“Federalism is for everyone. It’s time that liberals took notice.”

~ Heather Gerken

Versus Trump: Trump Versus California

4/26/18  //  Commentary

On a new episode of Versus Trump, Easha, Charlie, and Jason discuss the Trump Administration's lawsuit against California. The lawsuit seeks to prevent the state from enforcing three new state laws that the federal government says will undermine enforcement of immigration law. Listen now!

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Congressional Power to Immunize the President Against State Court Litigation

3/26/18  //  In-Depth Analysis

Thoughts on a thus-far-hypothetical question

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Versus Trump: California Versus The Wall [UPDATED WITH EPISODE]

3/8/18  //  Commentary

On a new episode of Versus Trump, Easha, Jason, and Charlie discuss a recent district court opinion that rejected California's challenge to the Trump Administration's expedited border wall projects in California. Listen now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Updates | The Week of February 19, 2018

2/25/18  //  Daily Update

Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed a new charge against Paul Manafort while Richard Gates pled guilty. Meanwhile, President Trump's proposal to arm teachers drew controversy in Washington.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Updates | The Week of February 5, 2018

2/11/18  //  Daily Update

The Nunes memo set off aftershocks; agencies scrambled to implement the Trump Administration's policies to mixed effect; and Congress passes a budget after a brief overnight shutdown.

A New Threat to Punish Sanctuary City Officials

1/24/18  //  Commentary

Once again, the Trump Administration is baselessly threatening its political opponents with criminal charges.

Eli Savit

University of Michigan Law School

Updates | The Week of January 15, 2018

1/21/18  //  Daily Update

The week began with Martin Luther King Jr. Day and ended with a government shutdown on the anniversary of President Trump's inauguration.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Updates | The Week of January 15, 2018

1/14/18  //  Daily Update

The Trump Administration begins allowing states to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Net neutrality measures are gaining momentum in state legislatures, despite the FCC’s claim that state laws are preempted.

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School

Versus Trump: 2017 Scorecard

1/4/18  //  Uncategorized

On the first episode of Versus Trump of 2018, Jason and Charlie look back at Versus Trump cases in 2017 and score them as Administration wins, losses, or not-yet-decided. They also look ahead at big issues to come in 2018. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Updates | The Week of December 18, 2017

12/24/17  //  Daily Update

Following the logic and example of Clinton v. Jones, sitting presidents should also be subject to suit in state courts. A New York state legislator has introduced a net neutrality bill designed to serve as an end-run around the FCC's repeal of net neutrality.

Can a Sitting President be Sued in a State Court?

12/21/17  //  Commentary

A pending defamation suit against President Trump in New York state court raises this important question.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

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.

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

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

NFIB v. Sebelius As Anti-Canon (a.k.a. This Administration’s Galling Constitutional Hypocrisy)

3/23/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The Trump administration is engaged in stunning constitutional hypocrisy. Measured against conservatives' professed commitment to "liberty" and "freedom," there is no serious distinction to be drawn between Obamacare and Trump's American Health Care Act.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Why California Stands in the Way of Trump's EPA

3/24/17  //  Commentary

President Trump recently announced that EPA will reconsider fuel efficiency standards. But so long as California remains free to set its own, more protective standard, Trump's decision may not matter very much. And the law is squarely on California's side.

Take Care

An Unconstitutional Threat to Sanctuary Cities

3/21/17  //  Commentary

DOJ argues that courts can't hear challenges to Trump's executive order threatening to punish sanctuary cities. Its arguments are wrong and prove that Trump's policy is illegal.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

A Powerful Statement by the California Chief Justice

3/20/17  //  Quick Reactions

In urging the Attorney General to cease using state courthouses as bait for undocumented migrants, the California Chief Justice displayed admirable bravery and commitment to the rule of law.

Laurence H. Tribe

Harvard Law School

Is The GOP ACA Repealer Unconstitutional on Federalism Grounds?

3/24/17  //  Commentary

Abbe Gluck explains that, ironically, the GOP proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the name of returning authority over health care to the states has potentially serious constitutional issues on federalism grounds.

Take Care

Versus Trump: A Gadfly Suit + Leah Litman

6/15/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

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!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Versus Trump: Keeping the DREAM Alive

9/14/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we discuss a major new lawsuit that challenges President Trump's announced revocation of the DACA immigration program. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

The Highest Court in Massachusetts Declares the Commonwealth a Sanctuary State

7/24/17  //  Commentary

A landmark opinion turns Massachusetts into a sanctuary state, setting up a legal and political battle with DOJ.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

The Attorney General, Hawaii Statehood, and National Injunctions

4/21/17  //  Quick Reactions

The AG's comments denigrating Hawaii statehood are objectionable for many reasons. But don't overlook his underlying complaint about national injunctions—which conservatives spent years developing and have suddenly, painfully discovered can be used against them.

Joshua Matz


Trump Is Ushering In A Kleptocracy. That's Why He Is Being Sued

6/14/17  //  Commentary

If recent events are any sign, the public will not stand idly by as Trump turns our nation into a banana republic.

Joshua Matz


The Debate Over Confederate Monuments

8/25/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Why State Anti-Removal Laws are Oppressive and Unconstitutional

Ira C. Lupu

George Washington University Law School

Robert W. Tuttle

George Washington University Law School

Standing in for the Executive: The Latest in House v. Price

5/26/17  //  Commentary

States standing to defend a federal law against Congress and the President when “lives are at stake”? Just the latest, fascinating turn that federalism has taken in the Age of Trump, however brief that age may be.

Seth Davis

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Versus Trump: Versus Kobach

7/20/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we discuss the litigation against the newly-created Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, that has Kansas Secretary of State—and repeat defendant in voting rights litigation—Kris Kobach as its now-infamous Vice Chair. Listen now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

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

Why Trump’s Firing of Comey is Terrifying

5/10/17  //  Commentary

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.

Zachary Price

U.C. Hastings College of the Law

Versus Trump: Where There's A Gil... (On Partisan Gerrymandering)

6/29/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we discuss a lurking issue with opposing Trump in upcoming elections: partisan gerrymandering. Charlie and Easha take a close look at the case of Gil v. Whitford, a case the Supreme Court recently announced it will take up next fall. In Gil, the Supreme Court may boldly announce a new rule that might seriously curb partisan gerrymandering—or the Court may entirely stop courts from being able to hear these cases at all. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Easha Anand

San Francisco

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

Graham-Cassidy Is Unconstitutional

9/22/17  //  Commentary

Graham-Cassidy has a constitutional flaw: the funding formula for the block grants to states that form the bill’s core is unconstitutional.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

The D.C. Circuit Just Made it Harder for Trump to Stop the Cost-Sharing Payments

8/3/17  //  Quick Reactions

Two days ago, the D.C. Circuit granted a motion from a group of fifteen states, led by California, to intervene in the pending appeal in House v. Price. Allowing the states to intervene will prevent the Trump administration from unilaterally dismissing its appeal in the case.

Nick Bagley

University of Michigan Law School

Asymmetric Geographical State Standing

6/20/17  //  Commentary

The recent DC/Maryland emoluments case reflects a truth known to the Framers: jurisdictions geographically closer to the national capital would have a different relationship with federal power.

David Fontana

George Washington University Law School

More Empty Threats: The Trump Administration’s Latest Attack on Sanctuary Cities

9/13/17  //  Commentary

With the threatened rescission of DACA, it is all the more important that courts enforce statutory and constitutional limits on executive authority.

Seth Davis

U.C. Irvine School of Law

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

Arizona’s Problems with Immigration Federalism

8/4/17  //  Quick Reactions

State officials are seeking out ways to intensify federal efforts to enforce immigration law, but they are thereby intensifying larger problems plaguing our national immigration system

Bijal Shah

Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

California v. DOJ on Immigration Enforcement

4/11/17  //  Commentary

An exchange of letters between the California Chief Justice and Attorney General Sessions offers valuable lessons for states considering immigrant protective policies that respect human rights and dignity (but might annoy the Trump Administration).

Jennifer Chacón

U.C. Irvine School of Law

The Attack on American Cities

4/7/17  //  Commentary

Trump's anti-urban rhetoric has fanned the flames of a war by state governments against progressive cities. We see this in battles over sanctuary cities, LGBT rights, gun regulation, employee rights. The time has come for a campaign on behalf of city power.

Richard C. Schragger

UVA School of Law

A Reprieve for Texas’s Sanctuary Cities

8/31/17  //  Commentary

Cities need to be recognized as constitutional actors in their own right, worthy of protection and capable of self-determination.

Richard C. Schragger

UVA School of Law

Versus Trump: So, Can California Really Do That?

10/5/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Charlie and Jason discuss a recently-passed bill awaiting the signature of California Governor Jerry Brown that, if signed into law, would require presidential candidates to disclose five years of federal of tax returns in order to appear on the ballot in California. Jason and Charlie ask each other whether California has the constitutional power to do that, and, if so, whether it's a good idea. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

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

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Taking the Nuclear Option Off the Table

5/23/17  //  Commentary

Last Thursday, fifteen states and the District of Columbia moved to intervene in House v. Price, the case about the ACA’s cost-sharing reductions. At the same time, they asked the court to hear the case promptly. This is a bigger deal than it may seem, and could offer some comfort to insurers that are in desperate need of it.

Nick Bagley

University of Michigan Law School

Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017

8/20/17  //  Daily Update

In the absence of federal government action, states may continue to enforce labor and environmental regulations.

Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017

6/4/17  //  Daily Update

The Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court is gaining notoriety in her responses to the challenges posed by the Trump administration.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

Updates | The Week of November 20, 2017

11/26/17  //  Daily Update

Many foreign governments are looking for state government work arounds to address issues such as climate change.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/10/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities could be a fundamental violation of federalism.

Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

Several states claim attempts by the Federal government to protect elections may go against federalism principles.

Updates | The Week of September 25, 2017

10/1/17  //  Daily Update

Commentary continued on President Trump's response to the growing crisis in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The California legislature passed a law requiring the disclosure of tax returns by presidential candidates.

Updates | The Week of October 23, 2017

10/31/17  //  Daily Update

The Administration continued to struggle to respond to the crisis in Puerto Rico. The Solicitor General filed a brief in a critical federalism case before the Supreme Court.

Updates | The Week of September 18, 2017

9/24/17  //  Daily Update

The California Attorney General is suing the Trump administration over its plans to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Fourteen "alliance states" are on track to meet their portion of pledges under the Paris climate agreement despite President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States.

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

States are leading efforts to preserve the Clean Power Plan, to require tax return disclosure for presidential candidates, and to protect against a crackdown on marijuana legalization.

Updates | The Week of July 24, 2017

7/31/17  //  Daily Update

Attorney General Jeff Sessions ramped up efforts against sanctuary cities.

Updates | The Week of August 21, 2017

8/24/17  //  Daily Update

A bipartisan group of 67 former state attorneys general criticized President Trump’s response to the events in Charlottesville.

Updates | The Week of October 2, 2017

10/8/17  //  Daily Update

The federal government continued to struggle with hurricane relief efforts. The President criticized San Juan's mayor for "poor leadership" on Twitter but later deleted the tweet.

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

State Attorneys General wrote to the Department of Education criticizing student loan lender practices after the agency rolled back Obama-era reforms protecting student borrowers. California is again looking to revamp the state's climate policy.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump signed a law nullifying an Obama-era regulation forbidding states from removing reproductive health care providers such as Planned Parenthood from Medicaid. Federal and state governments pose threats to city autonomy during the Trump administration.

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 June 5, 2017

6/11/17  //  Daily Update

Analysis continues of local efforts to comply with the Paris Agreement.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

Cities and states have taken action in the wake of President Trump's executive order threatening to revoke federal funding from sanctuary cities. Further, California may thwart President Trump's plans to gut Obama-era fuel emissions standards.

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

Federalism principles protect sanctuary cities from President Trump's executive order, and state attorneys general may be key actors in challenging President Trump's policies.

Updates | The Week of July 31, 2017

8/6/17  //  Daily Update

Seventeen states and D.C. received approval to intervene in a lawsuit concerning ACA subsidies.

Updates | The Week of October 16

10/21/17  //  Daily Update

Coverage of President Trump's response to Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rican needs continues. California signed the California Religious Freedom Act into law, which would prevent participation by state and local officials in any federal “Muslim registry.”