DC Digest – June 2, 2017

In Today’s Issue:
  • Trump Asks SCOTUS to See Travel Ban
  • Ed Department Loan Collection
  • NASA Seeks Ideas 

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ASKS SCOTUS TO REINSTATE TRAVEL BAN

President Trump has asked the Supreme Court to revive his travel ban executive order, hoping that the justices will give the green light to a policy repeatedly blocked by lower courts.

In filings Thursday, June 1, the Justice Department asked the high court to temporarily lift injunctions that bar officials from carrying out Trump’s directive to suspend visa issuance to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries and halt the flow of refugees to the U.S. from across the globe. The Trump administration also asked the justices to add the legality of the travel ban to the high court’s docket.

Travels and Gavels

EDUCATION DEPT. BATTLE OVER DEBT COLLECTION

The federal judge overseeing a legal battle involving the Education Department’s debt collection contracts this week chastised administration attorneys for failing to notify the court about the resignation of the top department official responsible for student financial aid and other “relevant developments.”

U.S. Court of Federal Claims Chief Judge Susan G. Braden cited last week’s resignation of James Runcie as one of several reasons for extending her order prohibiting the department from assigning any defaulted student loans to its existing debt collection firms. Braden said she wants to maintain the “status quo” as she considers the merits of lawsuits filed by companies that lost out on a round of new debt collection contracts awarded in December.

A Pound of Flesh

NASA SEEKS LIFE-SAVING IDEAS

NASA is scouting out bright new ideas to help keep astronauts healthy and performing at their peak during lengthy space travel. Long flights in space could lead to muscle deterioration, bone loss, and a host of other physical and mental health problems.

The Translational Research Institute, a consortium of academic research centers that works with NASA, is opening up a new competition for postdoctoral fellows across the US to address those issues. They’ll grant two-year fellowships that will allow young scientists to work on independent projects on human health in space flight, with some guidance from a mentor.

Space: the Survival Frontier