Lark Turner // 11/12/17 //
On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason Harrow and Easha Anand discuss Hargan v. Garza, the President’s trans ban, Muslim Ban 3.0, and the “International Entrepreneur Rule,” a proposed USCIS regulation to increase foreign entrepreneurship in the U.S.
Following an ACLU lawsuit, a 10-year-old immigrant with cerebral palsy who was detained after surgery was released from immigration custody (NYT).
DOJ details plan to slash immigration court backlog by adding judges and refusing to extend delays in deportation cases (WaPo).
Spending more resources on border security would be counterproductive, argues Kari E. Hong in Take Care.
The criminal conviction of Mohammed Jabbateh exemplifies how prosecutors use immigration-related crimes “to pursue criminal accountability for serious violations of international law, or atrocity crimes committed abroad when the perpetrator is present here,” writes Alexandra Insinga at Just Security.
The diversity lottery system may be flawed, but is fares better than most alternatives and in any event, Congress would likely eliminate the 50,000 immigration spaces rather than redistribute them if the program ended, argues Michael Dorf on Take Care and Dorfon Law.
Advocates have petitioned the Ninth Circuit to appoint private counsel to prosecute Joe Arpaio and challenge his pardon after DOJ declined to prosecute in light of President Trump’s involvement in the case (Protect Democracy).
Continued protection and a path to citizenship for DACA recipients is both essential to military readiness and the honorable response to immigrants’ military service, argues former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the New York Times.
A federal court’s decision to enjoin President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military reinforces that the decision was motivated by animus (Take Care).
Penny Nance, President Trump’s rumored pick for Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, has a long record of lobbying against the interests of women and other LGBT people, write Brian Tashman and Gabriela Meléndez Olivera at the ACLU.
Following the logic of his earlier opinions addressing government compelled speech, Chief Justice Roberts may side with plaintiffs claiming anti-gay discrimination in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, argues David H. Gans on Slate.
Citizen activism, not litigation alone, must be the driving force in opposition to the Trump Administration, argues David Cole at the ACLU.
JUSTICE & SAFETY
The Pentagon has released the Marine General held at Guantanamo in a Military Commissions Dispute (WSJ).
The Pentagon says securing North Korean nuclear sites would require a ground invasion (WaPo).
Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s top diplomat, warned that President Trump’s plan to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal was “not an option” (NYTimes).
Public confidence in the president to protect national security is low and falling, even as confidence in the military remains high, write Mieke Eoyang, Ben Freeman, Adam Twardowski, and Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare.
At President Trump’s urging, CIA Director Mike Pompeo met with a former U.S. intelligence official who argues that “the theft of the Democratic National Committee’s emails during the 2016 presidential campaign was an inside job, rather than a hack by Russian intelligence,” report Duncan Campbell and James Risen at The Intercept.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said international sanctions against North Korea are starting to impact the country’s economy (CNN).
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed the FBI’s efforts to unlock the Texas shooter’s phone to warn against strong encryption that law enforcement cannot access (The Hill).
DOJ announced a plan to bring criminal charges against anyone who possesses, imports, distributes, or manufactures any fentanyl-related substance (WaPo).
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross retained investments in a shipping firm with business ties to Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s inner circle (NYT).
Lawmakers should inquire whether or not the GOP tax plan would personally benefit President Trump before voting on it, which is impossible to know without his tax returns, argues the The Washington Post Editorial Board.
Members of Congress have standing in their Emoluments case because they are harmed when President Trump accepts foreign emoluments without first obtaining congressional consent, contends Brianne Gorod at Take Care.
First Amendment scholars filed an amicus brief in support of those suing the President for engaging in impermissible viewpoint discrimination by selectively blocking critics from his Twitter account (Just Security; The Hill).
Voting machines used throughout the country remain vulnerable to hackers, writes Sean Gallagher at Ars Technica.
DOJ has dropped its prosecution of Desiree Ali-Fairooz, an activist who laughed at Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing as Attorney General (Politico).
The Republicans’ messy tax process promises to leave the final bill a far cry from the initial proposal, writes Neil H. Buchanan at Dorf on Law.
White House officials have prepared an executive order to weaken the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate if Congress fails to do so through tax reform (WaPo).
The EPA plans to repeal key Obama-era regulation that limited greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty trucks (The Hill).
The Clean Air Council has sued the Trump Administration over its approach to climate change and the Clean Power Plan (The Hill).
Repealing the CFPB’s arbitration rule will have dangerous consequences for consumers, writes David Noll at The Regulatory Review.
Syria joins the Paris climate accord, leaving only the United States opposed to it (NYTimes).
Senate Democrats question President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, on her lack of experience, though she still appears likely to be confirmed (NYTimes, WaPo).
EPA head Scott Pruitt says the Climate Science Special Report will not stop plans to roll back former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (The Hill).
Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) calls President Trump’s nominee to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s positions “outrageous” and “denying science” in confirmation hearing (NYTimes).
Disparities in the House and Senate tax bills indicate the competing pressures that lawmakers face to advance the bill through their respective chambers (NYT).
The Senate bill would delay a corporate tax cut that the President wants to prioritize (WaPo).
RULE OF LAW
President Trump criticized top law enforcement, saying DOJ and FBI must ‘Do What Is Right’ and investigate Democrats (NYT).
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s directive prohibiting certain scientists from serving on advisory boards may be illegal, argues Michael Burger at Climate Law Blog.
President Trump risks interfering with New York attack prosecution, despite warnings from recent Bergdahl case (LATimes).
The recent terror attack in Manhattan provides an opportunity for President Trump to reaffirm the rule of law and prosecute the suspect in the U.S. federal justice system, rather than at Guantanamo (Just Security).
President Trump’s attack on the Department of Justice and our institutions is another form of demagoguery, writes Bob Bauer at Lawfare.
President Trump urged tribal leaders to ignore federal law in a meeting this past summer (Axios).
CHECKS & BALANCES
Speaker Ryan should call a vote on the DREAM Act, which could unify Democrats and many Republicans after the Trump administration’s repeal of DACA, argue Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) and Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) in The Hill.
REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) announces he will force a vote on the House floor to impeach President Trump prior to Christmas (The Hill).
Special Counsel Mueller has enough evidence to bring charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (NBC).
Trump Campaign Advisor Carter Page met with Russian government officials in 2016 and alerted the campaign to the meeting (NYT).
President Trump’s attorney reiterated that his team would challenge Special Counsel Mueller if the probe began looking at Trump’s former real estate deals (The Hill).
New documents regarding Papadopoulos’s Russian connections call into question previous assertions by members of the Trump Administration that they were unaware of any contacts with Russia before the 2016 election (WSJ).
A federal judge has determined Paul Manafort and Rick Gates pose “significant flight risks,” and refused to ease bail conditions (LATimes).
House Democrats prepare to ask Jeff Sessions about George Papadopoulos next week in front of the House Judiciary Committee (Politico).
Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have committed perjury when he denied knowledge of other Trump campaign members meeting with Russians, argue Artin Afkhami and Ryan Goodman at Just Security.
President Trump and Vladimir Putin have both ended up hurting each other in attempts to collude, writes Richard Cohen in The Washington Post.
Congressional investigators are interviewing former Trump aides about the campaign’s fight to remove language from the 2016 GOP platform that supported giving weapons to Ukraine (Politico).
Russian Twitter trolls intentionally shifted attention away from then-candidate Trump’s Access Hollywood tapes toward criticism of Hillary Clinton (The Hill).