Author Archives: Sam Wice

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

by Sam Wice — Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019@Wice_sam

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 […]

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

by Sam Wice — Friday, May 24, 2019@Wice_sam

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 […]

Why the Transfer of Funds to Build the Wall Is Likely Illegal

by Sam Wice — Friday, Mar. 29, 2019@Wice_sam

Recently I wrote a post on why the reprogramming of funds from the Support for Counterdrug Activities fund (10 U.S.C. § 284) to build the wall is likely legal. However, the $2.5 billion that President Trump said he would reprogram are not currently available in the fund. As such, to get funds to use 10 U.S.C. […]

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

by Sam Wice — Thursday, Mar. 28, 2019@Wice_sam

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. […]

Returning Civility to the Senate Confirmation Process Without Destroying the Senate

by Sam Wice — Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019@Wice_sam

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, […]

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

by Sam Wice — Friday, Feb. 22, 2019@Wice_sam

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 […]

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Must All Federal Employees Work During a Future Shutdown?

by Sam Wice — Friday, Feb. 8, 2019@Wice_sam

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 […]

Snow Days and Why Too Many Employees Likely Worked During the Shutdown

by Sam Wice — Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019@Wice_sam

With the 35-day partial shutdown finally ending, federal employees are getting back to work. However, many employees in the Washington, DC area have missed some work this past week due to a snowstorm. As such, I thought now would be a good time to examine some of the government’s actions during the shutdown compared to […]

A Review of Shutdown Litigation

by Sam Wice — Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019@Wice_sam

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 […]