Lawfare No Bull
Senate Judiciary Committee Talks Justice Department Oversight
On March 1, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to examine Oversight of the Department of Justice. The committee heard from attorney general Merrick Garland, who discussed topics ranging from Section 230 reform to climate change to FISA’s Section 702 and more.
D.C. Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in Scott Perry Case
On Feb. 23, the U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in a case concerning the Justice Department’s efforts to access Representative Scott Perry’s phone. This is part of the department’s investigation into efforts by former President Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election. The government is trying to access the phone amid congressional probes that claim Perry was an important ally to Trump in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The arguments abruptly ended as the court switched into sealed arguments.
Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Twitter Inc. v. Taamneh
On Feb. 22, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Twitter v. Taamneh, a case that deals with the liability of platforms that host or promote terrorist material. This case addresses the scope of the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, arguing that Twitter aided and abetted ISIS by hosting and promoting its content on its platform.
Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Gonzalez, et al. v. Google
On Feb. 21, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Gonzalez v. Google, a case challenging the scope of protections provided by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The Gonzalez complaint argues that YouTube’s recommendation algorithm provides assistance to ISIS by amplifying its content as well as allowing it to recruit new members by sharing materials on the platform.
The Final Meeting of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack
On Dec. 19, the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol held its final public meeting to summarize its findings from its investigation. In the meeting, the committee also voted on criminal referrals and the release of its final report. The executive summary of the report was publicly released following the meeting.
The Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Moore v. Harper
On Dec. 7, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Moore v. Harper, addressing the issue of the North Carolina state legislature’s heavily gerrymandered congressional districts. The state legislature argues that the state Supreme Court lacks the legal authority to review this issue, as that authority is given to the legislature itself, according to the Constitution’s elections clause.
D.C. Circuit Hears Arguments in Blassingame v. Trump
On Dec. 7, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in Blassingame v. Trump, regarding whether former President Donald Trump should receive absolute civil immunity for allegations related to his Jan. 6, 2021 “Save America” rally and his conduct surrounding the subsequent attack on the Capitol. Trump appealed the D.C. district court’s February ruling on this issue, which did not grant him immunity.
The Eleventh Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in the Trump Mar-a-Lago Case
On Nov. 22, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit heard oral argument in the case regarding the storage of classified documents at former president Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and the subsequent seizure of those documents by the Justice Department. Justice Department prosecutors argued the merits of their appeal of District Judge Aileen Cannon’s appointment of a special master to review the seized documents.
Day 9, House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack
On October 13, the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol held its ninth public hearing. The first committee hearing since July, this was an inquiry into former President Donald Trump’s “state of mind, intentions, and motivations.” Unlike previous hearings, the committee did not hear any live testimony. It did, however, present new evidence about the events on and around Jan. 6, including outside communication with the secret service, internal secret service messages, and video footage of members of congress in an undisclosed location while the Capitol was being breached by rioters. At the conclusion of the hearing, the committee unanimously voted to subpoena former President Trump for documents and testimony relating to the attack on the Capitol. Cheney asserted that the committee is “obligated to seek answers from the man who set this all in motion.”