Executive and Legislative Governance; Judicial Affairs

The National Emergencies Obama Declared Show He & Trump Had At Least One Common Concern

On Feb. 15, President Donald Trump declared a controversial national emergency to allocate funds to build a wall along the southern U.S. border. Amidst chatter about when it's appropriate for a president to declare a national emergency, you may be curious whether previous presidents made emergency declarations, and why they did so. Indeed, this list of national emergencies Obama declared shows the 44th president didn't shy away from the action — and that he issued declarations primarily related

Trump's Judicial Nominees Vs. Obama's Show The Confirmation Process Isn't What It Used To Be

In the upcoming days, several of President Trump's federal court nominees will face confirmation votes in the U.S. Senate. These nominees represent just some of the many people Trump has selected to serve as judges in various courts across the country — and he's been getting them confirmed at a breakneck pace. As the president continues to move forward with an ambitious judicial nomination plan, looking at Trump's judicial nominees versus Obama's lends insight into how the nomination and confirm

Is It Illegal To Share Classified Information? Trump May Be The Only One Exempt From This Law

On Monday, news emerged that Donald Trump allegedly disclosed highly classified information to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister during a meeting at the White House last week (the White House, via multiple national security advisers, has denied these claims). While the notion of a U.S. president sharing classified information with a foreign entity is certainly disconcerting, many are likely wondering whether it is, indeed, illegal. As it turns out, it is illegal for pretty much anyone

Pennsylvania's Attorney General Thinks He & His Peers Are The New Check On Trump

In the two months that Donald Trump has been president, attorneys general across the county have already taken on leading roles challenging his policies. Most of that has been through legal channels, such as when Democratic state attorneys general united to denounce Trump's travel ban executive order in January and later filed an amicus brief in support of Washington's lawsuit against it. But sometimes, it has taken other forms. Last month, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro made headli

What Would Happen If Trump Fired Robert Mueller?

On Monday, rumors emerged that President Donald Trump is allegedly considering firing Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who was appointed to investigate the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russia; the White House has countered these claims. Still, in light of these new reports, many are likely wondering what would actually happen if Trump tried to fire Mueller. In theory, it would depend on how Congressional Republicans as well as the Department of Justice choose to react to Trump's (hypot

Could Trump Be Indicted? The Constitution Leaves That Up In The Air

Recently, many have speculated about the possibility of impeaching Donald Trump, following the emergence of allegations that Trump asked former FBI director James Comey to end the agency's investigation of Michael Flynn (the administration denies these claims). In addition to impeachment speculation, many are also wondering whether Trump could be indicted on criminal charges as a sitting president. While, based on history, it is unlikely that Trump could be indicted while in office, the matter o

Joe Biden Says He Regrets Not Giving Anita Hill The "Hearing She Deserved"

A former vice president and possible 2020 contender is speaking out about why he should've handled a pivotal moment in his career differently. Joe Biden said he regrets not giving Anita Hill the "hearing she deserved" in 1991, when she provided testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee detailing allegations of sexual harassment against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Thomas has always denied these allegations. Biden was the chairman of the committee at that time, which was widely

How To Follow The Trump Impeachment Inquiry As All The News Unfolds

On Sept. 24, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives will initiate an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Pelosi's announcement could have significant consequences for America's future and, as a result, you might want to follow the Trump impeachment inquiry to stay in the loop. If you're looking for easy ways to keep track of the latest developments, there are several resources you can look to for guidance. "Today I'm announcing the House of Representatives is mov

Can The Senate Stop Impeachment? Trump Can't Be Ousted By The House

On Sept. 24, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives is launching a formal impeachment inquiry into the president of the United States. While this process is initiated in the House, you may be curious whether the Senate can stop impeachment. The Senate actually has quite a bit of power when it comes to deciding if a president should be removed from office, but that decision only arises if the House first decides to impeach a president. As Vox reported, the impeach

Can The President Change Libel Laws? Trump Couldn't Do It Single-Handedly

On Sunday, Donald Trump's Chief of Staff Reince Priebus indicated that the president's administration has "looked at" making changes to libel laws, potentially threatening press freedoms. Priebus' assertion has led many to wonder whether the president can change libel laws and, if so, how this change would occur. As it turns out, it is quite difficult to change federal libel laws and, indeed, a constitutional amendment would likely be required to do so, meaning that the president cannot singleha

Who Is Andrew McDonald? Connecticut Is About To Confirm The First Openly Gay Chief Justice In The U.S.

On Monday, the governor of Connecticut, Dannel P. Malloy, named Justice Andrew McDonald as the state Supreme Court's chief justice. McDonald's nomination renders him the first-ever openly gay Supreme Court chief justice in any state — a historic moment for both Connecticut and the nation. As the CT Mirror reported, Governor Malloy released a statement on Monday announcing McDonald as his pick to replace outgoing chief justice Chase T. Rogers. In his statement, Malloy extolled McDonald's profess

What Would Happen If Trump Fired Robert Mueller?

On Monday, rumors emerged that President Donald Trump is allegedly considering firing Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who was appointed to investigate the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russia; the White House has countered these claims. Still, in light of these new reports, many are likely wondering what would actually happen if Trump tried to fire Mueller. In theory, it would depend on how Congressional Republicans as well as the Department of Justice choose to react to Trump's (hypot

This One Statistic On Supreme Court Justices & Diversity Is Absolutely Jarring

Following over a week of anticipation, on Monday evening President Donald Trump announced his nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. There has been much buzz about Trump's pick and, indeed, this statistic on Supreme Court justices puts Brett Kavanaugh's nomination into sobering perspective. The startling stat reveals just how few women and minorities have served on the Supreme Court over time — an issue certainly not aided by Kavanaugh's nomination. CNN r

What Is Court-Packing? Trump's SCOTUS Pick Could Inspire Drastic Action From Democrats

On Monday evening, President Trump is slated to announce his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Trump's nomination of a new SCOTUS justice has promoted concern among progressives, with some even suggesting pushing for a controversial strategy, called court-packing, to counter the court's conservative leanings. You may be wondering what exactly court-packing is amidst these discussions about the future of the United States' most powerful judicial institution. The strategy c

Has A President Ever Shared Highly Classified Info? Trump's Case Stands Out Among The Rest

On Monday evening, the Washington Post reported that Donald Trump allegedly shared highly classified information with Russian officials during a meeting last week. This news has received a substantial amount of attention and has likely led many to wonder if a president has ever shared highly classified information before — or if Trump is the first to do so. While former presidents have certainly shared classified information, the manner in which Trump shared this information and the individuals

Has A President Been Impeached Before? Trump Wouldn't Be The First

Following weeks of increasing controversy, talk about the potential impeachment of President Donald Trump has reached fever pitch. With Rep. Al Green's call for impeachment, some observers are probably wondering if any U.S. president has ever been impeached before. The answer: Two presidents in U.S. history have been impeached, though no president has ever been removed from office. Impeachment constitutes the official levying of charges against a government official. In the U.S., the House of R

Who Is Jeff Merkley? The Senator Is Holding The Floor To Protest Neil Gorsuch

On Tuesday evening, a certain Democratic senator held the floor to protest Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination. And he wasn't ready to stop speaking, even after six hours had passed. So, who Sen. Jeff Merkley? To say the least, he's playing a crucial role in resisting Trump's Supreme Court pick. Merkley is a Democratic senator from Oregon who has been in office since 2009. He also serves as the chief deputy whip for the Senate Democratic caucus and is responsible for helping line-up Democra

Who Counts Electoral College Votes? Both The Senate And Congress Play A Significant Role

The upcoming Electoral College vote is receiving a significant amount of attention due to speculation as to whether the College will try to block controversial president-elect Donald Trump. Though the move would be highly unprecedented, it's raising a lot of questions. Considering the impending arrival of the vote on Dec. 19, it's crucial to take a closer look at the voting process, particularly at who counts the Electoral College votes. Counting of Electoral College votes actually occurs at tw

Democrats Will Introduce New Impeachment Articles Against Trump After His Charlottesville Comments

On Wednesday, a group of Democrats in the U.S House of Representatives will introduce new articles of impeachment against President Trump. The introduction of these new articles will mean that at least four U.S. legislators have now officially supported articles of impeachment against the 45th president. The latest articles will be introduced by Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.). They are both members of the House Judiciary Committee, which drafted the impeachment articles

Can The Senate Filibuster A Supreme Court Nominee? A Cloture Vote Could Change Everything

If Mitch McConnell's motion to invoke cloture receives the support of a majority of senators on Friday, a final vote on Brett Kavanaugh could happen on Saturday. Considering the highly contentious nature of Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings, you might be wondering whether the Senate can filibuster a Supreme Court nominee. In short, the answer is yes — unless the Senate passes a cloture motion, which would thwart Democrats' filibuster plans. A filibuster is a strategy designed to disrupt progres
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