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.
The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has ruled against the Trump administration's attempt to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA permits approximately 600,000 unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the US as children to remain in the country legally by seeking permission from the Department of Homeland Security every two years. Though the Trump administration had asked the US Supreme Court to weigh in on the case pending in the 9th Circuit before the appellate ruling, now that the appellate court has issued its decision, it is even more likely that the Supreme Court will take up the matter in 2019.
In the wake of the FCC's efforts to undo net neutrality protections under the Trump administration, California recently passed a law implementing net neutrality rules that are even stronger than the Obama-era regulations that have been rolled back at the federal level. Governor Jerry Brown signed the new law on September 30, which represents the strongest set of net neutrality protections in the country. The Department of Justice immediately filed a lawsuit in federal court, stating that California's law constitutes an impermissible burden on the federal government's efforts to deregulate the internet.
The North Carolina legislature historically has been dominated by Republicans, but times may be changing in a state known for extremely conservative lawmaking. While the Governor is a Democrat, the Republican supermajority in the legislature has pushed many laws past his veto over the last two years. One of the most notable…
Court papers filed late last week show that according to the government's most recent estimates, close to 500 children, including 22 under the age of 5, remain in US custody after being separated from their parents at the border earlier this year pursuant to the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy. The greatest logistical challenge that government officials and immigrants' rights advocates have faced in reuniting many of these children with their families is that their parents were deported without them, and are now proving difficult if not impossible to locate.
In a joint status report filed last week, the Department of Justice provided its most detailed figures to date regarding the status of migrant children who were separated from their parents at the border this year under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, stating that 24 children under the age of 5 remain separated. Under the policy, the administration separated more than 2,600 children from their parents, and reports that over 360 parents who are still separated are outside the country, with many having been deported without their children.
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the US District Court for the District of Columbia halted the deportation in progress of a mother and daughter this week, and threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt due to the fact that court proceedings appealing their deportation were in progress. An attorney for the ACLU, which filed a lawsuit on August 7, 2018 challenging the Department of Justice's recent policy change that aims to fast track the removal of asylum seekers who do not pass their credible fear interviews, and eliminates gang and domestic violence as grounds for seeking asylum in the US, received a notice in the middle of a hearing on the case before Judge Sullivan that the mother and daughter were on a deportation flight to El Salvador.
Judge Dana Sabraw strongly rejected the Trump Administration's recent argument that the ACLU and other immigrants' rights advocates should be responsible for locating the more than 450 immigrant parents the administration deported after separating them from their children earlier this year. The judge said it is "100%" the government's responsibility to locate and reunite deported parents with their children, and stated that if it fails to do so, it will have "permanently orphaned" the children it separated from them.
On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled against President Trump’s latest attempt to hinder a lawsuit that discusses Trump’s alleged violation of the U.S. Constitution through his continued business transactions with foreign governments. The ruling was made by U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte and will enable the plaintiffs, the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia — to move forward with their lawsuit, which argues that Trump has violated anti-corruption clauses, known as emoluments clauses, in the U.S. Constitution.
President Trump has announced Brett Kavanaugh as his pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Kavanaugh is a conservative jurist who has served for over a decade on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He previously worked in the George W. Bush White House, and also worked with Kenneth Starr's team in the effort to impeach former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Notably, Kavanaugh has published scholarly commentary suggesting that Congress should pass a law insulating a sitting president from criminal indictment until after leaving office or being impeached, convicted, and removed from office; he has also written that civil lawsuits should be deferred while the president is in office. Some speculate that these writings could have influenced Trump's decision to nominate Kavanaugh given the mounting legal scrutiny Trump is facing. If Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate, he is expected to vote with the Court's conservative majority on issues including abortion, union rights, civil rights, and gun control.