A judge in Washington, D.C. ruled that gifts from foreign governments to Trump businesses might violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
Appeals Court Permits Philadelphia to Stop Referring Foster Children to Agencies with Anti-LGBT Policies
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the city was justified in attempting to prevent sexual orientation discrimination by withholding referrals of foster children to agencies that do not work with same-sex parents. It did not find any religious persecution or bias that would make the policy unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
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.
Trump Administration Moves to Withhold Federal Funding from Clinics Providing Abortions or Abortion Referrals
Last week, the federal government issued a rule to withhold federal funding for family planning from groups that provide abortions or abortion referrals. To receive federal funding, clinics will need to physically and financially separate any services that receive government funding from organizations that provide abortions or referrals.
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 Metropolitan Detention Center (M.D.C.), a federal jail in Brooklyn, is the subject of a new lawsuit and will be toured by a federal judge and senior federal defender after a power outage caused corrections officials to reportedly hold inmates on at least partial lockdown for days with no heat. A different judge has ordered the jail to allow inmates to have visits with their lawyers, which were apparently canceled last week as well.
California has implemented a Low Carbon Fuel Standard program since 2011, requiring sellers of oil, ethanol, and other fuels to reduce the carbon intensity of their fuel within certain deadlines. (Alternatively, they can buy credits from other companies that meet the requirements of the program.) Entities in the ethanol and oil industries recently challenged the…
In an order issued today, the US Supreme Court has granted the Trump administration's request to stay orders in two cases filed in federal district courts within the 9th Circuit to block the administration's policy banning most transgender people from serving in the military from going into effect. The Court's decision permits the ban to be temporarily implemented while the cases progress through the appeals process and any Supreme Court review. The Court denied the Trump administration's request to bypass the appellate process completely, but provides a preview of how the Court will likely rule if it hears these cases on the merits.
In the case of Iancu v. Brunetti, the Federal Circuit recently ruled that a section of the Lanham Act was unconstitutional. This federal law governs the registration of trademarks. Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act prohibits the registration of trademarks that are immoral or scandalous. The Federal Circuit reviewed this provision in…
Two Florida district courts have reached clashing conclusions on whether a suspect in a criminal case can invoke the Fifth Amendment to withhold their iPhone passcode from law enforcement. In the older case, State of Florida v. Stahl, the court ruled that a criminal suspect does not have this right under the Constitution. (This case involved…