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Federal Government

Private Meetings in Public Monuments During a Pandemic

The Washington Post reports that Interior [Department] shuts Washington Monument after interior secretary tests positive for the coronavirus (‘Park Service staff say they may have been exposed when David Bernhardt led a private, after-hours tour’): Officials have taken the extraordinary step of closing the Washington Monument starting Friday as a precaution after Interior Secretary David Bernhardt —…

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on DACA in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program allows certain persons who arrived in the United States as children to apply for a forbearance of removal. Today, a five-person majority of the nation’s high court ruled in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California that the Trump Administration violated the Administrative…

Cameras, Not Committees

Recent protests across America against excessive and biased use of police force began after ordinary people in those communities recorded official (to the point of murderous) actions, and then shared their recordings with others. It was not government – local, state, or federal – that promptly shared these recordings of excessive force; it was ordinary…

Detailed Video Timeline of the Crackdown on Protesters Before Trump’s Photo Op

The Washington Post analyzed hours of video footage and obtained audio of police communications and other records to assemble the most complete account to date of the June 1 crackdown on protesters in Washington D.C.. Late in the day on June 1, demonstrators gathered near the White House, on the edge of Lafayette Square, to…

Attorney General William Barr Fails Chemistry (and Trial Advocacy)

On CBS’s Face the Nation, United States Attorney General William Barr offered his scientific assessment of the use of pepper spray, by contending that “pepper spray is not a chemical irritant…it’s not a chemical.” (See transcript, Face the Nation, 6.7.20). As science — This is false – and wackily ignorant: of course pepper spray is…

Practical Implications After Wisconsin v. Palm: The Divide over the Novel Coronavirus

On March 24th, I first began a draft of this post. It seemed to probable then – and it is true now – that Trump would effectually abandon a social distancing or stay-at-home approach, and encourage business as usual to resume promptly. The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ruling in Wisconsin v. Palm has brought that abandonment to Wisconsin…