Notice & Comment

Author: Sam Wice

Notice & Comment

Why the Senate Likely Cannot Be Called Back Into Session Under the Constitution

In response to mass shootings across the country, several politicians, including President Trump, have called for increased gun-control measures. House Democrats had already passed some gun control bills before the mass shootings, and Speaker Pelosi has urged the Senate to consider the legislation. To encourage immediate action, Speaker Pelosi recently wrote a letter to President […]

Notice & Comment

Is the Death of the Blue Slip and Senate Hold Now Inevitable?

Much of a senator’s influence comes from the power to say no. Part of this traditional influence are the blue-slip and hold processes. The blue-slip process has historically required each home-state senator to return a “blue slip” stating that the senator supports a judicial nominee before the Senate will consider a nominee. Likewise, a hold has historically […]

Notice & Comment

If the ACA Is Enjoined, Must the TCJA Be Enjoined Too?

The Department of Justice recently announced that it will support a district court ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) should be enjoined as the allegedly unconstitutional modifications in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that zeroed out the individual mandate to purchase health insurance are inseverable from the rest of the ACA. […]

Notice & Comment

Returning Civility to the Senate Confirmation Process Without Destroying the Senate

Recent Senate confirmation battles have featured unprecedented conflict. Without the need to consult with Democrats to overcome a filibuster on nominees, Republicans have eliminated some of the bipartisan confirmation norms such as the “blue slip” for U.S. circuit court nominees, which required each home state senator to approve of a circuit court nominee. In response, […]

Notice & Comment

The Legality of the Wall Is Not Primarily a National Emergency Question

Although the national emergency declaration is getting much of the attention, its legality will not primarily determine whether President Trump can build a wall along the border with Mexico. Specifically, only about a quarter of the additional funding President Trump wants to use to build the wall would come through his national emergency authority. Instead, the […]

Notice & Comment

Must All Federal Employees Work During a Future Shutdown?

To ensure that federal employees were promptly paid after the 35-day shutdown ended, Congress recently passed the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019. However, by passing the Act, Congress might have inadvertently required all federal employees to work during a future shutdown. The Antideficiency Act requires the government to shut down when Congress does […]

Notice & Comment

A Review of Shutdown Litigation

With the partial federal shutdown reaching over three weeks, federal employees who work for shut down agencies are missing full paychecks. Additionally those essential employees who worked the Saturday after the shutdown began have not been paid for that day of work. Employees who cannot afford to miss paychecks may start to incur severe adverse […]

Notice & Comment

Why Federal Employees Will Not Be Working for Free During the Shutdown

Even though 25% of the federal government is shut down, many federal employees are considered essential (i.e., their service is necessary for emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property) and must work during the shutdown. Soon, you might hear about these employees having to work for free during the shutdown. However, […]

Notice & Comment

Why the Proposed House Rule on Income Taxes Would Not Prevent Democrats from Passing Progressive Legislation

House Democrats have proposed that, as part of their changes to the House of Representatives’ rules, income-tax increases on the lowest-earning 80% of taxpayers would require a 3/5ths majority in the House of Representatives. This proposed rule has been attacked as antidemocratic and as an obstacle to passing future, Democratic legislation. However, this rule change would […]

Notice & Comment

How Democrats Can Oppose the Republicans Only Judicial Hearings

Even though the U.S. Senate is on recess, Senate Republicans held hearings on judicial nominees, which only Senate Republicans attended. Senate Democrats opposed the hearings as an attempt to prevent serious questioning of the nominees. Unlike the Brett Kavanagh nomination, Senate Democrats have several ways to prevent most of the nominees from being confirmed. First, […]

Notice & Comment

Congress Should Follow Its PAYGO Requirements

Congress and President Trump have increased the deficit by simultaneously increasing spending while cutting revenue. The Department of Treasury found that the deficit has ballooned to $779 billion per year. Partly in response to the ballooning deficit, Congress formed the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform to propose reforms to the appropriations […]