In In Re: Michael T. Flynn, Trump D.C. Circuit judge Neomi Rao argued that a district court judge must immediately dismiss a case against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security advisor. The move came after the Justice Department took the extraordinary step of deciding it no longer wanted to pursue charges against Flynn, despite the fact that he had twice pleaded guilty.
Although not in the majority, in Trump v. Mazars, Trump D.C. Circuit judges Neomi Rao and Gregory Katsas, dissenting, would have denied Congress the ability to obtain President Trump’s tax returns. Rao argued that allegations of illegal conduct against the President cannot be investigated by Congress except through impeachment.
In Make the Road New York v. Wolf, Trump D.C. Circuit judge Naomi Rao would have held that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear a challenge brought against a Trump Administration policy that subjects hundreds of thousands of immigrants to expedited removal without a hearing and other procedural protections. According to Rao, immigration law “expressly bars the courts” from reviewing legal challenges to certain immigration regulations. The majority strongly disagreed that such cases are unreviewable.
In Sierra Club v. Trump, Trump Ninth Circuit judge Daniel Collins argued in dissent that it was lawful for President Trump to divert appropriated funds to construct a wall along the southern border in California, New Mexico, and Arizona. As the majority pointed out, such a move was unconstitutional because the “[a]ppropriations Clause of the U.S. Constitution exclusively grants the power of the purse to Congress.”
In Cook County v. Wolf, Trump Seventh Circuit judge Amy Coney Barrett argued in dissent that the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule was lawful and should be upheld. The rule would deny immigrants permanent residence if they received any form of public assistance, including Medicaid or food stamps, for more than 12 months in a three-year period, even though Congress has made these benefits available to them.
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