A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces scans the sky for shells in Raqqa as they try to advance further into ISIS strongholds. Photo: Delil Souleiman / AFP / Getty Images

D.C. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan ruled this weekend that an American man suspected of fighting for ISIS, who was detained as an "enemy combatant" earlier this year, has the right to a lawyer, the NYT's Charlie Savage reports. Judge Chutkan ordered the Pentagon allow an ACLU lawyer to meet with the suspect.

Why it matters: The crux of the issue is Americans' access to lawyers in the face of wartime powers.

Details on the case:

  • Although the government won't identify the man, "officials familiar with the" say he is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. He is being held in Iraq and was originally captured by a Syrian militia in September.
  • The ACLU filed a habeas corpus lawsuit on his behalf to target his indefinite detention without charges or a lawyer.
  • It is unclear if the Department of Justice will appeal or comply; DOJ spokesperson Wyn Hornbuckle declined to comment on the matter.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.

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The recent firestorm over the New York Post’s publication of stories relying on data from a hard drive allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden shows the increasingly hazy line between domestic political “dirty tricks” and a foreign-sponsored disinformation operation.

Why it matters: This haziness could give determined actors cover to conduct influence operations aimed at undermining U.S. democracy through channels that just look like old-fashioned hard-nosed politics.