Two Federal Judges Reject Trump’s Attempt to Block Congressional Subpoenas for Financial Records

Over two days in May, federal judges one in Washington D.C. and New York City ruled that U.S. Congressional Committees have the legal authority to subpoena private companies requesting financial records relating to Donald Trump and his business affiliates.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a subpoena on April 15 had requested financial records and other documents from Mazars USA LLP, a firm that Donald Trump has used for accounting services, from 2011 to. As a result, Mr. Trump and his business affiliates filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia requesting “the court, among other things, to declare that the Oversight Committee’s subpoena to Mazars ‘is invalid and unenforceable’ and to issue a ‘permanent injunction quashing Chairman Cummings’ subpoena.” (Opinion, 12).

Fourth Circuit Ruling Says Trump’s Termination of DACA Unlawful

On May 17, 2019, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 that the Trump administration could not rescind the DACA program protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation. The ruling, by Judge Robert Bruce King and Judge Albert Diaz states that the government’s removal of protections for immigrants who came to the United States as children violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Judge Julius N. Richardson cast the dissenting vote.

Judge’s Ruling Halts Trump’s Removal of Haitians’ Protected Status

A lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on May 21, 2018, challenging the Trump administration’s decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status for approximately 50,000 Haitians. On April 11, Judge William F. Kuntz II issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration’s decision pending the outcome of the litigation.

Two Federal Courts Block Proposals to Restrict Access to Birth Control

Last week, two federal judges issued back-to-back decisions which block Trump administration rules (“Final Rules”) from taking effect; these Final Rules would have made it significantly easier for employers to deny many women contraceptive coverage under the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) based on either religious or moral grounds.  The ACA, in a provision known as the Women’s Health Amendment, mandates that preventive care and screenings, including contraception, be offered without cost in all group health plans.  These Final Rules would have significantly expanded the ability of employers to obtain a “religious exemption” based upon objection to contraceptive care, and would also have created a new “moral exemption” to the contraceptive care mandate.

Supreme Court Update: Court Stays Injunction on Transgender Military Ban

On January 22, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court in an unsigned order granted the Trump administration’s application to lift injunctions blocking the ban on transgender individuals from the military “pending disposition of the Government’s appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and disposition of the Government’s petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is sought.”