in an essay at Lawfare.


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