Another Appeals Court Rules Against President Trumps’ Travel Ban

The efforts of President Donald Trump to bar the traveling of people from six Muslim countries to the United States suffered legal setbacks when another ruling by the federal appeals court indicated that it discriminated people based on their nationality. The court also ruled that it did not have any effect on national security. The 9th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals made its judgment by referring to the federal immigration laws hence giving the Supreme Court several reasons to stick down President Trump’s law. Most courts in the U.S have ruled that Muslims are significantly discriminated by the ban.


The panel of the 9th Circuit gave a 78-page decision. Hawaii and Maryland also released their arguments to the Supreme Court, which may either decide to let the ban continue or listen to the petitions. The challengers responded to the Justice Department request to the justices to implement the ban immediately. The case indicated the negative impact of the travel ban to people from Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Iran, and Syria. The legal papers cited the statements of President Trump during campaigns and his tweets that called for extreme vetting. California’s 9th Circuit Court avoided the argument of whether the ban does not abide by the U.S Constitution’s law that protects people against religious discrimination. The judges ruled that the Trump administration was discriminating individuals based on their nationality yet it was not improving national security.


The panel argued that the being a citizen of any of the six countries does not link an individual to any of the terrorist organizations that operate in their countries. The ban also fails to prove citizen as being active contributors to a conflict that could lead to national insecurity. Being a native of any of the six countries does not make one have a motive for committing terrorist activities. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has however criticized the decision. He said that President Trump understood that he had been elected as a leader of a nation that is constantly under terrorist threats.


A Plurality of Voters Think Trump Should be Impeached

According to a recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, 49 percent of voters think that President Donald Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice, while only 41 percent of voters think that he did not. There is also a plurality of support for impeachment, with 47 percent of voters in favor and only 43 percent opposed. The poll further said that 53 percent of Americans believe the current president to be dishonest, with only 37 percent believing the president to be honest.



The President is accused of firing James Comey to prevent investigation into Russian involvement in his 2016 campaign for the presidency.



Comey recently testified before the Senate regarding three meetings with the President where Trump asked him three times for personal loyalty. Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to appear before the Senate as well.



The President officially stated that the reasoning behind his firing of the former FBI Director was the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.



The President later remarked in an interview with Lester Holt that he was “going to fire [Comey] regardless of recommendation” and that he had made the decision to fire Comey before asking the Deputy Attorney General for a recommendation.



Further, he continued to say that, when he fired Comey: “I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”


In ancient Athens, public court cases were tried in front of all voting members of the populace. One stood and defended oneself before the “assembly” (called an “ecclesia”). Citizens would take a vote, and the person’s fate would be decided.

If Trump were president of Ancient Athens, he’d be in serious trouble.



Regardless of what polls say about the opinions of Americans, the power to impeach Trump will ultimately rest on what the Department of Justice’s special counsel reveals.


Depending on these findings, it will be up to Congress to decide whether to impeach the President. If successful, the trial will be decided by the Senate, and will require a two-thirds majority to succeed.

Trump’s Travel Ban Fails in 9th Circuit Court

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban, making their decision this Monday. This is the second time that Trump’s travel ban has been rejected by a U.S. Court of Appeals.



The 90-day travel ban, proposed by the U.S. President, would prevent people from Iran, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering into the United States.



The panel, composed of three judges, ruled that Trump’s order issued on March 6 fails to conform to existing immigration law. What were the reasons behind the panel’s ruling?



The court ruled that the President lacked sufficient reasons for his claim that people from these nations were “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” Moreover, the court ruled that the Immigration and Nationality Act disallows discrimination on the basis of Nationality alone.



In the published opinion, the court pointed out that of the named countries, only one citizen had been formally charged with attempted terrorism. In 2014, a Somalian-born naturalized citizen was captured for attempting to use explosives to commit a terrorist attack at a Christmas celebration in Portland, Oregon. Two other examples of Iraqi nationals were mentioned, but Iraq is no longer among the listed countries, as Trump has withdrawn their name from the list given the presently positive state of the relations between the United States and Iraq.



The court opined that the Executive Order fails to provide examples of any terrorist activities committed by people coming from Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen.



The court said nothing about whether the ruling was unconstitutional on the basis of religious discrimination, but merely claimed that the Executive Order lacked sufficient grounds for evoking the travel ban.



The court further cited Trumps June 5 tweet as part of their reasoning for the claim. Trump wrote: “That’s right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won’t help us protect our people!” The court, in turn, responded that the Executive Order “does not provide any link between an individual’s nationality and their propensity to commit terrorism or their inherent dangerousness.”



The decision was unanimous.


The Law Profession Itself Might be Biggest Winner in Trump Inquiry

With Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifying before Congress and F.B.I. Director James Comey receiving his walking papers a few weeks ago, there’s no doubt that both sides’ lawyers must remain on their toes.


So, who is up in this debate between the Republican establishment and Democratic politicians and their legal teams? Well, the lawyers themselves might be, according to a recent New York Times‘ article that chronicled an uptick in the need for high-level legal representation on both sides of the aisle.


The latest shakeup is the firing of James Comey and the appointment of former F.B.I. Director James Mueller as new special counsel. James Mueller will be tasked with overseeing the investigation spearheaded by the Justice Department looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign team and associates with ties to the Russian government.


Cool thinking and impartiality will have the final say as counsel from both sides seek to gain the cooperation of low-level staffers to point to either misconduct or fair play. The money will really start to add up and overflow the coffers of the top law firms representing both sides.


Thousands of dollars per hour isn’t unusual, and you can expect to multiple that hourly rate by as many staffers as that law firm has combing through murky records and preparing a witness for testimony. Preparing a witness for Congressional hearings, and all that that entails, could lead to the total legal costs soaring to six or seven figures.


In corporate law cases, the CEO being charged for malfeasance could typically have some or all of those costs defrayed by the corporation. With federal employees, though, the costs are usually borne by the person being sued or doing the suing. This means that President Trump might be shelling out more money for legal representation and conflicts of interest between the prosecutors involved (e.g., James Mueller has ties to a corporate law firm that represents former SEC heads).


Supreme Court Rules Against Deportation Provision for Unwed Mothers

The US Supreme Court decided last Monday that gender-based distinctions in the Immigration and Nationality Act were unconstitutional. The court held with a unanimous ruling of 8-0 that the provision violated the Equal Protection clause of the Fifth Amendment, which protects against such gender-based discrimination.



Before the ruling, the Immigration and Nationality Act would grant the children of U.S. Citizens the right of citizenship if they lived in the domestic United States for ten years prior to their birth. This applies to both fathers and to married couples. However, the law makes a provision for unwed American mothers, granting their children citizenship even if they have only been in the United States for a year prior to the child’s birth.



This means that the same protection isn’t guaranteed to children born to foreign mothers, which Morales-Santana wished to contest. The father of Morales-Santana is an American citizen, but his mother was a citizen of the Dominican Republic. When deportation procedures were set into motion to remove Morales-Santana from the United States, he argued that this law violated the equal protection clause.



The Supreme Court agreed with Morales-Santana, ruling that the law in its present form is unconstitutional. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg opined: “We hold that the gender line Congress drew is incompatible with the requirement that the Government accord to all persons ‘the equal protection of the laws.”



However, the court did not decide that fathers should also be guaranteed one year protection of citizenship for their unwed children. This decision remains in the hands of Congress, who will have to divine a law to govern future immigration cases. What happens until such a law is passed? The court opined: “In the interim, the Government must ensure that the laws in question are administered in a manner free from gender-based discrimination.”


Since the provision for mothers was a provision to the existing law, the court ruled not to extend the provision, even though one typically would resolve such an issue by extending the advantage to the disadvantaged party. Despite the court’s ruling in his favor, Morales-Santana will be deported.


Is Trump Receiving Improper Foreign Payments?

Donald Trump is undoubtedly the most controversial President of the United States since its foundation way back in 1776. Most have heard of various lawsuits pressed against Trump, although none have been successful. Attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland have filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump for receiving payments of foreign origin as they allegedly violate U.S. constitution.


The countless businesses that Donald Trump owns and operates were turned over to his sons’ control directly prior to him assuming Presidency. Because Trump does not directly own or operate the businesses that earned him millions and escalated his claim to fame, the lawsuit may not further advancements.


The lawsuit from the two Democrat-related attorneys general deals with the Emoluments Clause, which bars Presidents or people holding political office from accepting presents, titles, or offices from foreign states. The Emoluments Clause was designed to help those holding political office stay independent of foreign nations interfering in the United States’s business.


United States politicians can accept presents, payments, and gifts from foreign nations if Congress first approves of them. However, President Trump has not been approved of any such foreign payments.


Pending lawsuits must specify harm done to the United States, something plaintiffs against Trump have been unable to prove thus far. Revenue gained from Trump’s sons’ holdings are not considered improper payments under U.S. law, either. The lack of asserting both such requirements in lawsuits have prevented any lawsuits from advancing in courts of law against Trump.


Last Friday, June 9, the Justice Department claimed the two attorneys general did not hold sufficient legal standing because they failed to specify harm and whether revenue gained was considered improper. With such a high volume of lawsuits coming from reputable sources such as these two attorneys general, it is likely something will stick before the President’s term end.


Austin and San Antonio Challenge the New Texas Immigration Laws

Officials of San Antonio and Austin cities recently filed lawsuits to stop the enactment of the anti-sanctuary-cities-law that was passed by Texas State and is set to take action as from September 1. The employees of the two cities revealed their intentions toward the end of May and San Antonio went the to federal District Court to file their case on the same day. The law is called the Texas Senate Bill 4, and the two cities claim that it violates the processes by introducing vague regulatory rules. It also threatens to impose harsh penalties for individual who do not comply.


According to the Austin and San Antonio officials, SB 4 does not respect the First Amendment since it imposes penalties on people who support any policy that goes against its mandate. The new law is also against equality protection since it allows that police to use enhanced interrogation on immigrants who lack the right documents. It also bases its arguments on ethnicity, race, immigration status, and nationality. The officials also disagree with the Texas State since the SB 4 forces the local law enforcement to obey any requests that are made by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest immigrants. It also demands the sacking of officials who will support the sanctuary cities idea. More than 300 local and state authorities in different parts of the United States have policies that make them not to work with the federal immigration efforts.


The SB 4 was signed by Governor Greg Abbott on May 7, and it has had mixed reaction in the 85th Legislative session. El Paso County and Maverick Country are also against the law since they believe it will not keep the people of Texas safe. The officials believe that everyone in the state needs to feel safe whenever he or she reports a crime to the police. Discriminating the immigrants will make them lose their trust in the local authorities.


Ravel Law’s Acquisition by LexisNexis, GSK Suits and More

Lawyers’ jobs are difficult in nearly all regards, especially browsing through briefs, past cases, law changes, and other pertinent information. Such browsing actually takes up the majority of attorneys’ time spent on the clock. Ravel Law makes browsing through United States caselaw a breeze, with a comprehensive search engine and visual maps linking relation between cases. Fortunately for the creator of Ravel Law, Daniel Lewis, the platform has recently sold to LexisNexis, a provider of professional information sources.


With such software becoming more available to attorneys, traditional law firms might be in trouble. Mark Cohen of Forbes believe that law firms just might be becoming obsolete.


Clients are increasingly becoming dissatisfied with results provided by law firms. Profit-per-partner, often shortened to PPP, has been dropping recently. This essentially equates to higher salaries paid to partners with less performance provided. Only time will tell what happens to law firms, though.


GlaxoSmithKline, a large pharmaceutical company, has recently — well, has nearly alwaysfaced flak about its antidepressant Paxil. In 2010, a lawyer who recently started taking a generic version of Paxil killed himself by jumping in front of a train. The jury chosen for this case recently awarded $3 million to plaintiff Wendy Dolin, the wife of late lawyer Stewart Dolin. However, GSK has been slow to pay the reward.


GSK argues that because they did not actually produce that generic medication, although they did invent Paxil, they should not be liable for the $3 million in damages. Dolin’s legal team argues that GSK failed to warn the lawyer of an increased risk of suicide in adults who take Paxil. King & Spalding, the law firm representing GSK, has stated they do not believe many more similar cases will flood in, given the recent ruling against GSK.


New cases may be tried in California because of the state’s friendliness towards awarding claims against pharmaceutical giants. News about GSK’s actions will undoubtedly be huge in the legal world.


Ride Sharing Tech Pioneer Uber Facing Multiple Legal Challenges Fires Management Official

Technological improvements continue to impact the economic community, even including the ability to find transportation to wherever a potential passenger may need to go. And, even though the concept introduced by Uber as an effective alternative to hailing a cab or taking public transportation, the transition has not been without its problems. The problems are apparently so much for Uber that they have contracted U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his business partner Tammy Albarran to prepare a recommendation report regarding the legal issues faced by the new transportation company. The results were delivered over the weekend and the recommendations were not necessarily good, as the company will apparently be asking SVP Emil Michael to resign his position in addition to the 20 intermediate management employees who have been recently removed.


Central to the company redirection is the fact that Uber has been successfully sued by two individuals, one a woman who was left paralyzed after an accident involving an Uber driver and another by the family of a six-year old girl in San Francisco for wrongful death following a New Year’s Eve crash in 2013. The problems have now escalated to the point of a rider claiming she was raped by an Uber driver, which predicated SVP Emil Michael requiring the claim investigation and medical report be released publicly.


It is important to note that Uber is not only an American operation, as the accusation actually occurred in India. The case will not be finalized according to United States law, which will mean that any determination by a court will not apply in the United States. However, even the filing of claim can have an international impact, as the move to terminate multiple middle management officials for bullying has now spread to a senior company official that is considered a very close ally of Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick. There are also reports that Kalanick is considering at least a temporary leave of absence as well.

Could Sessions Evoke Executive Privilege?

Could Attorney General Jeff Sessions evoke executive privilege to avoid disclosing the details of private conversations with the president while under oath? During his exchange with Senator Martin Heinrich, Heinrich fought back against the Attorney General’s continued refusal to discuss conversations with the president. You can watch the exchange here:



Sessions implied that he could not answer questions about his conversations with the president because of executive privilege. Heinrich maintained that the Attorney General did not have the right to evoke executive privilege, a power that only the president has.



Sessions replied: “It would be inappropriate for me to answer and reveal private conversations with the president when he has not had a full opportunity to review the questions and to make a decision on whether or not to approve such an answer.”



By saying this, Sessions implied that executive privilege not only allows the president to prohibit certain disclosures de dicto, but in fact requires that the president give explicit permission for the disclosure of any such information.



Sessions insisted that he was following the policies of the Department of Justice and working within their guidelines.



Yet do such guidelines actually exist, or was Sessions attempting to get out of questions? A recurring leitmotif throughout the interview was the phrase “I cannot recall” from Sessions, allowing for him to omit details by claiming he experienced a lapse of memory.



In an interview with Vox magazine, Asha Rangappa, a professor of law at Yale, pointed to the ruling of U.S. v. Nixon, citing the court’s decision that executive privilege does not apply to suspected criminal activity.



Other legal experts interviewed by *Vox* held similar opinions, with the exception of Peter Shane, a professor of law at Ohio state university. Shane said:”It is not unprecedented for an executive branch official to decline to provide information about which the president might want to claim executive privilege.” Shane suggested that congress could have Sessions make an inquiry as to whether the President wished to evoke executive privilege first, after which congress could order him to appear for questioning again.



Whatever the case, congress would have had to decided by voting to order Sessions to answer the question, or vote to find him in contempt, neither of which happened.