Todd Ruger

Democratic Senators Sue Trump Over Whitaker Appointment
Blumenthal, Whitehouse, Hirono say move violates Appointments Clause

Matt Whitaker was appointed acting attorney general by President Donald Trump after Jeff Sessions was asked to stepped down. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, asking a federal court to stop him from leading the Justice Department.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii argue in the case that President Donald Trump’s move to name Whitaker temporarily as the nation’s top law enforcement official violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.

Grassley Gave McConnell Judges. Now He Wants His Criminal Justice Bill
‘I look at this in a very personal way,’ Grassley said

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has helped confirm a record number of judges. All he wants from Mitch McConnell now is a little “reciprocity.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley is leaning on his track record of processing judicial nominations to get a floor vote on a bipartisan bill he spearheaded to overhaul the nation’s criminal justice system.

In an unusual personal plea, the 85-year-old Iowa Republican on Thursday said he wanted “reciprocity” from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for “what I’ve done in our unified effort on judges” during President Donald Trump’s administration.

Political Drama Converges at Supreme Court Ceremony
Kavanaugh investiture event features Trump, acting AG, Ken Starr and more

President Donald Trump and Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh at a courtesy visit in the Justices’ Conference Room prior to the investiture ceremony. (Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States)

A Supreme Court sitting Thursday for the ceremonial investiture of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh took only 10 minutes, but it concentrated Washington's political and legal drama in one room.

Matthew Whitaker made his first public appearance as acting attorney general, reading a presidential commission from the courtroom podium less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump forced the resignation of Jeff Sessions as the nation’s top law enforcement officer.

Court Orders New Maryland Map in Partisan Gerrymandering Case
State officials expected to appeal decision to Supreme Court

Campaign signs outside the Activity Center at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg, Md., for early voting on June 18. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A federal court on Wednesday ordered Maryland to adopt a new congressional map for the 2020 elections, ruling that the state’s current map unconstitutionally diminished the value of Republican voters in the 6th District in the western neck of the state.

The three-judge panel’s ruling in the partisan gerrymandering case, which has gone twice to the Supreme Court on preliminary procedural issues, means the Maryland map once again will be before the high court if state officials appeal, as expected. 

Three Reasons House Democrats Likely Won’t Impeach Trump
Key leaders aren’t supporting calls for proceedings

President Donald Trump may avoid impeachment proceedings unless investigations uncover a whopper. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

House Democrats will be hesitant to use their newly regained majority to launch impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump unless investigations uncover such major misdeeds that even Republicans would support the effort.

A vocal portion of House Democrats still are expected to call for Trump’s impeachment over allegations he has misused the office or committed crimes, and dozens backed an effort to force the House to consider articles of impeachment within the past year.

Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Consider DACA Program
President has made immigration a major issue before midterms

The Trump administration wants the Supreme Court to sort out the legal fight over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration again asked the Supreme Court to step into the legal fight over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on Monday, urging the justices to decide this term whether the government has the power to end the Obama-era immigration policy.

In three petitions from three appeals courts, the Department of Homeland Security and other Trump officials want a speedy high court review of whether the administration’s September 2017 decision to revoke the discretionary program was lawful, and whether the federal courts can review that decision at all.

Senators Press Supreme Court to Lift State Uranium Mining Ban
Domestic production at historic low

Republican senators contend that a case about uranium mining before the Supreme Court involves issues that are critical to national security and defense. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee contend that a case now before the Supreme Court could undermine federal policy about uranium and other assets that are critical to national security and defense.

The justices heard arguments Monday in an environmental case about a three-decades-old Virginia law that prevents mining of the largest deposit of uranium in the United States, in Pittsylvania County, in the southwest region of the state.

Lawmakers Have Cuba in Mind in Supreme Court Brief
They argue case could affect how Congress writes legislation

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., is part of a group of lawmakers urging the Supreme Court to hear them out on a case that affects common and international law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of mostly Florida lawmakers wants the Supreme Court to side with fishermen and farmers from India in a dispute about a coal-fired power plant, since the decision could affect similar potential claims related to Cuba.

Seven members of Congress, led by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who came to the United States from Cuba as a child a year after Fidel Castro took power, filed a brief in a case now before the court. In it, they urge the justices to allow lawsuits against U.S.-based international organizations such as the one in the India case.

Senate Judiciary Returns to Business as Usual After Kavanaugh
No protesters. No extra security. No media buzz. And Lindsey Graham barely said a word

After a few weeks of passionate speeches, Sen. Lindsey Graham was subdued Thursday as the Judiciary Committee got back to business as usual. (Jim Bourg/Reuters/Pool)

Life after the Brett Kavanaugh fight got off to a subdued start Thursday for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Gone was the energetic buzz of news media, protesters and police officers that filled the hallway outside the committee’s hearing room in prior weeks. Inside the room, the senators spoke only in muted tones that contrasted sharply with the passionate speeches just two weeks earlier during a committee vote on the Supreme Court pick.