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Author Topic: Checks and Balances  (Read 2856 times)
Dos Equis
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« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2017, 08:37:43 PM »

Supreme Court lifts restrictions on Trump travel ban
BY LYDIA WHEELER - 09/12/17

The Supreme Court agreed late Tuesday to lift restrictions on President Trump's travel ban until further notice, allowing the administration to continue barring most refugees under the ban.

The court granted the government's request to block a federal appeals court ruling that said the administration cannot ban refugees who have formal assurances from resettlement agencies or are in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a temporary stay on Monday pending a response from the state of Hawaii, which was due by noon on Tuesday. Late in the day, the court issued a one-page order blocking the decision indefinitely.

It takes a vote of five justices to grant a stay application.

The state of Hawaii is suing the Trump administration over the travel ban, which bars citizens from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. and temporarily halts the country's refugee resettlement program. Hawaii urged the court to uphold the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling and continue to allow refugees into the U.S.

“Refugees with formal assurances are the category of foreign nationals least likely to implicate the national security rationales the Government has pointed to in the past,” the state’s attorney Neal Katyal argued in court documents.

“By the Government’s own admission, these refugees have already been approved by the Department of Homeland Security. It is therefore exceedingly unlikely that they represent a security threat.”

Two federal appeals courts blocked key parts of the ban earlier this year, and the Supreme Court said in June that it would hear appeals from those decisions. At that time, the court also allowed the government to enforce the ban for people without a "bonafide" relationship with a person in the U.S.

But what relationships were considered bonafide became the subject of intense debate. The Trump administration allowed only some relatives of U.S. residents to enter the U.S., while excluding others, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles.

In its opinion last week, the 9th Circuit blocked the government from denying entry to grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended family members of a person in the U.S., but Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall said the administration had decided not to fight the “close-family aspect of the district court’s modified injunction.”

Wall said in his request to the court that that part of the ruling was “less stark” than the nullification of the order’s refugee provision.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases that have been consolidated challenging the travel ban on Oct. 10.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/350373-supreme-court-lifts-restrictions-on-trump-travel-ban
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« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2017, 01:02:17 PM »

Supreme Court cancels travel ban oral arguments
By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter
Mon September 25, 2017

Washington (CNN)In an unexpected announcement, the Supreme Court said it will not hear oral arguments on the travel ban as scheduled on October 10.

The court wants to hear from both sides if the issue is moot after the proclamation President Donald Trump issued Sunday night. Those briefs are due October 5.

This is not a ruling about the constitutionality or a final decision from the court: The one-page unsigned announcement simply removes the case from the oral argument schedule for the moment.

Legal experts have said for days that they thought Travel Ban 3.0 might -- down the road -- stop the justices from weighing in on the constitutionality of the travel ban. The justices could reschedule arguments, but it's likely those arguments would focus on whether there is still a live controversy before the Supreme Court, or whether the case should be sent back down to the lower courts to review any changes in the ban.

Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco filed a letter with the Supreme Court "respectfully suggesting" that the justices request supplemental briefs from both sides by October 5 because of the new restrictions the President has outlined. In the letter, Francisco emphasized that part of the March travel ban had expired, and the administration is putting in place new restrictions after a worldwide review.
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The court's order on Monday was in response to Francisco's request.

"In general, when one policy expires and a new policy is developed, the court may consider any challenge to the expired policy to be moot," said Irv Gornstein, the executive director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown Law. Gornstein stressed he was talking generally, but he suggested that if the parties are no longer affected by the new policy, or its impact has changed, there may not be the injury that is necessary to establish a case -- potentially meaning things will have to start anew.

The new restrictions cover eight countries -- Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen -- and replace a provision of the travel ban that expired Sunday night.

In the proclamation, Trump wrote that he was acting "by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America."

The restrictions, tailored to the individual countries, generally go into effect by October 18.

"Because the new iteration of the travel ban applies in different ways to different countries from the March executive order, it's hard to imagine that the Supreme Court wouldn't want to hear first from the lower courts," said Steve Vladeck, CNN's Supreme Court analyst and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law. (Vladeck co-authored a brief arguing that the current case is moot and that the Supreme Court should keep on the books lower court decisions that enjoined key provisions of the March order.)

"As these developments show, the fact that the cases have now likely become moot is entirely because of the government's voluntary actions," he said. "In such circumstances, it wouldn't be fair to hand a victory to the government by wiping away the lower court decisions ruling against them."

In briefs filed with the Supreme Court on a different issue considering the entry ban's expiration, the Justice Department argued that if the court were to ultimately dismiss the case as moot it should wipe away the decisions below.

The issue of what to do with the existing lower court opinions that were heavily critical of the President's actions could become a contentious issue between the parties.

Some believe that the justices anticipated all along that a mootness issue might arise.

For instance, on June 26, when the court issued its order allowing the ban to go partly into effect and saying it will hear the merits of the case, it added this line: "We fully expect that the relief we grant today will permit the Executive to conclude its internal work and provide adequate notice to foreign governments within the 90" days.

Immigrant rights groups blasted the new restrictions and suggested that the President had added non-Muslim majority countries to the list only to shore up his legal argument that the travel ban was necessary for national security and it was not motivated by comments he made on the campaign trail suggesting the need for a "Muslim Ban."

Becca Heller, the director of the International Refugee Assistance Project, a petitioner in the case, said that her group "strongly rejects this  latest attempt at banning Muslims from entering the country".

"Of those countries, Chad is majority Muslim, travel from North Korea is already basically frozen and the restrictions on Venezuela only affect government officials on certain visas,"she said.

"Adding new countries to a ban that baselessly vilifies whole populations does nothing to change the fact that this is still government-sanctioned discrimination," said Naureen Shah of Amnesty International USA. "These restrictions  will likely introduce further uncertainty for ordinary people who rely on the ability to travel, study and work in the US. Amnesty will be monitoring to see the effects of this revised ban on the lives of men, women and children around the world."

This story has been updated.
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« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2017, 09:43:36 AM »

Supreme Court Opens Momentous Term on Monday
by PETE WILLIAMS

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court returns to work Monday facing a blockbuster docket, as it roars back from last year's unusually low-key term.

Objections to same-sex marriage, state regulation of sports betting, the privacy of cellphone users and limits on political partisanship dominate the court's agenda.

"There's only one prediction that's entirely safe about the upcoming term," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said at Georgetown University's law school late last month. "And that is it will be momentous."

The court was to hear a showdown over President Trump's travel ban, but the courtroom argument scheduled for Oct. 10 was canceled after the White House issued new visa restrictions on Sept. 24. On Thursday, lawyers for both sides will tell the court what they think should be done with the challenges to the president's authority to issue the executive order.

Here are some of the issues up before the highest court in the land this term:

Opposition to same-sex weddings
Same-sex marriage is at the heart of a case brought by a Colorado baker who refused to provide a custom cake for a gay couple's wedding reception because it would violate his religious principles. That ran afoul of a Colorado law that forbids businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

The baker, Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, said his cakes are works of art and the state law compels him to express a view he opposes. "I don't want to be forced to create art, sculpting, painting, any of the things that I do for an event that goes against my faith."

But the couple he turned away, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, say there's no religious exception to laws against discrimination.

"Could a hotel owner turn away an interracial couple because his religion believed that people shouldn't marry outside their race?" Mullins asks.

State-approved sports betting
New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie, is urging the court to rule that the federal government cannot prevent his state from allowing sports betting at casinos and racetracks, where it would generate millions in tax revenue. Professional sports leagues and the NCAA say in response that a federal law bans sports betting in most states.

Cellphone privacy
At a time when 95 percent of Americans own a cellphone, the court will decide whether the police need a search warrant to plot the movements of a phone's user, by analyzing data the phone companies collect as roving calls are handed off to successive cell towers.

Lower courts have generally said police don't need a warrant, relying on a Supreme Court ruling four decades ago. It said telephone customers don't expect that the numbers they dial will remain private, since the phone company needs the information for billing. The court will decide whether that reasoning should apply in the digital age, when phones are no longer hard-wired into the wall.

Nathan Wessler of the ACLU said police should be required to get a warrant from a judge before accessing the data.

"Knowing where a person's phone goes can tell you a great deal of private information about them, from where someone slept at night, whether at home, or in someone else's house three miles away, to whether someone goes to a doctor, a psychiatrist."

Compulsory union fees
In a case that could deal a crippling blow to unions representing millions of the nation's public employees, the justices will decide whether state government workers who choose not to join a union must still pay a share of union dues to cover the cost of negotiating contracts. At stake is the future power and financial health of public sector unions in the 22 states where they have a duty to bargain for both members and nonmembers alike.

States where unions have a duty to bargain for both members and non-members alike. NBC
Anti-union groups argue that requiring nonunion members to pay a portion of union dues forces them to endorse views they don't agree with, violating their First Amendment rights. But the unions say negotiating contracts, which provide benefits to nonunion members as well, is expensive. They argue that the fees prevent "free riders."

Partisan gerrymandering
And in a case that could change the future of American politics, the justices will consider whether states can become so blatantly partisan in drawing the boundary lines for voting districts that they violate the Constitution.

Wisconsin is split nearly equally between Republican and Democratic voters, but after gaining control of the legislature and the governor's office, Republicans redrew State Assembly district lines in 2011, eventually giving them 64 out of 99 seats. Lower courts said the result was so excessively partisan that it denied Democrats a fair shot at electing candidates of their choosing.

"We've reached a point here, and Wisconsin is an extreme example, where a political party ends up deciding in advance who's going to win or lose the election," said Trevor Potter of the Campaign Legal Center, which is challenging the new map.

Courts have long held that oddly shaped districts are unconstitutional if they put racial minorities at a disadvantage. But it has never set out a legal standard for blowing the whistle on excess political partisanship.

Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, said states are getting much better at using voter information to fine tune their electoral maps. "Elected officials, armed with new data, are seeking maximum partisan advantage. And if the court doesn't put the brakes on it, this is likely to accelerate and get even worse."

This Supreme Court term will end in late June.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/supreme-court-opens-momentous-term-monday-n805641
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« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2017, 12:07:09 PM »

Hawaii judge blocks latest version of Trump’s travel ban
Associated Press
Updated October 17, 2017

A federal judge in Hawaii blocked the Trump administration today from enforcing its latest travel ban, just hours before it was set to take effect.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson granted Hawaii’s request to temporarily block the federal government from enforcing the policy. It was supposed to take effect at midnight EDT Wednesday. Watson found President Donald Trump’s executive order “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor.”

The Trump administration in September announced the restrictions affecting citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. The government has said the new policy was based on an objective assessment of each country’s security situation and willingness to share information with the United States.

The judge, appointed by former President Barack Obama, said the new restrictions ignore a federal appeals court ruling that found Trump’s previous ban exceeds the scope of his authority. The latest version “plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the 9th Circuit has found antithetical to … the founding principles of this nation,” Watson wrote.

Hawaii argued that the updated ban is a continuation of Trump’s “promise to exclude Muslims from the United States.”

“This is the third time Hawaii has gone to court to stop President Trump from issuing a travel ban that discriminates against people based on their nation of origin or religion,” state Attorney General Doug Chin said in a written statement this morning. “Today is another victory for the rule of law. We stand ready to defend it.”

Watson’s order states, “Although national security interests are legitimate objectives of the highest order, they cannot justify the public’s harms when the President has wielded his authority unlawfully. In carefully weighing the harms, the equities tip in Plaintiffs’ favor.

Other courts are weighing challenges to the policy. In Maryland, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups are seeking to block the visa and entry restrictions in the president’s latest proclamation.

“We’re glad, but not surprised, that President Trump’s illegal and unconstitutional Muslim ban has been blocked once again,” said Omar Jadwat, the director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project who argued the case in Maryland. “Like the plaintiffs in the Hawaii case, we are working to ensure the ban never takes effect.”

Washington state, Massachusetts, California, Oregon, New York and Maryland have challenged the policy before U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who struck down Trump’s initial ban in January. That policy led to chaos and confusion at airports nationwide and triggered several lawsuits, including one from Hawaii.

When Trump revised the ban, Chin changed the Hawaii lawsuit to challenge that version. In March, Watson agreed with Hawaii that it amounted to discrimination based on nationality and religion.

A subsequent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed the administration to partially reinstate that 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees. But it said the policy didn’t apply to refugees and travelers with a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the United States.

Hawaii then successfully challenged the federal government’s definition of which family members would be allowed into the country. Watson ordered the government not to enforce the ban on close relatives such as grandparents, grandchildren, uncles and aunts.

The judge’s order today prevents acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from implementing the latest travel ban.

Watson said he would set an expedited hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order should be extended.
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« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2017, 01:50:45 PM »

Hawaii judge blocks latest version of Trump’s travel ban
Associated Press
Updated October 17, 2017

A federal judge in Hawaii blocked the Trump administration today from enforcing its latest travel ban, just hours before it was set to take effect.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson granted Hawaii’s request to temporarily block the federal government from enforcing the policy. It was supposed to take effect at midnight EDT Wednesday. Watson found President Donald Trump’s executive order “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor.”

The Trump administration in September announced the restrictions affecting citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. The government has said the new policy was based on an objective assessment of each country’s security situation and willingness to share information with the United States.

The judge, appointed by former President Barack Obama, said the new restrictions ignore a federal appeals court ruling that found Trump’s previous ban exceeds the scope of his authority. The latest version “plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the 9th Circuit has found antithetical to … the founding principles of this nation,” Watson wrote.

Hawaii argued that the updated ban is a continuation of Trump’s “promise to exclude Muslims from the United States.”

“This is the third time Hawaii has gone to court to stop President Trump from issuing a travel ban that discriminates against people based on their nation of origin or religion,” state Attorney General Doug Chin said in a written statement this morning. “Today is another victory for the rule of law. We stand ready to defend it.”

Watson’s order states, “Although national security interests are legitimate objectives of the highest order, they cannot justify the public’s harms when the President has wielded his authority unlawfully. In carefully weighing the harms, the equities tip in Plaintiffs’ favor.

Other courts are weighing challenges to the policy. In Maryland, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups are seeking to block the visa and entry restrictions in the president’s latest proclamation.

“We’re glad, but not surprised, that President Trump’s illegal and unconstitutional Muslim ban has been blocked once again,” said Omar Jadwat, the director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project who argued the case in Maryland. “Like the plaintiffs in the Hawaii case, we are working to ensure the ban never takes effect.”

Washington state, Massachusetts, California, Oregon, New York and Maryland have challenged the policy before U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who struck down Trump’s initial ban in January. That policy led to chaos and confusion at airports nationwide and triggered several lawsuits, including one from Hawaii.

When Trump revised the ban, Chin changed the Hawaii lawsuit to challenge that version. In March, Watson agreed with Hawaii that it amounted to discrimination based on nationality and religion.

A subsequent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed the administration to partially reinstate that 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees. But it said the policy didn’t apply to refugees and travelers with a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the United States.

Hawaii then successfully challenged the federal government’s definition of which family members would be allowed into the country. Watson ordered the government not to enforce the ban on close relatives such as grandparents, grandchildren, uncles and aunts.

The judge’s order today prevents acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from implementing the latest travel ban.

Watson said he would set an expedited hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order should be extended.
Talk about going in circles. Apparently recent decision by Supreme Court meant nothing if they can just keep blocking these and wasting time. 
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« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2017, 03:58:57 PM »

Can we just send every single refugee from off the banned list to Hawaii?
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a
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« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2017, 04:06:12 PM »

Can we just send every single refugee from off the banned list to Hawaii?

NO.   Angry
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« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2017, 05:49:59 PM »

Talk about going in circles. Apparently recent decision by Supreme Court meant nothing if they can just keep blocking these and wasting time. 
This is how wasteful the goverment really is.  Such a shame.
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« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2017, 03:51:49 PM »

Trump order on sanctuary cities permanently blocked by federal judge
Fox News

A federal judge in California has blocked President Trump’s executive order to cut funding from sanctuary cities that don’t cooperate with U.S. immigration officials.

U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick issued the ruling Monday in lawsuits brought by San Francisco and Santa Clara counties. According to the judge, Trump can’t set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

The judge had previously put a temporary hold on the executive order.

The Trump administration has appealed that decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/11/20/trump-order-on-sanctuary-cities-permanently-blocked-by-federal-judge.html
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« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2017, 04:28:18 PM »

Damn liberal judges.  This is going to have to go to the Supreme Court to get overturned.
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« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2017, 02:30:28 PM »

Supreme Court permits full enforcement of Trump travel ban
By Barnini Chakraborty   | Fox News

Reaction from former intelligence professionals Tony Shaffer and Buck Sexton on 'The Ingraham Angle.'

Handing the White House a huge judicial victory, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of President Trump’s travel ban affecting residents of six majority-Muslim countries.

The justices said the policy can take full effect despite multiple legal challenges against it that haven’t yet made their way through the judicial system.

The ban applies to people from Syria, Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Lower courts had said people from those countries with a "bona fide" relationship with someone in the United States could not be prevented from entry.

Grandparents and cousins were among the relatives courts said could not be excluded.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor said they would have left the lower court orders in place.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, will be holding arguments on the legality of the ban this week.

Both courts are dealing with the issue on an accelerated basis, and the Supreme Court noted it expects those courts to reach decisions "with appropriate dispatch."

Quick resolutions by appellate courts would allow the Supreme Court to hear and decide the issue this term, by the end of June.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. Fox News' Bill Mears and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/04/supreme-court-permits-full-enforcement-trump-travel-ban.html
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