Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.
Local law enforcement in the Los Angeles area isn’t keen on enforcing President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. Does that mean presumptive Attorney General Jeff Sessions will call up the National Guard to do so?
Acting Attorney General Sally Yates said the U.S. Department of Justice would not enforce the travel ban affecting residents and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries. Donald Trump then promptly fired her. Meet her replacement here.
The Commonwealth of Virginia asked a federal court in the state to hold Trump in contempt for failing to obey a lawful order. The last time a president was held in contempt of court was 1999, when President Bill Clinton lied about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
Mark Joseph Stern writes at Slate that Virginia’s lawsuit opposing Trump’s executive order “brilliantly connects the Muslim ban to segregation.”
Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.
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On Friday in Seattle, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart blocked Trump’s executive order, finding that plaintiffs in Washington state and Minnesota were likely to prevail on their claims that the order is unconstitutional.
Judge Robart’s order blocking Trump’s Muslim ban prompted an immediate Justice Department appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals requesting that the ban be reinstated.
Also at the Ninth Circuit, tech giants Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Netflix, Twitter, Uber, and 90 other companies filed an amicus brief arguing the immigration order is bad for business and the country.
When even John Yoo, the author of the infamous Bush-era torture memo, says Trump’s Muslim ban exceeds his executive power, maybe Trump ought to dial it back a bit.
In an op-ed for the New York Times, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) implores his colleagues to hold fast in opposing any U.S. Supreme Court nominee other than Judge Merrick Garland.
The New York Times Editorial Board writes that President Trump missed an opportunity to repair the damage done by Senate Republicans’ blocking of Garland’s nomination.
Neal Katyal, former acting solicitor general under President Obama, tries to convince liberals that they should back ultraconservative judge Neil Gorsuch for the Court’s vacancy.
Last week, a copy of a religious imposition order was leaked. Sarah Posner explains in the Nation that such an order would legalize discrimination against LGBTQ people and create religious exemptions for people who oppose abortion and contraception.