There have now been approximately 25 cases filed around the country challenging President Trump’s executive order (“EO”) imposing a travel ban on refugees and on individuals from seven majority-Muslim countries, and TROs of various scopes have issued. (The University of Michigan Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse is gathering filings in these cases.) Most famous, of course, is the nationwide TRO issued by the district court in Seattle in Washington v. Trump, the case brought by Washington and Minnesota, and the refusal of the Ninth Circuit – which treated the TRO as a preliminary injunction – to stay that order pending appeal. (The Ninth Circuit, at the request of at least one active judge, is now considering whether to rehear that decision en banc.) But other cases continue apace. Just yesterday, in a case called Aziz v. Trump, Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia issued a preliminary injunction precluding enforcement of the portion of the Executive Order prohibiting entry into the United States by people from seven specific majority-Muslim countries. (This injunction applies only to Virginia residents as well as to students and employees of Virginia educational institutions.)
On February 8th, Public Citizen, the National Resources Defense Council, and the Communications Workers of America sued the federal government, alleging that the President exceeded his constitutional authority and violated the Administrative Procedure Act in issuing Executive Order 13771 on Reducing Regulation. The Order directs “executive” agencies to identify for repeal two existing regulations for every new regulation proposed or issued and to ensure that the net costs of any new regulations in combination with repealed regulations not exceed zero. The suit argues that the Executive Order distorts the administrative process by requiring administrative agencies to focus exclusively on costs as opposed to the benefits of regulations, and that only Congress has the authority to direct agencies to prioritize reducing costs.
The legal issues involving President Trump’s travel ban executive order are fascinating and complex. But equally significant have been the President’s attacks on the judiciary. It is one thing for a President to say that he disagrees with a ruling, that he has confidence in the constitutionality and legality of his actions, and that he is instructing his attorneys to appeal—but that is not what Trump has done. Instead, he has attacked the district court judge who issued the nationwide temporary restraining order as a “so-called judge,” he has called the Ninth Circuit opinion denying a stay “disgraceful,” and he has urged people to blame the judiciary if “something happens.” These kinds of statements reflect a dangerous attack on the very legitimacy of an independent judiciary.
On Wednesday, February 8, 2017 the Chicago-Kent Immigration Law Society and the SBA Diversity Committee sponsored an event reviewing recent executive orders related to immigration law, the BRIDGE ACT and volunteer opportunities.
The speakers were Chicago-Kent alumni with experience in immigration law for corporate cases, family law, and volunteer advocacy.
- Ruth Lopez McCarthy ’09, managing attorney at the National Immigrant Justice Center
- Robert Milla ’06 of Milla & Associates, Chicago-Kent adjunct professor
- Samantha Lloyd ’13 of RC Immigration
ILS President Lupita Jimenez moderated the panel of speakers, providing context for several of the recent immigration issues and asking questions of the panelists: Continue reading “Event Recap: Immigration Policy in Transition”
By Alexander Dill
Clearing Corporation Charitable Foundation Practitioner in Residence
Last Friday, February 3, nearly two weeks into his term, President Trump issued a directive to revamp financial market regulation, aimed squarely at the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 without naming it but also encompassing the financial regulatory framework as a whole. The directive presents a vague framework in the form of several “core principles” that dovetail with Congressional Republicans’ complaints that regulatory burdens have crimped banks’ ability to lend, thus reducing business expansion and job growth. Among the core principles are the prevention of taxpayer-funded bailouts and the fostering of “economic growth and vibrant financial markets through more rigorous regulatory impact analysis that addresses systemic risk and market failures.”
However, Republicans’ claim flies in the face of the all-time high level of commercial and industrial lending since 2010, as pointed out by Jordan Weissman of Slate Magazine. It is possible that the true source of concern is the reduced return on equity resulting from the higher capital requirements, with historically low interest rates a contributing factor. These factors have hit banks where it hurts most – lowering profitability and depressing stock prices. If banks can return more capital to shareholders, with one estimate at $100 billion by the six largest banks due to potentially looser regulation, through buybacks and dividends, stock prices will increase. In fact, the market expected as much in its reaction to the President’s February 3 directive as bank stocks moved upward.
Professor Carolyn Shapiro was a guest on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” on February 8, 2017, for a discussion about the arguments heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for and against lifting a temporary restraining order that halted the controversial travel ban imposed by one of President Trump’s recent executive orders.
America is a democracy, and a lot of my fellow Democrats seem to have forgotten that. Donald Trump got elected president of the United States, and he has been doing pretty much what he said he was going to do during the campaign. That’s the way democracies are supposed to work.
To be sure, they are also supposed to work through checks and balances. Democratic pressure on the President’s cabinet nominees is part of that. So also is the scrutiny given to the President’s immigration order by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday.
I’ve been involved in politics all my life. I’ve helped run mayoral campaigns in Boston and Atlanta, state representative campaigns in Boston and Atlanta, aldermanic campaigns in Chicago, and a national campaign in Kosovo. I’ve worked on the White House staff and on two transitions, the one from Ford to Carter and the one from Bush to Clinton.
Having run unsuccessfully for office myself (as the Democratic nominee against Mark Kirk for the U. S. House of Representatives in 2002), I know that all you have a right to ask for is an opportunity to be able to deliver your message. If it resonates with enough people you get elected. If it doesn’t, you don’t. I often said to my friends in Kosovo, Bosnia, and Iraqi Kurdistan, as I worked on various nation-building exercises there and wrote two books on Kosovo, the test of a democracy is not how well you win, but what do you do when you lose.
First, kudos to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for livestreaming the oral argument. The technology was not perfect, but opening the hearing to all citizens represents a needed step toward transparency in light of the controversy engendered by the Executive Order.
Second, the panel was prepared and peppered both sides with tough questions. The judges, despite their different ideological leanings (Judges Canby and Friedland were appointed by Democratic presidents, and Judge Clifton by a Republican), bolstered the image of an independent judiciary committed to the rule of law.
Third, despite the risks of predicting votes based on questions in oral arguments, the panel in my view is leaning towards recognizing that the State of Washington enjoyed standing to bring the lawsuit. At least two of the judges seemed convinced that the State could sue in its proprietary capacity because of its allegations that state universities would suffer if students and professors could not get into the country. In any event, the DOJ attorney conceded that individuals and their families who were directly affected by the Executive Order had standing, so that even if the State of Washington could not bring suit, other plaintiffs could.
Fourth, on the merits, there was little discussion of the question of the Order’s inconsistency with the 1965 statute, other than apparent agreement that the statute only prohibits country of origin categorization with respect to granting immigrant visas, and the President’s Order reaches far more broadly.
Professor William Birdthistle was a panelist on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” on February 7, 2017, for a discussion about how the Trump administration’s deregulation agenda may affect the Dodd-Frank Act and the fiduciary rule.
Early last Friday morning, using an unusual legislative procedure, the Senate voted to repeal a law that was part of Dodd-Frank. Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Act directed the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue rules requiring public companies (issuers) to include in their annual reports information regarding payments by that issuer to a foreign government, or the federal government, for the purpose of the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals. This provision was only tangentially related to the heart of Dodd-Frank reforms. The purpose of this Dodd-Frank provision was to increase transparency, prevent corruption, and allow governments, across the globe, to be held publically accountable. In August, 2012 the SEC, as required, adopted Rule 13q-1, which immediately ran into hurdles.