Here is some of the legal news making the headlines this week:

A federal judge in Iowa froze enforcement of a controversial law that criminalized entering the United States, and Iowa, illegally. 

  • Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed the bill into law in April. The statute makes it a misdemeanor to enter Iowa after being deported or denied entry into the country and permits local police officers to make arrests.
  • The Department of Justice challenged the law, arguing the federal government alone may regulate immigration. District Judge Stephen Locher agreed, writing, “As a matter of politics, the new legislation might be defensible. As a matter of constitutional law, it is not.”
  • According to Locher, the U.S. Congress, not the state of Iowa, has the authority to regulate immigration and set deportation policies. Locher writes, “The fact that Senate File 2340 compels Iowa state court judges to issue orders requiring noncitizens to return to the foreign nation from which they came makes the conflict preemption problem even worse. Congress has established an intricate and specialized system, with multiple layers of review by trained immigration officials and judges, for determining when someone can be removed from this country and where they must go.” 
  • Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird has vowed to appeal the decision.

New York’s highest court declined to review former President Donald Trump’s appeal of the gag order in his Manhattan criminal case.

  • Judge Juan Merchan issued the gag order in March, restricting Trump from publicly criticizing witnesses, court staff, and jurors in the case. 
  • Trump has denounced the gag order from its inception, arguing that it violates his First Amendment right to freedom of speech and is an improper restriction on a political candidate. 
  • New York courts have rebuked Trump’s arguments. On Tuesday, New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, rejected, without explanation, Trump’s latest appeal.
  • The gag order remains in effect despite the guilty verdict returned by the jury last month. Trump has asked Merchan to immediately release him from the gag order, while the Manhattan DA has argued it should remain in place.

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