Daily Update | August 2, 2018

8/2/18  //  Daily Update

On Twitter, the President called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to immediately conclude the special counsel investigation into Russian interference. The trial of Paul Manafort for bank and tax fraud is continuing with witnesses for the prosecution discussing Manafort’s spending on luxury goods. Special counsel Robert Mueller is offering to limit questions for President Trump in order to get an interview with him. The Trump Administration is contemplating significantly reducing for a second time the number of refugees to be resettled in the United States. A new Defense Department plan advises the Trump Administration to reduce the number of American troops in Africa. President Trump asked the Treasury Department to investigate lowering the capital gains tax, despite the fact that the Department has no authority to lower the tax.

Daily Update | July 27, 2018

7/27/18  //  Daily Update

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into President Trump’s tweets to determine whether personal attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former FBI Director James Comey offer evidence in the obstruction-of-justice investigation. The Trump Organization’s finance chief has been called to testify before a federal grand jury in the Michael Cohen probe. The government is struggling to meet the court-ordered deadline to reunify families separated as a result of the administration’s zero-tolerance border policy. A lawsuit challenging the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census and claiming the Trump Administration is discriminating against immigrants will go forward. U.S. and Europe outline deal to ease trade feud. The District of Maryland rules that an Emoluments lawsuit against President Trump can proceed. Jeff Sessions and Paul Ryan oppose impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Roshaan Wasim

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | July 20, 2018

7/20/18  //  Daily Update

A federal judge ordered the pretrial detention of alleged Russian covert agent Maria Butina. The Trump administration announced new guidance for asylum officers, instructing them to scrutinize applications according to stricter standards and to weigh claims of fear against whether applicants have previously entered the country illegally. The White House withdrew the nomination of Ryan W. Bounds to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after he faced intense opposition for past writings about multiculturalism and race. Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be targeting U.S. officials who worked on Russian sanctions, including former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul. European and Asian countries are taking affirmative steps to protect the global trade institutions and relationships the Trump Administration appears ready to abandon. In voting unanimously against the Sinclair/Tribune merger, the FCC blocked Sinclair Broadcast Group’s attempts to create a market share which would give the company access to nearly 75% of American households with a television.

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | March 7, 2018

3/7/18  //  Daily Update

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel recommended disciplinary action against Kellyanne Conway for violating the Hatch Act with consistent advocacy for Roy Moore in last year’s Alabama Senate election. Valerie Huber, an outspoken abstinence advocate, will now be the sole overseer of a $286 million Health and Human Services (HHS) program meant to fund family planning programs. Carl Ichan, former Trump adviser, raised ethical concerns when he sold off $30 million of stock just days before the President’s announcement of steel and aluminum import tariffs. This is not the first time Ichan has been accused of profiting from his access to the President. A Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official accused HUD Secretary Ben Carson of creating an environment of harassment and intimidation after a whistleblower accused Carson of retaliating against her for refusing to violate legal spending limits to furnish his office.

Daily Update | February 21, 2018

2/21/18  //  Daily Update

In response to the recent shooting at a Florida high school, President Trump announced that the Justice Department will propose regulations banning bump stocks. Despite Saudi Arabia’s refusal to accept nonproliferation safeguards, the Trump Administration is seeking to sell nuclear reactors to the kingdom. A lawsuit alleges that the Trump Administration is holding young adults indefinitely and illegally. A lawyer involved with Rick Gates and Paul Manafort pled guilty to making false statements to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the course of the investigation into Russian election meddling.

Daily Update | January 24, 2018

1/24/18  //  Daily Update

The Supreme Court expedited brief deadlines in the Trump administration’s appeal of a district court decision that blocked part of the DACA repeal. Many countries remain unconvinced by President Trump’s “America First” trade policy, and are looking elsewhere to form trade agreements. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators interviewed Attorney General Jeff Sessions in connection with the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Daily Update | December 22, 2017

12/22/17  //  Daily Update

This week's Versus Trump episode examines a number of the President's judicial nominees—confirmed, pending, and withdrawn—to examine what might happen to "Versus Trump" cases in years to come. A Trump administration official responsible for refugee resettlement attempted to prevent an undocumented teenage victim of rape from obtaining an abortion. A federal judge dismissed the emoluments lawsuit brought by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), concluding that the plaintiffs lacked standing and the case was not justiciable. Another federal judge blocked a Trump Administration executive order that would allow employers with religious objections to refuse employee’s contraceptive coverage as a part of healthcare plans. Attorney General Sessions rescinded 25 Justice Department guidance documents on how to interpret an array of federal laws. Finally, the Take Care daily update will be on hiatus until January 2. We look forward to seeing you again in 2018!

Daily Update | November 17, 2017

11/17/17  //  Daily Update

The House of Representatives passed the Republican tax reform proposal. Richard Cordray has announced his impending resignation as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to eliminate rules limiting the ability of broadcast media outlets to merge. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced that he would begin holding hearings on certain judicial nominees without “blue slips” from home state senators. The Senate Judiciary Committee announced that Jared Kushner had undisclosed contacts with Wikileaks and individuals tied to the Russian government.

Daily Update | November 9, 2017

11/9/17  //  Daily Update

Advocates have petitioned the Ninth Circuit to appoint private counsel to prosecute Joe Arpaio and challenge his pardon. The Trump Administration has tightened restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and accessing hotels, stores, and businesses tied to the Cuban military. President Trump has called for total denuclearization of North Korea and warns North Korea not to underestimate the United States during speech in South Korea. Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) has announced that he will force a vote on the House floor before Christmas to impeach President Trump.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

In A Major Immigration Case, The Government Says “We’re Going Big, So Go Home”

10/2/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The government is arguing it can deprive noncitizens of their legal rights simply by making it too difficult and painful to vindicate those rights.

Leah Litman

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | August 25, 2017

8/25/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump might pardon former Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt of court for defying an injunction prohibiting racially discriminatory policing policies. DOJ's involvement in a challenge to Harvard's affirmative action policy would threaten the very foundation of race conscious admissions programs. The Superior Court of D.C. ruled that DOJ can issue an amended search warrant to Dreamhost, demanding data pertaining to a website used to organize protests against President Trump around Inauguration Day. Secretary of Interior Zinke has recommended major changes to public lands management.

Daily Update | August 11, 2017

8/11/17  //  Daily Update

Transgender service members challenge the President's proposed ban on military service by transgender people. The President talks about war with North Korea, and commentary ensues about whether the President legally could order a military strike there. And the Administration delays an Obama-era rule governing the relationship between financial advisers and their clients.

Daily Update | July 28, 2017

7/28/17  //  Daily Update

Pentagon officials have declined to reinstitute a ban on transgender troops serving in the military in the absence of formal policy guidelines. The DOJ has filed an amicus brief in the Second Circuit arguing that employers are not prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation. The Trump Administration has asked the Ninth Circuit to again limit immigrants who fall under the definition of a bona fide relationship for immigration purposes. Senate movement on a “Skinny Repeal” bill has prompted numerous analyses.

Daily Update | July 21, 2017

7/21/17  //  Daily Update

The Senate has confirmed John Bush to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The ACLU has filed suit against the Trump administration to get details on plans to roll back civil rights in the name of religious freedom. Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to remain in his position, despite criticism from President Trump about his recusal from the Russia investigation. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has expanded his investigation to include a range of business transactions involving the President and his associates.

Daily Update | June 22, 2017

6/22/17  //  Daily Update

The Government filed a brief in the Supreme Court today in Trump v. Hawaii, one of several challenges to the President's executive order banning people from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. Democrat Jon Ossoff lost by four percent of the vote to Republican Karen Handel in yesterday's special election for Georgia's Sixth Congressional District. The ACLU filed a lawsuit against two psychologists who helped develop torture methods for the CIA. And Minnesota officials released the full dashboard camera video of the shooting of Philando Castile, a black motorist shot by Officer Jeronimo Yanez last year during a traffic stop. Yanez was acquitted on criminal charges last week.