Here is some of the legal news making the headlines this week:
House Republicans are advancing their effort to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
- By a vote of 18-15, along party lines, the House Homeland Security Committee Republican majority endorsed articles of impeachment against Mayorkas. Republican members of the Committee include, among others, Chairman Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. The full House is now expected to consider the measure.
- The articles of impeachment accuse Mayorkas of “willfully and systemically refus[ing] to comply with Federal immigration laws” and “breach[ing] the public trust.” According to the articles, Mayorkas’s actions have had “calamitous consequences for the Nation and the people of the United States,” and he has “made false statements…and…obstructed lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security.”
- In a letter to the committee, Mayorkas called the allegations “politically motivated” and “personal attacks.” Mayorkas wrote, “I assure you that your false accusations do not rattle me and do not divert me from the law enforcement and broader public service mission to which I have devoted most of my career and to which I remain devoted.”
- If the House votes to impeach Mayorkas, he would become only the second Cabinet member to be impeached. In 1876, Secretary of War William Belknap was impeached over corruption allegations.
A conservative student group asked the Supreme Court to bar military academies from considering race in admissions.
- Students for Fair Admissions brought the lawsuit following the Supreme Court’s decision last June that found affirmative action in college admissions violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. In that case, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, indicated that the decision did not apply to military academies “in light of the potentially distinct interests that military academies may present.”
- Now, the group is asking the justices to go a step further by temporarily barring the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the service academy for the U.S. Army, from considering race in admissions while litigation continues. Students for Fair Admissions argued that the academy’s 14th Amendment violations are more severe than the earlier case because “West Point awards preferences to only three races: blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans.” The group requested immediate action from the justices, writing, “Every year this case languishes in discovery, trial, or appeals, West Point will label and sort thousands more applicants based on their skin color.”
- Arguing for West Point, U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote that the academy’s “limited consideration of race” in admissions is necessary to achieve “a diverse Army officer corps[, which] is a national-security imperative.” Prelogar recommended the justices not “second-guess the Army’s…military judgments.”
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