‘We had to sue’: the five lawyers taking on China’s authorities over smog

Rachel Stern quoted by The Guardian, Feb. 13, 2017

“This lawsuit on this topic at this moment in history is going to be an uphill battle,” says Rachel Stern, author of Environmental Litigation in China: A Study in Political Ambivalence. “I would be surprised if this lawsuit is successful, and if I were betting, I don’t even think it will get accepted by the court.”

Trump’s ‘so-called’ judgment

John Yoo co-writes for The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 12, 2017

Questioning judicial decisions, and even the judiciary’s legitimacy, is entirely proper. But a wise president will reserve such attacks for extraordinary matters of state involving the highest constitutional principles. To do otherwise risks dissipating the executive’s energy, weakening the president’s agenda, and wasting his political capital.

Does Trump have the authority to ‘send in the feds’ to Chicago?

John Yoo quoted by Chicago Tribune, Feb. 12, 2017

“Simple murder is not a violation of federal law,” he said. “I don’t think the conditions in Chicago have any relationship to federal law.” The only way Chicago’s situation could possibly fall under the Insurrection Act, Yoo said, is if the murders also violated some aspect of federal law, such as acts committed by drug cartels or terrorists.

Fight over immigration ban continues

Melissa Murray interviewed by KQED-TV News, Feb. 10, 2017

“On appeal to the Supreme Court, it’s the same set of questions: whether the government has met its burden to show that the ban should be reinstated, or whether challenger states have shown that there’s a good reason to withhold enforcement of the ban while more information is gathered. … It won’t be the kind of elaborate discussion of merits you would ordinarily see in a case that is squarely about the constitutionality of the order. … In the event that the president wants an order quickly, the Supreme Court might not be the way to go.”

Why the 9th Circuit Court is such an attractive target for Republican lawmakers

Andrew Bradt interviewed by KPCC-FM, Feb. 10, 2017

“In the near-term, the California part of the 9th Circuit at least, and maybe Washington and Oregon, would still be places where there would be courts in which to challenge President Trump’s orders. In the long term, breaking up the 9th Circuit and reducing its power would certainly reduce the liberal counterweight effect that the court is sometimes able to play.”

Courts should kill Trump’s pricey ‘2-for-1’ deregulation order

Dan Farber writes for The Hill, Feb. 9, 2017

The regulatory process is very elaborate, and adopting a new regulation is a very expensive, time-consuming process. This executive order effectively triples the costs, because agencies not only have to enact new regulations, but also go through equally complex proceedings to eliminate two old ones. Basically, agencies will be able to propose about a third as many new rules as before.

After appeals court ruling, Trump has two unappealing options

William Fernholz writes for The Hill, Feb. 9, 2017

The Ninth Circuit, the appeals court for the western United States, the temporary restraining order (TRO), which prevents the government from implementing President Trump’s immigration executive order. It was a short trip to the Ninth Circuit, and the lawyers for the government leave it bruised, though not beaten.

‘See you in court,’ Trump tweets after 9th Circuit panel unanimously refuses to reinstate his travel ban

John Yoo quoted by Los Angeles Times, Feb. 9, 2017

Yoo said the 9th Circuit ruling was on less solid ground on other issues: whether the states had standing to sue and whether visa holders had a right to a hearing before their visas were canceled. The administration lost because “it rushed out this order in an ill-considered and haphazard way,” the conservative legal scholar said. A “more cautious, more modest” executive order would have survived legal scrutiny, he said.