Justice & Safety

“The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law.”

~  Boumediene v. Bush (2008)

Update | The Week of November 27, 2017

12/4/17  //  Daily Update

The Attorney General announced stepped-efforts to address the opioid crisis.

Jeffrey Stein

Columbia Law School

Update | The Week of November 27, 2017

12/3/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump criticized North Korea after it tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile. Congress considered a significant expansion of the NSA's surveillance power.

Jeffrey Stein

Columbia Law School

Updates | The Week of November 20, 2017

11/26/17  //  Daily Update

The U.S. returned North Korea to the somewhat problematic list of state sponsors of terrorism. Recent military actions show signs of expanding air war in Afghanistan, and a shift away from foreign aid to military action.

Updates | The Week of November 20, 2017

11/26/17  //  Daily Update

State Department officials accused Secretary of State Tillerson of several rules violations regarding child soldiers. Multiple sources are contemplating ways to constrain the President's ability to use nuclear weapons.

Updates | The Week of November 20, 2017

11/26/17  //  Daily Update

The Trump administration has been vocal about "law and order" goals, but will leave most of the work to local law enforcement, as evidenced by a $100 million grant to local departments. The tough on crime stance is clear in DOJ's position in some upcoming Supreme Court casts.

Updates | The Week of November 13, 2017

11/19/17  //  Daily Update

The House passes its version of a tax bill that would dramatically alter the tax code as President Trump faces trouble over the diversity of his federal judicial nominees and the fitness of his appointees to office, some of whom have alleged conflicts of interest.

Versus Trump: Borderline Searches + Response To First Mondays

11/16/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss a new lawsuit that forces courts to answer the question of whether the federal government needs a warrant to search people's electronic devices at the U.S. border, and they also respond to a discussion on the Supreme Court podcast First Mondays regarding the government's recent filing in the Hargan v. Garza abortion case. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Versus Trump: The First Shoe (with guest David Sklansky)

11/2/17  //  Uncategorized

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and special guest David Sklansky discuss the first shoe to drop from the Mueller investigation: the indictment of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and the guilty plea of George Papadopoulos. Listen now!

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Holding Up (Possible) Remedies

10/31/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The stakes are high for defendants awaiting the Supreme Court's decision in Sessions v. Dimaya.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Trump's Dangerous Call to Open Criminal Investigations into Democrats

10/30/17  //  Quick Reactions

As a nation, we now find ourselves in uncharted territory.

Eli Savit

University of Michigan Law School

Versus Trump: Pardon Our Tone

10/19/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Easha, Jason, and Charlie discuss the President's pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the (so far unsuccessful) legal challenge to that pardon. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Versus Trump: Waking Dream(host)

8/31/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we talk about web-hosting company Dreamhost's refusal to cooperate fully with the Trump Administration's broad request for information about the visitors to DisruptJ20.org, a website allegedly used by those involved in an Inauguration Day riot. Listen now!

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Human Rights and Nuclear Ambitions

8/28/17  //  Commentary

Humanitarian concerns and international human rights law simply can’t be ignored or downplayed in any discussion of the North Korean nuclear problem—they are two sides of the same coin

Constitutional Hurdles for Concealed Carry Reciprocity

3/16/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

President Trump favors federal legislation requiring states to recognize concealed carry licenses issued by other states. But that policy rests on shaky constitutional foundations.

Joseph Blocher

Duke Law School

Improper Commands from President Trump's Employees?

3/16/17  //  Commentary

Key White House personnel might be violating important limits on their lawful authority.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

What President Trump Hasn’t Learned from the Rodney King Riots

5/2/17  //  Commentary

100 days in and 25 years after the unrest in Los Angeles, the Trump Administration is failing communities entitled to fair and just policing.

Chiraag Bains

Harvard Law School

What Happened on United Is Terrible, But What’s Going to Happen Everywhere Is Worse

4/11/17  //  Quick Reactions

The video of the United flight reveals more than just what happened. It also shows why DOJ oversight is so important.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

Yes, The President Can Constitutionally Fire Comey

5/9/17  //  Quick Reactions

According to breaking news reports, President Trump has fired FBI director James Comey. It's within his power to do that.

No Peeking? Korematsu and Judicial Credulity

3/22/17  //  Commentary

The Supreme Court's decision in the Japanese Internment Cases offers a chilling reminder of why courts cannot close their eyes to clear evidence of bigotry in executive orders supposedly justified by security concerns.

Ian Samuel

Harvard Law School

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Cruise Missiles More Dangerous Than the "Nuclear Option"

4/10/17  //  Commentary

If Congress does nothing now to further delineate the scope of presidential authority to deploy military force, it will effectively be forfeiting, now and forever, its constitutional authority to check presidential moves short of all-out state-to-state war.

Peter M. Shane

Ohio State, Moritz College of Law

Slavery and the Right to Travel Armed: A Short History Lesson

7/31/17  //  Commentary

By Saul Cornell: The opinion striking down D.C.'s gun law under the Second Amendment relies heavily on a selective culling of historical evidence—and a shocking ignorance of the most important facts about Anglo-American criminal law and its history.

Take Care

Announcing Our New Podcast: "Versus Trump"

4/20/17  //  Latest Developments

Take Care is pleased to announce the release of "Versus Trump," a new, affiliated podcast about the ways that the Trump Administration is breaking the law—and what people are doing about it.

Take Care

Criminal Justice Reform and Disability – The Overlooked Opportunity

4/12/17  //  Commentary

Criminal justice agencies have become part of our communities' mental health services systems. They need to abide by the disability rights laws that govern mental health services

Eve Hill

Brown Goldstein & Levy

Justice Gorsuch, Executive Power, And Muslim Ban 2.0

3/20/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

A careful review of Judge Gorsuch's record reveals strong reason to believe that he would vote to uphold President Trump's revised Muslim Ban (and potentially many other executives abuses, too).

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Amir Ali

Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center

7 Ways Trump Plans to Transform the Civil Rights Division

5/30/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The president’s proposed budget reveals an intent to roll back protections for the most vulnerable members of society.

Chiraag Bains

Harvard Law School

International Human Rights Law in the Trump Era

3/29/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The Trump Administration’s actions thus far are not just an attack on human rights norms. And they’re not merely a rejection of international law. They’re also an assault on our national security and foreign policy.

Trump’s Visit to Israel

5/24/17  //  Commentary

President Trump’s visit to Israel comes at a fraught time for his Administration and a pivotal moment for the relationship between the two countries.

HIV is a Health Condition — Not a Crime

7/31/17  //  Commentary

Despite consensus that criminalizing HIV has little public health effect, is not supported by scientific knowledge of transmission risks, and may violate the Americans with Disabilities, states are still enforcing laws against people living with HIV.

Eve Hill

Brown Goldstein & Levy

When Due Process Reliance Defenses May Bar Enforcement

3/24/17  //  Commentary

In limited but vital ways, those who relied on Obama-era immigration and marijuana non-enforcement policies should be protected against sudden shifts in federal policy under President Trump.

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

The President’s Dilemma

3/17/17  //  Commentary

An emergency appeal on the Muslim Ban may be both rational and his worst outcome.

Amir Ali

Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center

The Trump Administration’s Immigration-Related Detentions

3/24/17  //  Commentary

The Supreme Court is considering a major constitutional challenge to federal immigration detention policies. Trump’s recent executive orders make that case even more significant.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Versus Trump, Episode Three: “We’re All Hypocrites” + Zachary Price

5/4/17  //  Commentary

This week on Versus Trump, the Take Care podcast, we preview a major argument in the Muslim travel ban litigation, talk to Professor Zach Price about reliance interests with respect to selective enforcement of federal laws, and more.

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

The Trump Administration May Already Have What It Needs for a Serviceable (and Unconstitutional) “Muslim Registry”

4/19/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The Trump Administration may already have the tools it would need to predict with high accuracy the religious identity of a significant percentage of U.S. citizens and visiting Muslims. And software engineers, not lawyers, may be our first line of alarm and defense.

(Apparent) Administration Justifications for Legality of Strikes Against Syria

4/8/17  //  Commentary

A document seeking to justify the use of force in Syria has begun circulating outside the government that is said to have been developed within the Administration. But there are significant flaws in this justification as a matter of domestic and international law.

Marty Lederman

Georgetown Law

SCOTUS Severely Narrows Civil Rights Suits Against Federal Officers

6/20/17  //  Commentary

Yesterday's SCOTUS ruling in Ziglar v. Abbasi makes it all but impossible for civil rights plaintiffs to sue federal officials for money damages.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Embracing Federalism

3/16/17  //  Commentary

It is time for progressives to embrace federalism and to use Supreme Court precedents protecting states’ rights to fight against Trump administration policies

Erwin Chemerinsky

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Trump’s Meaningless Paris Announcement is a Win for His Opponents

6/5/17  //  Commentary

President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement may have dramatic consequences for his administration—but not in the ways he might imagine.

Ann Carlson

UCLA School of Law

Constitutional Arithmetic Post-Charlottesville: Sometimes One Plus One Equals Zero

8/20/17  //  Commentary

No, the First and Second Amendments do not add up to a right to publicly protest while carrying assault rifles.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Trump and North Korea: Where's Congress?

8/13/17  //  Commentary

Guest poster Eric Segall argues that Congress must act now to ensure that the President does not unilaterally commit an act of war without Congressional consent.

Take Care

Attorney General Jeff Sessions & The Uncertain Legal Status Of The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

7/27/17  //  Commentary

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ charging memo undermines one of the premises of the Supreme Court’s recent cases

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

DOJ Begins to Turn Its Back on Policing Reform

4/4/17  //  Quick Reactions

AG Sessions’s eleventh-hour effort to avoid a consent decree in Baltimore is indefensible and unmistakably political. The court should not allow it.

Chiraag Bains

Harvard Law School

Why Trump's Travel Ban Statements Compel a Finding of Improper Purpose

4/6/17  //  Commentary

Trump's statements about the revised travel ban overwhelmingly evidence a purpose at odds with the Establishment Clause. And few, if any, of those statements evince actual, substantive national security or foreign affairs objectives that explain the bizarre scope of his order.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

State-Level Capital Punishment Under President Trump

4/28/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

While President Trump has little direct control over how states administer the death penalty, his administration might seek to facilitate the acquisition of legal injection drugs and limit federal habeas review in capital cases. But these policies would raise major legal questions.

AG Sessions Just Might Give Up On Consent Decrees

4/26/17  //  Commentary

Will Attorney General Sessions really get the federal government out of the police oversight business? Signs are increasingly pointing to yes.

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Information Wars Part II: Undermining Our Understanding of Police Practices

4/14/17  //  Commentary

As part of the Trump administration's war on information, the administration has started to roll back federal investigations into police violence and criminal justice.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

Ten Questions for a New FBI Director

6/6/17  //  Commentary

By Allison Murphy: Given President Trump’s documented and acknowledged efforts to interfere with the independence of the FBI, the Senate should presume that could continue under a new FBI Director. It is therefore incumbent upon Senators to ensure that any Trump nominee for FBI Director commits to certain baseline aspects of independence and impartiality before any new nominee is confirmed. Here are 10 questions that require answers.

Take Care

Trump DOJ's Flipped Positions

9/8/17  //  Commentary

Republicans may not be advancing their agenda through legislation, but they're getting it done in other ways.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Reliance Defenses in the Trump Era and Beyond

3/23/17  //  Commentary

The transition to President Trump has massively shifted federal enforcement priorities. Does the Constitution protect people who relied on Obama's immigration, healthcare, or marijuana policies?

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

The Voting Rights Agenda Must Include Felon Reenfranchisement

7/10/17  //  Commentary

As disenfranchisement and voter suppression efforts are on the rise, one partial response is reenfranchisement.

Nancy Leong

Sturm College of Law

DOJ Goes Big So Prisoners Can't Go Home

10/26/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

DOJ now argues that people who are in prison based on mistaken understandings of criminal statutes must stay there. The Supreme Court should consider granting certiorari to correct its mistake (and the Eleventh and Tenth Circuits’).

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

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

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

The War on Transgender Soldiers Flies in the Face of the Facts

8/7/17  //  Commentary

By Ian W. Holloway & Jody L. Herman: As the Pentagon decides how to respond to Trump’s mandate, we urge that they consider our rigorous research and the lived experiences of transgender service members and their allies.

Take Care

Trump's Mistaken Signing Statement on Marijuana Enforcement

5/16/17  //  Commentary

Trump suggested in a recent signing statement that he could disregard an appropriations restriction on federal marijuana enforcement. But Trump is mistaken.

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

Why Jeff Sessions’s Reversal on Private Prisons Is Dangerous

3/23/17  //  Commentary

The Attorney General’s embrace of private prisons is a victory for the industry, but it threatens the safety of correctional officers and prisoners.

Chiraag Bains

Harvard Law School

Trump's Immigration Policy & The Cross-Border Shooting Case

3/30/17  //  Commentary

President Trump's immigration enforcement policy has massively raised the stakes in Hernandez v. Mesa, where the Supreme Court is considering a cross-border shooting by a U.S. agent.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

The Road to United States v. Trump is Paved with Prosecutorial Discretion

5/21/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Should former FBI Director Robert Mueller decide to bring criminal charges against President Trump for obstruction of justice, he would be acting well within the law, the norms of the profession, and the reasonable bounds of the discretion with which he has been entrusted.

Andrew Crespo

Harvard Law School

The Federal Death Penalty Under Trump

4/27/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

President Trump and Attorney General Sessions hold exceptionally pro-death penalty views. Here's how they might seek to increase use of capital punishment at the federal level, and why any such effort likely would fail.

The Transgender Ban is Facially Unconstitutional

7/26/17  //  Quick Reactions

Such a blanket prohibition, tweeted out in advance of the Pentagon completing a policy review, is so lacking in credibility that its only motivation seems to be animus towards transgender people.

Jamal Greene

Columbia 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

Why Courts Have Probed Trump’s Motives for the Travel Ban

4/4/17  //  Commentary

Perceptions of presidential bad faith have given judges the fortitude to do what the law already demands of them, even though their actions might prompt the President to bash them by name on TV or Twitter.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Why Did Trump Believe the Syria Strike Was Lawful?

4/10/17  //  Commentary

When the President unilaterally decides that America will start killing people in foreign countries, the least we can expect is a sound justification for that action under domestic and international law. Yet Trump has yet to offer one.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Those Who Do Not Know History

4/12/17  //  Commentary

On the first full day of Passover, the Trump Administration offered several lessons about institutionalized racism and ethnic cleansing.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Reinvigorating Civil Rights in the Era of Trump

4/13/17  //  Commentary

Given the nativist overtones of his campaign and his administration’s signature policies — from the Muslim ban to an immigration crackdown that equates being a foreign-born minority with criminality — Trump has exploded the fiction that we live in a post-racial society.

Chiraag Bains

Harvard Law School

How Might Congress Reinforce NATO?

5/30/17  //  Commentary

President Trump's overseas trip has cast doubt on longstanding consensus features of U.S. foreign policy, particularly our commitment to NATO. Here are some ways Congress might respond.

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

Motive Matters in Assessing the Travel Ban

3/20/17  //  Commentary

To the extent that Trump’s statements about the travel ban shed light on why the executive orders were issued—and they surely do—those statements are material to the constitutional analysis.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

See You In Court 2.0

3/16/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Last night, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked Trump's revised entry ban. Here is a detailed analysis of its decision and an assessment of what likely will happen next in that litigation.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

The World Is Not Made Brand New Every Morning

3/20/17  //  Commentary

Judge Kozinski thinks that we cannot account for President Trump's campaign statements in the Muslim Ban cases. That is wrong. Courts can, and should, reckon with this history in assessing whether Trump's ban comports with religious neutrality.

Jonathan Taylor

Gupta Wessler PLLC

Senators to DOJ: Mandatory Minimums Policy Is Misguided

6/8/17  //  Commentary

A new letter from a bipartisan group of senators shows that Attorney General Sessions’s approach to charging is out of the mainstream, contrary to our justice system’s values, and unsupported by existing crime research.

Chiraag Bains

Harvard Law School

Trump’s Approach to Crime & Punishment

3/16/17  //  Commentary

The president has continued existing policies, but also signaled a misplaced (and dangerous) reliance on immigration enforcement and incarceration to protect the public.

Chiraag Bains

Harvard Law School

Faith in the Ninth Circuit

3/16/17  //  Commentary

An analysis of Judge Bybee's dissent from denial of rehearing en banc in Washington v. Trump, and some predictions about the future of President Trump's revised entry ban.

Daniel Hemel

University of Chicago Law School

Republican (and Democratic) Hypocrisy on Faithful Execution

3/17/17  //  Commentary

President Obama pushed the limits of enforcement discretion. Trump may be worse. Will anyone check him if he is?

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

Jeff Sessions’s Deceitful Arguments for Stiffer Drug Sentences

6/19/17  //  Commentary

The AG's argument for harsher sentencing recommendations in federal drug cases is weak and shows little regard for the truth.

David Sklansky

Stanford Law School

Updates | The Week of June 19, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

The President announced a new policy toward Cuba and U.S. involvement in the Middle East is increasing.

Update | The Week of November 27, 2017

12/4/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump’s waiver of the Jerusalem Embassy Act is set to expire, and how President Trump acts may signal his approach to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Jeffrey Stein

Columbia Law School

Updates | The Week of July 3, 2017

7/9/17  //  Daily Update

The U.S. is weighing options to respond to North Korea’s latest missile test.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

Attorney General Jeff Sessions advocated returning to harsh punishments for low-level drug offenders.

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

Commentators discussed President Trump's multiple front onslaught on international law and institutions this week.

Updates | The Week of September 25, 2017

10/1/17  //  Daily Update

Tensions with North Korea escalated this week, prompting North Korea's foreign minister to claim that the U.S. had declared war and that a strike against the U.S. mainland was "inevitable." Foreign leaders warned President Trump of the consequences of violating the Iran nuclear agreement.

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

Capital punishment and tension between communities and law enforcement may escalate under President Trumps' Department of Justice.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017

8/20/17  //  Daily Update

Attorney General Sessions may be back in the President's good graces.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

The White House violated traditional security protocol when announcing Jared Kushner's visit to Iraq. Further, President Trump's proposed budget cuts may worsen a famine in Africa.

Updates | The Week of October 30, 2017

11/5/17  //  Daily Update

Oral argument in Ayestas v. Davis indicates that the Supreme Court is likely to reverse the Fifth Circuit’s imposition of a “substantial need” requirement for indigent federal habeas petitioners to be eligible to receive funding for investigative or expert services.

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

The Administration continues to treat national security as "security theater" with a stunning "indifference to facts, accountability, and democratic oversight," argue critics.

Updates | The Week of September 18, 2017

9/24/17  //  Daily Update

Changes the Justice Department proposed to community policing initiatives drew widespread criticism. Commentators argue DOJ must better review police departments' actions.

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

Criminal justice reform advocates turn focus to Jared Kushner and to local efforts.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

The Trump Administration has signalled a reduced commitment to human rights internationally, and President Trump's proposed cuts to the State Department may hamper U.S. foreign policy.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

This week, the Department of Justice ordered a nationwide review of consent decrees implemented to curb civil rights abuses. State governors are poised to fight back against Attorney General Jeff Sessions's federal marijuana policy. And a decline in incarceration rates is threatened by the Trump Presidency.

Updates | The Week of September 11, 2017

9/17/17  //  Daily Update

Trump's decision to end DACA spurs a flurry of legal challenges; his election fraud commission gets into more trouble; and the Supreme Court stays the Ninth Circuit's latest trvel ban ruling.

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

Attorney General Sessions has started to make significant changes at the Department of Justice by doubling down on mass incarceration and weakening police accountability. Such efforts face significant criticism.

Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017

6/11/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's national security team was "blindsided" by his failure to reaffirm NATO Article 5, and commentators argue that President Trump's reaction to the London attacks portend his reaction to future attacks.

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

This week, commentary focused on U.S. military action against Syria. Joshua Matz and Marty Lederman both considered the legal reasoning for the strikes on Take Care.

Updates | The Week of July 31, 2017

8/6/17  //  Daily Update

Secretary of State Tillerson indicated that the United States is not seeking regime change in North Korea. Commentary continued on the future of the Iran nuclear deal. The United States issued sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017

8/20/17  //  Daily Update

The administration’s North Korea strategy is unclear. President Trump’s remarks on the Barcelona terror attacks showed a disregard for human rights and factual accuracy.

Update | The Week of November 27, 2017

12/4/17  //  Daily Update

Congress is considering a significant expansion of the NSA's surveillance power. President Trump responded to North Korea's testing of a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

Jeffrey Stein

Columbia Law School

Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017

6/11/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump takes credit for siding with Saudi Arabia against Qatar; meanwhile, U.S. diplomats are pushing back against the President.

Updates | The Week of August 21, 2017

8/24/17  //  Daily Update

Commentators noted that the Trump administration may be attempting to undermine the Iran nuclear deal, and discussed the international law implications of the administration's new Afghanistan strategy.

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

Politicians ask the Administration to explain its legal justifications for the strike in Syria, pressure mounts with North Korea, and President Trump calls the United Nations an "underperformer."

Updates | The Week of September 4, 2017

9/10/17  //  Daily Update

The President orders an end to DACA and has Attorney General Jeff Sessions announce the change; Trump Jr.'s June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer undergoes more scrutiny; Trump's 16 nominations to the federal judiciary spur challenges and concern.

Updates | The Week of August 7, 2017

8/13/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump escalated his warnings to North Korea, and the UN Security Council passed harsh sanctions against the country. The Trump administration is reportedly considering whether to privatize large portions of the war in Afghanistan.

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

Private prisons have newfound influence in the White House and have benefitted from the Trump Administration's Justice Department policy reversal.

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

The Administration may remove oversight of local law enforcement agencies, and use the federal death penalty more often.

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's harsh rhetoric may be a gift to terrorist organizations abroad. While some intelligence agencies seek to dial back surveillance, it will likely only grow if Congress authorizes more options for the use of military force.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of September 25, 2017

10/1/17  //  Daily Update

The U.S. Sentencing Commission released a report on alternatives to incarceration in the federal criminal justice system.

Updates | The Week of October 16

10/21/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal has been widely condemned by Iranians and in Europe. Relations with North Korea continue to be tense. The Trump Administration is enabling Chinese efforts to undermine UN human rights work.

Updates | The Week of October 23, 2017

10/31/17  //  Daily Update

The DOJ will end the standard gag orders that prohibit technology companies from telling customers when the government has requested their data.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump has pushed back against the ban on state medical marijuana interference. However, he might retreat from the federal drug war through major budget cuts to key offices.

Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017

6/4/17  //  Daily Update

The proposed budget for the Department of Justice signals the administration’s intent to forego enforcement of civil rights laws. Meanwhile, proposed congressional legislation to provide greater protections for police officers may further criminalize communities of color, advocates worry.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

Updates | The Week of August 21, 2017

8/24/17  //  Daily Update

While the Trump administration has revived policies associated with the "War on Drugs," it has not yet taken meaningful steps to respond to the opioid crisis.

Updates | The Week of July 10, 2017

7/16/17  //  Daily Update

A DOJ report criticized the use of solitary confinement for mentally ill inmates. Attorney General Jess Sessions spoke again about his drug enforcement policies.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s memorandum outlining task forces on various policies, including federal marijuana policy, has some state governors poised to fight back: governors of four Western states warned Attorney General Sessions and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin against interfering with state laws legalizing marijuana use

Updates | The Week of October 16

10/21/17  //  Daily Update

Prison guards at Guantanamo Bay seized court-approved, non-networked computers and hard drives issued to the accused 9/11 attack plotters to prepare for their death-penalty trials; coverage of military proceedings at Guantanamo has increased following the denial of cert in the case of Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) threatened to subpoena Trump administration officials for information on the attack in Niger that killed four U.S. service members.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump signed an executive order on cybersecurity. The Department of Homeland Security will ban laptops and other large electronic devices in the cabin on flights from Europe.

Updates | The Week of June 19, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

The President's understaffed national security team aims to change import policies in the name of safety. Local law enforcement communities should instead be a focus in the fight against ISIS.

Updates | The Week of October 2, 2017

10/8/17  //  Daily Update

Secretary of State Tillerson denied reports of a conflict with the White House. The future of the Iran nuclear deal remains unclear.

Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017

8/20/17  //  Daily Update

While DOJ continues to wage a war on marijuana by blocking DEA research, Congress may curb federal enforcement in states that have legalized marijuana.

Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017

7/23/17  //  Daily Update

AG Sessions announced plans to expand civil asset forfeiture and encourage prosecutors to seek harsher criminal penalties. Sessions was heavily criticized both by Democrats and President Trump this week.

Updates | The Week of October 2, 2017

10/8/17  //  Daily Update

Commentary continued on the Trump administration's alterations to the U.S. drone-strike policy.

Updates | The Week of October 2, 2017

10/8/17  //  Daily Update

Attorney General Jeff Sessions released more details on his plan to reduce violent crime.

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

This week, legal analysis focused on military action in Syria and the effect that action had on the international stage.

Updates | The Week of October 16

10/21/17  //  Daily Update

Attorney General Sessions testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Former Attorney General Eric Holder criticized the Trump Administration’s criminal justice policies as “not smart on crime"; law enforcement leaders are pressuring the Trump Administration to join the “bipartisan movement for criminal justice reform."

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

This past week, America and Britain barred personal electronic devices on flights from several Muslim-majority countries. Ivanka Trump's proposed role within the White House may also pose a national security threat.

Updates | The Week of August 28, 2017

9/3/17  //  Daily Update

Trump's pardon of former sheriff Joe Arpaio sets off a firestorm; another battle over Trump's immigration ban is heard by the Ninth Circuit; and investigators and journalists turn up more evidence of Trump's business dealings with Russia.

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

Attorney General Jeff Sessions asks Congress to repeal a 2014 law prohibiting the DOJ from prosecuting medical marijuana use in states that have legalized it.

Updates | The Week of October 23, 2017

10/31/17  //  Daily Update

Reports continued to trickle out regarding the ambush of a Special Forces team in Niger. The ambush prompted commentary on the President's legal authority for military operations overseas.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

Zachary Price argued at Take Care this week that individuals who relied on Obama-era immigration and marijuana non-enforcement policies should be protected against sudden enforcement by the Trump Administration.

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

This week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ushered in the "Trump Era," heralding increased enforcement of immigration offenses. The Department of Homeland Security has resurrected programs deputizing state and local police to enforce immigration laws. And Nikolas Bowie, writing for Take Care, argues that the internal review of Civil Rights Division consent decrees threatens its value as an unbiased source.

Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

The President plans to impose new sanctions on Iran. In light of major budget cuts, Secretary of State Tillerson will shutter many important offices within the State Department.

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump seeks to revert to stricter trade policies with Cuba, and the Senate allows the Administration to transfer weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defends proposed cuts to his department, arguing it should focus on a narrower conception of security.

Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017

6/4/17  //  Daily Update

The administration continued its hunt for a new FBI director, as it struggles to fill key posts across the executive branch. A certiorari petition at the Supreme Court asked it to resolve a long-running dispute over the jurisdictional scope of the Guantanamo military commissions. Meanwhile, the administration decided against a proposed ban on laptops on flights to the United States from Europe.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

Updates | The Week of August 21, 2017

8/24/17  //  Daily Update

The Trump administration announced plans for the expansion of the US military presence in Afghanistan, and concerns about rising tensions between the US and North Korea continued.

Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017

7/23/17  //  Daily Update

Signs indicate a federal crackdown on marijuana is impending.

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

Human Rights advocates are concerned about the President's plans to cut international aid funding and growing relationships with despotic regimes.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of July 10, 2017

7/16/17  //  Daily Update

The Trump Administration moved to restrict agencies from using products from a Russian cybersecurity firm due to hacking concerns. Commentary continued on President Trump's nominee for FBI Director, Christopher Wray.

Updates | The Week of August 7, 2017

8/13/17  //  Daily Update

Drug courts are not the perfect solution some make them out to be.

Updates | The Week of November 6, 2017

11/12/17  //  Daily Update

As the GOP attempts tax reform, the Mueller investigation keeps heating up, as does Trump's rhetoric on North Korea.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

This week, President Trump ordered a military strike on a Syrian air base in response to a deadly chemical weapon attack attributed to Bashar al-Assad's government. President Trump also shook up the National Security Council, including removing Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon from the NSC principals committee.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

Democrats in Congress have been stepping up claims that Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election constituted an act of war. Further, President Trump has proposed cuts to the State Department while stepping up airstrikes abroad.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

Commentators warn about the effects of President Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Updates | The Week of June 19, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

The DOJ ramps up the War on Drugs but has no plans to conduct federal investigations of officer-involved shootings.

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

Ashley Gorski, at the ACLU, analyzes Section 702's broad grant of power to the executive branch to examine Americans' emails.

Updates | The Week of September 18, 2017

9/24/17  //  Daily Update

Tension increased between the U.S. and North Korea this week as President Trump vowed to destroy North Korea if needed in an address to the U.N. and announced a new executive order increasing sanctions against North Korea. President Trump will likely decertify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal, which is causing concern among commentators.

Updates | The Week of October 30, 2017

11/5/17  //  Daily Update

The Trump administration considered sending the suspect in a New York City terrorist attack to Guantanamo Bay. The Senate and administration officials discussed a new Authorization for Use of Military Force.

Updates | The Week of July 31, 2017

8/6/17  //  Daily Update

The White House issued a letter defending the legal basis for the airstrikes in Syria.

The Story Thus Far: International Law

3/16/17  //  Daily Update

Trump has promised a foreign policy of America First. His conduct thus far suggests that he will follow through on that promise, but in ways that risk violating domestic and international law. Here are some useful analyses of the story thus far.

Updates | The Week of July 31, 2017

8/6/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump appeared to endorse police brutality in a speech to community college students and law enforcement officers.

The Story Thus Far: National Security

3/16/17  //  Daily Update

From Guantanamo Bay to wiretapping to foreign intrigue, these have been a busy two months for the Trump Administration. Here are some useful analyses of the story thus far.

Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017

6/4/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump will not move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. A new tool allows you to see how the new administration is utilizing sanctions against foreign entities, and how its approach differs from past administrations. And the Iranian election victory of Hassan Rouhani presents challenges and opportunities for the U.S. administration.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017

8/20/17  //  Daily Update

The State Department continues to restructure cybersecurity policy. Post-Charlottesville, the Trump Administration must also take domestic terrorism seriously.

Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017

6/11/17  //  Daily Update

Questions asked about the Justice Department's mandatory minimums policy and the continued United States Attorney vacancies.

Updates | The Week of August 7, 2017

8/13/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump threatened "fire and fury" against North Korea in response to reports that the country has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead. Transgender service members are challenging the administration's transgender service ban.

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

The Administration navigated foreign policy issues throughout the world, particularly with North Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran. In North Korea, the Administration spent the week explaining its falsehood that it had sent an aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan.

Updates | The Week of September 18, 2017

9/24/17  //  Daily Update

The White House is preparing to loosen regulations on targets of drone strikes and commando raids outside of conventional battlefields. Robert Chesney outlines the detention and prosecution options available for enemy combatants who are U.S. citizens. A DOJ proposal would allow foreign governments to request data directly from U.S. communications providers.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

A new suit seeks documents detailing the Trump Administration’s justifications for military action in Syria. The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act suit seeking documents related to President Trump’s unsuccessful Yemen raid.