Executive Branch

Under President Trump, a series of leaks, scandals, false statements, resignations, and questionable appointments have raised fundamental questions about the Executive Branch.

A Reply to Larry Solum

5/25/17  //  Commentary

A response to Professor Solum’s comments on my posts about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Trump’s Advisors Need to Step Up, Or Step Out

5/24/17  //  Commentary

Astounding revelations have erased any reasonable doubt that the President’s shortcomings endanger global security. The time has come to focus on Executive Branch officials who have a duty to guide and, if necessary, constrain Trump. They need to step up, or step out.

Dawn Johnsen

Indiana University Maurer School of Law

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

The CFPB Is (Allegedly) A New Kind of Agency. Who Cares? (Part II)

5/23/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

More reasons why the D.C. Circuit should not rely on the CFPB’s purported novelty to suggest the CFPB is unconstitutional

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

A Few Cheers For The Appointment Of A Special Counsel

5/17/17  //  Quick Reactions

In a welcome development, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russia-related (criminal) wrongdoing.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Upates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump has signed more executive orders in his first 100 days than any president since Harry Truman, but it's uncertain whether he has increased the powers of the presidency.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

The Trump Administration has more executive orders in its first 100 days than any administration since FDR, but done little governing. Politico lists the hundreds of federal positions President Trump has yet to fill.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit against President Trump for inciting violence at a campaign rally to go forward.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

This week, Jared Kushner was tapped to head a new "Office of Innovation." Niko Bowie and John D. Michaels provided commentary on Take Care. The White House's decision to prevent acting Attorney General Sally Yates from testifying demonstrates the administration's aggressive approach to executive privilege.

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

It Was Legal for the President to Fire Comey. That’s the Problem.

5/10/17  //  Commentary

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.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

The Nuclear Option and Democratic Deterioration

4/10/17  //  Commentary

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.

Daniel P. Tokaji

Ohio State, Moritz College of Law

American Cognitive Dissonance

3/17/17  //  Commentary

Perhaps some good may come from Trump’s ham-fisted efforts to drain the swamp: a revitalization of the bureaucracy, which renders important services to the nation.

Jon D. Michaels

UCLA School of Law

The Blind Side In Trump’s War On The Administrative State

4/17/17  //  Commentary

Neomi Rao’s nomination to serve as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is part of Trump and Bannon’s war on the administrative state.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Ian Samuel

Harvard Law School

It’s Time To Pay Attention To Whom Trump Is Putting in Charge of Federal Agencies—And How He’s Doing It

3/17/17  //  Commentary

President Trump isn't nominating people to many positions requiring Senate confirmation. Instead, he's relying on employees who haven't been vetted through the advice & consent process. That's not okay.

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center

The Comey Firing in (Comparative) Context

5/11/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

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?

Aziz Huq

University of Chicago Law School

Fake Transparency

5/9/17  //  Quick Reactions

As long as the Deputy Attorney General is writing memos making recommendations to the President, it is time to make a recommendation for the appointment of a special counsel.

Neil J. Kinkopf

George State University College of Law

Trump And His Administration Are A Nightmare For The Dreamers

5/4/17  //  Commentary

ICE Continues To Undermine DACA Despite Trump’s Protestations To the Contrary

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

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

Another Illegal Executive Order--This Time National Monuments Are Under Attack

4/28/17  //  Commentary

Trump issued an order directing Interior Secretary to review a generation's worth of national monument designations. That order is likely illegal.

Michael Burger

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School

Judicial Deference to President Trump

5/8/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

It is time to ask: Has Trump in effect forfeited some measure of judicial deference across contexts and cases, through his disrespect for the courts and the rule of law and his displays of prejudice and arbitrary decisionmaking? And if he has not yet reached that point, what more would it take?

Dawn Johnsen

Indiana University Maurer School of Law

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

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

Trump Is Responsible For What ICE Is Doing To the Dreamers

5/5/17  //  Commentary

Basic principles of constitutional structure mean Trump is, and should be held, personally responsible for ICE’s egregious treatment of the DREAM-ers.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

[UPDATED] Trump's Innocence and the Rule of Law

5/12/17  //  Commentary

Even if Trump fired Comey because Trump knows himself to be innocent of Russia-related wrongdoing, that would still be unacceptable.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

The Constitutional Challenge To The CFPB

5/19/17  //  Commentary

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.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Real Reasons To Worry About Filibuster Repeal

4/10/17  //  Commentary

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.

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

The CFPB Is (Allegedly) A New Kind of Agency. Who Cares? (Part I)

5/22/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

This two-part series explains why the CFPB’s purportedly novel structure is not a sign that the CFPB’s structure is unconstitutional.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Our (Ongoing) Coverage of the Comey Firing

5/11/17  //  Uncategorized

An organized guide to all Take Care coverage and analysis of President Trump's abrupt termination of FBI Director Comey

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

On Presumptions Of Regularity, And Incidents Of Irregularity

5/11/17  //  Commentary

The Presumption of Regularity, Like All Presumptions, Is Rebuttable, Not Conclusive Evidence

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

A Landmark Victory for LGBT Rights (And The Path Ahead)

4/5/17  //  Commentary

The en banc Seventh Circuit has held that Title VII protects against sexual orientation discrimination. SCOTUS is likely to grant review of this important issue in the near future. But it remains unclear what position the Trump Administration will take.

Joshua Matz


SCOTUS Warns Against Appointing "Unfit Characters"

3/24/17  //  Quick Reactions

A decision this week reminds us that President Trump is bound by laws, which he is violating, in making key appointments. The Acting U.S. Trade Representative, for instance, might well be occupying that role unlawfully.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

Dark Money and Judicial Nominations Under Trump (And Beyond)

5/9/17  //  Commentary

Our treasure of an independent judiciary is built upon an assumption of independence, of transparency about influence and potential conflicts, and accountability to the democratic process. When massive amounts of dark corporate money can affect those political processes, we are in grave danger of damaging that national treasure.

Dawn Johnsen

Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Congress’s Vital Power of the Purse

4/5/17  //  Commentary

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.

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

Versus Trump Podcast: Prosecuting Trump FAQ + James Williams

5/17/17  //  Commentary

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.

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps