Multiple civil rights groups filed suit today against the Trump administration, challenging its new rule seeking to severely limit the asylum protections that are available under US and international law to migrants at the US-Mexico border. The American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed one of the main legal challenges in California's Northern District Court on behalf of immigrant advocacy groups, alleging that the new rule violates US immigration law as well as administrative law. The lawsuit seeks declaratory relief stating that the interim final rule is invalid and unlawful, as well as preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to block its implementation.
United States Supreme Court Rules That Lanham Act’s Prohibition on Registration of Immoral or Scandalous Trademarks Violates the First Amendment
On Monday, June 24, 2019, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Iancu v. Brunetti, 588 U.S. ___ (2019), holding that the Lanham Act's bar on registration of immoral or scandalous trademarks violates the First Amendment. At issue in the case is the trademark FUCT, pronounced as four letters, which is the clothing brand founded by Erik Brunetti. Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the majority, wrote that the Lanham Act's bar on immoral or scandalous trademarks is viewpoint-based discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.
A vast New Mexico oilfield lies near Carlsbad Caverns National Park, a region comprised of deserts and caves. The federal government recently has allowed substantial oil and gas development in this area. This may affect the stability of the terrain and the air quality near the national park, according to WildEarth Guardians. This environmentalist group…
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sued for Failing to Protect Eight Highly Imperiled Species Under the Endangered Species Act
On Thursday, May 23, 2019, the Center for Biological Diversity and San Francisco Baykeeper sued the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California for failing to protect eight highly imperiled species in the United States. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the longfin smelt, Hermes Copper butterfly, Sierra Nevada red fox, red tree vole, eastern gopher tortoise, Berry Cave salamander, Puerto Rico harlequin butterfly, and marrón bacora all warrant protection as afforded under the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1531-1544. The plaintiffs are suing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to actually provide protection as mandated by the law.
The State of California has filed a new lawsuit against the Trump administration, arguing that the Federal Railroad Administration's sudden decision to pull almost $1 billion in funding for a planned high-speed rail connection between San Francisco and Los Angeles was payback for the state's opposition to Trump's plans to construct a wall along the southern border of the US as part of his immigration policy. The state's lawsuit alleges that in the days following certain criticisms made by California Governor Gavin Newsom of Trump's border wall plans, Trump made a series of Tweets criticizing the state's position on his immigration policies as well as its handling of the rail project, demonstrating the link between the funding cancellation and the border wall dispute.
The attorneys general of several states—New York, California, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Vermont—and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its weakening of the federal nutrition standards for school meals. The complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that in 2018 the US Department of Agriculture weakened the federal nutritional standards for sodium and whole grains without first providing the public an opportunity to comment on them, in violation of Administrative Procedure Act.
California has filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Northern California to challenge a new regulation the Trump administration plans to enact in order to block access to abortion and family planning services. Specifically, the case seeks to enjoin new rules adopted under Title X of the Public Health Service Act, a family planning program funded by the federal government. Oregon, Washington, and approximately 20 other states are expected to file suit as well.
A group of 16 states, including the border states of California and New Mexico, has gone to court to challenge the Trump administration's attempt to invoke emergency powers in order to fund the construction of a border wall. The lawsuit, which was filed in federal district court in San Francisco, raises not only constitutional issues related to who controls federal spending, but also may turn on issues of standing and statutory interpretation.
On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, Damien Guedes, a Pennsylvania citizen who purchased a bump stock device in 2014, the Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, and Madison Society Foundation filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives challenging the Trump administration's ban on bump stock devices.
United States Department of Justice Argues President Trump Complied With Federal Statutes and the United States Constitution When Appointing Acting Attorney General
On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, the United States Department of Justice provided a twenty page memo to President Donald J. Trump arguing that President Trump's appointment of Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker complied with federal statutes and the U.S. Constitution, and that the appointment is "[c]onsistent with our prior opinion and with centuries of historical practice and precedents."