President Trump is the first president in history to donate his salary to government agencies. His quarterly gifts to various departments pose unique constitutional and statutory questions.
Latest in Separation of Powers
President Trump filed a lawsuit against the House Committee on Ways and Means, New York State’s attorney general and the state’s tax commissioner on Tuesday, to block the release of multiple years of his state tax returns. Trump filed this suit “in his capacity as a private citizen” after the Ways and Means Committee sued the Treasury Department for his tax returns.
We have a new draft paper, forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review, on how extensively the president has come to control international law for the United States, and what, if anything, should be done about it. As we explain at the end of this post, one of the central questions implicated by the paper is: Does Congress care?
Alan Z. Rozenshtein on Digital Communications and Data Storage Companies as "Surveillance Intermediaries"
Alan Z. Rozenshtein, a former contributor to this site who now works at the Department of Justice, is well known to long-time Lawfare readers for his writing on many national security law topics, particularly on issues of national security law in cyber-related topics. Alan has just posted to SSRN a very interesting and important article on the issues raised by government surveillance in an era that today is perhaps most memorably characterized by the legal standoff between Apple and the Department of Justice over unlocking the cell phone of one of the San Bernardino terrrorists.
Much anticipated for any number of reasons, Zivotofsky was perhaps most awaited for the valuable contribution it was to make in the form of its analysis of the scope of exclusive executive power. This analysis was expected to begin to answer a key question lingering after Justice Jackson’s Youngstown concurrence.
In his famous Youngstown concurrence, Justice Jackson began by reflecting that:
The Supreme Court in Zivotofksy held that the President can disregard a statute that requires him to designate “Israel” on passports of U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem because the statute (Section 214 of the 2003 Foreign Relations Authorization Act) infringes on the President’s exclusive power to recognize foreign sovereigns.
The decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, a blockbuster foreign policy-related Supreme Court case that many of us have been watching carefully, was just released: The DC Circuit is affirmed. The President holds the exclusive power to recognize foreign sovereigns, and the relevant statute compelling the Executive to write "Israel" on relevant passports impermissibly infringed on this exclusive authority to determine the status of Jerusalem.