supreme-court

Lawmakers urge Supreme Court to leave redistricting to Congress

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in gerrymandering cases on Tuesday. Front to back, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Elena Kagan, Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh arrive in the House chamber for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union in February. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday in two partisan gerrymandering cases that could scramble congressional districts and change the way states redraw maps after the 2020 Census, marking the second consecutive year the justices will consider the issue.

In a sign of how much could change if the justices decide states can’t use the maps to entrench an advantage for a political party, the North Carolina and Maryland lawmakers who benefited from that process urged the Supreme Court to stay out of it and leave any overhaul of the redistricting process to Congress.

Trump issues first veto, killing resolution to block border national emergency
Bipartisan resolution 'dangerous’ and ‘reckless,’ POTUS says

President Donald Trump speaks during a Rose Garden event at the White House on Feb. 15, to declare a national emergency at the southern border. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“VETO!” President Donald Trump vowed in a Thursday tweet about a resolution to block his southern border national emergency, a pledge he made good on Friday.

Moments before he signed the veto, he called the bipartisan resolution “dangerous” and “reckless,” and said lawmakers’ votes to pass the measure were made “against reality.”

Trump says he’s not thinking of pardoning Paul Manafort — but won’t rule it out
New state charges, however, would leave POTUS powerless to free his former campaign chairman

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse after a court hearing on the terms of his bail and house arrest on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday reiterated his sympathy for Paul Manafort, but would not commit to a pardon after his former campaign chairman manager was sentenced to additional prison time that brings his total behind bars to at least 7 1/2 years.

But the longtime Republican political operative, just minutes after receiving a 3 1/2-year federal sentence, on top of a previous 4-year sentence, was indicted on 16 counts by New York state prosecutors. If convicted and sentenced on any of the state counts, the president would lack any powers to pardon him from those.

Justices break the ice, err glass, at budget hearing
Alito and Kagan make their debut before House Appropriations subcommittee

Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Elena Kagan testify about the Supreme Court’s fiscal 2020 budget at a hearing Thursday before the House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

At the start of a House hearing Thursday on the Supreme Court’s budget, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. knocked over a full water glass, which shattered on the witness table with a sound that would make any foley artist proud.

“Not off to a very good start,” Alito said with a smile, holding the bottom of the broken glass. “We’re deducting that,” a member of the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee quipped from the Democratic side of the dais.

3 things to watch: Trump kids, associates eye pleading the Fifth as Dems bore in
WH counsel’s letter to Rep. Cummings reveals legal strategy to fight probes

Children of President Donald Trump — Tiffany Trump (in white), Donald Trump Jr. (back left), and Eric Trump (center front) and wife Lara Trump (front right) — applaud during their father's State of the Union address on Jan. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — It was a remarkable 24-hour reversal, with President Donald Trump first saying Monday he cooperates with “everybody” before turning to an unlikely source for a precedent to reject House Democrats’ demands for reams of documents: Barack Obama.

House Democratic chairmen of committees in the embryonic stages of investigations into all things Trump have requested documents from and interviews with a long list of individuals and entities related to the president’s time in office, 2016 campaign and business dealings. Trump seemed willing to, at least in some form, comply with some of those requests when he said this on Monday: “I cooperate all the time, with everybody.

Justices to make rare appearance before appropriators
Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan will testify about high court’s budget

Elena Kagan, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, walks through Statuary Hall to the House chamber for President Donald Trump's State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress in the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two Supreme Court justices plan to testify before Congress next week about the high court’s budget for the first time in four years, amid legislative efforts to overhaul ethics and transparency policies of the judicial branch.

Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Elena Kagan are set to appear at a public hearing Thursday before the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. Alito was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006 and Kagan was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010.

Trump: Cohen book pitch shows he ‘committed perjury on a scale not seen before’
As House Dems, federal and state officials ramp up probes, president calls for all to ‘stop’

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Donald Trump, testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Friday demanded that lawmakers obtain a transcript of a book reportedly pushed by his former fixer Michael Cohen that paints a very different picture of his former client than he described to a House panel on Wednesday.

The president also lodged a major allegation against Cohen, who already has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, saying he “committed perjury on a scale not seen before” during testimony this week.

After contentious border moves, stakes only get higher for Trump
‘The real rough water for President Trump still lies ahead,’ GOP insider says

South Koreans watch on a screen at the Seoul Railway Station on June 12, 2018, showing President Donald Trump meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images file photo)

ANALYSIS — “Stay tuned” is a common refrain from White House aides when asked about the many cliffhangers created by President Donald Trump. But remarkably, even after three topsy-turvy months that culminated Friday in a wild Rose Garden appearance, that West Wing mantra will apply doubly over the next few weeks.

Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency at the southern border to unlock Pentagon funds for his proposed border wall came wrapped in an announcement press conference during which he veered from topic to topic, undercut his own legal position, often appeared dispassionate when discussing the emergency declaration, and made more baseless claims. That matter is already embroiled in court fights, putting perhaps his biggest campaign promise in legal limbo, and has appeared to created new distance between him and some Senate Republicans.

Trump wings it in feisty, combative Rose Garden emergency announcement
POTUS berates reporters, slams Dems as policy event morphs into campaign rally

\President Donald Trump speaks in the White House Rose Garden on Friday. Trump said he would declare a national emergency to free up federal funding to build a wall along the southern border. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS  — A testy and combative President Donald Trump winged it Friday in the Rose Garden, turning an often-rambling defense of his border security emergency into a 2020 assault on Democrats.

Trump has redefined the presidency around his unique style and penchant for unpredictable and unprecedented moves, as well as the sharp rhetoric he uses both at the White House and his rowdy campaign rallies. But there was something different during Trump’s remarks Friday, with the president leading off his remarks by talking about anything but the compromise funding measure and border security actions he signed later that day.

Legal fight expected for Trump’s national emergency declaration
Experts predict high court will back his power to do so, but maybe not accessing military monies

President Donald Trump, here addressing reporters on Jan. 10, will sign a government shutdown-avoiding bill and declare a national emergency at the border to access Pentagon funds for his proposed southern border barrier. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency at the southern border to redirect military funds to his border wall project after lawmakers gave him $4.3 billion less than his $5.7 billion ask. But the move is expected to bring court fights that could sink his plan. 

A House-Senate conference committee could only agree to give the president just shy of $1.4 billion for the barrier project as conferees struck a deal needed to avert another partial government shutdown. The president — who earlier this week said he couldn’t say he was happy about the contents of the compromise — reluctantly agreed to sign it into law after the Senate and House sign off during floor votes Thursday.