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Congress to Probe Report that Trump Directed Lawyer to Lie
Court Watch | 2019/01/21 23:59

The Democratic chairmen of two House committees pledged Friday to investigate a report that President Donald Trump directed his personal attorney to lie to Congress about negotiations over a real estate project in Moscow during the 2016 election.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said “we will do what’s necessary to find out if it’s true.” He said the allegation that Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie in his 2017 testimony to Congress “in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date.”

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, said directing a subordinate to lie to Congress is a federal crime.

The report by BuzzFeed News, citing two unnamed law enforcement officials, says that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress and that Cohen regularly briefed Trump and his family on the Moscow project — even as Trump said he had no business dealings with Russia.


Supreme Court will hear Wisconsin drunk driving case
Court Watch | 2019/01/12 23:22

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to a Wisconsin drunk driving law that has parallels in other states.

Wisconsin law says law enforcement officials can draw blood from an unconscious driver without a warrant if they suspect the person was driving drunk.

The case the court agreed Friday to hear involves Gerald Mitchell. He was arrested in Sheboygan for driving while intoxicated in 2013 in Wisconsin. Mitchell was too drunk to take a breath test and became unconscious after being taken to a hospital. His blood was then drawn without a warrant. Mitchell was ultimately convicted of driving while intoxicated.

Mitchell says the blood draw was a search that violated his constitutional rights, but Wisconsin’s Supreme Court upheld his convictions. Mitchell says 29 states have similar laws.


California fight on Trump birth control rules goes to court
Court Watch | 2019/01/08 11:21

A U.S. judge will hear arguments Friday over California's attempt to block new rules by the Trump administration that would allow more employers to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women.

Judge Haywood Gilliam previously blocked an interim version of those rules — a decision that was upheld in December by an appeals court. But the case is before him again after the administration finalized the measures in November, prompting a renewed legal challenge by California and other states.

Gilliam was not expected to rule immediately. At issue is a requirement under President Barack Obama's health care law that birth control services be covered at no additional cost. Obama officials included exemptions for religious organizations.

The new rules set to go into effect on Monday would allow more categories of employers, including publicly traded companies, to back out of the requirement by claiming religious objections. They would also allow small businesses and other employers to object on moral grounds.

The rules "protect a narrow class of sincere religious and moral objectors from being forced to facilitate practices that conflict with their beliefs," the U.S. Department of Justice said in court documents.



Supreme Court rejects Trump plea to enforce asylum ban
Court Watch | 2018/12/24 04:19

A divided Supreme Court won’t let the Trump administration begin enforcing a ban on asylum for any immigrants who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Chief Justice John Roberts joined his four more liberal colleagues Friday in ruling against the administration in the very case in which President Donald Trump had derided the “Obama judge” who first blocked the asylum policy.

New Justice Brett Kavanaugh and three other conservative justices sided with the administration. There were no opinions explaining either side’s votes.

The court’s order leaves in place lower court rulings that blocked Trump’s proclamation in November automatically denying asylum to people who enter the country from Mexico without going through official border crossings.

Trump said he was acting in response to caravans of migrants making their way to the border. The administration had also complained that the nationwide order preventing the policy from taking effect was too broad. But the court also rejected the administration’s suggestion for narrowing it.

Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union leading the court challenge, said the high court’s decision “will save lives and keep vulnerable families and children from persecution. We are pleased the court refused to allow the administration to short-circuit the usual appellate process.”

The high court action followed a ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar that kept the ban on hold pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging it. The case could take months to resolve.



Supreme Court rejects Trump plea to enforce asylum ban
Court Watch | 2018/12/24 04:19

A divided Supreme Court won’t let the Trump administration begin enforcing a ban on asylum for any immigrants who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Chief Justice John Roberts joined his four more liberal colleagues Friday in ruling against the administration in the very case in which President Donald Trump had derided the “Obama judge” who first blocked the asylum policy.

New Justice Brett Kavanaugh and three other conservative justices sided with the administration. There were no opinions explaining either side’s votes.

The court’s order leaves in place lower court rulings that blocked Trump’s proclamation in November automatically denying asylum to people who enter the country from Mexico without going through official border crossings.

Trump said he was acting in response to caravans of migrants making their way to the border. The administration had also complained that the nationwide order preventing the policy from taking effect was too broad. But the court also rejected the administration’s suggestion for narrowing it.

Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union leading the court challenge, said the high court’s decision “will save lives and keep vulnerable families and children from persecution. We are pleased the court refused to allow the administration to short-circuit the usual appellate process.”

The high court action followed a ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar that kept the ban on hold pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging it. The case could take months to resolve.



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