Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: Trump Pushes Out Top Federal Attorneys

Jessica Mason Pieklo & Imani Gandy

The ALCU also filed a lawsuit against the new administration seeking documents about a looming executive order.

Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.

President Donald Trump ordered 46 holdover U.S. attorneys in the Department of Justice to tender their resignations. That includes Preet Bharara, the Manhattan U.S. attorney Trump reportedly asked to stay in November. Bharara refused to resign. Trump fired him over the weekend.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed Freedom of Information Act requests seeking documents regarding a potential order from the Trump administration that will sanction discrimination against LGBTQ folks based on “religious freedom.” That’s really code for “we want to impose our religious values on vulnerable people.”

The ACLU also filed a lawsuit alleging that the State of Missouri has failed to meet its constitutional obligation to provide indigent defendants with meaningful representation. A state failing to meet its obligation to the poor? This never happens! Except that it happens all the time.

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As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to decide whether a state can ban sex offenders from using Facebook and Twitter, Adam Liptak writes in the New York Times that claims arguing sex offenders have a high recidivism rate are popular—but not based on the best available data.

Oregon writer Matt Witt has a personal problem with Neil Gorsuch: The Supreme Court nominee opposes death with dignity laws.

Noel Francisco will be the next U.S. solicitor general. Probably.

Under Attorney General  Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department is backing off the federal fight against North Carolina’s discriminatory bathroom panic bill. Are you surprised? We’re not.

A three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Planned Parenthood’s challenge to an Arkansas law restricting medication abortion.

Nefi Flores and his wife are the latest to file a fraud lawsuit filed against Libre by Nexus, a Virginia-based immigration bond company that allows detainees to be freed in exchange for wearing a GPS monitoring device and paying hundreds of dollars for it per month. Critics say the company is making millions off the misery and vulnerability of detainees.

Amy Howe confirms what we at Rewire have said all along: that when it comes to abortion, religion, and reproductive rights, Neil Gorsuch will join the extreme-conservative wing of the court.

Twenty years ago in North Carolina, party labels were removed from state court judgeship candidates. Last week, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a bill that would reverse that policy. Make elections partisan again.

University of Florida journalism professor Clay Calvert suggests some questions that the Senate Judiciary Committee should ask Neil Gorsuch about First Amendment speech rights.


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