Daily Update | August 8, 2019

8/8/19  //  Daily Update

The House Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit to force former White House Counsel Don McGahn to comply with a subpoena to testify. The DHS inspector general is investigating allegations of harassment and possible CBP violation of U.S. laws in connection with a government database of lawyers, journalists, and advocates. President Trump has expressed support for extensive background checks for gun sales but is getting pushback from the NRA and White House aides. DOD, GSA and NASA published a rule banning federal agencies from purchasing telecommunications equipment from Huawei and four other Chinese companies.

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | August 7, 2019

8/7/19  //  Daily Update

The Administration has been sued over its new expansion of the “fast track removal” program, which was previously limited to a physical zone 100 miles near the border. Former Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was fired over a series of text messages, has sued Attorney General Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray. A district court judge has dismissed one of two charges against Gregory Craig, former Obama White House Counsel, brought in connection with findings in the Mueller investigation. A top climate scientist has left the Department of Agriculture after, he says, his research was questioned by department officials and media coverage of his findings was suppressed.

Hetali Lodaya

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | August 6, 2019

8/6/19  //  Daily Update

DOJ lawyers were questioned during a FOIA hearing as to why at least some of the Mueller Report should not be released to the public. Government whistleblowers are increasingly being monitored and then charged under the Espionage Act, even if they are not spies. Mass shootings occurred in both El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH over the weekend; the El Paso shooter posted an anti-immigrant message online prior to the shooting.

Hetali Lodaya

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | August 2, 2019

8/2/19  //  Daily Update

The Ninth Circuit will hear arguments on the border wall funding case in November. The White House has ordered the recently installed Defense Secretary to reexamine how a $10 million defense contract is being awarded. A federal judge on Thursday issued an order that temporarily prevents New York from providing the House Ways and Means Committee with President Trump's state tax returns.

Kyle Skinner

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | August 1, 2019

8/1/19  //  Daily Update

A lawsuit determining whether President Trump directed parts of a FISA warrant for his former adviser Carter Page to be declassified will continue. The White House characterized the trade talks between China and Russia as “constructive” and announced the countries will meet in September to continue the conversation. The US imposed financial sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister, increasing pressure on the Islamic Republic. The Federal Reserve announced it will cut interest rates for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis in an effort to protect the US economy from a downturn.

Mackenzie Walz

University of Michigan Law School

Daily Update | July 31, 2019

7/31/19  //  Daily Update

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by the DNC alleging the Trump campaign, President Trump, WikiLeaks, and the Russian government conspired to interfere in the 2016 election. The ACLU filed a lawsuit alleging the Administration has separated more than 900 children from their families, in violation of a court order prohibiting such separations. President Trump, once again, accused China of delaying trade negotiations and stated an agreement may not be reached until after the 2020 Election.

Mackenzie Walz

University of Michigan Law School

Daily Update | July 30, 2019

7/30/19  //  Daily Update

The Supreme Court overturned a lower court order blocking the U.S. government from spending Pentagon funds to extend the border wall. Attorney General Barr ended asylum protections for migrants whose immediate relatives have been persecuted. President Trump signed an agreement with Guatemala requiring asylum seekers who travel through that country to seek refuge there before continuing to the United States. President Trump plans to nominate Representative John Ratcliffe as the next Director of National Intelligence following Daniel Coats’s resignation.

Daily Update | July 26, 2019

7/26/19  //  Daily Update

DOJ announced that it will resume use of the death penalty in some cases and announced a new drug protocol for lethal injection. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony on Wednesday deepened the Democratic divide over whether to pursue impeachment. The Trump administration announced a $16 billion aid package to help farmers hurt by the president’s trade war with China. The CFPB plans to eliminate a rule that enables homebuyers with high debt to obtain mortgages. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked consent votes on two election security bills, saying Democrats were trying to give themselves a “political benefit." The House Oversight Committee voted to subpoena all White House work communications sent by personal email and cellphone.

Nicandro Iannacci

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | July 25, 2019

7/25/19  //  Daily Update

Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. A federal district court granted a preliminary injunction against a new rule requiring asylees to apply for asylum in the first safe country they reach after leaving their country of origin. The Department of Justice opened an antitrust inquiry into tech companies.

Karen Kadish

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | July 23, 2019

7/23/19  //  Daily Update

Special Counsel Mueller will testify before Congress this Wednesday. The President’s efforts to limit asylum protections faced their first legal challenges in federal court. The President and congressional leaders reached a budget agreement on Monday, lifting the debt limit and dramatically raising federal spending levels. Citing two Miss Universe pageants and his “many Puerto Rican friends”, the President claims to be the best thing that ever happened to the unincorporated territory.

Daily Update | July 22, 2019

7/22/19  //  Daily Update

The House Judiciary Committee wants Hope Hicks to clarify her June 19 testimony, which conflicts with recently unsealed court documents regarding Michael Cohen’s case. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the DOJ’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit regarding Trump’s alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause. The Third Circuit upheld a nationwide injunction on a Trump Administration rule that would allow employers to exempt out of the ACA requirement to provide insurance that covers birth control. Eugene Scalia, son of the late Justice Scalia, is President Trump’s new pick to head the Department of Labor.

Hetali Lodaya

Michigan Law School

Daily Update | July 19, 2019

7/19/19  //  Daily Update

Newly unsealed court documents show that Trump communicated repeatedly with Michael Cohen during the election to keep the Stormy Daniels story quiet. The acting Secretary of Homeland Security has testified that the number of family separations at the border has fallen. The Senate has passed a bill making hacking elections a crime.

Kyle Skinner

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | July 18, 2019

7/18/19  //  Daily Update

The House of Representatives held Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for their refusal to turn over documents relating to the Trump Administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the census. The House of Representatives passed a third bill attempting to undo the arms deal that President Trump made with Saudi Arabia, which will likely lead to another presidential veto of the bill. The investigation into Michael Cohen’s campaign-finance infractions has been concluded. Multiple lawsuits have now been filed challenging the new asylum regulation that denies asylum to individuals who did not request asylum in the first country they reached after leaving their country of origin.

Karen Kadish

Columbia Law School

Daily Update | July 17, 2017

7/17/19  //  Daily Update

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens has died at the age of 99. A lawsuit has been filed to challenge the administration’s new rules limiting the number of people who will be able to seek asylum in the United States. The House passed a resolution condemning President Trump's racist tweets. Parties agreed in the NY census case to a joint order that permanently blocks the citizenship question. Kellyanne Conway on Monday defied a congressional subpoena from the House Oversight and Reform Committee about her violations of the Hatch Act, prompting House Democrats to threaten to hold her in contempt of Congress.

Kyle Skinner

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | July 15, 2019

7/15/19  //  Daily Update

A panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals appeared skeptical of the President’s arguments during a hearing over the House Oversight Committee’s subpoena for some of his financial records. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the DOJ has the authority to prioritize states and cities who cooperate with federal immigration laws when issuing COPS grants. The Trump Administration asked the Supreme Court to lift a district court order that enjoined the Administration from diverting military funds to build the border wall. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a rule promulgated by DHHS that would have allowed employers to deny insurance coverage for birth control because of a religious or moral objection. The House approved a measure that would prevent President Trump from going to war with Iran without first receiving congressional approval.

Mackenzie Walz

University of Michigan Law School