Hurricane May Delay House Votes
GOP faces deadline crunch as threat of losing House deepens. Politico: "Congressional Republicans, eager to hit the campaign trail to save their imperiled majorities, are starting to narrow their September legislative to-do list in hopes of skipping town early. But they still have to deal with a handful of looming deadlines, a potential shutdown fight and internal policy tensions — and all on tight timelines. Appropriators in both chambers still face numerous policy disputes over controversial issues such as abortion as they work to cut deals on spending bills before the close of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. With this week cut short due to the Jewish holiday, and the House on recess next week, lawmakers have just seven legislative days in which both chambers are scheduled to be in session before the government runs out of money. Leaders also have to dispense with a massive farm bill that’s been stalled amid a House-Senate clash over food stamps. House Republicans, with President Donald Trump’s backing, are still demanding work requirements for low-income beneficiaries — a controversial conservative proposal that has Senate GOP support but cannot attract enough Democrats to become law. Failure to pass a new farm bill by the Sept. 30 deadline could be a disaster: Republicans say it’s the best way to counteract the ill effects of Trump’s trade war."
Trump Wants Us To Breathe More Methane
Trump administration wants to make It easier to release methane into air. NYT: "The Trump administration, taking its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change, is preparing to make it significantly easier for energy companies to release methane into the atmosphere. Methane, which is among the most powerful greenhouse gases, routinely leaks from oil and gas wells, and energy companies have long said that the rules requiring them to test for emissions were costly and burdensome. The Environmental Protection Agency, perhaps as soon as this week, plans to make public a proposal to weaken an Obama-era requirement that companies monitor and repair methane leaks, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times. In a related move, the Interior Department is also expected in coming days to release its final version of a draft rule, proposed in February, that essentially repeals a restriction on the intentional venting and 'flaring,' or burning, of methane from drilling operations."
DOJ Tells Immigration Judges To Show No Sympathy
Sessions Urged Immigration Judges To Show Less Sympathy. BuzzFeed: "Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday warned incoming immigration judges that lawyers representing immigrants are trying to get around the law like 'water seeping through an earthen dam' and that their responsibility is to not let them and instead deliver a 'secure' border and a 'lawful system' that 'actually works.' He also cautioned the judges against allowing sympathy for the people appearing before them, which might cause them to make decisions contrary to what the law requires. 'When we depart from the law and create nebulous legal standards out of a sense of sympathy for the personal circumstances of a respondent in our immigration courts, we do violence to the rule of law and constitutional fabric that bind this great nation. Your job is to apply the law — even in tough cases,' he said. The comments immediately drew criticism from the union that represents the judges and from former judges. 'The reality is that it is a political statement which does not articulate a legal concept that judges are required to be aware of and follow,' said Dana Marks, a spokesperson for the National Association of Immigration Judges and an immigration judge in San Francisco. 'It did appear to be a one-sided argument made by a prosecutor.'"
Booker Asks Kavanaugh To Recuse From SCOTUS Trump Votes
Booker asks Kavanaugh to promise to recuse himself from cases involving Trump. Yahoo News: "New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker sent a letter to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Friday asking the judge to pledge to recuse himself from “any case that pertains to the special counsel’s investigation or that otherwise may immediately impact the President and his associates as it relates to the ongoing criminal investigation.' In the letter obtained Friday by Yahoo News, Booker said his concern is based on past comments Kavanaugh made indicating that he believes 'a sitting President cannot be criminally indicted, or even be investigated. This is a unique situation: President Trump could effectively be choosing his own judge, contrary to basic principles of the rule of law. Your recusal would eliminate that possibility,' Booker wrote."
Federal Judges Defy Roe
A federal appeals court just gave both middle fingers to Roe v. Wade. ThinkProgress: "A panel of three Republican judges openly defied the Supreme Court on Monday, permitting a law that is nearly identical to the abortion restriction the justices struck down in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt to take effect. Just like Hellerstedt, Comprehensive Health v. Hawley concerns two restrictions on abortion. The first requires abortion clinics to comply with expensive architectural requirements, the second requires that 'all doctors who perform abortions at ASCs must be 'privileged to perform surgical procedures in at least one licensed hospital in the community.' Again, the Supreme Court struck down a nearly identical Texas law in Hellerstedt. Judge Bobby Shepherd, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote for himself and his fellow Republican judges that the challenge to these 'physical plant' requirements may need to be delayed until after a clinic first tries to obtain a waiver. There are strong legal arguments against Shepherd’s position here, but Shepherd and his two colleagues at least claim that this waiver system meaningfully distinguishes Hawley from Hellerstedt. Judge Shepherd claims this result is justified because 'Hellerstedt did not find, as a matter of law, that abortion was inherently safe or that provisions similar to the laws it considered would never be constitutional.'"