Latest in Appointments, Confirmations & Budgets

Federal Law Enforcement

Document: State of Maryland Motions for Judge to Decide Whether Whitaker Is Acting Attorney General

On Tuesday, in litigation related to the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the state of Maryland filed a motion to substitute the acting attorney general for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a defendant. In the motion, the state asks the judge for expedited consideration declaring Matthew Whitaker is not the lawful acting attorney general. The motion is below.

FISA: 215 Collection

Brett Kavanaugh’s Internet

When the Supreme Court first encountered the internet, the justices expressed wonder at its potential. “It is ‘no exaggeration to conclude that the content on the Internet is as diverse as human thought,’” marveled Justice John Paul Stevens, then the court’s oldest member. The court decided that, unlike the more regulated television and broadcast media, this “‘unique and wholly new medium of worldwide human communication” was entitled to full First Amendment protection.

U.S. Supreme Court

Experts Testify on National Security and Executive Power at Fourth Day of Kavanaugh Hearings

During the fourth day of hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, two experts testified on matters that may be of interest to Lawfare readers. Rebecca Ingber, associate professor at Boston University School of Law and contributing editor for Lawfare, testified about Judge Kavanaugh's approaches to executive deference on national security matters and to international law.

Politics & National Security

The Difference a Hearing Makes: Public Awareness of and Confidence in Gina Haspel Increased After Her Senate Testimony

The fight over Gina Haspel’s nomination to be director of the CIA was one of the more politically controversial that has emerged in recent months. It raised complex questions of leadership and accountability and reopened discussion over this country’s use of harsh interrogation techniques that many have characterized as torture.

Executive Power

The Federal Vacancies Reform Act and the VA: A Study in Uncertainty and Incompetence

One of the obscure federal statutes that has come to prominence in the Trump administration is the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA), a statute designed to increase the president’s flexibility with respect to filling vacancies within the executive branch on a temporary basis.

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