Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017
The Senate Intelligence Committee will not investigate whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, leaving the inquiry to special counsel Robert Mueller. Questions remain about the legal basis for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s refusal to answer questions before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The Audacity of The President’s "Hope"
Senator Risch asked Jim Comey whether a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or any other criminal offense, where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome. We hope he finds our research instructive.
Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017
The Senate passed a spending bill to avert government shutdown. Republican Senators criticized President Trump's rant against Senate rules.
Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017
This week, a government shutdown loomed as President Trump proposed to condition funding for the increasingly-popular ACA on funding for the border wall.
Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) writes that the NSA and U.S. Cyber commend should be split and the government released its annual FISA Court report.
Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017
Commentators continued to discuss the implications of the invocation of the "nuclear option" to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee.
It Was Legal for the President to Fire Comey. That’s the Problem.
It’s already too late in the day to trust the executive branch to police itself. That lack of trust should extend to a special prosecutor, independent counsel, or whatever other nice terms you want to call it. At this point, only Congress can credibly investigate the President.
The Nuclear Option and Democratic Deterioration
The Gorsuch nomination battle illustrates and exacerbates the dynamics of democratic deterioration. Reversing these trends will require elected officials to act with courage. It will also require significant structural changes to our political system.
The Comey Firing in (Comparative) Context
President Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey prompted two immediate questions: Is the firing legal, and is this a constitutional crisis? But are these even the right questions to pose?
Why Trump’s Firing of Comey is Terrifying
Our country has a very strong, very important norm of apolitical law enforcement. But this norm, ironically, is enforced mostly by politics, not law—and Trump’s action has risked doing it irreparable damage. Going forward, here's what to watch at the state and federal levels.
Ten Questions for a New FBI Director
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.
Goodbye, U.S. Senate?
Abbe Gluck explains that the Republicans’ win-at-all-costs strategy will almost certainly lead next to the end of the filibuster for legislation, not just nominations, which would fundamentally change the culture of the Senate and be a tragic loss for our democracy.
A Reply to Larry Solum
A response to Professor Solum’s comments on my posts about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The Constitutional Challenge To The CFPB
The major constitutional challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rests on the claim that the President of the United States does not have enough power over the agency.
Real Reasons To Worry About Filibuster Repeal
The filibuster repeal itself is ultimately far less important than some deeper trends it reflects concerning partisanship, institutional norms, and the separation of powers in our constitutional order.
Confusion Over The Essential Health Benefits
Last night, House Republicans released the text of the final manager’s amendment to the American Health Care Act. If it becomes law, the individual insurance market will likely collapse nationwide in 2018.
The Acosta Hearing & the “Deconstruction” of Federal Agencies
Hearings on President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Labor revealed little about the future of labor policy. But the hearings made crystal clear that Trump's executive orders and proposed budget threaten even popular and effective government programs.
Versus Trump: "What About Congress? + Steven Wu"
On a new episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, Easha, Jason, and Charlie discuss Congress's role and powers in investigations of the Executive. Then, Jason talks with Steven Wu, a Deputy Solicitor General in the Office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, about the case against Trump University, the active role of states in recent years, and other issues in which New York is adverse to the President. Listen now!
Why Did Trump Believe the Syria Strike Was Lawful?
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.
How Might Congress Reinforce NATO?
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.
Congress’s Vital Power of the Purse
The upcoming budget fights will be ugly and brutal, but they implicate the most important practical means of constraining this president (or any other)—Congress’s power over appropriations. But the nature and limits of that power remain shockingly undefined.
Versus Trump Podcast: Prosecuting Trump FAQ + James Williams
On today's two-part episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, we answer three burning questions related to whether the sitting President can face criminal charges, and how that prosecution could be started. We also have an interview with James Williams, the County Counsel for Santa Clara County, where he discusses his County's lawsuit against Trump Administration that has so far successfully prevented the Trump Administration from enforcing an executive order that would have withdrawn federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities.
Youngstown Zone Zero
Justice Jackson's famous separation of powers framework offers no support for President Trump's entry ban. In fact, it's irrelevant.
Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017
Congress continued its investigations of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. One Representative argued that Congress should block the administration’s proposed budget cuts to the State Department.
Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017
Rep. Devin Nunes, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, disclosed that he made a visit to the White House to view intelligence files regarding President Trump's wiretapping claims. Commentators argued that this disclosure makes it hard for Republicans to claim impartiality as they investigate Russian interference.