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President Trump's Religious Liberties Executive Order - Podcast

Timothy Courtney May 15, 2017
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On May 4, President Trump signed a Religious Liberty Executive Order relaxing IRS enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which bans tax-exempt organizations like churches from political speech and activities. The “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty” Executive Order also directs “the Secretary of Health and Human Services” to “consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate.”

An earlier version of the Executive Order was leaked in February, and contained many provisions, specifically about LGBTQ discrimination and federal contractors, which did not make it into the final. Prof. Carl Esbeck of the University of Missouri School of Law and Mr. Gregory Baylor of the Alliance Defending Freedom joined us to discuss the order and its precursor. 

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Fairholme Funds, Inc. v. United States: Litigation Discovery and the Most Transparent Administration in History

Kennedy, Korematsu, and the Travel Ban

John Reid February 10, 2017
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President Trump’s recent travel ban sparked an interesting constitutional discussion regarding the limits of executive authority.  Assuming Judge Robart’s ruling, blocking President Trump’s executive order, does make its way to the Supreme Court, the potential Supreme Court ruling would have broad implications beyond President Trump’s executive order regarding a travel ban.  The reverberations of such a ruling will likely effect presidential powers for years to come. For the liberal bloc of the Court to have any hopes of overturning the largest portions of President Trump’s order and create new precedent they need the vote of Justice Kennedy, the so-called “swing vote” on the Supreme Court. In order to draw Justice Kennedy to their side they could offer one incredibly enticing opportunity: the chance to overturn the universally reviled Korematsu v. United States. [Read More]

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FCC Front Door

An Obama mandate to trim outmoded rules is one Trump should keep

Randolph J. May December 21, 2016
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Here’s the way I began my commentary, “One Obama Executive Order That Makes Sense,” published on December 19 in the Washington Times:

In July 2011, President Barack Obama actually issued an executive order that, at least on paper, makes good sense. It’s Executive Order 13579, ‘Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies,’ urging independent agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission to establish plans for periodic retrospective reviews aimed at eliminating outmoded regulations.

E.O. 13579 followed on the heels of an earlier Obama executive order requiring executive branch agencies to engage in retrospective reviews to eliminate outdated, no longer necessary regulations. In the case of so-called independent agencies, President Obama (supposedly) could not “order” that the agencies undertake retrospective reviews, so E.O. 13579 simply “urges” them to do so. [Read More]