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Ephrat Livni
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Trump and Ukraine: The complete impeachment timeline

Trump and Ukraine: The complete impeachment timeline

The impeachment inquiry into US president Donald Trump is based on a whistleblower’s report. It details Trump’s efforts to influence Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, his potential political rival in the 2020 presidential election. The whistleblower felt it was an “urgent concern,” arguing that in pressing a foreign power to interfere in a US election, the president was misusing his office for personal gain, and endangering national security. To understand the case, let’s look back at key moments leading to the impeachment inquiry, and what’s happened since it...

October 2, 2019
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Attorney general Bill Barr gets an ethics complaint for Valentine’s Day

Attorney general Bill Barr gets an ethics complaint for Valentine’s Day

US attorney general Bill Barr isn’t getting much love of late.Today, he became the to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The government watchdog (CREW) is requesting an investigation into Barr’s alleged violations of Justice Department (DOJ) rules and ethical conduct standards for executive branch employees.At the heart of the complaint are Barr’s public comments about an ongoing inquiry—namely, the DOJ’s probe into the origins of the FBI investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election (aka “investigate the investigators”). His allegedly prejudicial...

February 17, 2020
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Senators demand records illuminating dark money ties to Supreme Court appointments

Senators demand records illuminating dark money ties to Supreme Court appointments

Last week, five Democratic senators sent  to three Trump administration officials about secret forces transforming the US courts and about one very powerful American lawyer in particular, Leonard Leo.You may know Leo’s name if you’re steeped in the dramas of politics and law or were paying attention to the Supreme Court nominations of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, which he helped orchestrate. He is co-chair of the conservative and libertarian legal advocacy group known as the Federalist Society, an organization recently described in the as “a juggernaut for .” And it is Leo’s...

March 12, 2020
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About 280,000 essential healthcare workers in the US are undocumented

About 280,000 essential healthcare workers in the US are undocumented

Imagine being on the frontlines of the fight against coronavirus—tending to the sick and risking your life—while anxiously awaiting news about whether you’ll soon be deported to a country you left as a child, and scrambling to do immigration paperwork just in case you catch a break.That is the situation that tens of thousands of essential healthcare workers in the US find themselves in today. And they are the lucky ones, the beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a 2012 program the Trump administration halted in 2017, and which the Supreme Court .“Right now, we are...

April 16, 2020
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Supreme Court case on Trump’s taxes may show if he benefits from CARES Act

Supreme Court case on Trump’s taxes may show if he benefits from CARES Act

In early May, after weeks of delay prompted by the pandemic, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in three highly-anticipated cases about president . One of those matters involve a subpoena for Trump’s taxes.The case is important. Trump, unlike any president in recent history, has refused to disclose his finances, obscuring potential conflict of interests between his government and his personal business. But the issue has now taken on a whole new urgency because the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress last month contains deep within its 800 pages two barely-noticeable tax...

April 17, 2020
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Supreme Court case on Trump’s taxes may show if he benefits from CARES Act

Supreme Court case on Trump’s taxes may show if he benefits from CARES Act

In early May, after weeks of delay prompted by the pandemic, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in three highly-anticipated cases about president . One of those matters involve a subpoena for Trump’s taxes.The case is important. Trump, unlike any president in recent history, has refused to disclose his finances, obscuring potential conflict of interests between his government and his personal business. But the issue has now taken on a whole new urgency because the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress last month contains deep within its 800 pages two barely-noticeable tax...

April 17, 2020
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The pandemic shows the pressing need for widespread marijuana legalization

The pandemic shows the pressing need for widespread marijuana legalization

In 1971, a group of high school students in San Rafael, California went in search of treasure. They had a map to a secret marijuana grove and a code for the bounty growing there, referring to the herbal remedy as “420” because they’d gather for the quest every afternoon at 4:20.The code was critical because weed was illegal in California then and one of these bounty hunters, Jeff Noel, was the son of a state policeman who was none too keen on his son’s hunt for herb.Ultimately, the treasure eluded the students. They never found the grove. But they did make a lasting contribution to the...

April 20, 2020
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US Supreme Court chief John Roberts takes aim at Neil Gorsuch’s “evocative” claims in EPA case

US Supreme Court chief John Roberts takes aim at Neil Gorsuch’s “evocative” claims in EPA case

The US Supreme Court today decided a case that pitted 98 property owners in the toxic towns of Opportunity and Crackerville, Montana against the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO). The matter apparently also put chief justice John Roberts at odds with his fellow conservative, Neil Gorsuch.The justices sparred in over the notion of “paternalistic central planning,” a formulation Gorsuch used in his dissent and one that suggested his colleagues in the majority were or—almost as loathsome—socialists. Roberts, for his part, defended a...

April 20, 2020
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Kavanaugh sides with progressives in a Supreme Court environmental case

Kavanaugh sides with progressives in a Supreme Court environmental case

Call it a slightly belated Earth Day gift, if you will. Today, the US Supreme Court  about wastewater pollution and , supporting environmentalists and rejecting the position of the federal government and County of Maui.In a 6-3 decision written by Stephen Breyer, conservatives John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh joined the court’s progressive minority in laying out a standard that makes it harder for polluters to get away with dumping waste into protected waters.The dispute was about whether waste flowing from Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility in Maui via groundwaters into the Pacific...

April 23, 2020
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The US Supreme Court debates the internet’s future over the phone

The US Supreme Court debates the internet’s future over the phone

While many Americans have Zoomed into the future, videoconferencing their way through the pandemic, the US Supreme Court is old-school and chats over the phone. Today, the justices will hold a doubly historic hearing, live-streaming their first-ever telephonic oral arguments—ironically, in that could change the internet.Court commentators have hailed the event as “.” That’s because oral arguments have never been broadcast live. Cameras are barred in the courtroom and sound recordings are published on the court’s websites days after they happen. Transparency advocates have long argued for...

May 4, 2020
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