June 30, 2020

A tell-all book by President Trump's niece scheduled to be published next month has been temporarily blocked.

A judge granted a temporary restraining order on Tuesday blocking the publication of Mary Trump's book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, The Daily Beast reports. The president's younger brother, Robert Trump, had sought the restraining order after another judge previously dismissed his attempt to block the book.

The Daily Beast earlier this month reported on the upcoming book from Trump's niece, saying it was set to feature "harrowing and salacious" stories about the president. Both the president and his brother say she is forbidden from publishing it due to a confidentiality clause she signed.

"She's not allowed to write a book," the president told Axios.

Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster are now set to appear before the judge on July 10. Mary Trump's lawyer in a statement said that the order is "only temporary but it still is a prior restraint on core political speech that flatly violates the First Amendment. We will immediately appeal. Robert Trump's attorney in a statement said he's "very pleased with the New York Supreme Court's injunction" and looks forward to "vigorously litigating this case." Too Much and Never Enough is scheduled for publication on July 28. Brendan Morrow

February 28, 2020

A federal appeals court has blocked President Trump's policy requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases work their way through the immigration court system.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals came to this decision on Friday, saying that the policy is "invalid in its entirety," The New York Times reports. The Times notes this Migrant Protection Protocols policy, also referred to as the "Remain in Mexico" policy, was a "central pillar" of Trump's immigration agenda.

A federal judge in April 2019 issued an injunction against the Trump administration's policy after it was enacted that January, but a court of appeals later allowed it to go into effect while legal challenges against it continued, NBC News reports. Almost 60,000 people have been sent back to Mexico under the program, Reuters reports.

Additionally, the appeals court on Friday also upheld a ban on a rule preventing those who cross the border between ports of entry from being eligible from asylum, per NBC News.

The Washington Post noted Friday that "the number of people waiting in Mexican border cities for U.S. immigration court dates has dwindled, in part because migrants said they were not making the trek to the United States in the first place given how unlikely it would be that they would gain entry," but it's "unclear what halting the policy might do to that mind-set." Brendan Morrow

November 25, 2019

The Supreme Court on Monday blocked a lower court's decision that let House Democrats immediately review President Trump's financial records.

After agreeing to an expedited review of the lower court's ruling, Trump's lawyers were told they have until Dec. 5 to file a formal petition explaining why the court should accept its case for full briefing and oral argument, The Washington Post reports. If the petition is rejected, the lower court's ruling will go into effect, but if it is accepted, the case will likely be heard in the spring and decided before the Supreme Court adjourns in June.

The House Oversight Committee sent a subpoena to Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA, in mid-April, seeking his financial records. Trump immediately sued in an attempt to block the subpoena, and after a federal judge ruled against him in May, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in October that presidents "enjoy no blanket immunity from congressional subpoenas." Catherine Garcia

October 29, 2019

Alabama's strict new abortion law has been blocked by a federal judge just over two weeks before it was set to take effect.

Judge Myron Thompson of the United States District Court in Middle Alabama issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday temporarily blocking the law, which prohibits abortion in almost all cases, The New York Times reports. Performing abortions would be a felony under the law except in cases where a woman's health is at risk, with no exception for rape or incest. The law would have taken effect on Nov. 15.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) approved the measure in May, describing it as a potential "opportunity" for the Supreme Court to "revisit" Roe v. Wade. It came as part of a series of new restrictive abortion laws across the country, including in Georgia, where a new law was passed banning abortion in instances where a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The Georgia law was also blocked by a federal judge earlier this month.

In his decision, Thompson said the Alabama law "contravenes clear Supreme Court precedent," The Hill reports, also saying it "violates the right of an individual to privacy, to make 'choices central to personal dignity and autonomy.'" Brendan Morrow

October 8, 2019

One of the key figures in President Trump's Ukraine scandal won't testify before Congress Tuesday after all.

The administration has ordered U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland not to testify before Congress as part of the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, The New York Times reports.

Sondland is a witness in Trump's ongoing Ukraine scandal set off by a phone call in which he urged Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Sondland worked with the administration on Ukraine and in a series of text messages released last week discusses the scandal with Bill Taylor, U.S diplomat to Ukraine. At one point, when Taylor asks if the U.S. is "now saying that security assistance & WH meeting are conditioned on investigations," Sondland replies, "call me."

In a statement, Sondland's counsel said he is "profoundly disappointed" not to be able to testify but that he "stands ready" to do so after the "issues raised by the State Department" are resolved. As the Times points out, this step to block Sondland's testimony is significant considering Democrats have signaled that actions that impede their investigation will be taken as evidence of obstruction. Brendan Morrow

October 1, 2019

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked Georgia's rigid new abortion law from going into effect.

The law, signed in May by Gov. Brian Kemp (R), bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This can take place as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, often before a woman learns she is expecting. There are a few exceptions, including in cases of rape and incest, although the woman must first file a police report.

In the order, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones wrote that the Supreme Court has "repeatedly and unequivocally" upheld Roe v. Wade, establishing that a state may not ban abortion before 24 and 26 weeks of pregnancy, when a fetus becomes viable. "By banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, HB 481 prohibits women from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy at a point before viability," he said.

Georgia's current abortion laws, which prohibit abortions after 20 weeks, will remain in effect for now. The new law was set to go into effect on Jan. 1. ACLU of Georgia Legal Director Sean Young said this was a "tremendous victory for the women of Georgia and for the Constitution." Candice Broce, a spokeswoman for Kemp, said the governor will "continue to fight for the unborn and work to ensure that all Georgians have the opportunity to live, grow, and prosper." Catherine Garcia

July 30, 2019

Democratic senators hoping to fast-track a bill that gives Venezuelans Temporary Protected Status were blocked on Tuesday by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Temporary Protected Status is given to eligible people from designated countries who have escaped natural disasters, armed conflict, and political turmoil. They are able to live and work in the United States without fear of being deported. Last week, the House passed a bipartisan bill on the matter, and Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) wanted to approve it by unanimous consent before going on a six-week recess. Lee opposed this, saying Republicans did not have enough time to make changes to the bill. "It is an unconscionable moral failing for the Senate not to approve this legislation," Menendez said.

The United Nations estimates more than four million Venezuelans have fled their country, due to economic chaos, food and medicine shortages, and hyperinflation. While the Trump administration has called on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to step down and considers Juan Guaidó the legitimate leader, the White House has not come out in support of giving Venezuelans TPS and has tried to take the designation away from Haitians, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, and Salvadorians. The United States is the top destination for people who are leaving Venezuela. Catherine Garcia

June 29, 2019

A federal judge on Friday ruled that the Trump administration cannot use military funds to construct a wall at the southern border.

U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam issued the permanent injunction in a California federal court a month after temporarily halting the use of military funds, which were diverted after President Trump declared a national emergency at the border.

Gilliam wrote that the administration's lawyers were unable to provide any new evidence or an argument for why the court should reverse its previous decision. He also determined that groups suing to block the use of military funds would suffer "irreparable harm" over border wall construction because it would prevent them from enjoying public land along the border, adding that "the balance of public interest" is in favor of the groups opposing the wall. He did not, however, rule on whether the White House violated the National Environmental Policy Act.

The American Civil Liberties Union initially filed the lawsuit on behalf of several organizations, arguing that the funds had already been denied by Congress.

The injunction will stop border wall construction at sites in New Mexico, California, Arizona, and Texas. Tim O'Donnell

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