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What's New?

National Science Foundation and Department of Energy Announce First Awards Under the Administration's National AI Research Resource Program
May 13, 2024. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy have announced the first awards under the National AI Research Resource pilot program designed to allow researchers to access federal state of the art AI capability to support their work. The pilot program is a two-year effort and is part of the administration's AI initiative that began with President Biden's Executive Order 14110 issued in 2023. The NSF explained: "AI holds the potential to accelerate discovery and innovation and help solve critical societal and global challenges. However, many researchers lack the necessary access to the computing, data, software and educational resources needed to fully conduct their research and to train the next generation of researchers. The NAIRR aims to bridge this gap and ensure that AI resources and tools are accessible to the broad research and education communities in a manner that advances trustworthy AI and protects privacy, civil rights and civil liberties. By connecting the research community to needed infrastructure resources, the NAIRR pilot will enable research that advances the frontiers of AI as well as the use of AI to drive breakthroughs in other fields of science and engineering."
   Applications for future awards opened last week and that information is available on the NAIRR program website below.
   Read the NSF Press Release on the NAIRR Program.
   Read Executive Order 14110.
   Access the NAIRR Program Website with Information on Opportunities, Applications, and Awards.
   Access NSF's Webpage Explaining the Program.

Preparing for Supreme Court Oral Argument in Trump Claim of Immunity Case
April 9, 2024. The parties have now submitted their briefs on the merits in No. 23-939 Trump v. United States concerning Mr. Trump's claim to immunity from criminal prosecution in response to the indictment brought against him by the Special Counsel. The oral argument before the Supreme Court is scheduled for April 25. See the post for February 28 on this webpage for more information on the case.
   Read the Special Counsel's Brief.
   Read the Trump Brief.
   Access the Joint Appendix in the case.

Supreme Court Rules on City Manager's Control Over His Private Social Media Page
March 15, 2024. Justice Amy Barret today issued an opinion on behalf of a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court seeking to clarify whether and when a public official's social media page and his control over it was state action or private action and therefore whether his decision to take down posts or even block others from posting constituted a violation of protected speech subject to suits under the civil rights act provision 42 U.S.C. §1983. For more information and the opinion, see the Local Government page of this website.

EU Parliament Adopts Artificial Intelligence Act
March 14, 2024.The European Parliament yesterday voted to approve the Artificial Intelligence Act with 523 votes in favor, 46 against, and 49 abstentions. The act has been under development for some time with complex consultive processes and analyses. The European Commission has explained: "The European AI Strategy aims at making the EU a world-class hub for AI and ensuring that AI is human-centric and trustworthy. Such an objective translates into the European approach to excellence and trust through concrete rules and actions." The new AI Act arrays regulatory requirements according to four classes of AI with some uses banned. As the EU Parliament explained in its news release: "The new rules ban certain AI applications that threaten citizens' rights, including biometric categorisation systems based on sensitive characteristics and untargeted scraping of facial images from the internet or CCTV footage to create facial recognition databases. Emotion recognition in the workplace and schools, social scoring, predictive policing (when it is based solely on profiling a person or assessing their characteristics), and AI that manipulates human behaviour or exploits people's vulnerabilities will also be forbidden." The European Commission provided more information in its announcement of last week, including explanation of the four classes, which include: Unacceptable Risk, High Risk, Limited Risk, and Minimal Risk.
   Read the European Parliament News Release on the Vote.
   Read European Commission "AI" Act News Release March 6 with Additional Links to key documents.
   Access the European Commission's "European Approach to Artificial Intelligence" release.
   Read Artificial Intelligence Act, Final Draft, January 21, 2014.
   Read EU AI Innovation Package.
   Read EU Coordinated Plan on AI.
   Read About the European AI Office and Its Functions.
   Access the EU Artificial Intelligence Act Website.

Biden Administration Releases FY 2025 Budget Proposal and Supporting Materials
March 11, 2024. The White House has released the President's Budget of the United States for FY 2025. The Office of Management and Budget released has released some of the documents, including the president's budget document with his budget message. There are also other key materials, including the "Analytic Perspectives" document which provides the economic and policy assumptions behind the budget, and the "Budget Appendix" which is the document that contains the very detailed information on agency budgets and funds. Also, a number of the executive departments are expected to release their budget-in-brief documents which provide more detailed program by program explanations of past, present, and requested funding. Those documents for the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, and Environmental Protection Agency will be posted as soon as they are available.
   Download the President's Budget of the United States for FY 2025 document, including the President's Message to Accompany the FY 2025 Budget.
   Download the FY 2025 Budget Facts Sheets.
   Access the FY 2025 Budget Appendix -- All detailed information about agencies and funds.
   Access the FY 2025 Budget Analytic Perspectives webpage (economic and budget assumptions).
   Access the FY 2025 Federal Credit Supplement (information on direct loans and loan guarantees by the Federal Government.).
   Access the FY 2025 Supplemental Materials website.
   Access the U.S. Department of Education, Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Summary and Background Information.
   Access the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Fiscal Year 2025 Budget-in-Brief.
   Access the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fiscal Year 2025 Budget-in-Brief.
   Access the Office of Management and Budget Budget Webpage.

Supreme Court Overturns Colorado Ruling that Removed Trump from the Ballot
March 4, 2024. Although all members of the U.S. Supreme Court agreed on reversing the Colorado Supreme Court decision that removed Mr. Trump from the ballot in that state under the Fourteenth Amendment, there was a sharp disagreement among the members about the scope of the per curiam opinion. Justice Barrett concurred in part and in the judgment, joining only Parts I and II–B of the per curiam opinion. Justice Sotomayor wrote a strongly worded opinion for herself and Justices Kagan and Jackson, concurring only in the judgment of the Court. The four justices were critical of the majority because on grounds that it went well beyond what was necessary to address the Colorado case.
   Read the Opinions.

Supreme Court to Hear Trump's Claim of Immunity
February 28, 2024.The Supreme Court today issued an order indicating it will hear the case involving Mr. Trump's claim of immunity from prosecution. The Court wrote: "The application for a stay presented to The Chief Justice is referred by him to the Court. The Special Counsel's request to treat the stay application as a petition for a writ of certiorari is granted, and that petition is granted limited to the following question: Whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office. Without expressing a view on the merits, this Court directs the Court of Appeals to continue withholding issuance of the mandate until the sending down of the judgment of this Court. The application for a stay is dismissed as moot. The case will be set for oral argument during the week of April 22, 2024. Petitioner's brief on the merits, and any amicus curiae briefs in support or in support of neither party, are to be filed on or before Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Respondent's brief on the merits, and any amicus curiae briefs in support, are to be filed on or before Monday, April 8, 2024. The reply brief, if any, is to be filed on or before 5 p.m., Monday, April 15, 2024." For more information on this case, see the posting below for Febryuary 16, 2024.
   In something unusual for this kind of proceeding, there have been several amicus curiae briefs filed in the Supreme Court. (The full docket sheet for Trump v. United States, No. 23A745, can be accessed through the Court's docket search page at the link below.)
   See the order published today by the Supreme Court.
   Read Trump's Application for a Stay to the Supreme Court.
   Read the U.S. Brief in Opposition to the Application for a Stay.
   Access the Supreme Court Docket Search Page to find the Full Docket Sheet for case No. 23A745 with All Key Documents.

Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Social Media Content Moderation Policies
February 26, 2024. The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today in cases from Florida and Texas, Moody v. NetChoice, 22-277, and NetChoice v. Paxton, 22-555, involving state statutes prohibiting social media platforms from regulating content, what they refer to as content moderation. The lower courts ruled against the Florida statute, but although the district court halted the Texas action pending the litigation, the Fifth Circuit reversed. These are facial challenges.
   Read the Florida's Brief as Petitioner in 22-277.
   Read the Brief of Respondents NetChoice in 22-277.
   Read the Florida statute S.B. 7072.
   Read the Brief of the United States in Support of Repondents in 22-277 and Petitioners in 22-555.
   Read Brief of Petitioners NetChoice in 22-555 the Texas Case.
   Read the Brief of Respondent Texas Attorney General Paxton in 22-555.
   Read the Texas statute HB20.
   Read the Oral Argument Transcript--Florida Case.
   Read the Oral Argument Audio.
   Read the Oral Argument Transcript--Texas Case.
   Read the Oral Argument Audio.

Alabama Supreme Court Allows Wrongful Death Suits for Destruction of Embryos Raising Questions for Clinicians and Others
February 21, 2024. The Alabama Supreme Court has issued an opinion in which it concludes that, under the Alabama's Wrongful Death of a Minor Act, "Unborn children are 'children' under the Act, without exception based on developmental stage, physical location, or any other ancillary characteristics." LePage v. Center for Reproductive Medicine, at 11. According to the Court, that includes embryos. Therefore, clinics and those who work with embryos now face possible legal action if and when they accidentally or intentional destroy an embryo. For more information and the opinion, see the Heath Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Supreme Court Considering Trump Petition for Stay of the Criminal Case in D.C.
February 16, 2024.The Supreme Court has before it a petition (No. 23A745) by former president Donald Trump to issue a stay that would halt the criminal proceedings under an indictment against him in the federal district court in D.C. His attorneys have asked the Court to stay the ruling of the D.C. Circuit panel issued last week denying him immunity from prosecution (see the posting below for February 6) and block further action on starting his criminal trial on a four-count indictment issued by the grand jury at the request of special counsel Jack Smith. They are asking that the Supreme Court stay the lower court ruling to allow more time for them to file a petition in the Supreme Court for certiorari to consider the D.C. Circuit ruling against Trump's claims of immunity from prosecution as a former president. Alternatively, they ask the Court to stay the case until they have can seek an en banc review by the full D.C. Circuit. The special counsel has filed in opposition, arguing that the Court already rejected his earlier request for an expedited ruling on the immunity question in the Supreme Court and contending that there is no basis for any appeal at this time of the D.C. Circuit ruling. The district court issued an extensive opinion on that matter in December and the D.C. Circuit also issued a unanimous and lengthy opinion rejecting the immunity claim last week. Smith asked that if the Court does issue a stay that would prevent the case from going to trial now, it would expedite consideration of the case and schedule arguments in March.
   In something unusual for this kind of proceeding, there have been several amicus curiae briefs filed in the Supreme Court. (The full docket sheet for Trump v. United States, No. 23A745, can be accessed through the Court's docket search page at the link below.)
   Read Trump's Application for a Stay to the Supreme Court.
   Read the U.S. Brief in Opposition to the Application for a Stay.
   Access the Supreme Court Docket Search Page to find the Full Docket Sheet with All Key Documents.

Senate Appears Like to Advance Kids Online Protection Act
February 15, 2024.Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) have announced that they now have 62 co-sponsors in the Senate for passage of a new version of S.1409 the Kids Online Safety Act released today, which is more than needed to overcome a possible filibuster. The proposed legislation follows a long process of hearings including testimony by a range of people from social media companies, parents' groups, and others. There is not currently a companion bill in the House.
   Read the Current Version of S. 1409 released today.
   Access Senator Blackburn's webpage on the bill with materials.
   Access Senator Blumenthal's webpage on the bill with materials.

D.C. Circuit Denies Trump Immunity Claim
February 6, 2024. A U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit panel has rejected former President Donald Trump's claim of immunity from prosecution brought by the Special Counsel, beginning its per curiam opinion by writing: "President Trump was charged in a four-count Indictment as a result of his actions challenging the election results and interfering with the sequence set forth in the Constitution for the transfer of power from one President to the next. Former President Trump moved to dismiss the Indictment and the district court denied his motion. Today, we affirm the denial. For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant. But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution." United States v. Trump, at 3.
   The court continued later after analyzing the several arguments put forward by Trump's counsel for immunity: "Former President Trump lacked any lawful discretionary auithority to defy federal criminal law and he is answerable in court for his conduct." Id. at 30. And it concludes its core argument by explaining that: "We cannot accept former President Trump's claim that a President has unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralize the most fundamental check on executive power--the recognition and implementation of election results. Nor can we sanction his apparent contention that the Executive has carte blanche to violate the rights of individual citizens to vote and to have their votes count. At bottom, former President Trump's stance would collapse our system of separated powers by placing the President beyond the reach of all three Branches. Presidential immunity against federal indictment would mean that, as to the President, the Congress could not legislate, the Executive could not prosecute and the Judiciary could not review. We cannot accept that the office of the Presidency places its former occupants above the law for all time thereafter. Careful evaluation of these concerns leads us to conclude that there is no functional justification for immunizing former Presidents from federal prosecution in general or for immunizing former President Trump from the specific charges in the Indictment. In so holding, we act, 'not in derogation of the separation of powers, but to maintain their proper balance.'..." Id. at 40-41.
   Read the Court of Appeals Opinion.
   Read the District Court Opinion.
   Read the Indictment.

Federal Trade Commission Announces Settlements Aimed at Reining in Data Brokers and Others Gathering and Distributing Personal Data
January 18, 2024. The Federal Trade Commission has announced another settlement in its current efforts to constrain data brokers and other firms seeking to gather and share large amounts of private information on consumers and medical care users. Today the FTC announced a settlement with InMarket and on January 9 it announced a settlement in the X-Mode Social and Outlogic case concerning sale of location data charging that the companies "did not fully inform consumers and obtain their consent before collecting and using their location data for advertising and marketing." FTC Press Release
   Access the FTC Press Release on the InMarket Settlement.
   Read the Proposed Order in the InMarket Case.
   Read the Complaint in the InMarket Case.
   Read the FTC Press Release on the Settlement with X-Mode Social and Outlogic on Sales of Location Data.
   Read the Complaint in the X-Mode Social and Outlogic Case.
   Read the Proposed Order in the X-Mode Social and Outlogic Case.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Cases Seeking to Overturn the Chevron Deference Doctrine
January 17, 2024. The U.S. Supreme Court today heard oral arguments in two cases in which the challengers to the government actions are asking the Court to overturn the longstanding Chevron doctrine, providing for deference by courts to the interpretations of statutes by administrative agencies charged with their implementation. Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo (No. 22-451) and Relentless v. Department of Commerce (No. 22-1219) challenge requirements imposed on the operators of fishing vessels under the Magnuson-Stevens Act by the National Marine Fisheries Service to pays fees for on-board inspectors of their vessels, but the real core of both cases is the attempt to get the Supreme Court to reject the deference doctrine from Chevron, U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council that has been controlling law since that case was decided in 1984.
   Access the Docket Sheet for Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo with all briefs and materials.
   Access the Docket Sheet for Relentless v. Department of Commerce with all briefs and materials...
   Read the Transcript of the Oral Argument in Relentless.
   Read the transcript of Oral Argument in Loper Bright.

GAO Issues Major Report on AI in Federal Agencies
December 14, 2023.The Government Accountability Office (GAO) this week issued a major report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) across the federal government, specifically studying 23 agences. As GAO explained: "In this report, GAO reviewed the implementation of AI at major federal agencies. This report examines (1) federal agency reported current and planned uses of AI, (2) the extent to which federal agencies' AI reporting was comprehensive and accurate, and (3) the extent to which federal agencies have complied with selected federal policy and guidance on AI." GAO Watchblog Post. The GAO report offered 35 recommendations. In introducing its post on this one, GAO said that, among other things: "Federal law and guidance have several requirements for agencies implementing AI, but they haven't all been met. For example, there's no government-wide guidance on how agencies should acquire and use AI. Without such guidance, agencies can't consistently manage AI. And until all requirements are met, agencies can't effectively address AI risks and benefits."
   Read the GAO WatchBlog Post on the New Report.
   Read the Full Report.
   Read the "Highlights Pages" of the Report.

Special Counsel Seeks Supreme Court Ruling on Whether Trump is Immune from Prosecution
December 11, 2023.Special Counsel Jack Smith today filed a Petitioner for Certiorari Before Judgment in the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the question: "Whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin." The Supreme Court promptly issued an order stating: "Petitioner's motion to expedite consideration of the petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment is granted, and respondent is directed to file a response to the petition on or before 4 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, December 20, 2023." The case is No. 23-624.
   In asking the Court to take the case, the Special Counsel wrote: "This case presents a fundamental question at the heart of our democracy: whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he had been impeached but not convected before the criminal proceedings begin. The district court rejected respondent's claims, correctly recognizing that former Presidents are not above the law and are accountable for their violations of federal criminal law while in office. . . . It is of imperative public importance that respondent's claims of immunity be resolved by thie Court and that respondent's trial proceed as promptly as possible if his claim of immunity is rejected. Respondent's claims are profoundly mistaken, as the district court held. But only this Court can definitively resolve them. The Court should grant a writ of certiorari before judgment to ensure that it can provide the resolution that this case warrants, just as it did in United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 686-687 (1974)."
   Read Petition for the Writ of Certiorari Before Judgment.
   Read the Court's Order.
   Access the Supreme Court Docket page for the case.

Texas Judge Grants Temporary Restraining Order Allowing Emergency Exception to Texas Abortion Ban for Dallas Woman
December 7, 2023.The Center for Reproductive Rights file suit in Travis County court and obtained an order allowing a Dallas woman with severe pregnancy dangers to obtain an abortion as an exception to Texas' near complete abortion ban.
   Read the Application for the TRO.
   Read the Temporary Restraining Order.

Seventeen Nations Come Together to Create Guidance for Secure AI Development
November 29, 2023. The U.S. Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) and the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have worked with agencies from fifteen other countries to produce a "Guideline for Secure AI Development." The introduction to the guideline explains that this guideline operates from a "secure-by-design" foundation. It goes on to explain that: "AI systems have the potential to bring many benefits to society. However, for the opportunities of AI to be fully realised, it must be developed, deployed and operated in a secure and responsible way. AI systems are subject to novel security vulnerabilities that need to be considered alongside standard cyber security threats. When the pace of development is high--as is the case with AI--security can often be a secondary consideration. Security must be a core requirement, not just in the development phase, but throughout the life cycle of the system. For this reason, the guidelines are broken down into four key areas within the AI system development life cycle: secure design, secure development, secure deployment, and secure operation and maintenance. For each section we suggest considerations and mitigations that will help reduce the overall risk to an organisational AI system development process."
   Access the Guideline for Secure AI Development.
   Read the U.S./U.K. Joint Press Release on the New Guideline.
   Access the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) Website.

DOD Publishes Its "Responsible AI Toolkit"
November 20, 2023. The Department of Defense Chief Digital & Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO) has followed last month's publication of President Biden's Executive Order 14110 entitled "Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence" with the DOD release of its Responsible AI Toolkit. The DOD CDAO blog post on the toolkit explains its origins tracing back to a 2020 publication on Ethical Principles for AI at DOD and then to the 2022 Responsible AI Strategy and Implementation Pathway.
   For more information last month's executive order and related materials, See the post on this page for October 31.
   Access DOD's Reponsible AI Toolkit.
   Read DOD's Chief Digital & Artificial Intelligence Office Blog Post About the Toolkit.
   Read DOD's Responsible AI Strategy and Implementation Pathway from 2022.
   Read the Blog Post of February 2021 on "Progress and Future of Responsible AI in the DoD."
   Read DOD's February 2020 Ethical Principles for AI.
   Read Executive Order 14110.
   Access the Chief Digital & Artificial Intelligence Office Website.

Office of Management and Budget Issues Major New Policy Document on Regulatory Analysis
November 13, 2023. The Biden Administration's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued a new circular on regulatory analysis, explaining what is expected of agencies engaged in rulemaking. Circular A-4 Regulatory Analysis. The new circular, is a major change, indeed the first full re-write since the Bush administration's version in 2003, which this new document supersedes. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs issued a press announcement on November 9 stating that: "While much of Circular A-4--which was originally issued in 2003 and which has not been revised since--has continued to provide helpful guidance for agencies, advances in economics and science have prompted important revisions."
   In its introduction to the new circular, OMB explained its purposes and origins, but also issued at the same time an accompanying document entitled "Circular No. A-4: Explanation and Response to Public Input." The OMB introduction to the new Circular A-4 writes: "This Circular is designed to assist analysts in regulatory agencies by providing guidance on conducting high-quality and evidence-based regulatory analysis--referred to as either 'regulatory analysis' or 'analysis' in this Circular for brevity--and standardizing the way benefits and costs of Federal regulatory actions are measured and reported. Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993 (Regulatory Planning and Review) requires agencies to conduct a regulatory analysis for regulatory actions that are significant as defined by Section 3(f)(1) of that Executive Order, as amended, and more generally to assess the benefits and costs of other significant actions. These requirements apply to regulatory actions that rescind or modify existing regulations, as well as to new regulatory actions, and apply to the extent consistent with applicable law. This Circular is intended to aid agencies in their analysis of the benefits and costs of regulations, when such analysis is required, and when agencies undertake such analysis as a matter of discretion. Analysts may find it useful to consult additional supporting information relevant to the materials in this Circular, contemporaneously published in a separate document by OMB, entitled OMB Circular No. A-4: Explanation and Response to Public Input."
   Read the New Circular A-4 on Regulatory Analysis.
   Read OMB's Companion Document to Circular A-4 "OMB Circular No. A-4: Explanation and Response to Public Input."
   Read the OMB Press Announcement of the New Policy Documents on November 9.

President Biden Issues Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence
October 31, 2023. President Biden has issued an Executive Order entitled "Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence." The Fact Sheet issued with the order explains that the executive order addresses a number of components, including: "New Standards for AI Safety and Security; Protecting Americans' Privacy; Advancing Equity and Civil Rights; Standing Up for Consumers, Patients, and Students; Supporting Workers; Promoting Innovation and Competition; Advancing American Leadership Abroad; Ensuring Responsible and Effective Government Use of AI."
   Read the Executive Order.
   Read the Facts Sheet Issued with the Order.
   Remarks on Issuance of AI Executive Order by President and Vice President.

U.S. Supreme Court Begins Work on Its October 2023 Term
October 2, 2023. The U.S. Supreme Court begins its October 2023 term today. The Court has issued a lengthy order list as it normally does on the first day of its new term. The current granted and noted lists and other information on the docket as well as the briefs and oral arguments are also available and posted below. The Court has continued live streaming audio of oral arguments launched during COVID closure of the Court building.
   Start of October term Order List October 2, 2023.
   October Term 2023 Granted and Noted List as of September 29, 2023.
The "On the Docket" site that was formerly done through the Medill School of Journalism of Northwestern University is now part of OYEZ project.
   Review the Docket through "Oyez Cases."
SCOTUS Blog provides a wide range of information on the Court, its recent rulings, oral arguments, and docket.
   Review the Docket through SCOTUS Blog.
The U.S. Supreme Court's Oral Arguments page is a good one stop site to find transcripts of oral arguments, schedules, and briefs. The Court is also makes available the audio of its arguments.
   U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Transcripts Page.
   U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments Audio.
The U.S. Supreme Court's Opinions page provides recently issued opinions and previous years as well.
   U.S. Supreme Court Opinions Page.
Supreme Court Briefs via the Supreme Court website. To find briefs, it is necessary to go the Supreme Court "Docket Search" and place the docket number in the search window. The docket sheet comes up with links to posted documents on the sheet.
   Supreme Court Briefs via the Supreme Court Docket Search Page.
SCOTUS Blog provides Briefs and Links to Lower Court Opinions for Cases Pending on the Current Docket.
   Review the Case Documents through SCOTUS Blog.
   Access the Docket Search page.
The U.S. Solicitor General posts briefs filed for the United States in the U.S. Supreme Court.
   Solicitor General U.S. Briefs
Oral Argument Audio, Opinions, and other Supreme Court Information via "SCOTUS Blog."
   Access SCOTUS Blog
Supreme Court Homepage
   Access Supreme Court Homepage

Fifth Circuit Allows Mefipristone to Remain Available on the Market But With Limitations Pending Likely Supreme Court Review
August 16, 2023. A panel of the Fifth Circuit today issued is ruling on FDA actions taken over time that have made Mefipristone readily available. The Fifth Circuit began by explaining the status of the drug and its response to the district court. "We conclude that the Medical Organizations and Doctors' claim as to the 2000 Approval is likely barred by the statute of limitations. Accordingly, that component of the district court's order must be VACATED. This means that, until final judgment, Mifeprex will remain available to the public under the conditions for use that existed in 2016. We also VACATE the portion of the order relating to the 2019 Generic Approval because the Medical Organizations and Doctors have not shown that they are injured by that particular action. The generic version of mifepristone will also be available under the same conditions as Mifeprex. We AFFIRM the components of the stay order that concern the 2016 Amendments and the 2021 Non-Enforcement Decision. Those agency actions-which generally loosen the protections and regulations relating to the use of mifepristone-will be stayed during the pendency of this litigation. Finally, we note that our holding is subject to the prior order of the Supreme Court, which stayed the district court's order pending resolution of this appeal and disposition of any petition for writ of certiorari." More information on this ruling and the challenges and key elements in the case are presented in the postings from April 7 to April 20 on the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Supreme Court Issues Stay, Leaving Biden Administration Rules on Ghost Guns in Place
August 8, 2023. In an order today in the case of Garland v. Vanderstok, a 5-4 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of a district court order vacating a rule issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms aimed at ghost guns. The Court's stay will remain in place pending the ruling by the Fifth Circuit and a possible certiorari petition to the Supreme Court. The Court ended its order by noting that: "Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, Justice Gorsuch, and Justice Kavanaugh would deny the application for stay."
   Read the Supreme Court's Stay Order.
   Read the ATF Rule.
   Read the Lower Court Opinions and Orders.

Fifth Circuit Stays Broad District Court Injunction Against Biden Administration Interactions with Social Media Companies
July 14, 2023. A panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a stay of the broad Louisiana federal court injunction against the Biden administration in the social media cases. More more information on the case and the district court ruling, see the post for July 6 below.
   Read the Fifth Circuit Stay.

Challenge Launched in Federal Court to Idaho Abortion Travel Ban
July 13, 2023. Legal Action, joined by Stoel Rives, and the Lawyering Project have brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho on behalf Lourdes Matsumoto, the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, and the Indigenous Idaho Alliance against Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, seeking a declaratory judgment and an injunction that would block a new statute that would make criminal assisting travel by pregnant minors across state lines to receive abortion services if there was "intent to conceal an abortion from the parents or guardian of a pregnant, unemancipated minor." Idaho Code § 18-623. For more information and documents, see the Healthcare, Disability, and Development page of this website.

EPA Proposes New Standards to Address Lead Levels in Schools and Homes
July 12, 2023. The Environmental Protection Agency had issued proposed rules significantly reducing allowable levels of lead dust and other indicators of lead-based paints. In issuing the proposed rules, EPA wrote: "Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to strengthen requirements for the removal of lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 buildings and child care facilities, known as abatement activities, to better protect children and communities from the harmful effects of exposure to dust generated from lead paint, advancing President Biden's whole-of-government approach to protecting families and children from lead exposure. If finalized, this rule is estimated to reduce the lead exposures of approximately 250,000 to 500,000 children under age six per year." For more information and documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

GAO Provides New Report Providing 13 Key Practices for Evidence-Based Policymaking.
July 12, 2023. The U.S. Government Accountability Office today announced a new report entitled "Evidence-Based Policymaking: Practices to Help Manage and Assess the Results of Federal Efforts" that is a metastudy based on the many studies GAO has done on the subject of evidence-based policymaking. The report recommends "13 key practices" to enhance evidence-based decisions and implementation.
   Read the Report.
   Read the GAO Watchblog posting on the Evidence-Based Policy.

Federal District Judge in Louisiana Issues Broad Injunction Against Biden Administration Interactions with Social Media Companies
July 6, 2023. Federal District Judge Terry A. Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana had issued a preliminary injunction in a case that blocks efforts by the Biden administration to work with social media companies to address problems of misinformation or disinformation in a case brought by Missouri. That injunction is based on a 155 page Memorandum Ruling on Request of a Preliminary Injunction finding that the plaintiffs are likely to prevail on their claim of First Amendment violations, stating that assertion in extraordinarily strong terms.
   Read the Injunction.
   Read the Memorandum Ruling on Request for a Preliminary Injunction.

Federal District Judge Criticizes Supreme Court but Applies Latest Second Amendment Case
June 30, 2023. Judge Carlton W. Reeves of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi has issued a ruling dismissing a charge by the federal government that former felon convicted many years ago on grounds citing last year's Supreme Court ruling in the New York gun control case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022). Reeves' opinion provides a devastating critique of the Supreme Court's Bruen opinion, but nevertheless found that he had no choice under the requirements of that ruling except to dismiss the charges.
   Judge Reeves took a similar approach in a 2020 case in which he found it necessary to rule in favor of a police officer in a search and seizure case even though the facts clearly showed a violation of the Fourth Amendment because of the way the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted the doctrine of qualified immunity for public officials. Indeed, at the end of that ruling Reeves called upon the Supreme Court to reject that doctrine altogether.
   Read the Reeves Opinion Dismissing the Charges.
   Read the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bruen.
   Read Judge Reeves October 2022 Ruling Concerning Whether He Should Appoint a Historian to aid his Decision in the case.
   Read Reeves' 2020 Opinion in the Jemison Case Calling for an End to the Qualified Immunity Doctrine.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Biden Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
June 30, 2023. The Court struck down the Biden Administration's Student Loan Forgiveness program, rejecting the claims that the challengers lack standing as well as the administration's assertion that it had authority for the program under the HEROES Act.
   Read the opinions.

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Web Designer Who Refused to Do Work for Same-Sex Couples
June 30, 2023. The Justice Gorsuch wrote for a 6-3 majority in 303 Creative v. Elenis, concluding that mandating the web designer to provide services to same-sex couples violated her First Amendment right to freedom of expression.
   Read the opinions.

Supreme Court Finds Harvard and UNC Diversity Admissions Programs a Violation of Equal Protection Clause
June 29, 2023. In an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, a 6-3 majority of the Supreme Court today found the Harvard and University of North Carolina diversity admissions programs in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson dissented. (Justice Jackson did not take part in the Harvard case, but dissented in the North Carolina case.)
   Read the opinions.

Supreme Court Rejects Claims of Legislative State Legislature Doctrine in Elections Matters
June 27, 2023. The Supreme Court today issued a ruling in the North Carolina elections case Moore v. Harper which rejected claims that there is an "independent state legislature" doctrine that insulates decisions by state legislatures about elections from judicial review even under the state's constitution in the state Supreme Court. "We are asked to decide whether the Elections Clause carves out an exception to this basic principle. We hold that it does not. The Elections Clause does not insulate state legislatures from the ordinary exercise of state judicial review." Slip Op. at 15. The 6-3 opinion was written by Chief Justice Roberts. Justice Thomas filed a dissent joined by Justices Alito and Gorsuch.
   Read the opinions.

Attorney General, Civil Rights Divsion, and City of Minneapolis Announce Results of Policing Investigation and Plans for Reform
June 16, 2023. Attorney General Merrick Garland, joined by other key DOJ leaders and representatives of the U.S. Attorneys Office were joined by the Minneapolis Mayor and Chief of Police for the release of the U.S. Department of Justice Investigation Report on policiing in the city following the murder of George Floyd. For more information and key documents see the Civil Rights page of this website.

Supreme Court Rejects Challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act
June 15, 2023. In a 7-2 majority opinion written by Justice Barrett, the Supreme Court today rejected a variety of challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act. For more information and the opinions, see the Civil Rights page of this website.

European Union Moves Forward on First Major Effort to Regulate AI
June 16, 2023. The European Parliament announced today that it has taken the next step in approving the Artificial Intelligence Act, the first major effort to regulate AI internationally. In its release on the action, the EU indicated that the new policy will provides: "Full ban on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for biometric surveillance, emotion recognition, predictive policing; Generative AI systems like ChatGPT must disclose that content was AI-generated; and AI systems used to influence voters in elections considered to be high-risk."
   Read the European Parliament press release on the new policy.
   Read the text of the new policy.

President Signs Debt Limit Extension Legislation
June 3, 2023. President Biden today signed H.R. 3746 the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 which was a bipartisan compromise to address the debt ceiling. The legislation passed the House on a vote of 314-117 on Wednesday and the Senate by a vote of 63-36 on Thursday. As he signed the bill the president extended his appreciation to "Speaker McCarthy, Leader Jeffries, Leader Schumer, and Leader McConnell for their partnership."
    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued its report scoring the bill on May 30 in which CBO projected that: "budget deficits would be reduced by about $1.5 trillion over the 2023-2033 period relative to its May 2023 baseline projections."
   Read H.R. 3746.
   Read the White House Release Announcing that President has Signed the Legislation.
   Read the Congressional Budget Officer Report Scoring H.R. 3746 issued May 30.

House Votes on Debt Limit Extension
May 31, 2023. The House of Representatives today is debating and will vote on H.R. 3746, the "Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023" which is the compromise reached between President Biden and Speaker of the House McCarthy.
   Read H.R. 3746.

European Regulators Issue Final Ruling on a 1.2 Billion Euro Fine Against Meta
May 22, 2023. The European Union's Data Protection Board announced today the final decisions in the case brought against Meta, resulting in a 1.2 billion fine for violations of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR. The case came from a complaint brought in 2018 before the Data Protection Commission of Ireland (DPC)in the transfer of data to the U.S. The DPC announced that at the core of its ruling was a finding that: "In breach of its obligations in relation to transparency, information in relation to the legal basis relied on by Meta Ireland was not clearly outlined to users, with the result that users had insufficient clarity as to what processing operations were being carried out on their personal data, for what purpose(s).... The DPC considered that a lack of transparency on such fundamental matters contravened Articles 12 and 13(1)(c) of the GDPR. It also considered that it amounted to a breach of Article 5(1)(a), which enshrines the principle that users' personal data must be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner...." The final ruling comes after review by the European Data Protection Board and modification of the original fine and order.
   For more information on the earlier proceedings, see the posting for January 4, 2023 on this webpage.
   Read the European Data Protection Board Announcement on the Decision.
   Read the Final Decisions of the Data Protection Commission of Ireland.

Supreme Court Stay in Mefipristone Cases Keeps Stay of Lower Court Orders in Place Pending Resolution of the Fifth Circuit Ruling and Likely Appeal to the Supreme Court After That
April 20, 2023. The Court today granted the government's and company's stay requests in the mefipristone case. "Application (22A902) granted by the Court. The application for stay presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is granted. The April 7, 2023 order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, case No. 2:22-cv-223, is stayed pending disposition of the appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari, if such a writ is timely sought. Should certiorari be denied, this stay shall terminate automatically. In the event certiorari is granted, the stay shall terminate upon the sending down of the judgment of this Court. Justice Thomas would deny the application for stay. Justice Alito dissents. (Detached Opinion)."

President Biden Issues New Regulatory Review Executive Order and OIRA Adds Additional Implementation Materials
April 18, 2023. President Biden on April 6 signed Executive Order 14094 entitled "Modernizing Regulatory Review" which follows on an earlier presidential memorandum issued when the president took office in January 2021. The same day the new executive order was issued, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget posted an overview of this policy initiative, a memorandum on implementation of the new order; draft guidance on implementing Section 2(e) of the new order; and a proposed new OMB Circular No. A-4 on Regulatory Analysis. OIRA is soliciting public commment on the draft guidance and the proposed circular with links on the OIRA page with postings on the Modernizing Regulatory Review" policy and process until June 6. (The OIRA memorandum on implementing Section 2(e) explains that this section of the executive order "concerns the process for persons not employed by the executive branch to request meetings with Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) officials regarding the substance of regulatory actions under OIRA review.")
   In its posting on this new material, OIRA explains that:"Regulatory analysis is a critical input that helps to ensure that regulatory policies are crafted to improve people's lives. OIRA is working to provide agencies with additional tools to make their analysis even stronger by reflecting new developments in scientific and economic understanding, more robustly accounting for regulatory effects that are difficult or impossible to quantify, and helping agencies take the distributional consequences of regulations into account when selecting among potential regulatory alternatives. OIRA has released proposed revisions to Circular A-4 and will be accepting public comment on those proposed revisions. The preamble to the proposed revisions provides further information as to the nature of the proposed changes and identifies issues for which public comment may be particularly useful. OIRA is also accepting recommendations for potential peer reviewers of the proposed revisions."
   Read Executive Order 14094 Modernizing Regulatory Review.
   Read Presidential Memeorandum on Modernizing Regulatory Review of January 20, 2021.
   Read OIRA Postings on the "Modernizing Regulatory Review" Policy and Process.
   Read Memorandum on Implementation of Modernizing Regulatory Review Executive Order.
   Read Draft Guidance Implementing Section 2(e) of Modernizing Regulatory Review Executive Order.
   Read Proposed Circular A-4 on Regulatory Analysis.

Supreme Court Issues Stay in the Mefipristone Cases
April 14, 2023. Justice Alito today issued a temporary stay in the mefipristone cases until next Wednesday and called for filing of briefs respondents by Tuesday for the Court's consideration of next steps. For more information and the orders, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Government and Danco Laboratories File Petitions for Stay in Supreme Court in the Mefipristone Cases
April 14, 2023. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar has filed a petition for a stay of the lower courts orders from the Texas mefipristone case (see posts for April 13 and April 7 below). Danco Laboratories, also a party in the litigation has also filed a petition for a stay. Both petitions seek challenges the rulings of the Northern District of Texas and the Fifth Circuit. For more information and the documents see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Fifth Circuit Issues Partial Stay in Mefipristone Case
April 13, 2023. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has issued a partial stay of the Texas district court ruling against the FDA in the mefipristone case. For more information and the order see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

District Judge in Texas Rules Against FDA in Abortion Pill Case, but District Judge in Washington Rules the Other Way and Mandates Continued Access on the Same Day
April 7, 2023, 2023. Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk ruled against the FDA approval of what is called the abortion pill today, but Judge Thomas O. Rice of the Eastern District of Washington rules the other way and ruled that the federal government had to maintain availability of the drug. For more information and the opinions see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Fifth Circuit Rejects State Challenges to Biden Administration Policy on "Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases"
April 5, 2023. The Fifth Circuit has dismissed a challenge by a number of states to a Biden administration policy that is part of the administration's initiative to address climate change. Among the first things President Biden did upon taking office was to issue E.O. 13,990 entitled Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science To Tackle the Climate Crisis. Part of that order re-establish an interagency working group to develop guidance on the "social cost of greenhouse gases." Ten state attorneys general challenged the order and its implementation in the Western District of Louisiana on a variety of grounds. A panel of the Fifth Circuit has dismissed the case on grounds that they lacked standing to bring the suit. For more information and relevant documents see the Sustainable Development page of this website.

Federal District Court in Texas Follows Earlier Ruling in the Becerra with a Broad Injunction Against Mandatory Coverage of Some Preventive Services Under the ACA
April 3, 2023. Federal District Judge Reed O'Connor yesterday followed up on his earlier ruling in the Braidwood Management v. Becerra case with a dramatic opinion enjoining significant types of coverage for screening and other matters under the Affordable Care Act. For more information and the opinion, see the Healthcare, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Biden Administration Releases FY 2024 Budget Proposal and Supporting Materials
Updated April 3, 2023 The White House has released the President's Budget of the United States for FY 2024. The Office of Management and Budget released has released some of the documents, including the president's budget document with his budget message. There are also other key materials, including the "Analytic Perspectives" document which provides the economic and policy assumptions behind the budget, and the "Budget Appendix" which is the document that contains the very detailed information on agency budgets and funds. Those items available are posted below and others will be added as they are uploaded. Also, a number of the executive departments have released their budget-in-brief documents which provide more detailed program by program explanations of past, present, and requested funding. Those documents for the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, and Environmental Protection Agency are posted below.
   Download the President's Budget of the United States for FY 2024 document, including the President's Message to Accompany the FY 2024 Budget.
   Download the FY 2024 Budget Facts Sheets.
   Access the FY2024 Budget Appendix -- All detailed information about agencies and funds.
   Access the FY 2024 Budget Analytic Perspectives webpage (economic and budget assumptions).
   Access the FY 2024 Federal Credit Supplement (information on direct loans and loan guarantees by the Federal Government.).
   Access the FY 2024 Supplemental Materials website.
   Access the U.S. Department of Education, Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Summary and Background Information.
   Access the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Fiscal Year 2024 Budget-in-Brief.
   Access the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fiscal Year 2024 Budget-in-Brief. Will be Posted at this Link as Soon as It Is Available.
   Access the Office of Management and Budget Budget Webpage.

New IPCC Report and Calls for Action
March 20, 2023. The Intergovernmental Panel on Claimate Change has issued its finds for the AR6 Synthesis Report with one its dramatic conclusions stating that: "Global GHG emissions in 2030 implied by nationally determined contributions (NDCs) announced by October 2021 make it likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C during the 21st century and make it harder to limit warming below 2°C. There are gaps between projected emissions from implemented policies and those from NDCs and finance flows fall short of the levels needed to meet climate goals across all sectors and regions." IPCC Headline Statements. For more information, documents, and materials supporting the announcement, see the Sustainable Development page of this website.

EPA to Issue Rules to Address PFAS Pollution in Drinking Water
March 15, 2023. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced yesterday a series of actions to address PFAS (Per- and and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) pollution, particularly in drinking water, as part of the implementation of what EPA terms its "PFAS Strategy Roadmap." For more information and key documents, see the Sustainable Development page of this website.

Justice Department Reports on Investigation of Louisville PD and Announces Negotiations on a Consent Decree for Refoms
March 9, 2023. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland yesterday announced that the Department of Justice was releasing the results of its investigation into the Louisville, Kentucky Police Department that was launched in the wake of the killing of Briana Taylor. He also announced an "agreement in principle" with Louisville for reforms in the police department that is expected by the parties upon completion of negotiations to be entered as a consent decree. For more information and documents, see the Civil Rights page of this website.

Justice Department Argues Against Former President Trump's Claim of Immunity from Suits by Police and Legislators from January 6 Attack on the Capitol
March 2, 2023. The Civil Division of the Department of Justice has, at the request of the court, filed an amicus curiae brief in the D.C. Circuit arguing against former President Trump's claim that he has absolute immunity against suit in a case brought by former Capitol police officers and members of Congress who suffered injuries in the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. The DOJ framed the issued succinctly: "In these suits, Members of Congress and Capitol Police officers have brought civil damages claims against former President Trump arising from injuries they sustained during the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The United States respectfully responds to this Court's request for its views regarding the former President's assertion of absolute immunity." Blasingame v. Trump, Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae, at 9. And on that question, the brief argues: "Nevertheless, although courts should be reluctant to conclude that a suit against the President is based on conduct that lies beyond the outer perimeter of his Office, the United States agrees with the district court that a meaningful perimeter exists. Nixon v. Fitzgerald establishes a rule of absolute immunity for the President's official acts. It is not a rule of absolute immunity for the President regardless of the nature of his acts. Here, the district court concluded that plaintiffs' complaints plausibly allege that President Trump's speech at the rally on January 6, 2021, precipitated the ensuing attack on the Capitol--and, in particular, that the complaints plausibly allege that the former President's speech encouraged imminent private violent action and was likely to produce such action. The United States expresses no view on that conclusion, or on the truth of the allegations in plaintiffs' complaints. But in the United States' view, such incitement of imminent private violence would not be within the outer perimeter of the Office of the President of the United States." Id. at 10.
   Read Justice Department Brief.

Supreme Court Hears Argument in Student Loan Policy Cases
March 1, 2023. The Supreme Court yesterday heard oral argument in two cases involving challenges to the Biden Administration policy on student loans, Biden v. Nebraska and Department of Education v. Brown that came a result of lower court rulings against the administration's actions to remove significant amounts of student loan debate in response to the COVID crisis under the what is known as the HEROES Act. That legislation is Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (HEROES Act or Act), P.L. 108-76, 117 Stat. 904-905 (August. 18, 2003). In addition to the questions relating to the HEROES Act, there are important questions of standing in before the Court in this matter. (See the post for December 1, 2022 on this matter.)
   Listen to the Oral Argument in Biden v. Nebraska.
   Read the Transcript of Oral Argument in Biden v. Nebraska.
   Read Listen to the Oral Argument in Department of Education v. Brown.
   Read the Transcript of Oral Argument in Department of Education v. Brown.
   Read the Brief for Petitioner in Biden v. Nebraska.
   Read the Brief for Respondents in Biden v. Nebraska.
   Read Read the Brief for Petitioners in Department of Education v. Brown..
   Read the Brief for Respondents in Department of Education v. Brown.
   Access the Docket Sheet in Biden v. Nebraska.
   Access the Docket Sheet in Department of Education v. Brown.
   Read the Announcement of the Current Version of the Student Loan Forgiveness Program issued in October 2022.
   Read the Memorandum of the Department of Education Explaining Its Interpretation of the HEROES Act.
   Access the HEROES Act.

National Academy of Public Administration Issues New Report on Regulatory Compliance During the COVID-19 Pandemic
January 17, 2023. The National Academy of Public Administration today released a new study carried out by the Academy’s Center for Intergovernmental Partnerships with the support of the PEW Charitable Trusts on State Regulatory Compliance Processes: Lessons from COVID-19. The report addresses adaptation of state and in some cases local regulatory programs to various types of permitting and regulatory compliance issues during the pandemic. For more information and there report, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Federal Trade Commission Proposes New Rules to Block Non-Compete Clauses for Employees
January 11, 2023. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for a new "Non-Compete Clause Rule" designed to address the use non-compete clauses for employees. In announcing the new proposal, the FTC said: "The Federal Trade Commission proposed a new rule that would ban employers from imposing noncompetes on their workers, a widespread and often exploitative practice that suppresses wages, hampers innovation, and blocks entrepreneurs from starting new businesses. By stopping this practice, the agency estimates that the new proposed rule could increase wages by nearly $300 billion per year and expand career opportunities for about 30 million Americans. Companies use noncompetes for workers across industries and job levels, from hairstylists and warehouse workers to doctors and business executives. In many cases, employers use their outsized bargaining power to coerce workers into signing these contracts. Noncompetes harm competition in U.S. labor markets by blocking workers from pursuing better opportunities and by preventing employers from hiring the best available talent."
   Read the FTC Press Announcement.
   Read the FTC Fact Sheet on the Proposed Rule.
   Read the Proposed Non-Compete Clause Rule (as submitted to the Federal Register).
   Access the FTC Webpage on the Non-Compete Clause Rulemaking.
   Access the Regulation.gov Public Comment page for the Proposed FTC rule.

Locating Reports and Materials for January 6 Committee Now that the 117th Congress has Ended
January 9, 2023. The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol ceased its operation when the 117th Congress ended. The House of Representatives has provided the following message about how to access the committee's documents and materials, including the final report. "The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will provide a website archive for these Committee websites in the Spring of 2023. Until those official archives are public, the links below provide access to the official documents of the committees no longer standing and access to known archival copies of the sites maintained by other House offices. View official Committee reports, printed hearing records, and other publications of the Select Committee at GovInfo.gov. [The specific link for that material is provided below.]Congressman Bennie Thompson, the former Chair of the Select Committee, maintains an archival copy of content from the Select Committee's website as part of his Congressional Member office website. [Again the specific link for that material is provided below.]
   As noted in the post for December 23 below, the Committee issued its final report with 17 specific findings focused on the responsibility of former President Trump and a number of his supporters for the attack on the Capitol and attempt to prevent the lawful transfer of authority following the 2020 election and making a range of recommendations, including criminal referrals to the U.S. Department of Justice. The 845 page report includes a lengthy and extensively documented executive summary (some 193 pages) with a 15 page discussion of criminal referrals. (See the posting of December 19 below for more details on the specific criminal statutes involved.) The report also refers members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee for refusal to respond to subpoenas. The committee also posted over the past two days transcripts of witness testimony of dozens of witnesses
   Access the Reports and Materials through the GovInfo.gov Website.
   Access the Archived copy of Committee Content on Congressman Bennie Thompson's Congressional Member office website..
   Read the Final Report of the Committee.
   Browse Select January 6th Committee Final Report and Supporting Materials Collection

European Regulators Find Meta in Violation of the General Data Protection Regulation and Impose Fines
January 4, 2023. The Data Protection Commission of Ireland (DPC) has issued a ruling in a case that began in 2018 against the data firm Meta Ireland for violations of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and imposed fines in the amount of "€210 million (for breaches of the GDPR relating to its Facebook service), and €180 million (for breaches in relation to its Instagram service)." (This is approximately 414 million in U.S. dollars.) The DPC announced that at the core of its ruling was a finding that: "In breach of its obligations in relation to transparency, information in relation to the legal basis relied on by Meta Ireland was not clearly outlined to users, with the result that users had insufficient clarity as to what processing operations were being carried out on their personal data, for what purpose(s).... The DPC considered that a lack of transparency on such fundamental matters contravened Articles 12 and 13(1)(c) of the GDPR. It also considered that it amounted to a breach of Article 5(1)(a), which enshrines the principle that users’ personal data must be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner...." The DPC rejected the part of the complaints that were based on the idea of "forced consent" by users. The European Data Protection Board concurred with much, but not all, of the DPC ruling. The DPC then issued its final ruling on December 31, 2022. The DPC has given the company 3 months to remedy the situation and come into compliance with the GDPR.
   Read the Data Protection Commission of Ireland Release on Ruling.

January 6 Committee Publishes Its Final Report and Dozens of Transcripts of Witness Testimony
December 23, 2022. The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol has issued its final report with 17 specific findings focused on the responsibility of former President Trump and a number of his supporters for the attack on the Capitol and attempt to prevent the lawful transfer of authority following the 2020 election and making a range of recommendations, including criminal referrals to the U.S. Department of Justice. The 845 page report includes a lengthy and extensively documented executive summary (some 193 pages) with a 15 page discussion of criminal referrals. (See the posting of December 19 below for more details on the specific criminal statutes involved.) The report also refers members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee for refusal to respond to subpoenas. The committee also posted over the past two days transcripts of witness testimony of dozens of witnesses
   Read the Final Report of the Committee.
   Access the Postings of the Witness Testimony.
   Access the January 6 Committee Website.

January 6 Committee Holds Final Public Hearing/Business Meeting
December 19, 2022. The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, created by H. Res. 503 in June 2021, held its final public business session yesterday with a unanimous vote to approve the committee's report and its criminal referrals to the U.S. Department of Justice of former President Trump and others for violations of provisions of federal criminal law. Specifically, the committee voted to refer Trump and others for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c) Obstruction of an Official Proceeding; 18 U.S.C. § 371 Conspiracy to Defraud the United States; 18 U.S.C. § 1001 Conspiracy to Make a False Statement; and 18 U.S.C. § 2383 Makes it a cime to Incite, Assist, or giving Aid or Comfort to an Insurrection. The committee made clear during the hearing that others are included, but leaves to the Department of Justice the work of determining who should be charged for these violations. The committee also referred four members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee for failing to honor a valid subpoena to provide evidence and testimony to the committee.
   Watch the Hearing.
   Read the "Introductory Material to the Final Report of the Select Committee" Pubished Pending Release of Committee's Full Final Report.
   Read H. Res. 503 Creating the "Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol."
   Access the January 6 Committee Website.

Elventh Circuit Rejects Constraints on DOJ Control and Investigation of Documents After Mar-a-Lago Search
November 22, 2022. The Eleventh Circuit has issued a particularly strongly worded ruling overturning the district court which authorized a special master to review materials in the DOJ investigation of former President Trump's possession of documents at his Florida estate. "The law is clear. We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so. Either approach would be a radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts'involvement in criminal investigations. And both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations. Accordingly, we agree with the government that the district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction, and that dismissal of the entire proceeding is required. The district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction in this case. For that reason, we VACATE the September 5 order on appeal and REMAND with instructions for the district court to DISMISS the underlying civil action." Trump v. U.S., at 20-21. This removes the special master and clears the way for DOJ to use the documents in its investigation.
   Read the Opinion.

Supreme Court to Consider Biden Administration's Student Loan Forgiveness Program in February
December 1, 2022 (Updated to November 18, 2022 post). The U.S. Supreme Court today issued an order refusing the Justice Department request to vacate a nationwide injunction against the Biden administration' student loand forgiveness program imposed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, but responded to the DOJ's alternative request for the Court to hear the case on an expedited schedule. The Court's order reads: "Consideration of the application to vacate injunction presented to Justice Kavanaugh and by him referred to the Court is deferred pending oral argument. The application to vacate injunction is also treated as a petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment, and the petition is granted on the questions presented in the application. The Clerk is directed to establish a briefing schedule that will allow the case to be argued in the February 2023 argument session." The Eighth Circuit had issued its injunction on November 14 that bans the implementation of the Biden administration's student loan forgiveness program pending appeal. This followed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri dismissing the case brought by Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina for lack of standing.
   This follows a ruling by Judge Mark T. Pittman of the Northern District of Texas against the loan forgiveness policy. (See the post for November 11 on this webpage below.)
   These cases followed the announcement in August of the Biden administration's student loan debt relief program, citing authority for the program under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (HEROES Act). States and others brought challenges to the proposal. Then in October, the administration announced a modified version of the policy and also published a memorandum explaining the use of the HEROES Act as support for the policy.
   Read the Supreme Court's December 1 Order Granting Cert. for Expedited Review.
   Read the DOJ Motion to Vacate the 8th Circuit Stay of the Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
   Read the 8th Circuit Opinion.
   Read the District Court Opinion in the Eastern District of Missouri Dismissing the State Challenge to the Program.
   Read the Northern District of Texas Opinion.
   Read the Announcement of the Current Version of the Student Loan Forgiveness Program issued in October 2022.
   Read the Memorandum of the Department of Education Explaining Its Interpretation of the HEROES Act.

Senate Passes Bill to Protect Same-Sex Marriage
November 30, 2022. The Senate yesterday Passed an amended version of H.R. 8404 The Respect of Marriage Act by a vote of 61-36, clearing the way for a final vote in the House, which, if favorable, would send the bill aimed at protecting same-sex marriage to the president for signature. For more information and documents, see the Civil Rights page of this website.

Supreme Court Rejects Former President's Request for a Stay Following Lower Court Orders to Provide Tax and Other Records to House Ways and Means Committee
November 22, 2022. The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a brief order rejecting former President Trump's request for a stay to block lower court rulings requiring the Treasury to turn over tax filings and related records to the House Committee on Ways and Means. Chief Justice Roberts had issued a stay pending consideration of the matter by the full Court. Today's order said: "The application for stay of the mandate presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is denied. The order heretofore entered by The Chief Justice is vacated." This case goes back to a December 2021 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissing a suit by Trump intended to block disclosure of the records to the committee. The D.C. Circuit affirmed that ruling in August.
   The committee originally requested the records as part of a consideration of the processes by which presidential audits are conducted. The letter to the Treasury calling for the records indicated that: "the Committee was considering 'the extent to which the IRS audits and enforces the Federal tax laws against a President.' 2019 Request at 1.2 Chairman Neal noted that IRS policy--called the Presidential Audit Program (Program)--required a mandatory examination of the President's tax returns. See id. The Chairman then wrote that the Committee needed 'to determine the scope of any such examination' and whether it reviewed all 'underlying business activities required to be reported.'" Committee on Ways and Means v. U.S. Department of the Treasury, D.D.C. at 5.
   Read the Supreme Court's Order of November 22 .
   Read the Stay Order Issued by Chief Justice Robers on November 1.
   Read Trump's Application for a Stay.
   Read the DOJ Response to the Trump Stay Request.
   Read the Ways and Means Committee Response to the Trump Stay Request.
   Read the D.C. Circuit Opinion Affirming the District Court .
   Read the District Court Opinion Dismissing Trump's Suit to Bar Treasury from Providing the Tax Records to the Committee.

Attorney General Garland Appoints Special Counsel to Handle Trump Investigations Related to Documents and Also the January 6 Attack on the Capitol
November 22, 2022. The U.S. Department of Justice yesterday announced that Attorney General Merrick B. Garland had appointed a special counsel: "[T]he appointment of former career Justice Department prosecutor and former chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague, Jack Smith, to serve as Special Counsel to oversee two ongoing criminal investigations. The first is the investigation, as described in court filings in the District of Columbia, into whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote held on or about January 6, 2021. The second is the ongoing investigation involving classified documents and other presidential records, as well as the possible obstruction of that investigation, referenced and described in court filings submitted in a pending matter in the Southern District of Florida." Press Release. Attorney General Garland then made public remarks explaining his reasons for making that appointment at this time.
   Read the Attorney General's Remarks on the Appointment of the Special Counsel.
   Read the DOJ Press Release on the Appointment of the Special Counsel.
   Read the Appointment Order.

GAO Issues Another New Report on Cybersecurity, Focusing on Ransomware and State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Government Organizations
November 16, 2022. In another of its recent round of reports on cybersecurity, the Government Accountability Office today issued its most recent offering, "Ransomware: Federal Coordination and Assistance Challenges." The report starts from the fact that: "State, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government organizations, including schools, have been particularly targeted by ransomware attacks, which can have devastating impacts on vital government operations and services. According to the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center-an independent, nonprofit organization-SLTTs experienced approximately 2,800 ransomware incidents from January 2017 through March 2021." Watchblog Post. It then goes on to identify areas where the federal government can improve coordination and assistance with and among these governments units and specifically to provide: "(1) interagency coordination; (2) awareness, outreach, and communication; and (3) coordination with schools." Id.
   Read the Report.
   Read the GAO Watchblog post on the New Release.
   Read GAO's September Report "Ransomware: Federal Agencies Provide Useful Assistance but Can Improve Collaboration."
   Read the GAO Watchblog Post on the September Report.

GAO Issues New Report on Implementation of Zero Trust Architecture for Cybersecurity
November 15, 2022. The Government Accountability Office today issued a report entitled "Cybersecurity: Secret Service Has Made Progress Toward Zero Trust Architecture, but Work Remains." This report addresses implementation by this particular agency of the Zero Trust Architecture principles for cybersecurity, but it speaks more broadly to this set of materials and the challenges agencies face in meeting their requirements. These principles include "Identity, Device, Network, Applications and Workload, and Data." See the GAO Report Highlights page. The report comes as part of an effort to track implementation of the federal governments Zero Trust Architecture for Cybersecurity policy that grew out of the implementation of Executive Order 14028 "Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity" issued in May 2021. Since then CISA and OMB have been working to provide policy materials that led to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA) publication of its initial work in that year and to OMB's Memorandum M-22-09 issued in January 22 entitled "Moving the U.S. Government Toward Zero Trust Cybersecurity Principles."
   Today's report indicates that some agencies, including the Secret Service launched their own efforts before the OMB policy document was issued, which now requires those agencies to step back and integrate the current policy before they will be able to move forward to complete implementation efforts on their Zero Trust Architecture.
   Read the New GAO Report.
   Read the GAO Watchblog Post on the New Report.
   Read the OMB Memorandum M-22-09 Moving the U.S. Government Toward Zero Trust Cybersecurity Principles.
   Read the May 2021 Executive Order 14028 Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity.
   Read the OMB Release on OMB's Zero Trust Architecture Policy.
   Access CISA's Zero Trust Maturity Model Website.
   Access the Federal Government's Zero Trust Hub Website.

Federal District Judge In Texas Strikes Biden Administration Student Loan Forgiveness Program
November 11, 2022. Judge Mark T. Pittman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas yesterday issued an opinion in Brown v. U.S. Department of Education that "declares unlawful and vacates [the student loan forgiveness] program." Order at 26. Relying on the major questions doctrine holding in the Supreme Court's West Virginia v. EPA opinion, Judge Pittman found that; "having interpreted the HEROES Act, the Court holds that it does not provide 'clear congressional authorization' for the Program proposed by the Secretary." Id. at 25.
   Read the Order.

Update: Stay Issued Last Week by Justice Thomas of Grand Jury Subpoena to Senator Graham Vacated by the Full Supreme Court
November 2, 2022. The Supreme Court yesterday vacated the stay imposed by Justice Thomas last week on an emergency appeal brought by Senator Graham seeking to block a subpoena requiring him to give testimony before a Fulton County, Georgia grand jury investigating alleged attempts at interference in the 2020 presidential election. "The application for stay and an injunction pending appeal presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied. The order heretofore entered by Justice Thomas is vacated." It went on to note in part that: "The lower courts also made clear that Senator Graham may return to the District Court should disputes arise regarding the application of the Speech or Debate Clause immunity to specific questions." Senator Graham had claimed that the subpoena was barred by the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution, but the Eleventh Circuit rejected his arguments last week.
   Read the Order Vacating the Stay.
   Read the Stay Order Issued by Justice Thomas.
   Read Graham's Emergency Application for Stay.
   Read the Eleventh Circuit Ruling Rejecting Graham's Request.

January 6 Committee Issues Subpoena to Mr. Trump Demanding Documents and Testimony
October 24, 2022. The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol voted has issued a subpoena calling on Donald Trump to provide a list of documents and communications records related to its investigation of the attack on the Capitol and to testify in a deposition and before the committee next month.
   Read the Committee's Letter to Mr. Trump, the Subpoena, and the Schedule of Documents Demanded.
   Read the January 6 Committee Release Explaining the Subpoena and Related Actions.

Eleventh Circuit Overturns District Court Order and Allows Justice Department to Move Forward with Investigation Into Former President's Actions Regarding Classified Documents
September 22, 2022. The Eleventh Circuit has granted a Department of Justice request for a stay of a district court order preventing it from making use of classified documents taken from former President Donald Trump's Florida estate pursuant to a search warrant. The Eleventh Circuit opinion cautions that "We decide only the narrow question presented: whether the United States has established that it is entitled to a stay of the district court's order, to the extent that it (1) requires the government to submit for the special master's review the documents with classification markings and (2) enjoins the United States from using that subset of documents in a criminal investigation. We conclude it had." Trump v. United States, at 2. The court found that the United States showed "a substantial likelihood of success on the merits" in its assertion that the district court "likely erred in exercising jurisdiction to enjoin the United State's use of the classified records in its criminal investigation and to require the United States to submit the marked classified documents to a special master." Id. at 16. The court rejected the claim that "the former president would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings" and also found that "the record contains no evidence that any of these records were declassified." Id. at 18-19. The court also found that the United States would suffer irreparable injury in the absence of a stay in part because of the nature of the classified materials and the fact that "its national-security review is inextricably intertwined with it criminal investigation." Id. at 25. The opinion concludes: "[W]e GRANT the stay pending appeal. The district court order is STAYED to the extent that it enjoins the government's use of the classified documents and requires the government to submit the classified documents to the special master for review. Id. at 29.
   Read the Eleventh Circuit Opinion.
   Read the Challenged District Court Order.
   Read the DOJ Motion for Partial Stay Pending Appeal.

Idaho Federal District Judge Blocks State Anti-Abortion Statute in Case Brought by DOJ
August 25, 2022. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill of the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho yesterday issued a memorandum decision and order blocking portions of Idaho's anti-abortion statute. This case was brought in that court by the U.S. Department of Justice. For more information an key documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Biden Administration Announces Student Debt Loan Forgiveness Progam
August 25, 2022. President Biden has announced that his administration will move forward with the much-discussed student loan forgiveness program. In announcing the plan, he also released a Fact Sheet providing more detail, beyond the basic statement that most students would have $10,000 forgiven, but those who qualified for Pell grants would have $20,000 forgiven.
   Read the Read the President's announcement of the Program.
   Read the Fact Sheet on the Program Released by the White House.

Federal District Court Issues Injunction Against HHS EMTALA Guidance on Abortion Services
August 24, 2022. Judge James Wesley Hendrix of the Federal District for the Northern District of Texas has issued a preliminary injunction against HHS guidance issued by Secretary Becerra in July concerning Abortion Services and the requirements of EMTALA. For more information and documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Digital Marketing and Analytics Company Brings a Preemptive Suit Against the FTC Over Alleged Consumer Tracking Practices Dealing with Sensitive Healthcare and Other Services
August 18, 2022. An Idaho based firm, Kochava (chartered in Delaware) has filed suit against the Federal Trade Commission in Federal District Court in Idaho charging that the FTC has misinterpreted its authority under the statute and block efforts by the commission to take enforcement action against the firm on grounds of unfair and deceptive trade practices. In the complaint the company seeks to have the court: "i. That the FTC's structure violates Article II by providing improper insulation from the president, and Kochava's due process rights would be violated through any administrative proceeding. ii. Section 13(b) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 53(b) only authorizes the FTC to seek injunctive relief if and when the target is 'is violating, or is about to violate, any provision of law enforced by the Federal Trade Commission' and does not authorize the FTC to seek injunctive relief for past conduct that has ceased absent evidence that it is likely to recur. iii. Kochava's practice of data collection, specifically of latitude and longitude, IP address and MAID information associated with a consumer's device is not an 'unfair… act or practice' within the meaning of Section 5 of 15 U.S.C. § 45(a). Kochava v. Federal Trade Commission, Complaint at 11-12.
   The FTC has signaled its concern about location tracking and distribution of consumer information related to healthcare and other sensitive matters recently. This also follows on the executive order 14076 "Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services" issued by President Biden in July, requesting the FTC "to consider actions, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law (including the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.), to protect consumers' privacy when seeking information about and provision of reproductive healthcare services." Sec. 4. For more information and relevant documents, see the Healthcare, Disability, and Development page of this website.

President Signs the Chips and Science Act of 2022
August 10, 2022. Yesterday President Biden signed into law H.R. 4346, commonly referred to as the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which provides major subsidies and tax incentives for manufacturing and research and development on computer chips in the U.S. The research portion of the legislation is broader and also includes STEM education and a variety of other science and technology research and education related matters.
   Read the Enrolled Bill.
   Read the President's Remarks on Signing the Bill

Department of Justice Announces Federal Criminal Charges in Breonna Taylor Killing
August 4, 2022. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, head of the Civil Rights Division of DOJ, today announced criminal charges against four former and curent Louisville police officers, alleging that officers knowingly provided false information to obtain a search warrant that was later used to conduct a search of Ms. Breonna Taylor's home, which, in turn, led to her shooting death by officers who conducted the raid. In addition to falsifying the affidavit seeking a warrant, the charges allege that two of the officers conspired to provide false information to investigators. For more information and documents, see the Civil Rights page of this website.

Justice Department Sues Idaho Challenging the State's Abortion Ban Under EMTALA
August 1, 2022. Just over two weeks after the Biden administration warned states about the protections for Women in need of abortion services under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), the Justice Department has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Idaho against the state of Idaho seeking to block implementation of the state's near total ban on abortion services. (On the previous action by the administration, see the posting for July 15 on this webpage.) In its press release announcing the suit, the DOJ wrote: "The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment that § 18-622 conflicts with, and is preempted by, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) in situations where an abortion is necessary stabilizing treatment for an emergency medical condition." For more information and key documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Biden Administration Seeks to Ensure Access to Abortion in Life-threatening Emergencies, but Is Already Facing Legal Challenge from a State Attorney General
July 15, 2022. President Biden issued Executive Order 14076 entitled "Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services" last Friday in the wake of the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision, seeking to take a number of steps to provide federal protections for reproductive rights. (See the posting for July 8 below on this webpage.) On Monday, the Secretary of Health and Human Services issued a letter to healthcare providers and what HHS termed "Guidance to Clarify that Emergency Medical Care Includes Abortion Services" under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), 42 U.S.C. 1395dd. On Thursday, Texas Attorney General Kenneth Paxton filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas challenging the HHS actions under the Biden order, claiming that it was ultra vires (beyond the power) of the agency. exceeds statutory authority as reviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act section 706, violated the rulemaking requirements of section 553 of the APA, is arbitrary and capricious again under the APA, is an unconstitutional use of the spending power, is done under an unconstitutional delegation of power, and is a violation of the Tenth Amendment. The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to find the HHS actions unlawful and bar any efforts at enforcement of the policy. For more information and relevant documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

President Biden Issues Executive Order on Reproductive Health Services Including Abortion
July 8, 2022. In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling in the Dobbs case and actions taken in some states since then to ban or punish abortion related medical services, President Biden today issued an executive order entitled "Executive Order on Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services." In doing so, he wrote: "In the face of this health crisis, the Federal Government is taking action to protect healthcare service delivery and promote access to critical reproductive healthcare services, including abortion. It remains the policy of my Administration to support women’s right to choose and to protect and defend reproductive rights. Doing so is essential to justice, equality, and our health, safety, and progress as a Nation." The White House also issued a "Fact Sheet" on the order at the same time as it released the directive itself. For the order and fact sheet as well as additional information, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Supreme Court Ends Term with West Virginia v. EPA Clean Air Act case and a Ruling on Biden Administration's End to the Trump Era "Remain in Mexico" Policy
June 30, 2022. The Supreme Court today ends its October 2021 term with the announcement of opinions in two cases, West Virginia v. EPA and Biden v. Texas. Chief Justice wrote for the majority in the EPA case. He began by stating the case as follows: "In 2015, however, EPA issued a new rule concluding that the 'best system of emission reduction' for existing coal-fired power plants included a requirementthat such facilities reduce their own production of electricity, or subsidize increased generation by natural gas, wind,or solar sources. The question before us is whether this broader conceptionof EPA's authority is within the power granted to it by the Clean Air Act." West Virginia v. EPA, Slip op. at 1. He concluded that it was not within the agency's power. In so doing, the majority made no mention of the traditional Chevron deference doctrine and instead clearly enshrined what has become known as the "major questions doctrine" as the controlling approach to review of significant administrative agency authority. Justice Gorsuch filed a concurring opinion joined by Justice Alito.
    Justice Kagan wrote for the three dissenters, Justices Breyer and Sotomayor, beginning her opinion by stating: "Today, the Court strips the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the power Congress gave it to respond to 'the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.' Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U. S. 497, 505 (2007)." She continued, "Congress charged EPA with addressing those potentially catastrophic harms, including through regulation of fossil-fuel-fired power plants. Section 111 of the Clean Air Act directs EPA to regulate stationary sources of any substancethat 'causes, or contributes significantly to, air pollution' and that 'may reasonably be anticipated to endanger publichealth or welfare.' 42 U. S. C. § 7411(b)(1)(A). Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases fit that description. She was referring to the Court's major ruling during the George W. Bush administration on the obligations of the EPA under the Clean Air Act. She continued: "This Court has obstructed EPA's effort from the beginning. Right after the Obama administration issued the Clean Power Plan, the Court stayed its implementation. That action was unprecedented: Never before had the Court stayed a regulation then under review in the lower courts." She stressed that the majority today was reaching out to decide an unnecessary case, since the Biden administration does not have a policy in place on this subject. "Yet this Court determined to pronounce on the legality of the old rule anyway.... The Court today issues what is really an advisory opinion on the properscope of the new rule EPA is considering. That new rule will be subject anyway to immediate, pre-enforcement judicial review. But this Court could not wait-even to see what the new rule says-to constrain EPA's efforts to address climate change. The limits the majority now puts on EPA's authority flying the face of the statute Congress wrote." Slip op. at 4.
   For more information and documents on the EPA case, see the post for February 28, 2022 on the Sustainable Development page of this website.
   For more information on the Biden v. Texas case, see the Refugees and Immigrants page of this Website.
   Read the West Virginia v. EPA opinion.
   Read the Opinion in Biden v. Texas.

Supreme Court End of Term Announcements
June 30, 2022. The Supreme Court formally ends its October 2021 Term with the traditional end-of-term statement by the Chief Justice and Order List. With the retirement of Justice Breyer and the Arrival of Justice Brown Jackson, the Court also issued an order assignming the members of the Court their Circuit Justice roles. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will only be sworn in later today and is not included in this order.
   Read Chief Justice Roberts' End of Term Statement.
   Read the Order Reassigning the Members of the Court as Circuit Justices.
   Read the Court's June 30 Order List.

Justice Stephen Breyer Retires and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to Take Oath as Next Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Tomorrow
June 29, 2022. Justice Stephen Breyer has submitted his letter to President Biden formally announcing his retirement effective at noon tomorrow. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, now serving of the United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, will take her two oaths at that time. The Supreme Court has announced that: "The Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in as the 104th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Thursday, June 30, at noon at the Supreme Court of the United States. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., will administer the Constitutional Oath and Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer will administer the Judicial Oath in a ceremony in the West Conference Room before a small gathering of Judge Jackson's family." The Court added that: "The ceremony will be streamed live on the homepage of the Court's website, www.supremecourt.gov."
   A justice takes two oaths. The Constitutional Oath is as follows: "I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God." The revised Judicial Oath, found at 28 U. S. C. § 453, is as follows: "I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _________ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God."
   For information on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's background and confirmation materials in the Senate Judiciary Committee, see the post for March 19 on this webpage.
   Read Justice Breyer's Retirement Letter.
   Watch the Live Streamed Event for the New Associate Justice Brown Jackson.
   Access the Court' Webpage on the Oaths.

Louisiana Judge Among the First to Issue Injunction Against State "Trigger" Statutes Intended to Ban Abortion as Roe v. Wade Was Struck Down in U.S. Supreme Court
June 27, 2022. Louisiana Judge Robin M. Giarusso of the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans has signed a temporary injunction blocking the enforcement of Louisiana's "Trigger" laws designed to ban abortion immediately upon a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. The case, June Medical Services v. Landry, was brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights representing June Medical Services and a number of individuals asserting, inter alia, that the Louisiana statutes and efforts by the Louisiana Attorney General to implement them are void for void for vagueness.
   Read the Order.
   Read the Center for Reproductive Rights Petition for a Temporary Injunction in Louisiana Court.
   Read the Center for Reproductive Rights Press Release Discussing the Case.

The Supreme Court Today Overruled both the Roe and Casey Precedents
June 24, 2022. In an opinion by Justice Alito in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the Supreme Court today said: "We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely--the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be "deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition" and "implicit in the concept of orderedliberty." Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U. S. 702, 721 (1997) (internal quotation marks omitted). The right to abortion does not fall within this category." Slip op. at 5.
   Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett joined Justice Alito's majority opinion. Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh filed concurring opinions. Chief Justice Roberts issued an opinion concurring in the judgment.
   For more on this case and other abortion cases of the term, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.
    In a highly unusual action, Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan issued a joint dissenting opinion, each taking individual as well as collective authorship responsibility.
   Read the Opinion.

Federal District Judge Issues Another Rejection of Privilege Claims in Case Brought by Trump Attorney to Block January 6th Investigating Committee Efforts to Obtain Evidence
June 10, 2022. U.S. Federal District Judge David O. Carter, who is presiding in the case brought by attorney John C. Eastman to block disclosure of documents to the January 6th Investigating Committee, has again denied a significant number of the claims of privilege by Eastman (159 of them) in part on grounds of the crime-fraud exception as well as releasing others on attorney work product and attorney/client privilege grounds, and ordered disclosure of additional documents. This follows on a March order compelling disclosure of some documents and review of others. (See the posting for April 4 on this webpage.)
    In that March order, Judge Carter wrote, inter alia: "Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021." Eastman v. Thompson, Case No. 8:22-cv-00099-DOC-DFM, Central District of California, "Order re Privilege of Documents Dated January 4-7, 2021," March 28, 2022, at 36. He went on to find that: "Based on the evidence, the Court finds that it is more likely than not that President Trump and Dr. Eastman dishonestly conspired to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021." Id. at 40. "The draft memo pushed a strategy that knowingly violated the Electoral Count Act, and Dr. Eastman's later memos closely track its analysis and proposal. The memo is both intimately related to and clearly advanced the plan to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021. Because the memo likely furthered the crimes of obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States, it is subject to the crime-fraud exception and the Court ORDERS it to be disclosed." Id. at 41-42. Carter concluded that order: "Dr. Eastman and President Trump launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history. Their campaign was not confined to the ivory tower--it was a coup in search of a legal theory. The plan spurred violent attacks on the seat of our nation's government, led to the deaths of several law enforcement officers, and deepened public distrust in our political process.... If Dr. Eastman and President Trump's plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution." Id. at 44.
   Read the June 7 Order.
   Read the March 28 Order.

Settlement Reached in Illinois Case Against Facial Recognition Company
May 30, 2022. The parties have reached a settlement filed in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago in one of the major legal actions pending against Clearview AI, which has described itself on its website as "The World's Largest Facial Network" and indicates that it has a "database of 10+ billion facial images sourced from public-only web sources, including news media, mugshot websites, public social media, and other open sources." The suit, ACLU v. Clearview, AI, Inc., Case No.: 2020 CH 04353, Circuit Court of Illinois, Cook County, Chancery Division, was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and a number of other groups against the company in 2020 based on the Illinois Biometric Information Policy Act. As the ACLU summarized it in its press release on the settlement: "Clearview is permanently banned, nationwide, from making its faceprint database available to most businesses and other private entities. The company will also cease selling access to its database to any entity in Illinois, including state and local police, for five years."
   This is not the only case pending against the firm, however, As the posting on this webpage for February 17 explains, there is a multidistrict litigation case pending before U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman in the Northern District of Illinois. It charges the company with violation of "the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act ... as well as statutory and common law claims under Virginia, California, and New York law." In re Clearview AI, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litgiation ) Case No. 21-cv-0135, Memorandum Opinion and Order, February 14, 2022, at 1. More specifically, as Judge Johnson Coleman explained, "[P]laintiffs allege that the Clearview defendants' conduct violated their privacy rights and that defendants' use of their biometric information was without their knowledge and consent. Plaintiffs specifically allege that the Clearview defendants covertly scraped over three billion photographs of facial images from the internet and then used artificial intelligence algorithms to scan the face geometry of each individual depicted to harvest the individuals' unique biometric identifiers and corresponding biometric information." Id. This case has also been pending since 2020. For more information and ocuments, see the posting for February 17, 2022 on this webpage.
   Read the Consent Order of Permanent and Time-Limited Injunctions Against Defendant Clearview AI, Inc.
   Read the Signed Settlement Agreement the Case.
   Access the ACLU Webpage on the Case.
   Read the ACLU Press Release on the Settlement.
   Read the Complaint in the ACLU case Against Clearview.
   Read Judge Johnson Coleman's Memorandum Opinion and Order Issued on February 14, 2022.
   Read Illinois' Biometric Information Policy Act.

Department of Interior Releases Investigation Report on Native American Boarding Schools
May 16, 2022. The U.S. Department of Interior yesterday issued Volume I of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report and announced in the press release at the time that it is "part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive effort to address the troubled legacy of federal Indian boarding school policies. This report lays the groundwork for the continued work of the Interior Department to address the intergenerational trauma created by historical federal Indian boarding school policies." For more information and documents, see the Civil Rights page of this website.

Chief Justice Roberts Responds to Publication of Draft Opinion in Abortion Case
May 4, 2022. Chief Justice Roberts has issued a press release following publication by Politico of a draft majority opinion in the Mississippi abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, circulated by Justice Alito in February that would, if it became a final ruling, overturn both the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling and the 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, leaving decisons about abortion availability to the states. After acknowledging the authenticity of the draft, Chief Justice said in his Tuesday press release that: "To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way. We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce – permanent employees and law clerks alike – intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court. This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here. I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak." Since the draft has already been widely disseminated on the internet and because of its central role in the Chief Justice's action, that document is provided below along with the Roberts press release.
   Read Chief Justice Roberts' Press Release.
   Read the Alito Draft Opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.
   Access the Supreme Court Docket Page With All Key Documents for the Mississippi case, No. 19-1392 Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

Biden Administration Announces Reversal of Trump Era Policies Under the National Environmental Policy Act
April 19, 2022.The Biden administration's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in the Executive Office of the President announced today that it will publish a final rule in the Federal Register tomorrow that restores requirements under the National Environmental policy Act (NEPA) for full environmental impact assessments that include consideration of climate change impacts when regulators are making decisons on permitting of new projects or any other situations involving environmental assessments. This rule reverses actions taken by the Trump administration. For more information and key documents, see the Sustainable Development page of this website.

Federal District Judge in Florida Rules Against Mask Requirement in Transportation
April 18, 2022. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the Middgle District of Florida in Tampa has issued a ruling in a case challenging the federal requirement that persons wear masks in transportation facilities and on transportation conveyances, finding that the "the Mask Mandate exceeds the CDC's statutory authority and violated the procedures for rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act. Accordingly, the Court vacates the mandate and remands it to the CDC." Health Freedom Defense Fund v. Biden, Case No. 8:21-cv-1693-KKM-AEP, April 18 2022, Order, at 2.
   Read Order.

Biden Administration Releases New Information on Climate Change Implications for Budget and Finance in FY 2023 and Beyond
April 11, 2022. The White House has added information on the budget and finance implications of Climate Change for the FY 2023 budget and beyond, including two White Papers entitled "Climate Risk Exposure: An Assessment of the Federal Government's Financial Risks to Climate Change" and "Climate-Related Macroeconomic Risks and Opportunities." These are new additions beyond the materials provided with the President's Budget Proposal.
   The administration has also uploaded the remaining key documents related to the release of the president's Budget of the United States for FY 2023, including the "Analytic Perspectives" document which provides the economic and policy assumptions behind the budget, and the "Budget Appendix" which is the document that contains the very detailed information on agency budgets and funds. Those items available are provided in the March 28 post on this webpage.
   Download the "Climate Risk Exposure: An Assessment of the Federal Government's Financial Risks to Climate Change" report to Accompany the FY 2023 Budget.
   Download the "Climate-Related Macroeconomic Risks and Opportunities." report to Accompany the FY 2023 Budget.

Already 2022 is an Important Year for EU Internet and Data Policymaking
April 5, 2022. The EU has added this year to its leadership in policymaking for regulation on the Internet and Data privacy and management, adding to its pathbreaking General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) issued in 2016 which has become the international standard for policy in this policy domain, with the Digital Markets Act, adopted last week, and the Data Act, adopted in late February. In its press announcing agreement on the DMA, the EU wrote: "The DMA will apply to gatekeepers, companies which create bottlenecks between businesses and consumers, and sometimes even control entire ecosystems, made up of different platform services such as online marketplaces, operating systems, cloud services or online search engines. These gatekeepers will be subject to a number of clearly defined obligations and prohibitions. These are established by reference to the most unfair market practices, or practices that create or strengthen barriers for other companies, with the overall aim of ensuring the contestability of gatekeepers' digital services. At the same time, the DMA will create an effective enforcement mechanism ensuring rapid compliance with precise obligations."
    Recalling the other actions that it has taken, the EU release added, "The DMA is part of the ambitious reform of the digital space together with the Digital Services Act, aiming at ensuring a safe and accountable online environment. Taken together, this package will establish a comprehensive set of new rules for all digital services, including social media, online market places, and other online platforms that operate in the European Union. This is a key component of the European digital strategy to make Europe fit for the digital age."
   Read the DMA as originally proposed (final version pending).
   Read the Information Bulletin on the DMA.
   Read the EU Press Release on the Digital Markets Act.
   Read the Data Act in English.
   Read the EU Description of the Data Act.
   Read the EU Press Release on the Data Act.
   Read the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016.
   Access the European Commission's Website.

Federal District Judge Rejects Privilege Claims in Case Brought by Attorney to Block January 6th Investigating Committee Efforts to Obtain Evidence of Possible Criminal Conduct by Former President Trump
April 4, 2022. U.S. Federal District Judge David O. Carter, who is presiding in the case brought by attorney John C. Eastman to bloc disclosure of documents to the January 6th Investigating Committee, has denied the claims of privilege in part on grounds of the crime-fraud exception as well as releasing others on different grounds. In so doing, Carter's Order finds: "Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021." Eastman v. Thompson, Case No. 8:22-cv-00099-DOC-DFM, Central District of California, "Order re Privilege of Documents Dated January 4-7, 2021," March 28, 2022, at 36. He went on to find that: "Based on the evidence, the Court finds that it is more likely than not that President Trump and Dr. Eastman dishonestly conspired to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021." Id. at 40. "The draft memo pushed a strategy that knowingly violated the Electoral Count Act, and Dr. Eastman's later memos closely track its analysis and proposal. The memo is both intimately related to and clearly advanced the plan to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021. Because the memo likely furthered the crimes of obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States, it is subject to the crime-fraud exception and the Court ORDERS it to be disclosed." Id. at 41-42.
   In his disposition of the privilege claims, Judge Carter concluded: "Dr. Eastman and President Trump launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history. Their campaign was not confined to the ivory tower--it was a coup in search of a legal theory. The plan spurred violent attacks on the seat of our nation's government, led to the deaths of several law enforcement officers, and deepened public distrust in our political process. More than a year after the attack on our Capitol, the public is still searching for accountability. This case cannot provide it. The Court is tasked only with deciding a dispute over a handful of emails. This is not a criminal prosecution; this is not even a civil liability suit. At most, this case is a warning about the dangers of "legal theories" gone wrong, the powerful abusing public platforms, and desperation to win at all costs. If Dr. Eastman and President Trump's plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution. If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself. With this limited mandate, the Court finds the following ten documents privileged: 4553; 4793; 4794; 4828; 5097; 5101; 5113; 5412; 5424; 5719.289 The Court ORDERS Dr. Eastman to disclose the other one hundred and one documents to the House Select Committee." Id. at 44.
   For more information on this suit and the brief filed by the committee, see the posting for March 4 on this webpage.
   Read the Order.

Biden Administration Releases FY 2023 Budget Materials
March 28, 2022. The White House has released the president's Budget of the United States for FY 2023 today. The Office of Management and Budget released has released some of the documents, including the president's budget document with his budget message. It is uploading other key materials, including the "Analytic Perspectives" document which provides the economic and policy assumptions behind the budget, and the "Budget Appendix" which is the document that contains the very detailed information on agency budgets and funds. Those items available are posted below and the others will be added as they are uploaded. Also, a number of the executive departments have released their budget-in-brief documents which provide more detailed program by program explanations of past, present, and requested funding. Those documents for the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency are posted below.
   Download the President's Budget of the United States for FY 2023 document, including the President's Message to Accompany the FY 2023 Budget.
   Download the FY 2023 Budget Facts Sheet.
   Access the FY2023 Budget Appendix -- All detailed information about agencies and funds.
   Access the FY 2023 Budget Analytic Perspectives webpage (economic and budget assumptions).
   Access the FY 2022 Federal Credit Supplement (information on direct loans and loan guarantees by the Federal Government.)
   Access the FY 2023 Supplemental Materials website, including Federal Credit Supplement and other items.
   Access the U.S. Department of Education, Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Summary and Background Information.
   Access the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Fiscal Year 2023 Budget-in-Brief.
   Access the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fiscal Year 2022 Budget-in-Brief.
   Access the Office of Management and Budget Budget Webpage.

GAO Releases Futures Trends, Strategic Plan, and Key Efforts Reports
March 25, 2022. The Government Accountability Office has issued the Strategic Plan which it publishes every four years tied closely to its Future Trends Report that looks broadly at future trends, in this case 12 of these, affecting not only government, but the society as a whole with both global and national emphases. These documents are relatively brief with intensive use of graphics. The third piece of this reporting is a Key Efforts Report that emerges from the other materials.
   The Future Trends report is divided into 12 trends with a brief 2-page summary of each trend. This work is done within GAO which has a Center for Strategic Foresight that can draw on the full breadth of the expertise within GAO. The trends in this report include: "(1) National Security: Global and Domestic Threats; (2) Fiscal Sustainability and Debt; (3) Preparing for Catastrophic Biological Incidents; (4) Racial and Ethnic Disparities; (5) Science, Technology, and the Innovation Economy; (6) Security Implications for an Increasingly Digital World; (7) Changes to How and Where We Work; (8) Future of Global Supply Chains; (9) Online Learning and Technology in Education; (10) Evolving Health Technologies; (11) Sustainable Development; and (12) Evolving Space Environment."
   Read the "GAO 2022-2027 Strategic Plan: Goals and Objectives for Serving Congress and the Nation."
   Read GAO's "Trends Affecting Government and Society" Report
   Read the Blog Post on the "Trends" report.
   Read the GAO 2022-2027 Key Efforts Report.
   Read the Blog Post on the Key Efforts Report.
   Acces GAO's Center for Strategic Foresight Webpage.

Senate Judiciary Committee Prepares for Confirmation Hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's Nomination to U.S. Supreme Court This Week
March 19, 2022. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold confirmation hearings this week to consider the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, currently of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court to replace Justice Stephen Breyer. Judge Brown Jackson was confirmed by the Senate for her current position on the D.C. Circuit by a vote 53-44 on June 14, 2021. She was previously confirmed as a U.S. District Court judge on March 23, 2013. The Judiciary Committee has created a webpage that provides a basic biography and other announcements related to the nomination.
   Judge Brown Jackson has now filed the Supreme Court Judicial Questionnaire required of all nominees. She has also filed a lengthy set of Attachments to the Questionnaire, some 2,086 pages of material.
   The American Bar Association has filed its assessment of Judge Brown Jackson as "Well Qualified." (The ABA rates nominees as "Well Qualified," "Qualified," or "Not Qualified.")
   Also, a variety of others have filed statements in response to the nomination with the Judiciary Committee. As of today, there are 34 letters of support. In addition to those of former clerks, law professors, and various advocacy groups, there are also a number of letters from law enforcement groups and leaders, victims rights groups, and others from state attorneys general, former DOJ officials, and conservative groups. To date, no letters opposed to the nomination appear in the record.
   Information on her June 2021 confirmation for her current position on the D.C. Circuit is provided in the February 28 posting on this webpage.
   Read the Nominee Questionnaire for the Supreme Court Appointment.
   Read the Questionnaire Attachments. (This is a large file of 202 MB.)
   Read the ABA Rating Letter.
   Read the Letter from former Department of Justice Officials in Support.
   Read the Letter from 23 Attorneys General in Support.
   Read the Letter from 91 former Attorneys General in Support.
   View the First Day of the Hearings March 21, at 11:00 am Eastern.
   View the Second Day of the Hearings March 22, at 9:00 am Eastern.
   View the Third Day of the Hearings March 23, at 9:00 am Eastern.
   View the Fourth Day of the Hearings March 23, at 9:00 am Eastern.
   Access the Senate Judiciary Committee Library Webpage where Additional Information and Materials are Being Filed.
   Access the Senate Judiciary Committee Webpage on the Brown Jackson Nomination and Related Materials.
   Watch President Biden's Announcement of his Appointment of Judge Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court via CBS News.

International Court of Justice Rules Against Russia's Invasion of Ukraine
March 16, 2022. The International Court of Justice in the Hague, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, today delivered its "Order on the Request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Ukraine in the case concerning Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation)." The Court issued a preliminary ruling ordering Russia to "(1) immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine [and] (2) ... ensure that any military or irregular armed units which may be directed or supported by it, as well as any organizations and persons which may be subject to its control or direction, take no steps in furtherance of the military operations referred to in point (1) above." Order of 16 March 2022. This last provision relates to the actions in Donetsk and Lugansk and explains that "the Russian Federation must also ensure that any military or irregular armed units which may be directed or supported by it, as well as any organizations and persons which may be subject to its control or direction, take no steps in furtherance of these military operations." Summary of the Order of 16 March, at 7.The Court called upon all parties to "refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve." Order of 16 March 2022. Since it is the Russian Federation that is pursuing the invasion, the gravamen of that order falls on Russia.
   Read the Court's Press Release.
   Read the Court's Order.
   Read the Court's Summary of Its Order.
   Access the International Court of Justice Website.

President Biden Signs Consolidated Appropriations Bill to Complete the Fiscal Year
March 16, 2022. President Biden has signed the Consolidated Appropriation Act 2022, H.R. 2471 which funds the federal government through this fiscal year. The 1068 page bill incorporates a number of additional provisions, as is common in condolidated appropriations legislation.
   One of the measures included the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. For more information on that important action, see the Civil Rights page of this website.
   Other legislation in the appropriations act includes, Credit Union Governance Modernization Act, Adjustable Interest Rate (LIBOR) act, Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act, Intelligence Authorization for Fiscal Year 2022, Cuber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act, Israel Relations Normalization Act, and the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership.
   Download the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2022.
   Read the Remarks by President Biden on Signing the Bill.

President Biden Issues Executive Order Banning Imports of Russian Oil, Gas, and Coal
March 8, 2022. President Biden today issued a new executive order entitled "Executive Order on Prohibiting Certain Imports and New Investments With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Efforts to Undermine the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine." Key provisions of the order include: "Section 1.(a) The following are prohibited:(i)the importation into the United States of the following products of Russian Federation origin: crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products;(ii) new investment in the energy sector in the Russian Federation by a United States person, wherever located; and(iii) any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a United States person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited by this section if performed by a United States person or within the United States." At the same time as the announcement of the new order, the White House issued a "Fact Sheet: United States Bans Imports of Russian Oil, Liquefied Natural Gas, and Coal."
   Read the Executive Order.
   Read the Fact Sheet issued by the administration along with the Executive Order.

Lawyers for January 6th Investigating Committee Describe to Federal Court Possible Criminal Conduct by Former President Trump
March 4, 2022. Attorneys for the congressional January 6th Investing Committee, responding to a suit by John C. Eastman seeking to withhold records from the committee on grounds of attorney/client privilege since he asserted he represented then President Donald Trump have, argued in a federal district court in California that there were several reasons for rejecting Eastman's claim to privilege. The committee's attorneys argued in part that: "The Court Should Review the Documents In Camera Under the Crime Fraud Exception Communications in which a 'client consults an attorney for advice that will serve him in the commission of a fraud or crime' are not privileged from disclosure...." Eastman v. Thompson, Case No. 8:22-cv-00099-DOC-DFM, Central District of California, "Congressional Defendants' Brief in Opposition to Plaintiff's Privilege Assertions," March 2, 2022, at 39. The committee's attorneys went on to state that this exception applied since "evidence and information available to the Committee establishes a good-faith belief that Mr. Trump and others may have engaged in criminal and/or fraudulent acts, and that Plaintiff's legal assistance was used in furtherance of those activities." Id. at They went on to indicate likely violations of federal law on "Obstruction of an Official Proceeding. The evidence detailed above provides, at minimum, a good-faith basis for concluding that President Trump has violated section 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2)..." Id. at 39-40. They also raised "Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. The Select Committee also has a good-faith basis for concluding that the President and members of his Campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371...." Id. 43-44. Finally, they also wrote: "C. Common Law Fraud There is also evidence to support a good-faith, reasonable belief that in camera review of the materials may reveal that the President and members of his Campaign engaged in common law fraud in connection with their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results." Id. at 49.
   The January 6th Investigating Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D.MS) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R.WY) issued a statement on the filing of this brief, stating in part: "The Select Committee is not conducting a criminal investigation. But, as the judge noted at a previous hearing, Dr. Eastman's privilege claims raise the question whether the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege applies in this situation. We believe evidence in our possession justifies review of these documents under this exception in camera. The facts we've gathered strongly suggest that Dr. Eastman's emails may show that he helped Donald Trump advance a corrupt scheme to obstruct the counting of electoral college ballots and a conspiracy to impede the transfer of power."
   The brief itself is nearly 60 pages in length, but attached to it are nearly 175 pages of exhibits containing transcripts and emails to support the arguments by the committee.
   Read the Brief for the Committee Seeking Denial of Attorney/Client Privilege Claims by .
   Read the Statement of Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D.MS) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R.WY) concerning this filing.
   Access the January 6th Committee's Website.

United Nations General Assembly Votes to Condemn Russia's Invasion of Ukraine
March 2, 2022. The United Nations General Assembly in its Emergency Special Session today adopted Resolution A/ES-11/L.1, "Aggression Against Ukraine" by a vote of 141 to 5 with 35 counties abstaining. After its preamble reciting the circumstances, the resolution states that the General Assembly: "1. Reaffirms its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters; 2. Deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine in violation of Article 2(4) of the Charter; 3. Demands that the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine and to refrain from any further unlawful threat or use of force against any Member State; 4. Also demands that the Russian Federation immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders; 5. Deplores the 21 February 2022 decision by the Russian Federation related to the status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter; 6. Demands that the Russian Federation immediately and unconditionally reverse the decision related to the status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine; 7. Calls upon the Russian Federation to abide by the principles set forth in the Charter and the Declaration on Friendly Relations; 8. Calls upon the parties to abide by the Minsk agreements and to work constructively in relevant international frameworks, including in the Normandy format and Trilateral Contact Group, towards their full implementation; 9. Demands all parties to allow safe and unfettered passage to destinations outside of Ukraine and to facilitate the rapid, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for those in need in Ukraine, to protect civilians, including humanitarian personnel and persons in vulnerable situations, including women, older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, migrants and children, and to respect human rights; 10. Deplores the involvement of Belarus in this unlawful use of force against Ukraine, and calls upon it to abide by its international obligations; 11. Condemns all violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, and calls upon all parties to respect strictly the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law, including the Genev a Conventions of 19492 and Additional Protocol I thereto of 1977,3 as applicable, and to respect international human rights law, and in this regard further demands that all parties ensure respect for and the protection of all medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities; 12. Demands that all parties fully comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law to spare the civilian population, and civilian objects, refraining from attacking, destroying, removing or rendering useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and respecting and protecting humanitarian personnel and consignments used for humanitarian relief operations; 13. Requests the Emergency Relief Coordinator to provide, 30 days after the adoption of the present resolution, a report on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and on the humanitarian response; 14. Urges the immediate peaceful resolution of the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine through political dialogue, negotiations, mediation and other peaceful means; 15. Welcomes and urges the continued efforts by the Secretary-General, Member States, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other international and regional organizations to support the deescalation of the current situation, as well as the efforts of the United Nations, including of the United Nations Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine, and humanitarian organizations to respond to the humanitarian and refugee crisis that the aggression by the Russian Federation has created..."
   Read UN Resolution A/ES-11/L.1, "Aggression Against Ukraine," March 3, 2022.
   Watch the Vote and Announcement on the Resolution.
   Watch the General Assembly Emergency Special Session of the United Nations 28 February 2022 with Speeches by the GA President, Secretary General, and Urkaine Ambassador among others.

Supreme Court Today Heard a Major Case on Climate Change and With Broad Consequences for Administrative Law and Regulation in Particular
February 28, 2022. The Supreme Court is this morning heard oral arguments in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 20-1530 challenging the EPA Green House Gas regulatory authority. For more information, including documents and the streaming audio, see the Sustainable Development page of this website.

Senate Judiciary Committee Prepares for Confirmation Hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's Nomination to U.S. Supreme Court
February 28, 2022. The Senate Judiciary Committee will soon schedule confirmation hearings to consider the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, currently of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court to replace Justice Stephen Breyer. Judge Brown Jackson was confirmed by the Senate by a vote 53-44 on June 14, 2021. She was previously confirmed as a U.S. District Court judge on March 23, 2013.
   There will be a response to the committee's nominee questionnaire and other key documents submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee for the Supreme Court appointment. Those items not yet available, but she was only confirmed by the Senate a year ago for her Court of Appeals appointment and there are materials available from that process.
   Additional materials will be posted to this webpage on the appointment once they become available as will information on the scheduling of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the appointment.
   Read the Nominee Questionnaire for the D.C. Circuit.
   Read the Candidate Responses to Committee Questions.
   Read the Letter of Support from Former Supreme Court Law Clerks.
   Read the Letter of Support from Law Professors.
   Read the Letter of Support from Former DOJ Officials.
   Watch the Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearing for the D.C. Circuit Appointment.
   Access the Senate Judiciary Judicial Nominations webpage where additional information and filings will appear.
   Watch President Biden's Announcement of his Appointment of Judge Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court via CBS News.
   See Judge Brown Jackson's biography from the D.C. Circuit Website.

U.S. District Court Allows Suit Against Former President About the January 6 Insurrection to Move Forward
February 18, 2022.In a 112 page opinion and order U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta rejected motions to dismiss by former president Donald Trump civil suits brought by a variety of plaintiffs, alleging violations of federal statutes based on allegations of responsibility in connection with the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. For more information and documents, see the Civil Rights page of this website.

Multidistrict Litigation Moves Forward in Northern District of Illinois in Case Against Facial Recognition Company
February 17, 2022. U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman in the Northern District of Illinois has denied the motion by Clearview AI and some of it its executives to dismiss a large multi-district class action lawsuit charging the defendants with violation of "the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act ... as well as statutory and common law claims under Virginia, California, and New York law." In re Clearview AI, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litgiation ) Case No. 21-cv-0135, Memorandum Opinion and Order, February 14, 2022, at 1. More specifically, she explained, "[P]laintiffs allege that the Clearview defendants' conduct violated their privacy rights and that defendants' use of their biometric information was without their knowledge and consent. Plaintiffs specifically allege that the Clearview defendants covertly scraped over three billion photographs of facial images from the internet and then used artificial intelligence algorithms to scan the face geometry of each individual depicted to harvest the individuals' unique biometric identifiers and corresponding biometric information." Id. Although she dismissed some charges from the complaint, she allowed most to move forward.
   The company describes itself on its website as "The World's Largest Facial Network" and indicates that it has a "database of 10+ billion facial images sourced from public-only web sources, including news media, mugshot websites, public social media, and other open sources." It advertises its services as assisting law enforcement agencies.
   The case has been ongoing since 2020, but received renewed attention this week because of the ruling, but also because of media reports suggesting that the company is planning to expand dramatically its database and marketing efforts.
   This case is in the Northern District of Illinois because the Judicial Panel on MultiDistrict Litigation consolidated a number of cases brought in the four states and transferred the matter to that court in 2020.
   Read Memorandum Opinion and Order Issued on February 14, 2022.
   Read Illinois' Biometric Information Policy Act.
   Access the Northern District of Illinois Webpage on the MDL 2967 Clearview AI litigation.
   Read the U.S. Judicial Panel on MultiDistrict Litigation Transfer Order Sending these Cases to the Northern District of Illinois.
   Read the article by Drew Harwell, "Facial Recognition Firm Clearview AI Tells Investors It's Seeking Massive Expansion Beyond Law Enforcement," Washington Post, February 16, 2022
   View the Clearview AI Website.

European Union Court of Justice Rejects Challenges Brought by Poland and Hungary to EU Regulations Allowing Funding Cuts for Violations of EU Obligations
February 16, 2022.The Court of Justice of the European Union issued opinions yesterday rejecting challenges brought by Poland and Hungary to regulations adopted by the European Parliament and Council providing for constraints on funding to member countries if they violate provisions of EU law such as the rule of law and other key elements of "common values on which the European Union is founded." Press Release at 2. As the Court explained in its press release on the cases: "Measures for the protection of the Union budget: the Court of Justice, sitting as a full Court, dismisses the actions brought by Hungary and Poland against the conditionality mechanism which makes the receipt of financing from the Union budget subject to the respect by the Member States for the principles of the rule of law. That mechanism was adopted on an appropriate legal basis, is compatible with the procedure laid down in Article 7 TEU and respects in particular the limits of the powers conferred on the European Union and the principle of legal certainty. On 16 December 2020, the Parliament and the Council adopted a regulation 1 which establishes a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget in the case of breaches of the principles of the rule of law in a Member State. In order to attain that objective, the regulation allows the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, to adopt protective measures such as the suspension of payments to be made from the Union budget or the suspension of the approval of one or more programmes to be paid from that budget. Hungary and Poland each brought an action before the Court of Justice for the annulment of that regulation." Id. at 1.
   The Court made clear that: "compliance by the Member States with the common values on which the European Union is founded--which have been identified and are shared by the Member States and which define the very identity of the European Union as a legal order common to those States--such as the rule of law and solidarity, justifies the mutual trust between those States. Since that compliance is a condition for the enjoyment of all the rights deriving from the application of the Treaties to a Member State, the European Union must be able to defend those values, within the limits of its powers." Id. at 2.
   Read the opinion in Poland v Parliament and Council.
   Read the Hungary v Parliament and Council.
   Access the Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2092--General regime of conditionality for the protection of the European Union budget.
   Read the Court of Justice of the European Union Press Release No 28/22,16 February 2022.

Supreme Court Justices Challenge Process and Substance in Alabama Voting Rights Act
February 11, 2022. On Monday a divided 5-4 Supreme Court issued a stay of a preliminary injunction issued by a three-judge federal district court against an Alabama redistricting plan on charges of minority voting dilution in violation of Title 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. For more information and documents, see the Civil Rights page of this website.

Ninth Circuit Rejects Preemption Challenge to California's Net Neutrality Requirement
February 1, 2022.A panel of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed a refusal by a federal district court to issue an injunction to block California's SB-822, legislation written to have the state enforce net neutrality within the state after the FCC removed the requirements and declared states preempted from acting. The panel agreed with the district court's conclusion that once the FCC moved from its common carrier authority over the subject matter to treating the matter as simply an information services. "[B]y classifying broadband internet services as information services, the FCC no longer has the authority to regulate in the same manner that it had when these services were classified as telecommunications services." ACA Connects v. Bonta, Slip op. at 9. Both the district court and court of appeals relied heavily on the D.C. Circuit's opinion in Mozilla Corp. v. F.C.C., 940 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2019).
   Read the 9th Circuit Opinion.
   Read California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018 (SB-822).

State and D.C. Attorneys General Sue Google Alleging Consumer Privacy and Other Protection Issues
January 24, 2022.The D.C. Attorney General as well as AGs from Texas, Washington, and Indiana are filing suit today charging Google with various consumer protection violations related to tracking and gathering of information on users. The suits are being brought in state courts under state law as compared to a combined suit in a federal court. The Attorney Generals' press releases describe the suits in each of the four jurisdictions.
   The AGs explain in their press releases that an Associated Press story by Ryan Nakashima in August 2018 was instrumental in bringing about the investigations and ultimately these suits.
   Read the D.C. Attorney General's Press Release Describing the Case.
   Read the Complaint in the D.C. Case.
   Read the Texas Attorney General's Press Release Describing the Case.
   Read the Complaint in the Texas case.
   Read the Washington Attorney General's Press Release Describing the Case.
   Read the Washington State Complaint.
   Read the Indiana Attorney General's Press Release Describing the Case.
   Read the Complaint in the Indiana Case.
   Read the 2018 Associate Press Story by Ryan Nakashima that Led AGs to Investigate.

Virginia School Districts Challenge Governor's Executive Order Allowing Parents to Opt Out of Masking for School Children
January 24, 2022. Seven Virginia school districts announced a lawsuit today brought to challenge Governor Youngkin's Executive Order 2, issued on January 15 and set to take effect today that, inter alia, allows parents to decide whether to have their children attend school masked or not. For more information and relevant documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Supreme Court Rejects Trump Effort to Stay Lower Court Ruling in January 6 Committee Records Case
January 21, 2021. The Supreme Court has issued an order denying the request by attorneys for Mr. Trump to stay a D.C. Circuit Ruling rejecting his claims of executive privilege in response to a subpoena for records by the January 6 Committee. The Court refused to address Mr. Tump's arguments about the ability of a former president to claim privilege in the fact a refusal by a sitting president to support a claim of privilege. The Court said that there was no need to do so because the lower court had concluded that none of the arguments by Mr. Trump would prevail in any event. For more information and documents see the posting for December 23 on this webpage. Attorneys for Mr. Trump have filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court, seeking a review of the D.C. Circuit ruling against his claims of executive privilege intended to block disclosure of records to the Congressional January 6 Investing Committee. His attorneys have also filed a request for a stay in the case pending consideration by the Supreme Court. For more information on the case and the lower court actions, see the December 10 post on this webpage below.
   Read the Supreme Court's Order Denying the Stay of the Lower Court Mandate and Injunction.

Supreme Court's Action on COVID 19 Policies Presents Important Administrative Law Questions
January 19, 2022. The Supreme Court in a per curiam opinion on a request of a stay of OSHA's rule about COVID policy mandates for employers of firms with over 100 employees made clear the majority's view of the OSHA rule as beyond its statutory authority. "Applicants now seek emergency relief from this Court, arguing that OSHA's mandate exceeds its statutory authority and is otherwise unlawful. Agreeing that applicants are likely to prevail, we grant their applications and stay the rule." National Federation of Independent Business v. Department of Labor, Slip op. at 2. At the same time, the Court issued a stay at the request of the president and the Secretary of Health and Human Services of lower court rulings that had blocked a rule that required Medicare and Medicaid providers to meet COVID policy requirements on employee vaccinations.
   The per curiam opinion for the majority in the OSHA case, coupled with the concurring opinion written by Justice Gorsuch and joined by Justices Thomas and Alito, suggest a strong movement by the Court in the direction of constraining the rulemaking authority of federal agencies using the so-called "major questions doctrine" developed in some opinions over time that requires clear language by Congress to support administrative action, though that doctrine was not specifically mentioned in the per curiam opinion. There is also serious question in light of the per curiam and concurring opinions about the status of the longstanding Chevron requirement for deference by courts to the interpretations of statutes by agencies charged with their administration unless Congress has spoken clearly and directly to the situation in question. This approach to determining administrative authority and jurisdiction under statute is also another way that some members of the Court have sought to reinterpret and reimpose the nondelegation doctrine concerning asserterd constitutional limitations on the validity of statutory delegations of rulemaking authority by the legislature to administrative agencies. In addition, the concurring opinion argues that the OSHA action usurps state policy powers under the Tenth Amendment. (Since a per curiam opinion does not indicate the author or others who joined, the other justices apart from those on the concurring opinion were persumably Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett, but again there was no specific reference to these three.)
   Justice Breyer wrote a dissent joined by Justices Sotomayor and Kagan in the OSHA case. He wrote, in part, "In our view, the Court's order seriously misapplies the applicable legal standards. And in so doing, it stymies the Federal Government's ability to counter the unparalleled threat that COVID-19 poses toour Nation's workers. Acting outside of its competence andwithout legal basis, the Court displaces the judgments ofthe Government officials given the responsibility to respondto workplace health emergencies. We respectfully dissent." Dissent, Slip Op. at 2. Speaking of the Court and the limits to its competence and legitimacy, the dissent concludes: "Its Members are elected by, and accountable to, no one. And we 'lack[] the background, competence, and expertise to assess' workplace health and safety issues. South Bay United Pentecostal Church, 590 U.S., at ___ (opinion of ROBERTS, C. J.) (slip op., at 2). When we are wise, we know enough to defer on matters like this one. When we are wise, we know not to displace the judgments of experts, acting within the sphere Congress marked out and under Presidential control, to deal with emergency conditions. Today, we are not wise. In the face of a still-raging pandemic, this Court tells theagency charged with protecting worker safety that it may not do so in all the workplaces needed. As disease and death continue to mount, this Court tells the agency that it cannot respond in the most effective way possible. Without legal basis, the Court usurps a decision that rightfully belongs to others. It undercuts the capacity of the responsible federal officials, acting well within the scope of their authority, to protect American workers from grave danger." Id. at 13-14.
   In the HHS case, however, the Court found: "We accordingly conclude that the Secretary did not exceed his statutory authority in requiring that, in order to remain eligible for Medicare and Medicaid dollars, the facilities covered by the interim rule must ensure that their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. We also disagree with respondents' remaining contentions in support of the injunctions entered below. First, the interim rule is not arbitrary and capricious."... Other statutory objections to the rule fare no better.... Consistent with the existence of the good cause exception, which was properly invoked here, consultation during the deferred notice-and-comment period is permissible. We similarly concur with the Secretary that he need not prepare a regulatory impact analysis discussing a rule's effect on small rural hospitals when he acts through an interimfinal rule; that requirement applies only where the Secretary proceeds on the basis of a 'notice of proposed rulemaking,' §1302(b)(1), followed by a 'final version of [the] rule,' §1302(b)(2). Lastly, the rule does not run afoul of the directive in §1395 that federal officials may not 'exercise any supervision or control over the ... manner in which medical services are provided, or over the selection [or] tenure ... of any officer or employee of' any facility. That reading of section 1395 would mean that nearly every condition of participation the Secretary has long insisted upon is unlawful." Biden v. Missouri, Slip op. at 8-9.
   Justice Thomas wrote a dissent in the HHS case joined by Justices Alito, Gorsuch, and Coney Barrett, citing the kinds of "major questions doctrine" and other arguments that Justice Gorsuch presented in the concurring opinion in the OSHA case discussed above.
   Read the National Federation of Independent Business v. Department of Labor opinion.
   Read the Biden v. Missouri opinion.

Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument in Challenges to Biden Administration COVID Policies
December 24, 2021. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two sets of cases brought on emergency requests for stays of lower court rulings, involving challenges to Biden Administration COVID-19 policies on January 7. For more information and documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Trump Seeks Review of Court of Appeals Executive Privilege Ruing on Subpoena by the Congressional January 6 Committee
December 23, 2021. Arttorneys for Mr. Trump have filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court, seeking a review of the D.C. Circuit ruling against his claims of executive privilege intended to block disclosure of records to the Congressional January 6 Investing Committee. His attorneys have also filed a request for a stay in the case pending consideration by the Supreme Court. For more information on the case and the lower court actions, see the December 10 post on this webpage below.
   Read the Petition for Certiorari.
   Read the Application for A Stay Pending Supreme Court Action.
   Read the D.C. Circuit Opinion.
   Read the District Court's Memorandum Opinion in Trump v. Thompson.

EPA Accounces New Greenhouse Gas Standards for Passenger Vehicles and Light Trucks
December 21, 2021. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan yesterday signed the final rule for greenhouse gas standards for passenger vehicles and light trucks. In announcing the new rules, EPA declared that: "The final standards, for Model Years (MY) 2023 through 2026, leverage advances in clean car technology to unlock $190 billion in net benefits to Americans, including reducing climate pollution, improving public health, and saving drivers money at the pump...." Press Release. For more information and key documents, see the Sustainable Development page of this website.

D.C. Circuit Rules Against DOJ Efforts to Refuse Disclosure of Trump Muslim Ban Records
December 11, 2021. In an opinion by Judge David Tatel, a three judge panel of the D.C. Circuit has reversed a lower court ruling that allowed the U.S. Department of Justice to refuse disclosure of documents related to the Muslim travel ban in the early days of the Trump administration. The court concluded that: "Because DOJ has failed to satisfy its burden to demonstrate that the attachments are deliberative, we reverse the district court's grant of summary judgment. Because the district court chose to rely on the government's declarations ... we remand with instructions to review the attachments in camera and determine, consistent with the principles set forth herein, whether they qualify as deliberative. Should the district court conclude that the attachments are deliberative, it must then determine, consistent with the principles set forth in Reporters Committee, whether DOJ also satisfied its burden under the FOIA Improvement Act. 3 F.4th at 369-72." Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice, at 11. The court's last reference is to its ruling that "drafts are not automatically exempt under the deliberative process privilege." Freedom of the Press v. FBI, 3 F.4th 350, 367 (D.C. Cir. 2021). Id. at 8. Rather, the court said, the document must not only be predecisional, but also deliberative.
   Read the opinion.

Supreme Court Rules on Procedural Issues in Texas Abortion Case
December 10, 2021. The Supreme Court today issued rulings in the two cases pending before the Court to address procedural issues in challenges to Texas' S.B. 8 anti-abortion legislation, allowing a limited set of defandants to be sued in district court but rejecting other key officials and dismissing the U.S. Government's request for the Court to overturn lower court bars to its suit against the state. For more information and documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Court of Appeals Rejects Trump Claims of Privilege on Documents Subpoenaed by the Congressional January 6 Committee
December 10, 2021. In an opinion by Judge Patricia Millett, a three judge panel of the D.C. Circuit has affirmed a district court decision rejecting a request for an injunction to block efforts by the congressional January 6 investigating committee to obtain documents concerning actions by former President Trump's and his staff leading up to the insurrection at the Capitol. As the opinion explained: "This preliminary injunction appeal involves only a subset of those requested documents over which former President Trump has claimed executive privilege, but for which President Biden has expressly determined that asserting a claim of executive privilege to withhold the documents from the January 6th Committee is not warranted." Trump v. Thompson, Slip Op. at 4.
   As the opinion explains, "The central question in this case is whether, despite the exceptional and imperative circumstances underlying the Committee's request and President Biden's decision, a federal court can, at the former President's behest, override President Biden's decision not to invoke privilege and prevent his release to Congress of documents in his possession that he deems to be needed for a critical legislative inquiry." Id. at 5. In response to that question, the court found that" "[T]he former President has failed to establish a likelihood of success given (1) President Biden's carefully reasoned and cabined determination that a claim of executive privilege is not in the interests of the United States; (2) Congress's uniquely vital interest in studying the January 6th attack on itself to formulate remedial legislation and to safeguard its constitutional and legislative operations; (3) the demonstrated relevance of the documents at issue to the congressional inquiry; (4) the absence of any identified alternative source for the information; and (5) Mr. Trump's failure even to allege, let alone demonstrate, any particularized harm that would arise from disclosure, any distinct and superseding interest in confidentiality attached to these particular documents, lack of relevance, or any other reasoned justification for withholding the documents. Former President Trump likewise has failed to establish irreparable harm, and the balance of interests and equities weigh decisively in favor of disclosure." Id. at 5-6.
   In the end, and even as it acknowledged the importance of presidential executive privilege, the panel wrote: "Benjamin Franklin said, at the founding, that we have '[a] Republic'--'if [we] can keep it.' The events of January 6th exposed the fragility of those democratic institutions and traditions that we had perhaps come to take for granted. In response, the President of the United States and Congress have each made the judgment that access to this subset of presidential communication records is necessary to address a matter of great constitutional moment for the Republic. Former President Trump has given this court no legal reason to cast aside President Biden's assessment of the Executive Branch interests at stake, or to create a separation of powers conflict that the Political Branches have avoided." Id. at 68.
   For more information and relevant documents, see the posting below for October 19 and November 10 on this webpage.
   Read the D.C. Circuit Opinion.
   Read the District Court's Memorandum Opinion in Trump v. Thompson.

Jury in Bellwether Case on Opioid Sales and Marketing Returns Verdict Against Pharmacy Chains
November 24, 2021. A jury has returned a verdict against three large drug store chains in a bellwether case heard in federal district court in Cleveland, Ohio. A separate hearing will follow in the spring concerning what the amount of the judgment against the three will be. This case was selected to be a bellwether case from among the many cases brought together in the Northern District of Ohio. For more information and materials related to the case, see the Health Care, Disabilities, and Development page of this website.

House Passes H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Bill, Which Now Goes to the Senate
November 19, 2021. The House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 220-213, H.R. 5376, known as the Build Back Better Act, which is the third of the Biden administration's major pieces of economic stimulus and development legislation. The first was the American Rescue Plan Act, which was enacted in March as P.L. 117-2. The second was H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which is now P.L. 117-58, was signed by the president earlier this week. (See the posting of November 16 on this webpage.)
   The Build Back Better bill now goes to the Senate. Since it is a budget reconciliation measure it requires a majority vote on the Senate side. Of course, any changes in the Senate would require another vote in the House.
   Read H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act.
   See the Congressional Budget Office "Summary of Cost Estimate for H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act."
   Read The American Rescue Plan Act.
   Read the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

White House Issues the Current Version of the President's Management Agenda
November 18, 2021. The current version of the President's Management Agenda which this administration titled the "Biden-Harris Management Agenda Vision: a roadmap for our Government to deliver results for all Americans." In his introduction to the agenda, President Biden writes that the agenda focuses on "three critical areas for bold transformation: (1) strengthening and empowering the Federal workforce, (2) delivering excellent Federal services and improved customer experience, and (3) managing the business of Government to build back better." Agenda at 3. In its efforts to realize these goals, the administration states that: "To deliver for all Americans, we will involve the Federal workforce across levels, positions, and roles, as well as their unions. We will work with Congress and the oversight community, including Offices of Inspectors General and the U.S. Government Accountability Office, as appropriate, and collaborate across sectors and levels of government." Id. at 9. They note that the effort rests upon four basic values that include: "Equity, Dignity, Accountability, and Results." Id. at 14.
   Read the Agenda as a .pdf.
   Access the Agenda and Other Materials via GSA's Performance.gov website.

White House Issues Fact Sheet on Deployment of ARPA Funds to Address Home Heating Challenges
November 18, 2021. The Biden White House today issued a fact sheet entitled: "Biden Administration Deploys American Rescue Plan Funds to Protect Americans from Rising Home Heating Costs; Calls on Utility Companies to Prevent Shut Offs This Winter." It lays out a number of applications of American Rescue Plan Act funds to address the increasing heating costs and averting shutoffs of utilities. In the process, the fact sheet notes the involvement of a number of major utilities in the conversation of these options and new suggestions. The document focuses particularly on how the federal government can work more effectively with local governments, states, and tribes in these areas.
   Read the Fact Sheet.

President Signs Infrastructure Bill and Issues Directives on Implementation and Deployment of Funds and Programs
November 16, 2021. President Biden has signed into law H.R. 3684 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, now P.L. 117-58. He also signed an executive order on setting priorities and implementing that legislation. At the same time, the White House has issued a Fact Sheet on the legislation and related actions. Today, the White House also issued a fact sheet entitled: "Biden Administration Deploys American Rescue Plan Funds to Protect Americans from Rising Home Heating Costs; Calls on Utility Companies to Prevent Shut Offs This Winter."
   Read H.R. 3684, Now P.L. 117-58.
   Read "FACT SHEET: President Biden's Executive Order Establishing Priorities and Task Force for Implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law."
   Read Executive Order on Implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act .

Federal District Court Strikes Texas Governor's Executive Order Prohibiting Mask Mandates
November 11, 2021. Judge Lee Yeakel of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas has found that Texas Governor Greg Abbott's Executive Order GA-38 violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The court concluded that it is preempted by the ADA, Section 504, and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. For more information and the opinion, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

District Court Rejects Trump Effort to Block Release of Documents by the Archivist of the United States to the Committee
November 10, 2021. Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has rejected efforts by former President Trump to block the release of records by the National Archives to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. This case is important for a number of obvious reasons, but Judge Chutkan specifically noted one of them. "This case presents the first instance since enactment of the PRA in which a former President asserts executive privilege over records for which the sitting President has refused to assert executive privilege." Memorandum Opinion at 12. The judge rejected the claim that the former president could block release even if the encumbent president refused to support a claim of privilege under the statute. "But Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President. He retains the right to assert that his records are privileged, but the incumbent President 'is not constitutionally obliged to honor' that assertion. . . . That is because Plaintiff is no longer situated to protect executive branch interests with 'the information and attendant duty of executing the laws in the light of current facts and circumstances.'... And he no longer remains subject to political checks against potential abuse of that power." Id. at 18-19. She determined that: "The court therefore holds that Plaintiff's assertion of privilege is outweighed by President Biden's decision not to uphold the privilege, and the court will not second guess that decision by undertaking a document-by-document review that would require it to engage in a function reserved squarely for the Executive." Id. at 21. She also rejected Trump's claims that the Presidential Records Act violates the Constitution. She concludes: "Having found that all four Mazars factors weigh against Plaintiff's position, the court concludes that the Select Committee’s requests are a valid use of legislative power and refuses to enjoin what the legislative and executive branches agree is a vitally important endeavor." Id. at 36. Then adds: "Accordingly, the court holds that the public interest lies in permitting—not enjoining—the combined will of the legislative and executive branches to study the events that led to and occurred on January 6, and to consider legislation to prevent such events from ever occurring again." Id. at 39. The former president is expected to appeal immediately and seek a stay from the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
   For more information and relevant documents, see the posting below for October 19 on this webpage.
   Read the District Court's Memorandum Opinion in Trump v. Thompson.

New GAO Study Finds Increasing Use of Evidence-Based Policymaking in Federal Agencies
November 3, 2021. The GAO has issued an interesting new report entitled "Evidence-Based Policymaking: Survey Results Suggest Increased Use of Performance Information Across the Federal Government." As the titled suggests, the report finds that: "GAO's 2020 survey of federal managers showed that the reported use of performance information in decision-making generally increased across the federal government compared to prior surveys. For example, on an index that approximates such use with a single score, GAO estimates with 95 percent confidence that the 2020 government-wide result was statistically significantly higher than each prior score since GAO created the index in 2007." GAO Blog Post In presenting the report GAO explained that: "GAO analyzed results from a survey it administered from July to December 2020 to a stratified random sample of about 4,000 managers at 24 major federal agencies. The survey had a 56 percent response rate. Results can be generalized to the population of managers government-wide and at each agency. GAO also reviewed relevant Office of Management and Budget (OMB) documents, interviewed OMB staff, and followed up on the implementation of prior related GAO recommendations." Id.
   The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 and the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 both push agencies to make greater use of evidence-based policymaking, but also require GAO to do regular studies to determine whether that is happening.
   Read the GAO Report.
   Read the GAO Blog Post on the Report.
   Read the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010.
   Read the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018.

Supreme Court Heard and Live-Streamed Oral Argument in the Texas Abortion Cases Today
November 1, 2021. (Updated from Earlier Today.) The Supreme Court this morning heard and live-streamed the oral arguments in United States v. Texas and Whole Woman's Health v. Jackson, the cases challenging the Texas SB 8 Anti-Abortion statute. The Court has already posted the audio and the transcripts of the arguments. For the oral argument audio and the transcripts, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.
   The Court had already agreed to hear a major case, No. 19-1392 Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, challenging Mississippi's anti-abortion statute that was clearly enacted with an expectation that it would encourage the Supreme Court to indicate whether it would uphold or overturn Roe v. Wade. That case is scheduled for argument in the Supreme Court on December 1.

Former President Trump Files Suit to Block Subpoenas from January 6th Committee and Release of Documents by the Archivist of the United States to the Committee
October 19, 2021. Former President Donald Trump has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to block release of documents by the Archivist of the United State and also challenging subpoenas issued by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. The suit names the chair of the select committee, the committee itself, the Archivist of the United States, and the National Archives and Records Administration. The committee explained when it issued the subpoenas to former aides on September 23 that: "Chairman Bennie G. Thompson today announced that he has issued a round of subpoenas for documents and testimony to four individuals with close ties to the former President who were working in or had communications with the White House on or in the days leading up to the January 6th insurrection. In letters to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Daniel Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel, and former Trump advisor Stephen Bannon, Chairman Thompson instructed the witnesses to produce materials and appear at depositions in the weeks ahead." These are among a number of other subpoenas issued by the committee.
   The current president has refused to support the claim of executive privilege under the terms of the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014. The White House Counsel, Dana A. Remus, expressed Mr. Biden's position in an October 8 letter to Archivist of the United States David Ferriero. The Congressional Research Service has produced two recent "Legal Sidebar" reports on executive privilege and former presidents and specifically on the January 6th investigation. In July 2020, the CRS produced a "Legal Sidebar" report on the Supreme Court's ruling in the Trump v. Mazars case on privilege claims.
   Read the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol Releases and Documents on the Subpoenas Issued by the Committee to the Four Trump Advisors and Staff People.
   Read the Complaint in the Trump Suit to Block the January 6 Committee Subpoena.
   Read the Letter from President Biden's White House Counsel Refusing to Support Mr. Trump's Assertion of Executive Privilege.
   Read CRS "Executive Privilege and Former Presidents" 2021.
   Read CRS "Executive Privilege and the January 6 Investigation" 2021.
   Read CRS "Trump v. Mazars: Implications for Congressional Oversight" 2020.
   Read the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014.
   Access the Select Committee's Website.

Justice Department Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Lift Fifth Circuit Stay and Permit the Injunction Against Texas Anti-Abortion Statute to Take Effect
October 15, 2021. As expected, the U.S. Department of Justice has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to remove the stay placed by the Fifth Circuit on the injunction issued by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pittman that would block implementation of Texas' SB 8 anti-abortion statute (See earlier posts on this page below). It has also asked the Court to take the case up on its current docket and not wait for the process to be completed in the lower courts (certiorari before judgment).For more information and key documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

The Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States Set to Meet on Research Related to Possible Changes to the Court
October 15, 2021. The Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, created by President Biden in Executive Order 14023, is set to meet today to discuss the findings of its research related to questions such as the size of the Court and possible term limits on the justice. The White House has released the materials produced for that discusion.
   The meeting of the Commission began at 10 am today and is currently available to view online at https://www.whitehouse.gov/pcscotus/public-meetings/october-15-2021-pcscotus-meeting/
   Read Setting the Stage: The Genesis of the Reform Debate and the Commission’s Mission.
   Read Membership and Size of the Court.
   Read Term Limits.
   Read The Court's Role in the Constitutional System.
   Read Case Selection and Review: Docket, Rules, and Practices.
   Read Executive Order 14023.

Update: Fifth Circuit Stay of Federal District Court Injunction that Blocked Texas Ant-Abortion Statute to Remain Pending Appeals Process
October 15, 2021. After hearing arguments from the Department of Justice asking the Fifth Circuit to allow the injunction ordered by Judge Pittman against the Texas SB 8 anti-abortion statute to stay in effect pending the completion of the litigation and appeal, the appeals court panel issued a brief order keeping the stay in effect and calling for an expedited review in the case. For more information and documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Federal District Court in Texas Issues Injunction to Block Texas Ant-Abortion Statute
October 7, 2021. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman, of the Western District of Texas, has issued a 113 page order in United States v. Texas, the case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, granting a preliminary injunction against that state's anti-abortion statute, SB 8. In so doing, the judge refused the state's request to stay the injunction pending appeal. For more information, the order itself, and other key documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

U.S. Supreme Court Begins Work on Its October 2021 Term
October 4, 2021. The U.S. Supreme Court begins its October 2021 term today. The Court has issued a lengthy order list as it normally does on the first day of its new term. The current granted and noted lists and other information on the docket as well as the briefs and oral arguments are also available and posted below. This year the Court is continuing with live streaming audio of oral arguments launched during the closure of the Court for in-person arguments due to COVID-19 concerns.
   Start of October term Order List October 4, 2021.
   October Term 2021 Granted and Noted List as of September 20, 2021.
The "On the Docket" site that was formerly done through the Medill School of Journalism of Northwestern University is now part of OYEZ project from Cornell's Legal Information Institute (LII), Justia, and Chicago-Kent College of Law.
   Review the Docket through "Oyez Cases."
SCOTUS Blog provides a wide range of information on the Court, its recent rulings, oral arguments, and docket.
   Review the Docket through SCOTUS Blog.
The U.S. Supreme Court's started streaming oral arguments live because of the COVID-19 restrictions and has continued to the present making those arguments available.
   Listen to Live Streaming Audio of Oral Arguments When the Court is Sitting.
The U.S. Supreme Court's Oral Arguments page is a good one stop site to find transcripts of oral arguments, schedules, and briefs. The Court is also makes available the audio of its arguments.
   U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Transcripts Page.
   U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments Audio.
The U.S. Supreme Court's Opinions page provides recently issued opinions and previous years as well.
   U.S. Supreme Court Opinions Page.
Supreme Court Briefs and Records via the Supreme Court website. To find briefs, it is necessary to go the Supreme Court "Docket Search" and place the docket number in the search window. The docket sheet comes up with links to posted documents on the sheet.
   Supreme Court Briefs via the Supreme Court Docket Search Page.
SCOTUS Blog provides Briefs and Links to Lower Court Opinions for Cases Pending on the Current Docket.
   Review the Case Documents through SCOTUS Blog.
The U.S. Solicitor General posts briefs filed for the United States in the U.S. Supreme Court.
   Solicitor General U.S. Briefs
Oral Argument Audio, Opinions, and other Supreme Court Information via "SCOTUS Blog."
   Access SCOTUS Blog

Government Accountability Office Issues Findings of 10 Agency Study of Public Comments in Rulemaking, Raising a Variety of Concerns
September 24, 2021. The GAO has issued a report entitled Federal Rulemaking: Selected Agencies Should Fully Describe Public Comment Data and Their Limitations raising a variety of concerns and offering recommendations to improve the management of the public comment process in rulemaking as well as reporting of data. The report found from a survey of those listed as providing comments in rulemaking over a three year period that: "Based on GAO's survey, the extent to which commenters with email addresses confirmed that they submitted their comments to rulemakings varied across 10 selected agencies (see figure). Specifically, estimates of commenters with email addresses that confirmed their comments ranged from 48 to 87 percent. Conversely, estimates of presumed commenters with email addresses that did not make the comments ranged from 5 to 30 percent, calling into question the actual source of these comments." Report "Highlights" page. After assessing its findings, GAO offers 10 recommendations to agencies for improvements going forward.
   Read the Report.

U.S. Department of Justice Files Emergency Motion Seeking an Immediate Court Order to Block Texas Anti-Abortion Statute
September 9, 2021. The U.S. Justice Department has filed an emergency motion in the case it filed last week challenging Texas' SB 8 anti-abortion statute; this time seeking a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction. For more information and documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

U.S. Announces Challenge to Texas' SB 8 Anti-Abortion Statute
September 9, 2021. In addition to the litigation brought by providers against the Texas anti-abortion statute, the U.S. Attorney General has announced that the Justice Department has filed suit against Texas, challenging the statute not only because it violates the rights of individuals under the constitutional precedents but also on grounds of a federal statute and that it is preempted by federal law. For more information and documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Prestigious Medical Journals Around the World Issue a Joint "Emergency" Warning that Climate Change is an Overriding Threat to Health and Wellness
September 7, 2021. More than twenty of the world's leading medical journals issued a jointly authored editorial over the weekend calling on world leaders throughout the world to respond to climate change as a global health emergency, calling it "The greatest threat to global public health." For more information and key documents, see the Sustainable Development page of this website.

Supreme Court Refuses to Block Texas Anti-Abortion Statute
September 2, 2021. The U.S. Supreme Court has denied an application for an injunction or other relief to block a new Texas anti-abortion statute. For more information and documents see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Supreme Court Allows Lower Court Order Against CDC Eviction Ban to Take Effect
August 30, 2021. The Supreme Court has once again addressed the CDC Eviction Ban, but, unlike its previous response to challenge brought by an Alabama realtors association, this time the Court issued a per curiam opinion finding that the lower court's ruling against the eviction ban should take effect. For more information and key documents see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Supreme Court Rejects Biden Administration Effort to Halt Trump Era "Remain in Mexico" Policy for Asylum Seekers at the U.S. Southern Border
August 30, 2021. The Supreme Court has denied a request from the Biden administration to stay a permanent injunction issued by a federal district court in Texas its efforts to end the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy for asylum seekers at the U.S. Southern border. For more information and key documents see the Refugees and Immigrants page of this website.

FDA Issues Full Approval of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
August 23, 2021. The FDA today announced full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which has been given to millions of people under an emergency use authorization. For full information and documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Texas Local Governments Sue Governor Challenging His Executive Order Prohibiting Mask Mandates in the COVID-19 Crisis
August 10, 2021. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins as the County's chief executive asked a Texas court to issue a temporary restraining order against Governor Greg Abbott's Executive Order GA-38, issued on July 29, prohibiting school officials and local government officials from imposing mask mandates or taking any of a number of other actions to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to the action taken by Dallas, the City of San Antonio and Bexar County have also filed suit against the governor's action. For more information and documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Federal District Judge Issues Injunction Against Florida's Constraints on Cruise Lines' Practice of Requiring Vaccinations for Passengers and Crew
August 10, 2021. Judge Kathleen M. Williams issued a preliminary injunction on Sunday against Florida officials who had prohibited, pursuant to a state statute, cruise lines from mandating passengers and crew members to affirm that they had been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. For more information and documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Issues New Climate Change 2021 Report With Its Strongest Warnings Yet
August 9, 2021. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today issued statements coming from its recent meeting. As the IPCC explains in a press release today the "IPCC Working Group I report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis, approved on Friday by 195 member governments of the IPCC, through a virtual approval session that was held over two weeks starting on July 26. The Working Group I report is the first instalment of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be completed in 2022." The report makes clear that the the time is fast running out to meet the internationally agreed increase in global temperature and that even if strong measures are taken rapidly, "it could take 20-30 years to see global temperatures stabilize."
   The crisis in climate change, as the report stresses, is not just temperature. Summarizing some of the reports findings, the IPCC press release cautions: "But it is not just about temperature. Climate change is bringing multiple different changes in different regions--which will all increase with further warming." For more information and the documents, see the Sustainable Development page of this website.

CDC Extends Eviction Ban
August 4, 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday issued an "Order Under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 264) and 42 Code of Federal Regulations 70.1--Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions in Communities with Substantila or High Levels of Community Transmission of COVID-19 to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19." The order extends the moratorium on evictions for 60 days until October 3, 2021. On June 29, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to deny an Alabama real estate group's petition to vacate a stay of a lower court ruling against the moratorium. Justice Kavanaugh issued a concurring opinion joining the majority's ruling, noting that although he had concerns about the case, the fact that he moratorium was time-limited militated against taking action against the moratorium at that time. For more information and the relevant documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Leading Medical and Care Associations Issue Joint Statement Calling for Mandatory Immunization of Health Care Employees
July 26, 2021. A groups of 57 prestigious of professional associations in health care and long-term care, including the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association have issued a "Joint Statement in Support of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for All Workers in Health and Long-Term Care." This statement follows a ruling in June by a federal district court in Texas rejecting a challenge to a mandatory immunization policy for employees by two Houston hospitals and a week after a ruling by a federal district court in Indiana rejecting a challenge to Indiana University's mandatory immunication policy. For more information and documents, see the Health Care, Disability, and Development page of this website.

Supreme Court Activity

U.S. Supreme Court Resources
   Start of October term Order List October 2, 2023.
   October Term 2023 Granted and Noted List as of September 29, 2023.
The "On the Docket" site that was formerly done through the Medill School of Journalism of Northwestern University is now part of OYEZ project.
   Review the Docket through "Oyez Cases."
SCOTUS Blog provides a wide range of information on the Court, its recent rulings, oral arguments, and docket.
   Review the Docket through SCOTUS Blog.
The U.S. Supreme Court's Oral Arguments page is a good one stop site to find transcripts of oral arguments, schedules, and briefs. The Court is also makes available the audio of its arguments.
   U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Transcripts Page.
   U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments Audio.
The U.S. Supreme Court's Opinions page provides recently issued opinions and previous years as well.
   U.S. Supreme Court Opinions Page.
Supreme Court Briefs via the Supreme Court website. To find briefs, it is necessary to go the Supreme Court "Docket Search" and place the docket number in the search window. The docket sheet comes up with links to posted documents on the sheet.
   Supreme Court Briefs via the Supreme Court Docket Search Page.
SCOTUS Blog provides Briefs and Links to Lower Court Opinions for Cases Pending on the Current Docket.
   Review the Case Documents through SCOTUS Blog.
   Access the Docket Search page.
The U.S. Solicitor General posts briefs filed for the United States in the U.S. Supreme Court.
   Solicitor General U.S. Briefs
Oral Argument Audio, Opinions, and other Supreme Court Information via "SCOTUS Blog."
   Access SCOTUS Blog
Supreme Court Homepage
   Access Supreme Court Homepage

For Post 9/11 Policy Actions Click Here

For Public Law, Policy, and Public Administration Archive Entries Click Here

Budget and Finance

Biden Administration Releases FY 2024 Budget Proposal and Supporting Materials
Updated April 3, 2023 The White House has released the President's Budget of the United States for FY 2024. The Office of Management and Budget released has released some of the documents, including the president's budget document with his budget message. There are also other key materials, including the "Analytic Perspectives" document which provides the economic and policy assumptions behind the budget, and the "Budget Appendix" which is the document that contains the very detailed information on agency budgets and funds. Those items available are posted below and others will be added as they are uploaded. Also, a number of the executive departments have released their budget-in-brief documents which provide more detailed program by program explanations of past, present, and requested funding. Those documents for the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, and Environmental Protection Agency are posted below.
   Download the President's Budget of the United States for FY 2024 document, including the President's Message to Accompany the FY 2024 Budget.
   Download the FY 2024 Budget Facts Sheets.
   Access the FY2024 Budget Appendix -- All detailed information about agencies and funds.
   Access the FY 2024 Budget Analytic Perspectives webpage (economic and budget assumptions).
   Access the FY 2024 Federal Credit Supplement (information on direct loans and loan guarantees by the Federal Government.).
   Access the FY 2024 Supplemental Materials website.
   Access the U.S. Department of Education, Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Summary and Background Information.
   Access the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Fiscal Year 2024 Budget-in-Brief.
   Access the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fiscal Year 2024 Budget-in-Brief. Will be Posted at this Link as Soon as It Is Available.
   Access the Office of Management and Budget Budget Webpage.

Financial Report of the United States Government
April 17, 2023. The Financial Service Bureau of the Department of the Treasury publishes the Financial Report of the United States. The Government Accountability Office publishes a guide to understanding the financial report.
   Read the Most Current Report (This page had the full .pdf and sections for the most recent report).
   Access the Financial Report of the U.S. Government website
   Access the GAO Guide to the Financial Report
   Read the Congressional Research Service's Report, "Federal Financial Reporting" Federal Financial and Budgetary Reporting: A Primer," Updated 2022
   Read the Congressional Research Service's Report, "Federal Financial Reporting" (A 2013 report, but still a useful resource.)

Public Law Resources

The United States Supreme Court
   (Docket, Briefs, Oral Arguments, Opinions)
   Access the Supreme Court Homepage

Court of Appeals and District Court Opinions
   Government Printing Office -- U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
   Government Printing Office -- U.S. District Courts
   The Legal Information Institute Cornell University
   https://www.law.cornell.edu/federal/opinions.html
   FindLaw.com
   https://www.findlaw.com/casecode/

Constitution of the United States
   The Constitution with Analysis and Interpretation (GPO for the Senate 2016 Edition).
   The Constitution -- The Basic Document from (GPO) as Amended and Unratified Amendments.
   The Amendments to the Constitution -- The Basic Document from (GPO)

GovInfo.gov The Primary Site for Federal Documents
   GovInfo.gov is the primary site to access federal documents. [This website replaced what was known as the Federal Digital System (FDsys) in December 2018.]
   Access GovInfo.gov

United States Code and Statutes at Large
   The U.S. Code and the Statutes at Large from 1789 to the present are available online. The materials up to 1950 are available through the Library of Congress online and from 1951 on are available through the Government Printing Office online resources.
   Access the U.S. Code.
   Access the Statutes at Large Via the Library of Congress. This site includes Volumes 1-64, (1789-1950) via the Library of Congress website
   Access the Statutes at Large (1951 - Present).

U.S. Regulations (Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations)
   The Federal Register provides the daily publication of administrative rules and rulemaking announcements (among other executive branch publications). The Code of Federal Regulations is the codification for federal rules by subject.
   Federal Register
   Code of Federal Regulations

U.S. Government Regulation Process Portals
   Regulations.gov is the comprehensive Internet portal created in response to the E-Government Act of 2003 where comments can be provided to pending rules.
   https://www.regulations.gov
   RegInfo.gov is a site that provides status reports and regulatory analysis materials on federal rules, including the regulatory Agenda, regulatory review analyses, information collection analyses, and public input on pending rules (via Regulations.gov).
   https://www.reginfo.gov

U.S. Department of Justice Opinions and Briefs
   Opinions Issued by the Office of Legal Counsel
   Briefs Filed by the Solicitor General

Presidential Executive Orders
   Until the beginning of the Trump Administration, executive orders and the changes they made in other existing orders were available through the National Archives' "Disposition Tables." Since the beginning of the Trump administration, there has been a transition underway to provide the orders through a "Executive Orders" site operated by the Office of the Federal Register.
   National Archives and Records Administration
   Disposition Tables from Dwight W. Eisenhower to George W. Bush
   Full text links from 1995 to January 20, 2017
   https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/disposition.html
   Office of the Federal Register
   Executive Orders
   Full text links from 1995 to January 20, 2017
   Full text links from 1994 to Present

Presidential Proclamations and Presidential Memoranda
   Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents Through January 2009 and then Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents thereafter.
   Because of their historical importance, the Alito Memorandum, the signing statement on the Detainee Protection Act, and the response of Senators McCain and Warner to are posted as well. Also at the request of some interested in the subject, articles on the subject by the author are provided.
   Federal Register Presidential Proclamations Website
   Federal Register "Other Presidential Documents" Website Focusing on Presidential Memoranda.

Other Sources for Accessing Presidential Proclamations, Memoranda, Signing Statements
   Compilation of Presidential Documents
   Ms. Joyce Green's Index to signing statements from 2001 to presentl
   Ms. Joyce Green's Signing statements from 2001 to presentl
   Ms. Joyce Green's Signing statements from 2001 to presentl -- Annotated
   Access the Woolley and Peters Data Base of Signing statements from 1929 to present.
   Additional Materials About the Alito Memorandum, the Detainee Protection Act Order, the Senate Response, and Explanatory Articles.
   Read the Alito Memorandum.
   Read the Presidential Signing Statement on H.R.2863.
   Read the Levin Response to the Signing Statement.
   Read the McCain and Warner Response.
   Access Phillip J. Cooper, George W. Bush, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Use and Abuse of Presidential Signing Statements.
   Access Phillip J. Cooper, Signing Statements as Declaratory Judgments: The President as Judge.

National Security Directives
   Federation of American Scientists
   https://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/direct.htm

Executive Agreements and Treaties
   Treaties are international agreements that require Senate advice and consent under the Constitution, but executive agreements do not in most instances require specific congressional approval, though they may require appropriations or other actions for implementation. Executive agreements are considered as treaties in the international arena even though they are not treaties within the United States in constitutional terms. The U.S. Department of State Provides the following sources.
   For information on international materials, see the International Law Resources further down on this webpage.
   Texts of International Agreements to Which the U.S. is a Party (TIAS)
   Treaties in Force
   Treaties Pending in the Senate
   Office of Legal Adviser for Treaty Affairs

United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) Reports
    GAO Reports to Congress, testimony, Comptroller General's Contracts Rulings, Major Rulemaking Reports
   https://www.gao.gov/

Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS)
    "ACUS is an independent federal agency charged with convening expert representatives from the public and private sectors to recommend improvements to administrative process and procedure. ACUS initiatives promote efficiency, participation, and fairness in the promulgation of federal regulations and in the administration of federal programs." From the ACUS website. The site provides a variety of resources, including ACUS reports on specific topics in administrative law.
   ACUS Homepage

Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports
   Congressional Research Service reports to Congress are prepared for the use of the committees and members of Congress. The Library of Congress has launched a publicly available Congressional Research Service Reports website (mandated by Section 154 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2018). Until the passage of that legislation, the LOC took the position that the CRS reports were prepared for the use of Congress and did not make them available to the public, though other websites have made many of them available online.
   The Federation of American Scientists' site website has been one of the best places to find CRS reports. A site opened in 2016 known as EveryCRSReport.com with more than 8,000 such documents.
   Access the CRS Reports Library of Congress Page.
   Access a collection of selected CRS reports via the Federation of American Scientists site.
   .Access the EveryCRSReport website.

Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS)
   As the ACUS explains it "ACUS is an independent federal agency charged with convening expert representatives from the public and private sectors to recommend improvements to administrative process and procedure."
   Access the ACUS Website
   Access the Federal Administrative Procedure Sourcebook
   Access the Sourcebook of United States Executive Agencies

U.S. Government Agencies Directory and US Government Manual
   USA.gov Directory of Agencies and Elected Officials. The Government Printing Office also prepares the official US Government Manual. The other key item is a report in U.S. Executive Agencies prepared by the Administrative Conference of the United States.
   USA.gov Homepage
   Most Recent US Govenrment Manual (2017) in .pdf
   US Govenrment Manual Online
   ACUS Sourcebook of United States Executive Agencies

Native American Law Resources

Native American Tribal and Nation Constitutions and Bylaws
   Constitutions and Bylaws via University of Oklahoma Native American Constitution and Law Digitization Project
   Project Homepage

National Indian Law Library
   Includes Indian Law Bulletin and Tribal Law Gateway
   https://www.narf.org/nill/index.htm

National Indian Law Library
   National Indian Court Judges Association
   NILL Homepage

International Law Resources

United Nations International Law Materials
   Home page for UN Legal Affairs
   Access the United Nations Treaty Collection
   Access UN Documents

International Court of Justice
   Home Page
   Case Law

European Union Law "Eur-Lex"
   Home Page

Congressional and General Federal Research

Congressional Materials
   Congress.gov: Legislative Information on the Internet
   Congress.gov Homepage
   Congressional Research Service reports to Congress are prepared for the use of the committees and members of Congress. The Library of Congress has launched a publicly available Congressional Research Service Reports website (mandated by Section 154 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2018). Until the passage of that legislation, the LOC took the position that the CRS reports were prepared for the use of Congress and did not make them available to the public, though other websites have made many of them available online.
   Access the CRS Reports Library of Congress Page.
   Access a collection of selected CRS reports via the Federation of American Scientists site.
   .Access the EveryCRSReport website.


   Legislative History Materials. The Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C., has published its "Legislative SourceBook"
   https://www.llsdc.org/sourcebook/
   Richard J. McKinney and Ellen A. Sweet, "Federal Legislative History Research: A Practitioners Guide to Compiling the Documents and Difting for Legislative Intent," on its Internet site.
   https://www.llsdc.org/sourcebook/fed-leg-hist.htm

General Federal Government Searches
   https://www.USAgov.gov/index.shtml

General Legal Research Sites

Legal Dictionary -- Findlaw.com
   Access this easy to use Legal Dictionary.

The Legal Information Institute Cornell University
   https://www.law.cornell.edu/

FindLaw.com
   https://www.findlaw.com/

Peter W. Martin, Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (LII 2003 ed.)
   https://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/

Federal Legislative History
   Offered by Library of Congress Law Library
   Offered by Georgetown Law Library
   "Federal Legislative History 101," by Rick McKinney, Provided by the Law Librarians' Society of Washington D.C.
   "Federal Legislative History Research: A Practitioner's Guide," by Richard J. McKinney and Ellen A. Sweet, Provided by the Law Librarians' Society of Washington D.C.

Standard Approaches to Statutory Interpretation
    Larry M. Eig Specialist in American Public Law of the Congressional Research Service has provided a useful guide to the essential norms of legislative interpretation, in his CRS Report to Congress entitled "Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends."
   Access "Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends."

Legislative History Guides for All 50 States
   Compiled by the Law Library of the Maurer School of Law, Indiana University