USA POLITICS: Obama Lawyers Move Quickly to Battle Trump

Politicoscope
By Politicoscope March 13, 2017 16:34

Related Coverage You May Like


Current Political Article Highlights


Influential Manhattan prosecutor Preet Bharara and another 45 Obama-era U.S. attorneys are out of jobs after the Trump administration asked them to resign on Friday.

Continue below with the full current political topic.

USA POLITICS: Obama Lawyers Move Quickly to Battle Trump

When Johnathan Smith resigned from the U.S. Justice Department on Inauguration Day, he looked forward to spending time with his infant son, but that plan unraveled a week later when President Donald Trump unveiled his explosive foreign travel ban.

Within two weeks, Smith had a new job as legal director of civil rights group Muslim Advocates and was drafting briefs for a successful court challenge to the ban, joining other former top Obama administration lawyers now fighting Trump.

It is not surprising that Smith and some of his colleagues, political appointees of Democratic President Barack Obama, would leave the Justice Department now led by Republicans. What is unusual is how fast they have signed up to be Trump adversaries.

Some Republican lawyers say they were less hasty in moving into oppositional roles post-election. George Terwilliger, a senior Justice Department official under President George H.W. Bush, described the Obama lawyers’ actions as “unprecedented to my memory – and really bad form.”

One reason for the Obama lawyers’ quick moves, some of them said, was Trump’s aggressive use of executive authority from day one, which was guaranteed to attract court challenges.

Obama faced legal fights over executive power and some of his challengers were formerly lawyers for President George W. Bush, over issues such as immigration and Obamacare. But those came later in Obama’s presidency.

Besides Smith, other lawyers who have jumped into the fray include former Attorney General Eric Holder, who is advising California’s legislature on challenging Trump over immigration, environmental regulations and healthcare; and former acting solicitor general Neal Katyal, who is helping Hawaii contest Trump’s revised travel ban.

Influential Manhattan prosecutor Preet Bharara and another 45 Obama-era U.S. attorneys are out of jobs after the Trump administration asked them to resign on Friday.

Many of the Obama lawyers keep in touch, but reject the notion, proffered by some Republicans, that Obama is behind resistance efforts. Some of the lawyers credit their rapid transition to Trump’s hardline positions on key issues and to ethical concerns about his presidency and business interests.

“There’s a unique threat to our democracy and Constitution that we see in the assault the president is mounting on the Muslim community,” said Smith, who worked on religious discrimination issues at the Justice Department.

Norman Eisen, who was Obama’s top ethics lawyer and later ambassador to the Czech Republic, had expected to focus on his work at a think tank after Trump’s election. But instead, he said, “the ethics emergency of constitutional dimensions has galvanized me back into my initial Obama role.”

Eisen is now also chairing Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group he co-founded. The group has already sued Trump over alleged ethics violations.

Other Obama appointees taking on Trump include former White House lawyer Ian Bassin who has founded United to Protect Democracy, a new group probing Trump over ethics; and James Cadogan, who worked with Smith at the Justice Department, and is now at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, a civil rights group already clashing with the new administration.

Some career government lawyers, who are not political appointees and normally do not resign in power shifts, have also resigned to oppose Trump. One is Sharon McGowan, who worked on LGBT issues at the Justice Department.

On Inauguration Day, she was offered a job as director of strategy at Lambda Legal, an LGBT advocacy group. McGowan said she decided to leave Justice when Trump named Jeff Sessions, a hardline conservative Alabama senator, to be attorney general.

That was a “game-changer,” she said. “I knew there would be no chance for me to preserve what I’ve been working on so hard.”

– Reuters


Up Next on Politicoscope

Share this Article: "USA POLITICS: Obama Lawyers Move Quickly to Battle Trump"
Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help
There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
If everyone who reads our news content, likes it and helps to support it, we can have future guarantee to offer you with the best daily news content and other amazing features, all for free.
"I visit Politicoscope everyday to read my daily news in world politics. I'm glad it's all for free. On my part, I'm happy to donate monthly so as to continue enjoying these free content because it's actually a small amount from me compared to paid subscriptions by other news organisations. I want to help Politicoscope grow more so that I and other readers can continue to have access to free and exclusive daily online news." - Denise H., from LA, USA.
Help keep Politicoscope alive and grow stronger for you.

Donate Online Today


Politicoscope
By Politicoscope March 13, 2017 16:34

You May Also Like


Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help

There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
If everyone who reads our news content, likes it and helps to support it, we can have future guarantee to offer you with the best daily news content and other amazing features, all for free.
"I visit Politicoscope everyday to read my daily news in world politics. I'm glad it's all for free. On my part, I'm happy to donate monthly so as to continue enjoying these free content because it's actually a small amount from me compared to paid subscriptions by other news organisations. I want to help Politicoscope grow more so that I and other readers can continue to have access to free and exclusive daily online news." - Denise H., from LA, USA.
Help keep Politicoscope alive and grow stronger for you.

What's on Your Mind?