Democracy

President Trump has repeatedly called into doubt the integrity of U.S. democracy, and favors aggressive limits on freedoms of speech and press.

Mitch Landrieu and the Anti-Denigration Constitution

5/25/17  //  Commentary

Mitch Landrieu’s speech defending the removal of Confederate war monuments in the heart of New Orleans is an eloquent reminder that the Constitution forbids acts that subordinate or denigrate, whether in the context of religion, LGBT rights, or racial equality.

Richard C. Schragger

UVA School of Law

Micah Schwartzman

University of Virginia School of Law

Nelson Tebbe

Brooklyn Law School

Policing is Always Political, So Politicians Should Control It

5/24/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Recent Harvard Law graduate, and soon to be civil rights lawyer, Shakeer Rahman offers some second thoughts about celebrating federal law enforcement’s independence.

Take Care

Trump & Libel

5/16/17  //  Commentary

A particularly brazen part of Trump’s attack on the press has been his assertion—both as a candidate and as President—that he will change the libel laws to make it easier to sue the media for unfavorable coverage. That won't work, for many reasons. But Trump’s outrageous threats are brilliantly successful in other ways, no matter how unlikely they are to formally succeed.

Amanda Shanor

Yale Law School

The (Other) Dark Side Of The Comey Affair

5/15/17  //  Commentary

James Comey’s firing threatens more than just the rule-of-law norm against self-investigation. It also threatens the rule-of-law norm against politically motivated policing and prosecutions.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump signed an executive order creating a presidential commission on “election integrity” based on his false claims of widespread voter fraud during the 2016 election.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

A reporter in West Virginia was arrested after persistently questioning Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price about the AHCA.

The Commission to Round Up the Usual Suspects

5/12/17  //  Commentary

The President's Commission On Voter Fraud Is Not Designed To Seek Data. Instead, The Commission Has Preordained Conclusions It Will Recommend.

Justin Levitt

Loyola Law School

Jason Harrow is Wrong About the First Amendment

5/12/17  //  Uncategorized

Freedom of speech is great. Nobody denies it. But the lawsuit against Trump for inciting violence at a campaign rally is legally meritorious, at least at the motion to dismiss stage. And the notion that finding liability against Trump here would imperil protests for all Americans just doesn't hold water.

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

Reince Priebus wants to limit American speech against the government, which is probably unconstitutional. President Trump will find no shelter from suit in Clinton v. Jones precedent.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

A close special election in Georgia may portend electoral problems for the Republicans. During the 2016 election, the Russian government sought to peddle the myth of voter fraud when it appeared President Trump may lose.

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

The New York Times provided in-depth analysis of the unprecedented amount of money given to the Trump Administration for its inauguration festivities.

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/11/17  //  Daily Update

The Administration threatened Wikileaks with criminal action. Meanwhile, the Administration refused to release its visitor logs.

The Sessions DOJ Turns a Blind Eye to Discrimination

3/22/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

In the landmark Texas Voter ID case, DOJ has begun its official retreat from the protection of minority voting rights. This is the wrong decision and an ominous sign for the future.

Danielle Lang

The Campaign Legal Center

How Damaging is Clinton v Jones to Trump's Defense Against Various Lawsuits?

5/1/17  //  Commentary

Unless and until the Supreme Court overrules Clinton v. Jones, that rule is that the president lacks immunity, regardless of where he is sued. Thus, Clinton v. Jones is indeed very damaging to Trump's defense against the various lawsuits against him on the basis of his pre-presidential conduct.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Trump and the Decline of the American Middle

4/14/17  //  Commentary

Do our constitutional arrangements predict just the kind of political failure that materialized in November 2016? If so, does that mean that the long-term remedy for that failure lies in constitutional reform? Does our constitutional fate determine our political fate?

Jamal Greene

Columbia Law School

Versus Trump, Episode 2: "Get 'Em Out!" + Richard Primus

4/27/17  //  Commentary

The second episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, features discussion of a lawsuit against President Trump for inciting violence, the Muslim travel ban, and more. Listen or subscribe now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Facts Matter—Even if the Sessions Department of Justice Doesn’t Realize It

4/26/17  //  Commentary

Just 100 days into the Trump Administration—the Administration that gave rise to the concept of #AlternativeFacts—there is reason to worry that facts don’t matter to the Justice Department now led by Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center

Kris Kobach is a Menace to Democracy. Boycott his Vote-Rigging Commission.

5/11/17  //  Quick Reactions

By Jed Shugerman. Trump is using the Comey firestorm as a smoke screen for a potentially more dangerous move: appointing Kris Kobach vice chair of a new “election integrity” commission, with Mike Pence as chair. Kobach will make it a voter-suppression/vote rigging commission, fomenting anti-immigrant and racist fears.

Take Care

Arresting the Deterioration of Democracy

3/31/17  //  Commentary

Troubling signs abound for American constitutional democracy. It isn't (yet) too late to halt the decline. But that will require the creation and implementation of a robust democracy agenda.

Daniel P. Tokaji

Ohio State, Moritz College of Law

Protecting Protesters'—And The President's—Freedom Of Speech

5/12/17  //  Commentary

Some people are trying to sue the President for violence that erupted at his campaign rallies. But if they're successful, it might make life more difficult for many others, like Black Lives Matter, who regularly speak passionately about controversial issues.

District Court Holds that Texas Discriminated Against Minority Voters, Again.

4/11/17  //  Quick Reactions

Cutting-edge analysis by Gerry Hebert and Danielle Lang of yesterday's ruling that the controversial Texas Voter ID law was enacted with racially discriminatory intent.

Danielle Lang

The Campaign Legal Center

The First Amendment Belongs Only to Americans? Wrong

3/29/17  //  Commentary

The First Amendment makes America great for everyone, not just for citizens.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Hate Speech Is Free Speech, But Maybe It Shouldn't Be

4/25/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Given enough time, a movement to treat hate speech as beyond the pale, perhaps as part of a backlash against Trumpism, could result in political changes and transformative judicial appointments that redefine the protections of the First Amendment.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

A Department of Justice, But For Whom?

4/7/17  //  Commentary

A letter about how to fix DOJ’s Civil Rights Division simultaneously maintains that we live in a “post-racial world” and urges the Division to take measures that will disenfranchise people of color.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

When Free Speech Suits the President

4/6/17  //  Commentary

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a suit alleging that President Trump incited violence against protesters at one of his campaign rallies last year. The bitter irony to Trump's defense is that it seeks to expand free speech rules; usually, he prefers to trash them.

Amanda Shanor

Yale Law School

States Can Require Financial Disclosure by Presidential Candidates to Safeguard Electoral Transparency

4/6/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Many states are considering bills requiring future federal presidential candidates to release tax returns, or comparable information, in order to be listed on the ballot. Such requirements are good policy and should be upheld under the Constitution.

Danielle Lang

The Campaign Legal Center

Echoes of History in Objections to Federal Enforcement of Voting Rights

4/21/17  //  Commentary

A letter about how to fix DOJ’s Civil Rights Division has some interesting parallels to a recent voting rights dissent.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Ethics Complaints Against Lying Trump-Administration Lawyers

4/7/17  //  Commentary

There might still be some lies that people won't tolerate. Even from lawyers. And even from lawyers who are also politicians. Should those lies be the basis for discipline under legal ethics rules?

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Information Wars Part I: The Challenge To The Census

4/13/17  //  Commentary

The Trump administration has enacted several policies to conceal, subvert, or manipulate information. It has retracted a proposal to add LGBTQ identification to the U.S. census and eliminated LGBTQ identification from HHS surveys. These policies and others attempt to deny the existence of a problem by disappearing the (inconvenient) facts.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Sanctionable

4/25/17  //  Quick Reactions

In a civil suit against Trump for inciting violence at a campaign rally, Trump's lawyer argues that Trump is immune from suit as President of the United States (citing Clinton v. Jones). His argument is not simply wrong. It is sanctionable.

Neil J. Kinkopf

George State University College of Law

Resisting Calls for Illegal Hiring Practices at DOJ’s Civil Rights Division

4/11/17  //  Commentary

Even in these strange and trying times, we would like to think that our Attorney General will follow the law while staffing the division of DOJ charged with realizing the Constitution’s promise of a democracy that’s worth a damn—one open to all citizens, regardless of the color of their skin.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Versus Trump, Episode Two

4/27/17  //  Commentary

This Week's Episode: "Get 'Em Out!" + Richard Primus

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Presidential Bad Faith

3/16/17  //  Commentary

If the President cannot be trusted to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” then that obligation falls on “We the People."

Laurence H. Tribe

Harvard Law School

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

This week, a federal judge found a discriminatory purpose behind Texas's Voter ID law. On Take Care, Joshua Matz and Leah Litman argue that the Trump Administration's plans for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division raise grave concerns. Joshua Matz also notes the concern expressed by advocacy groups over Attorney General Jeff Sessions' lack of commitment to protecting voting rights.

The Story Thus Far: Campaign Finance

3/16/17  //  Daily Update

The resignation of an FEC commissioner may have given Trump an opportunity to reshape the campaign finance landscape. Here are some useful analyses of the story thus far.

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

Developments in the First Amendment for the week of March 20, 2017.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

This week, Daniel Tokaji argued for an active "democracy agenda" on Take Care while a movement for voter ID laws grows in the states, despite no evidence of a large voter conspiracy.

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

This week saw analysis of Justice Gorsuch's past opinions on voting rights and free speech cases.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump highlights the need to fight for truth.

The Story Thus Far: Voting Rights

3/16/17  //  Daily Update

Since taking office, President Trump has cast doubt on the American electoral process--even as DOJ has stepped away from challenges to restrictive voter identification laws. Here are some useful analyses of the story thus far.

Updates | Week of March 20, 2017

3/21/17  //  Daily Update

Developments in voting and elections for the week of March 20, 2017.

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

This week, Twitter sued to oppose a demand for the identity of a user critical of the Trump Administration by the Customs and Border Patrol. Erik Wemple writes that President Trump has undermined public trust in the media.

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

Leah Litman analyzes a conservative activists' letter to Attorney General Sessions in light of the illegal Texas redistricting plan.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

Take Care saw analysis of President Trump's free speech argument in the civil case alleging that he incited violence against protestors by Amanda Shanor, as well as an argument for an active "democracy agenda" by Daniel Tokaji.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

Calls for a "special election" pose major constitutional, political, and policy questions, as Ian Samuel explains for Take Care. Instead, the best way to avoid foreign interference may be to update voting technology.

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

Analysts wrestle with fake news, President Trump's comments at campaign rallies, and his tweets.