Gavel Drop: Republicans’ Full-Frontal Legal Assault Continues

The GOP is gunning for the Fair Housing Act, legislators who support sanctuary cities, and the appellate court that helped block Trump's travel ban.

If Republicans can't gut the Fair Housing Act by legislative means, they may be hoping that Ben Carson will not enforce parts of it, should he be confirmed as the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Michael Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images

Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.

Immigration law may grant presidents broad power to decide who is and is not allowed into the country, but that still doesn’t make Trump’s Muslim ban legal, argues this piece in the Los Angeles Times. 

The Fair Housing Act is one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation ever enacted. So, naturally, congressional Republicans are hoping to gut it.

One of the key Fair Housing Act provisions that Republicans have set their sights on requires data collection for analyzing patterns of racial segregation and their relationship to housing policy and regulation. If Congress can’t gut the act, Republicans are counting on the likely future Housing Secretary Ben Carson to just not enforce it.

This Republican state legislator in Ohio proposes jailing lawmakers who protect sanctuary cities.

New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak has this piece on the process behind the Neil Gorsuch nomination and whom Trump and his advisors might be considering for their next nomination (should they be so lucky).

The Maryland Court of Appeals issued a significant ruling, holding that defendants can’t be held in jail just because they can’t afford bail.

House Republicans have already busied themselves with plans to further damage our electoral system.

The U.S. Solicitor General defends the president and his policies before the Supreme Court. Filling that seat just took an interesting turn.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that if criminal prosecution is going to include interpreting blood evidence, that evidence must be explained by expert witnesses. The ruling has the potential to affect the way prosecutors rely on police or other law enforcement witnesses, likely disqualifying many from testifying because they cannot meet the higher legal standard of being an expert witness.

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit against the State of Louisiana, claiming that the state’s refusing to adequately fund its public defender system has created a crisis that makes it impossible for the state to guarantee indigent defendants’ constitutional rights.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed the Trump administration a “yuuuge ” loss last week by refusing to stay a lower court ruling blocking the administration’s Muslim ban nationwide. Now Republicans want to split the circuit into more than one appellate court.

A court in San Diego granted a name and gender change to a transgender person, making them the fourth Californian and the fifth person in the country to be granted an order indicating “nonbinary” as their legally designated gender.