Executive Power

Pete Souza

Debates over the proper scope of executive power in the United States have been a feature of U.S. law and politics dating back to before the nation’s founding. Article II of the Constitution vests the president with “the executive power” and the power to act as the military’s Commander in Chief, but the post-9/11 presidency has been characterized as a striking expansion of executive power, particularly in the area of national security.

Latest in Executive Power

Documents

Federal Judge Rules Trump Cannot Spend Emergency Funds on Border Wall

A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas ruled that President Donald Trump's border wall emergency proclamation, which gave the adminstration the ability to use funding for other activities to pay for construction of the border wall, was unlawful. The ruling also permanently enjoined the heads of the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Interior and the Treasury Department from using emergency construction funds for the wall other than those appropriated by Congress in the 2019 Consolidated Appropriations Act.

Executive Power

Trump Asks Supreme Court to Hear Manhattan Tax Returns Case

On Nov. 14, President Trump petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari to hear a case involving Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance's subpoena to Trump's accounting firm Mazars for the president's tax returns. The petition filed by the president, a brief in opposition from Vance and an amicus curiae brief from the solicitor general are available below.

Petition for Writ

Executive Power

D.C. Circuit Court Denies Trump Rehearing in Mazars Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has denied President Trump's petition for a rehearing en banc in Donald J. Trump v. Mazars, LLP et al. The order was issued per curiam with Judges Karen Henderson, Gregory Katsas and Neomi Rao dissenting. The court also denied a motion for a panel rehearing. Both orders can be view below.

Denial of Rehearing En Banc

Executive Power

Second Circuit Rules Mazars Must Hand Over Trump Tax Returns to New York Prosecutors

Federal judges in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that President Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP, must hand over eight years of financial documents pursuant to a subpoena filed by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. The court held that presidential immunity from state criminal processes should not extend to investigative steps. The ruling can be found here and below.

Counterterrorism

Targeting al-Baghdadi and Selective Notification to Congress: Assessing the Issues

In the aftermath of the successful operation against Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the fact that the Trump administration gave advance notice to the Russian government and possibly also to some Republican lawmakers—but not to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff or other Democratic lawmakers—is attracting criticism. Is the criticism warranted? Not from a legal perspective. But it’s complicated from there.

Subscribe to Lawfare

EmailRSSKindle