New York Times national security and legal reporter; MSNBC contributor; author of the books "Power Wars" and "Takeover"
RT @physicsJ: The Eight Planets – NEW version! Shown: rotation, axial tilt, sidereal day length #Mercury #Venus #Earth #Mars #Jupiter #Sat…
RT @carolrosenberg: JUST IN: The Army tells me the Pentagon's chief war crimes prosecutor, Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, has been extended in se…
RT @ProfBrianKalt: No trend lasts forever, but Democrats sure love lawyers. Every single presidential ticket since the party's founding has…
RT @EricColumbus: The lawyerliness is of Democratic presidential tickets is astounding, even though these streaks include two law school dr…
New: The next fight in the Stellarwind/Snowden/Freedom Act saga has arrived. In letter obtained by NYT, Trump asks Congress to permanently reauthorize NSA's expiring power to access domestic call records, acknowledging program is dysfunctional & suspended. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/15/us/politics/trump-nsa-call-records-program.html
Defiant Former Blackwater Contractor Again Sentenced to Life https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/14/us/politics/blackwater-nicholas-slatten.html
RT @peterbakernyt: As it takes on Trump, the Democratic-controlled House has already become party to nine separate lawsuits and is filing b…
My colleague @carolrosenberg on the strange tale of the CIA black site interpreter who went to work for the 9/11 defense team, a case study in the ceaseless dysfunction that keeps the attempt to prosecute them mired in year after year of pretrial hearings https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/14/us/gitmo-trial-cia-interpreter.html
RT @AndyGrewal: Judge Bork saw this coming from a hundred miles away: https://twitter.com/npfandos/status/1161325290267631616
RT @SharonLNYT: "Like nothing else in history" by @charlie_savage and @npfandos: In a surge of lawsuits, Congress tries to get Trump's tax…
RT @SharonLNYT: "Like nothing else in history" by@charlie_savage and @nickfandos: In a surge of lawsuits, Congress tries to get Trump's ta…
It was once rare for Congress to go to court. But the number of cases House Democrats are now litigating is historically unprecedented -- a Trump-era aberration that is accelerating a larger shift in governance whose seeds predate Trump. w/ @npfandos https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/13/us/politics/trump-house-lawsuits.html
 
It's routine, of course, for the executive branch, via the Justice Department, to make arguments to the judicial branch. But it was once all but unheard of for the legislative branch. Congress had to pass a special law for a Senate committee to seek the Watergate tapes, for ex.
 
Then, in 2008, Congress broke new ground w/ a lawsuit to enforce subpoena re US attorney firings. It filed another in 2012, re Fast and Furious. Now, a deluge: 5 cases already (Mazars, Deutschebank, Mueller report, Trump taxes, McGahn) & more coming. (Twist: Trump filed 1st 2.)
 
Similarly, it was once weird for Congress to go into court to defend a law that DOJ abandoned. It happened in the 70s w/ legislative vetos, but that was a special topic: presidents saw them as unconstitutional intrusions on exec power (SCt agreed in 1983). This is changing too.
 
In 2011, the Obama administration abandoned the Defense of Marriage Act, not a separation-of-powers law but a matter of general governance. The House stepped in to defend it against constitutional challenges, until the SCt struck it down in 2013.
 
This year, that has happened twice already: the DOJ has abandoned the Affordable Care Act and a law against female genital mutilation, and the House has sought to intervene and provide lawyers to go to court to keep defending both laws against challenges.
 
Another category: the legitimacy of executive branch spending decisions. In 2014, the House GOP filed a lawsuit challenging Obamacare subsidies to insurers. This year, the House filed another, challenging Trump's invocation of emergency powers to spend DOD money on a border wall.
 
The House is also increasingly filing amicus (friend of the court) briefs, and sometimes making arguments, in other cases to which it is not a party. 4 this year so far: the Census case, other border wall and ACA cases, & a lawsuit seeking voting rights for District of Columbia.
 
And of course Trump sued the House Ways and Means Committee to prevent it from asking the state of New York to provide his state tax returns. That's another example where part of the spike in the numbers are is driven by the present abnormal moment.
 
But the surge in numbers is making clearer in hindsight that things were already starting to change in recent years before Trump, kind of like how Bush's unprecedented signing statement #s, and Obama's unprecedented leak case #s, had seeds in the actions of predecessors.
 
This deeper trend is likely a symptom of partisan polarization. As political negotiation and compromise becomes harder, litigation replaces it. Thus even if the #s drop some under Trump's successor, it seems likely that this new practice will continue as part of our governance.
 
One thing that will be interesting to watch is how trans-branch partisan teams fuel it. In 2011, when House GOP decided to intervene and defend DOMA, it paid a couple million dollars to Paul Clement, a former Bush administration solicitor general, and his firm for the legal work.
 
Obama legal team veterans are similarly helping House Dems this year -- but they & their firms/NGO are working for free. They include 2 former SGs, Don Verrilli & Neal Katyal, a former OLC head, Virginia Seitz, & two former senior nat-sec lawyers, Mary McCord & Josh Geltzer.
RT @joshgerstein: Judge Bates says DOJ's attempt to withhold part of Mueller-related FBI declaration 'takes chutzpah but doesn't take the c…
Michael Dreeben -- appellate specialist on Mueller's special counsel office team, longtime DOJ deputy solicitor general attorney -- to Georgetown Law
Sorry to hear of the passing of Betty Stein, 102, a legendary educator and civic leader in my hometown Fort Wayne IN and a lovely person whom I first got to know as a student at Memorial Park Middle School https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/fortwayne/obituary.aspx?n=betty-edlavitch-stein&pid=193617231&fhid=11137
RT @kevincollier: Former acting AG Matthew Whittaker is joining PC Matic, the...not-top tier antivirus company, per release this morning. E…
In a different era, Judicial Watch took on the Bush administration to try to force it to disclose records about Cheney's secret energy task force. Now, it's trying to help Trump continue to hide his tax returns from voters. https://twitter.com/joshgerstein/status/1160545896909680640
RT @arnoldpronto: Letter from the United States invoking inherent right to self-defense - http://bit.ly/2OQrNWg #IntLaw @theABILA @ILA_of…
RT @joshgerstein: NEW: A Texas federal judge has green lighted a Dallas investment adviser's libel suit against NPR over its reporting on…
RT @npfandos: The filing touches a big open Q as House moves to litigation: Time “Every day that the Judiciary Committee is without McGahn…
Again asserting that it is considering impeachment, the House Judiciary Committee just sued Don McGahn, Trump's former White House counsel & a key obstruction witness in the Mueller report, seeking to force him to testify. Assisting my colleague @npfandos https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/07/us/politics/house-mcgahn-lawsuit.html
New legal explainer: There's been a lot of vague talk since El Paso about whether Congress should pass a domestic terrorism law. But to what extent would one make a concrete and substantive difference, as opposed to mere symbolism? A drill-down. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/07/us/domestic-terror-law.html
RT @nabihasyed: We can't wait to show you what we've been working on. I'm beyond thrilled to join The Markup as president. Stay tuned! http…
RT @npfandos: As of today, Nadler has only taken 1 court action, petitioning a judge in DC for access to Mueller grand jury secrets. He's p…
New: A law says Sue Gordon, the deputy DNI & a veteran intel pro, should be acting spy chief after Coats departs and as Senate weighs Ratcliffe nom. But Trump intends to block her, raising possibility she will resign to avoid being fired. w/ @julianbarnes https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/02/us/politics/john-ratcliffe-sue-gordon.html
The correct Simpsons seasons to study are 4-8. https://twitter.com/dmimno/status/1157108713938927616
Wow. GOP retirements are piling up. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/31/gop-retirements-1442783 https://twitter.com/HurdOnTheHill/status/1157078754679828480
RT @Ali_H_Soufan: Hamza bin Laden’s son Usama was reportedly killed in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region. His mother is the daughter of Abu M…
Ratcliffe has also emphasized his experience overseeing terrorism cases in the Eastern District of Texas. But according to Malcolm Bales, who worked there 89-16 and was US atty the last 7, "there were none" during his tenure. “They are not common in our district,” Bales added.
While he has touted his role as the US attorney for Eastern Texas during the George W. Bush administration, Mr. Ratcliffe was an interim holder of that position, bridging a gap of less than a year between two Senate-confirmed presidential appointees. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/30/us/politics/john-ratcliffe-resume-intelligence.html
RT @MSNBC: NEW: US has obtained intel that Hamza bin Laden, the son and potential successor of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, is dead, ac…
Man new Twitter makes it really hard to screenshot a particular paragraph in a readable way. Always wants to zoom in on it, cutting off the edges.
Warren: if corporations could save “a nickel” by doing the bad thing, they will Sander five minutes later: if corporations can save “five cents” by doing the bad thing, they will
Delaney’s be-the-foil strategy is getting him a lot of TV time
Warren with the first memorable line of the night
RT @AlexWardVox: No one's lonelier than a foreign policy reporter covering the #DemDebate
If you would like to know what the candidates think about something different than the same 2-3 issues they always get asked about, this NYT presidential power survey project is coming. The participation rate is shaping up to be fantastic this cycle. https://charliesavage.com/?p=1967
 
 
 
 
 
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