Todd Ruger

Trump seeks Supreme Court help on building border wall quickly
Trump administration officials want Supreme Court help to build border barrier before Congress thwarts them Oct. 1

Trump administration officials want the Supreme Court to help them hurry up and spend up to $2.5 billion to construct a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border before Congress thwarts them with new spending legislation on Oct. 1.

The administration argues it needs a ruling from the Supreme Court by July 26 so it can spend money on border wall construction before the fiscal 2019 spending law lapses on Sept. 30.

Mueller hearing format gets complaints from junior Judiciary members
GOP members aired complaints that testimony from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III would be limited to 2 hours

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee aired complaints Thursday that testimony from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III would be limited to two hours next week — meaning some members from both parties won’t get an opportunity to ask questions.

Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the committee’s top Republican, was among the members who described a format that would have Mueller leave to appear before the House Intelligence Committee, a smaller panel where all members are expected to have time to ask questions.

House Judiciary authorizes subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions, 10 others
The committee authorized 12 more subpoenas Thursday related to its probe of the Trump administration

The House Judiciary Committee authorized 12 more subpoenas Thursday related to its probe of the Trump administration, including subpoenas for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the president’s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner.

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said the witnesses are government officials who worked in close proximity to President Donald Trump or those outside the government who have “critical information” related to allegations of obstruction of justice and public corruption detailed in former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report released in April.

Trump lawyers try again to block financial records subpoena
The oral argument before a three-judge panel is one of the first lawsuits Trump filed to stymie House investigations

President Donald Trump’s push to stonewall congressional subpoenas lands at a federal appeals court Friday, where House Democrats will once again defend their power to get years of his financial records from accounting firm Mazars USA.

The oral argument before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is one of the first lawsuits Trump filed to stymie House investigations. And it could be the first to reach the Supreme Court no matter what the panel decides, since neither the president nor Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California appear likely to back down.

Justice Department seeks to halt Democrats’ lawsuit against Trump
DOJ lawyers asked a federal appeals court to throw out or freeze the lawsuit led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Jerrold Nadler

The Justice Department sought Monday to stop what they say would be “intrusive discovery” into President Donald Trump’s personal financial affairs, in a lawsuit brought by more than 200 Democratic members of Congress that raises separation-of-powers questions.

The government’s lawyers asked a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., to throw out or freeze the lawsuit led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., which alleges Trump violated the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

House Ways and Means sues to get Trump tax returns
The committee called the government’s refusal to turn over the records ‘an extraordinary attack’ on congressional oversight

The House Ways and Means Committee filed a lawsuit Tuesday to quickly enforce its subpoena for President Donald Trump’s tax returns, calling the government’s refusal to turn over the records “an extraordinary attack” on congressional oversight.

The lawsuit in federal district court in Washington is the first legal action from House Democrats to enforce a subpoena among the numerous investigations into the Trump administration launched since taking control of the chamber in January.

‘A court without a middle’: Supreme Court term signals changes ahead
The five conservative justices sent signals they want to undo long-standing precedents they think were wrongly decided

The Supreme Court started its term last October amid the political divisiveness of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation process and with a much more private battle among the justices unfolding through the last day of the term Friday.

The departure of former Justice Anthony M. Kennedy after a decade as the court’s ideological axis, and the arrival of a more conservative Kavanaugh, sparked a new dynamic among the justices and a burst of writing as they staked out legal territory.

Supreme Court to review cancellation of DACA program
Taking the case puts justices in the middle of the heated debate over immigration policy during the 2020 campaign season

The Supreme Court will decide next term whether the Trump administration can end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, putting the justices in the middle of the heated debate over immigration policy during the 2020 campaign season.

The court announced Friday that it will hear arguments in a trio of legal challenges to save the Obama-era program—from California, New York and District of Columbia — in the term that starts in October. Any decision would likely be released before the end of June 2020, at the height of the presidential election.

Supreme Court deals blow to census citizenship question
The decision blocked the question for now, sending the challenge back to the Commerce Department for more explanation

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Trump administration from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census for now, and asked the Commerce Department to offer a better explanation for why it made the move.

The opinion pointed to questions raised by civil rights groups and Democratic-led states, which argued that the reason Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross gave was a pretext that would actually skew the count in a way that would help Republicans.

Supreme Court allows states to draw partisan political maps
Ruling will affect how congressional districts are redrawn after 2020 census

A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that federal courts can’t rein in politicians who draw political maps to entrench a partisan advantage, a decision that will influence the redrawing of congressional districts after the 2020 census.

In a 5-4 opinion, the court’s conservative wing found the Constitution did not give the courts the authority to strike down maps as partisan gerrymanders. Instead, the majority wrote, that is a political question and a task for Congress and the states.

Appeals court move potentially an ‘ominous’ sign for Obamacare
The law could face strong headwinds in its latest test in the federal courts

A federal appeals court has questioned whether the House and Democrat-led states can defend the 2010 health care law in a legal fight that threatens the landmark legislation — a sign the law could face strong headwinds in its latest test in the federal courts.

The House and states had jumped to intervene in the lawsuit after a federal judge in Texas ruled the entire law should fall without the so-called individual mandate, including popular provisions preventing insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more because of pre-existing conditions.

Supreme Court keeps contentious doctrine on regulations
All the justices agreed to send the case back to a lower court for reconsideration

A divided Supreme Court on Wednesday declined a chance to overrule two longstanding precedents that make it easier for government agencies to defend their regulations from legal challenges in cases about the environment, health care and consumer protection.

The court instead used the case to further outline its doctrine on when judges should defer to an agency’s interpretation of its own regulation when that regulation is otherwise ambiguous. All the justices agreed to send the case back to a lower court for reconsideration.

Supreme Court to decide whether Congress can use riders to defund laws
The court will decide a trio of cases dealing with $12 billion in payments to insurers related to the 2010 health care law’s exchanges

The Supreme Court will delve into how much power members of Congress wield when they insert riders on appropriations bills, in a trio of cases that deals with $12 billion in payments to insurers related to the 2010 health care law’s exchanges.

The justices agreed Monday to decide whether lawmakers can essentially repeal a previous law that obligates government payments by later adding riders to a spending bill to prevent those payments.

Judge who said being transgender is a ‘delusion’ nearing confirmation
Democratic senators and LGBT advocates have voiced concerns over one of Trump’s most controversial nominees

Democratic senators and LGBT advocates want to stop the confirmation of one of President Donald Trump’s most controversial judicial nominees this week, but the fight underscores just how powerless they are to do so without help from Republicans.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled floor votes starting Tuesday afternoon for a slate of appointments including Matthew Kacsmaryk to be a judge for the Northern District of Texas. The Kentucky Republican has used a 53-47 majority and streamlined floor rules to quickly confirm 34 judicial nominees this year.

Virginia wins uranium mining ban battle in Supreme Court
The opinion highlighted sharp divisions among justices about how they should evaluate lawmaker motivations

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed Virginia to prevent mining of the largest deposit of uranium in the United States, in an opinion that highlighted sharp divisions among the justices about how they should evaluate the motivations of lawmakers.

The case turned on the regulatory line between state and federal authority over the extraction and then further processing of nuclear materials. Six of the justices agreed that a 1954 federal law, known as the Atomic Energy Act, did not preempt a state ban on mining.

Supreme Court decisions could affect makeup of Congress for years
Redistricting, census questions among big-ticket items left on docket

The Supreme Court faces decisions during its last two weeks of the term that could influence congressional districts for the next decade and make the justices an even larger topic in the 2020 presidential campaign.

The court left its most consequential and politically contentious opinions for the end of the term, as it tends to do every year. The justices on Monday will release some of the 24 decisions yet to come before the end of June.

Justice Department sides with Treasury in blocking Trump tax returns
Mnuchin rejected demand by House Ways and Means Democrats

The Justice Department released an opinion Friday that backed up the Treasury Department’s decision not to give Congress copies of President Donald Trump’s tax returns, concluding that the “true aim” was to make the documents public and that “is not a legitimate legislative purpose.”

The Office of Legal Counsel opinion comes after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to comply with a subpoena for Trump’s tax returns from House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal last month.

Democrats’ next move unclear after approving subpoena lawsuits
Resolution is House’s broadest step so far in response to Trump’s ‘oppose-all-the-subpoenas’ strategy

Updated 7:13 p.m. | House Democrats voted Tuesday to bolster their oversight power by giving committees the authority to take Trump administration officials to court quickly, but it did little to settle broader questions in a caucus that is trying to balance competing political and legal strategies ahead of the 2020 elections.

The resolution becomes the House’s broadest step in response to President Donald Trump’s “oppose-all-the-subpoenas” strategy, because it allows the Democrats to skip the floor process to enforce committee subpoenas through the federal courts.

Judiciary Committee focuses on Mueller report with pundit panel
Former White House counsel Dean says report needs to be discussed because too few read it

Early in a House Judiciary Committee hearing Monday about the special counsel investigation, the former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon defended why the members should hear testimony from four witnesses not involved in the probe.

The committee hearing is adding something that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III could not in his report, “and that’s public education,” John Dean said in response to a comment from the panel’s ranking Republican, Doug Collins of Georgia.

Nadler reaches agreement with DOJ over Mueller report evidence
The DOJ will share documents Monday, and all House Judiciary Committee members from both parties will be able to view them

The Justice Department agreed Monday to give the House Judiciary Committee key evidence from the special counsel report related to allegations President Donald Trump obstructed the investigation, on the eve of a scheduled floor vote to authorize legal action to enforce two committee subpoenas.

Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the DOJ will share the documents Monday, and all committee members from both parties will be able to view them. The move means he will not move forward on criminal contempt against Attorney General William Barr, and give the Justice Department time to comply with the agreement.