September 25, 2017

On Sunday, the Trump administration rolled out a new iteration of its much-critiqued travel ban, a version that targets a slightly different set of countries and has no expiration date. The new ban may also differ from its predecessors by posing a more difficult challenge to those who would try to fight it in court, as Reuters detailed Monday in dialogue with several legal experts.

"The greater the sense that the policy reflects a considered, expert judgment, the less the temptation (by courts) to second-guess the executive," Saikrishna Prakash, a University of Virginia law professor, told Reuters. To the extent that this version "looks less like a matter of prejudice or a desire to fulfill a campaign promise," Prakash said, the safer from legal contest it will be.

Because the new ban adds North Korea and select government officials from Venezuela to its no-entry list, the White House can more easily argue it is not excluding Muslims on the basis of their religion rather than measurable security risks.

That each of the eight nations targeted are subject to slightly different guidelines will also help the administration's case in court, as will the ban's reliance on a multi-month review by the Department of Homeland Security. The review "at least arguably attenuates the link between the president’s alleged bias and the policy," said Margo Schlanger, a law professor at the University of Michigan. Bonnie Kristian

September 11, 2017

After disclosing last week that 143 million U.S. consumers may have had their personal information compromised during a cyberattack by criminal hackers, credit-reporting agency Equifax is already facing at least 23 proposed class-action lawsuits.

The company said the attacks took place from mid-May to July 2017, and the breach involved names, addresses, birthdays, and Social Security numbers, as well as some driver's license numbers. Equifax said it found out about the breach on July 29, and the Senate Finance Committee sent a letter to the company on Monday asking for a detailed timeline of what happened, how the company is working to figure out how many people have been affected, and what information was compromised.

The federal lawsuits have been filed in 14 states and the District of Columbia, covering everything from alleged security negligence to the delay in notifying customers, USA Today reports. One case, filed in California, takes aim at Equifax's offer to give customers a free year of credit monitoring from TrustedID, because the company "failed to disclose to consumers that it owned TrustedID, and its long-term business model turns on baiting consumers into signing up for its services. In other words, Equifax sought to turn its failure to protect consumers' sensitive data into a clandestine money-making opportunity." Catherine Garcia

June 10, 2017
Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Friday argued a federal judge should dismiss a lawsuit alleging President Trump is violating the Constitution's ban on federal officeholders accepting "emoluments" (gifts or payments) from foreign governments without congressional consent.

"Historical evidence confirms that the Emoluments Clauses were not designed to reach commercial transactions that a President (or other federal official) may engage in as an ordinary citizen through his business enterprises," the DOJ filing said. "Were Plaintiffs' interpretation correct, Presidents from the very beginning of the Republic, including George Washington, would have received prohibited 'emolument.'"

The governments of countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Turkey have held official events at Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel, and the Trump Organization more broadly has done other business with entities with ties to foreign states.

The lawsuit was brought by a left-wing watchdog group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), which claims standing on the grounds that the president's dealings with foreign governments have required the organization to take resources away from ethics concerns it would otherwise monitor. CREW is joined in the suit by a group of restaurants, restaurant workers, and a hotel events scheduler, who argue they have standing because they lose business when foreign governments attempt to "curry favor" with Trump by giving preference to his properties. The DOJ maintains neither claim of standing should hold up in court. Bonnie Kristian