Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017
The Trump Administration is undermining the role of the inspectors general in federal agencies. President Trump declared that he has “passed more legislation” than any president besides FDR, but history says otherwise.
Versus Trump: A Gadfly Suit + Leah Litman
On a new episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, Easha, Jason, and Charlie discuss a lawsuit against the President that's been brought by a D.C. gadfly who claims that Trump did not provide sufficient detail on the financial disclosure form he submitted as a candidate. Then, Easha talks with Leah Litman about the status of the Muslim ban litigation and the role of oral advocacy in this and other high-profile cases. Listen now!
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 June 5, 2017
Allison Murphy discusses what must be asked of any FBI nominee; Alison Frankel examines the impact President Trump's tweets may have on DOJ arguments for the travel ban.
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.
Upates | The Week of May 1, 2017
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.
Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017
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 March 27, 2017
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.
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.
American Cognitive Dissonance
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.
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?
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.
Trump’s Advisors Need to Step Up, Or Step Out
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.
Judicial Deference to President Trump
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?
The (Other) Dark Side Of The Comey Affair
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.
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.
A Reply to Larry Solum
A response to Professor Solum’s comments on my posts about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Tweetstorm Round Deux
The President's latest statements on Twitter undermine DOJ's defense of the entry ban, and continue the President's efforts to blame everyone (including DOJ and the courts) but himself.
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.
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!
A Landmark Victory for LGBT Rights (And The Path Ahead)
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.
SCOTUS Warns Against Appointing "Unfit Characters"
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.
Dark Money and Judicial Nominations Under Trump (And Beyond)
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.
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.