Articles Posted in US Executive Branch

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.


In a new rule that is planned to be effective Tuesday, the Trump administration is seeking to reverse decades of asylum policy by effectively denying protections to most migrants seeking asylum at the southern border of the US. The new policy, which the American Civil Liberties Union plans to promptly challenge in court, would require asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border to prove that they have sought and been denied asylum in a so-called "safe third country" before they can apply for protection in the US. 


On Tuesday, July 9, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that President Donald J. Trump engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination, in violation of the First Amendment, by blocking certain users' access to his Twitter account based on those users' speech on Twitter. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University sued the President on behalf of seven Twitter users who were blocked from the President's Twitter account after said users tweeted replies to the President critical of his personality and policies. Judge Barrington D. Parker concluded "that the First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees."


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. 


Attorney General William Barr has released a redacted version of the Mueller Report today.  Read a copy of the report here. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Mark Van Scyoc…


On Monday, March 4, 2019, The New Yorker published an article online written by Jane Mayer chronicling the ties between the White House and Rupert Murdoch's Fox News. The article, titled "The Making of the Fox News White House," will be published in the print edition of the March 11, 2019 issue of The New Yorker, under the headline "Trump TV." In the article, Mayer quotes a former White House official as stating that "[t]he President does not understand the nuances of antitrust law or policy. . . [b]ut he wanted to bring down the hammer" with regards to the AT&T/Time Warner merger. 


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.


The consumer advocacy non-profit organization, Public Citizen, filed a lawsuit in federal district court on January 25th, challenging the roll back of an Obama-era worker safety rule. The Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule was created to collect more complete data on workplace injuries in order to…