Jesus Wept


Hameed Khalid Darweesh et al. v. Donald Trump, President of the United Startes, et al., Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, January 28, 2017.

Read it and you will weep too.

The Litigators’ Full Employment Act of 2017


Because so much shit is hitting so many fans this week, it’s not surprising that important stuff gets overlooked. One is that Trump’s base-pleasing multi-act promise-keeping-via-executive-order White House show will be an enormous boon to the litigation industry.

This morning the friendly folks over at the American Bar Association Journal have helpfully summarized one aspect of this in their post, Scalia opinion on EPA regulations could block Trump’s Wall.

Evidently Trump plans (insofar as you can say he plans anything) to rely on something called the Secure Fence Act of 2006 to avoid the need for new legislation to pay for his beautiful wall. But

The Secure Fence Act authorizes the secretary of homeland security to take actions to secure the border that are “necessary and appropriate.” That language, like the Clean Air Act language, requires consideration of cost, according to the op-ed by law professors Daniel Hemel, Jonathan Masur and Eric Posner. And the cost-benefit analysis does not favor the wall, they conclude.

Trump has said his wall could cost $8 billion, but other estimates have put the cost at $15 billion to $25 billion, the professors say. As for the benefits, the wall won’t stop the majority of immigrants in the country illegally, because they are in the country by overstaying their visas. And the wall won’t stop smugglers from tunneling underneath. ,,,

If the wall does work, the economic effects of reducing immigrants in the country illegally would likely be zero or negative, the op-ed says. That’s because such immigrants pay taxes, spend money and enhance American productivity.

Thus, an opinion by the late but unlamented Antonin Scalia may block the executive order.

For more legal humor you might check out this post from the ABA Journal: Lawyer is reprimanded for pretending to gag during prosecutor questioning of witness