Category Archives: Law: Everything Else

Bad Claims is the New Trump Litigation Strategy

Post-Mueller, the Trump Family1 has embarked on a novel litigation strategy: bringing really bad claims. Making terrible legal arguments is nothing new for the Trumps, but generally they’ve made those arguments as defendants, often while defending very amateurish and inept attempts to overturn Obama-era regulations. And almost universally, those lost.

Now, however, we see the Trump Family is moving on to offense2, and it’s not pretty: Treasury is setting up to argue it can ignore a quite clear statute requiring the IRS send Congress tax returns. Attorney General Barr, to his shame (if he has any), claims he can dictate to Congressional committees the terms of his appearances. Trump Family companies are suing Democratic House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings to block a subpoenas on his finances and suing Deutsche Bank and Capital One to prevent them from complying with subpoenas.

What all these cases have in common is that the legal theories on which they are based are tenuous to non-existent.

What gives? These could simply be Hail Mary passes by the guilty: try this because you have nothing better.  Or they could be plays to delay bad news, maybe even run out the clock until the next election with appeals. Or, worst of all, they could be a cynical calculation that some or all of them might find favor before an increasingly stacked judiciary, and a very pro-Trump Supreme Court.  Or, why not, it could be all of the above.

All of these are bad answers.


  1. I have decided that from now on I will use the Mafia term while blogging, rather than call it an Administration. []
  2. In the legal sense; in every other sense they’ve been there for quite some time. []
Posted in Law: Administrative Law, Law: Constitutional Law, Law: Ethics, Law: Everything Else, Law: The Supremes, The Scandals | Leave a comment

Useful Blog: The Vetting Room

I’ve just discovered The Vetting Room, which looks like a very useful blog offering short descriptions of the qualifications of, and potential controversies about, nominees to the federal judiciary.

Or, as they put it,

The Vetting Room is a legal blog dedicated to discussing, examining, and analyzing judicial nominations.  Specifically, we research the records of President Trump’s judicial nominees, condense the important issues, and present it for public use.  All of our investigations are conducted by volunteer attorneys who are committed to an independent and thorough review.  Our posts are the product of multiple rounds of research and editing, and sometimes include the contributions of multiple attorneys.

The Vetting Room is not formally affiliated with any partisan or nonpartisan groups, and maintains the primary goal of improving public engagement with the federal judicial confirmation process.

Posted in Law: Everything Else, Politics: US | Leave a comment

Apparently I Didn’t Vote Often Enough

While outcomes were good very locally–Donna Shalala is going to Congress, Javier Enrique Fernandez beat Javier Enriquez for the state House, state outcomes were bad, but with redeeming features.

Gillum lost a squeaker.  Nelson is a hair behind —  21,899 votes or .26 percent of 8.2 million ballots cast — with recount in the offing. Lots of provisional ballots to be counted, could maybe make the difference.  All the downballot state Dems lost except maybe the Agriculture Commissioner, where the margin is tiny.

Looks like another roller coaster post-election period for Florida.

All the state Constitutional amendments, good and bad, passed except for Amendment 1.  The best news is that 1.2 million Floridians got re-enfranchised by Amendment 4 — although whether implementation will be smooth remains to be seen.

The worst news is that Amendment 5 passed, requiring a supermajority to raise taxes and to close loopholes.  This may make Florida ungovernable, worse even then the fiscal straitjacket that hamstrung California after Proposition 13 and other anti-tax measures.

Equally bad is that DeSantis’s first act will be to name three Justices to the state Supreme Court, doubtlessly cementing a conservative-to-reactionary majority for a generation.

Florida really is a sanity-stressing jurisdiction sometimes.

Posted in 2018 Election, Law: Everything Else, Miami | Leave a comment

Miami Law Explainer on 3D Guns

This week’s edition of the Miami Law Explainer features yours truly being interviewed on 3D guns. You can get the Apple-flavored Miami Law Explainer, or the Android-flavored Miami Law Explainer.

I’m told that either way it runs about eight minutes, which isn’t even long enough for a trip to the store.

The Miami Law Explainer is a new series in which different members of the MiamiLaw faculty are interviewed on current legal topics.  Check it out.

Posted in Cryptography, Law: Everything Else, The Media | 1 Comment

Boy’s Club?

Over at ACS Blog, my brother notes that of the 29 people Trump has nominated for U.S. attorney positions, 28 are men.  And 25 are white.

Makes for a nice collage:

Posted in Dan Froomkin, Law: Everything Else, Trump | Leave a comment

Mayor Mich Landrieu Gives the Speech of His Life

I do not often recommend long serious videos; I tend to short and/or funny.

But please consider taking 23 minutes of your life to listen to this speech by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on the removal of four confederate statues.

Spotted via Tom Sullivan at digby’s blog, who links to a transcript at The Pulse and makes a link to the US Supreme Court’s recent 5-3 decision Cooper v. Harris that struck down two racially gerrymandered districts in North Carolina.

Contrast this speech to the despicable bills passed in the last few days by the Louisiana House to protect confederate monuments statewide and the bill passed by both houses of the Alabama legislature to prohibit “the relocation, removal, alteration, renaming, or other disturbance of any architecturally significant building, memorial building, memorial street, or monument” that have stood for more than 40 years on public property. The bill also prohibits renaming schools named after people.

I confess that I don’t know much about Mich Landrieu, but if this is typical of the man, I hope he has a long future in politics.

Posted in Law: Everything Else, Politics: US | 1 Comment