• July 13, 2018

    by Alan Neff

    In due course, Judge Brett Kavanaugh will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee for questioning by Senators on his nomination by President Trump to the Supreme Court. If confirmed as a Justice, among the important questions he might face will be these, which concern the President’s possible personal exposure to criminal prosecution or civil liability for his conduct before or during his presidency:

  • July 13, 2018

    by Ruben J. Garcia, Associate Dean for Faculty Development & Research and Professor of Law, UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law, ACS Board of Directors Member

    As the analysis of the record and opinions of United States Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh begins, one of the judge’s dissenting opinions on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a strong indicator of the judge’s philosophy toward the law’s protection for workers, and how, if he is confirmed, he will limit the future reach of administrative agencies. Judge Kavanaugh’s 2014 dissenting opinion in SeaWorld of Florida, LLC v. Perez reflects Judge Kavanaugh’s deep skepticism of the institutions that Congress designed to protect American workers.

    The SeaWorld case concerned the death of Dawn Brancheau, an animal trainer at Sea World in Orlando.  Brancheau was an orca trainer with more than 14 years experience and 16 years employment with SeaWorld itself.  Brancheau was working with a killer whale named Tilikum on February 24, 2010.  At one point in the routine before a full crowd of spectators at the theme park, Tilikum was supposed to mime Brancheau’s behavior. Instead, the killer whale pulled Brancheau off the platform, inflicted severe injuries, and drowned her.  Brancheau’s death, and the ensuing OSHA investigation, was a central focus of the 2013 film Blackfish.

  • July 12, 2018

    by Caroline Mala Corbin, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

    The constitutional right to abortion is bound to play a major role in Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Here’s a very brief primer on the current state of the constitutional right and how Justice Kennedy’s replacement might help dismantle it.

  • July 12, 2018

    by Justin Pidot

    The Trump Administration has opened another front in its war on what has long been one of the most developed and effective systems of environmental law on the planet. With little fanfare, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), an office of the White House that often operates beneath under the radar, initiated a regulatory process that could gut the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)—a 1970 law referred to as America’s environmental magna carta and which served as a model for similar laws adopted by twenty states and numerous foreign nations and international governance bodies.

  • July 11, 2018

    by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar and founding director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Penn State Law - University Park*

    On June 26, 2018 the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in Trump v. Hawaii. The majority opinion was issued by Chief Justice John Roberts and involved the legality of a proclamation known as the “travel ban.” Two earlier versions of the ban were issued as executive orders were challenged successfully in court and then either were revoked or expired.

    The Immigration and Nationality Act was passed by Congress in 1952 and has been compared second in complication to the US tax code. In all three versions of the ban, the President relied on a section of the immigration statute known as Section 1182(f), which allows a president to suspend the entry of any noncitizen or class of noncitizens if such entry “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” When Congress amended the statute in 1965, it removed the national-origin-based quotas and created a nondiscrimination clause in Section 1152(a) to underscore that “no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.” Both sections 1182(f) and 1152(a) are relevant to Hawaii v. Trump.