SUPREMES DEAL VICTORY FOR TRUMP, UPHOLD TRAVEL BAN
|| Daily Caller
“A five-justice majority of the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in full the latest iteration of President Donald Trump’s travel sanctions Tuesday.
The ruling was an unqualified victory for the Trump administration, after earlier variants of the entry ban were greeted with raucous airport protests and break-neck litigation that left the White House reeling.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the Court’s opinion, joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch.
“The president has lawfully exercised the broad discretion granted to him under [federal law],” Roberts wrote.
Speaking moments after the Court issued its decision, Trump said the ruling vindicates his immigration and national security priorities.
“The Supreme Court has upheld the clear authority of the president to defend the national security of the United States,” he said. “In this era of worldwide terrorism and extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians, we must properly vet those coming into our country. This ruling is also a moment of profound vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country.”
“As long as I am president, I will defend the sovereignty, safety, and security of the American people, and fight for an immigration system that serves the national interests of the United States and its citizens,” he added.
The ban in its currents form was issued in September 2017. The administration assessed travel penalties against eight countries, who failed to satisfy basic vetting and information-sharing expectations.
A coalition of Democratic states and civil rights groups challenged the proclamation, making two basic arguments. They first alleged the sanctions exceeded Trump’s authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA, the plaintiffs said, only allows the president to ban the entry of a specific class of dangerous aliens for a limited time. It also provides that the president may not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or nationality when issuing visas.
Second, the challengers claimed that the order was issued to disparage Muslims, in violation of the First Amendment’s ban on religious favoritism in government policy.
The high court rejected both these positions. Roberts explained that the INA “exudes deference to the president in every clause,” meaning that courts should not second-guess Trump’s national security findings.
The law sets just one requirement for the president: he must formally determine that the entry of a certain class of aliens is detrimental to U.S. interests. The majority found the administration easily satisfied this demand, as Trump’s order is the most comprehensive proclamation ever issued under the INA.
“The 12-page proclamation — which thoroughly describes the process, agency evaluations, and recommendations underlying the president’s chosen restrictions — is more detailed than any prior order a president has issued under [the INA],” the chief wrote.
With respect to the constitutional argument, the Court similarly concluded that its review should be limited given the national security sensitivities the case involves.
The ruling also identifies what it sees as significant shortcomings of the plaintiffs’ First Amendment argument. Just eight percent of the world’s Muslim population is encompassed by Trump’s sanctions, Roberts noted, and the proclamation itself creates a waiver program open to all affected aliens. Moreover, certain nationals — like exchange students — from sanctioned countries are specifically exempted from the entry ban.
All told, the majority saw these features as incompatible with a supposed Muslim ban.”
Sessions: Supreme Court travel ban order a victory for separation of powers
|| The Hill
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday said the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate part of President Trump’s travel ban is a victory for the separation of powers.
“Today’s order is also an important step towards restoring the separation of powers between the branches of the federal government. The Court’s decision recognizes that the Executive has the responsibility to protect the safety and security of the American people under the Constitution of the United States and its laws,” Sessions said in a statement.
“The judiciary serves, pursuant to their oath, under the same Constitution and these same laws. This case raises profound questions about the proper balance of these constitutional powers, and we are eager to advance our views on these important issues.”
The court’s decision makes it so that individuals who cannot show a relationship with a person or entity in the United States will be temporarily barred from entering the country once the court order takes effect in 72 hours.
Trump’s executive order sought to impose a temporary ban on nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.
Sessions, in his statement, said he was pleased with the decision and argued it is “crucial” to “properly vet those seeking to come to America.”
“Through Article II of the Constitution, the founders of our country vested the Executive Branch with a great responsibility: to ensure the national security of our country,” Sessions said.
“I am committed to defending the President’s ability to exercise that responsibility and the Department of Justice is confident that the United States Supreme Court will uphold this constitutional and necessary executive order.”
The Supreme Court in its Monday decision also said it would hear the Trump administration’s appeal of a lower court’s order that had halted the travel ban.”
Supreme Court Reinstates Part of Immigration Order In Clear Victory For Trump
“It appears that the Battle Royale over immigration is on. The Supreme Court issued the following order: “We grant the petitions for certiorari and grant the stay applications in part.” The Court also reversed in the state in the major religious clause case in Trinity Lutheran.
Here is the stay language: “We grant the Government’s applications to stay the injunctions” blocking the implementation of the ban “to the extent the injunctions prevent enforcement of Section 2(c).” Section 2(c) deals with the suspension of entry from six countries and “foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
Here is the money quote:
“An American individual or entity that has a bona fide relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country as a refugee can legitimately claim concrete hardship if that person is excluded,” the Court wrote. “As to these individuals and entities, we do not disturb the injunction. But when it comes to refugees who lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.”
The parties will not be affected, but it is a victory for the Trump Administration in staying those who want to come without family in the country or other bona fide relationship. As previously discussed, I believe that the odds favor the Administration in prevailing in the long run.”
Donald Trump nominates Colorado’s Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
– Denver Post
“President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, a selection that gives the fourth-generation Coloradan a chance to become the state’s first high-court justice since Byron White retired in 1993.
Trump made the announcement during a prime-time address at the White House with the Colorado judge present. Gorsuch, a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, beat out a slate of 20 other nominees Trump has floated in recent months, including Judge Thomas Hardiman of the 3rd Circuit, who was said to be in Washington in the hours leading up to the announcement.
Democrats remain angry that congressional Republicans stalled for months — and ultimately stopped — the nomination of Merrick Garland, the pick that President Barack Obama put forward to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died nearly a year ago.
On Monday, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, said in an interview that he would oppose any candidate who was not Garland. “This is a stolen seat,” he told Politico. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”
The political landscape is sure to put extra pressure on U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, Colorado’s one Democrat in the Senate. He did not immediately comment on the nomination, though his Republican counterpart, Cory Gardner, spoke highly of Gorsuch this week.
“He has an incredibly bright legal mind, as well as the ability to separate personal opinion from constitutional interpretation,” Gardner said. “That, I think, is a very important trait of a Supreme Court justice.”
Gardner also noted that the last time Gorsuch appeared before the Senate — in 2006 when he was up for his current judicial post — he sailed through on a voice vote. “People felt so confident in him and his qualifications that they didn’t even require a recorded vote,” Gardner said.
“He is definitely conservative and arguably more conservative than Justice Scalia, who he will be replacing,” said Luis Toro, a spokesman for Courts Matter Colorado, an umbrella organization of advocacy groups that supported a hearing for Garland.
Toro pointed to Gorsuch’s concurring opinion that questioned the Chevron doctrine that gives federal government agencies overarching power to interpret the law.
“What Judge Gorsuch would do is overrule that case and say it’s all up to the courts,” Toro said. “So that would really be shifting the balance of power towards the courts to throw out regulations that they disagree with based on their interpretation of a statute that is admittedly vague or ambiguous.”
TRUMP NOMINATES NEIL GORSUCH FOR THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT
“President Donald Trump has made his choice for the Supreme Court and it is Tenth Circuit judge Neil Gorsuch, 49. With the selection, President Trump would be submitting a jurist with unassailable credentials and proven intellect. He is also someone with a proven conservative record, though there are a few blind spots for those who want a nominee vaccinated against what conservative view as the David Souter virus — a creeping condition where a conservative gravitates to the left of the Court with time.
Gorsuch comes from what can be viewed as conservative aristocratic stock. He is the son of David Gorsuch and Anne Gorsuch Burford. His mother achieved fame (or infamy depending on your view) as the first female head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency from 1981 to 1983. A Reagan appointee, she was forced to resign for failure to turn over documents to Congress in any investigation of Superfund. She long maintained that she was following the advice of counsel. Judge Gorsuch spent time in Washington, D.C. and attended Georgetown Preparatory School and received his B.A. from Columbia University in 1988. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1991 and then received the prestigious Truman Scholarship and later received a Doctor of Philosophy in Law from University College at Oxford University in 2004 under a Marshall Scholarship.
He went on to clerk for Judge David B. Sentelle on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1991–1992, and then for United States Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy from 1993–1994. After going into private practice and becoming a partner, he served as Principal Deputy to the Associate Attorney General, Robert McCallum, at the U.S. Department of Justice from 2005 until 2006.
It is a stellar resume and Gorsuch is widely viewed as a powerful writer and intellectual leader on the Court. That should be a comfort to conservatives who lost an intellectual icon in Antonin Scalia.
Unfortunately, Gorsuch would continue the problematic exclusion of all schools but Harvard and Yale law schools from the Court. Gorsuch graduated from Columbia, Harvard, and Oxford. I have previously written how this exclusion can no longer be dismissed as some colossal coincidence. When you virtually exclude all but two of the nation’s 160 law schools as sources for justices, it not only reduces the number of outstanding candidates but guarantees a certain insularity in training and influences on the court. This bias is not only elitist but decidedly anti-intellectual.
Gorsuch could prove the perfect addition for a right coalition, particularly in working with the Court’s perennial swing justice — Anthony Kennedy. As a former clerk to Kennedy, Gorsuch could prove key in any future coalitions.”
Nets Pity Obama: ‘Crushing Disappointment’ from Supreme Court Ruling
“The US Supreme Court dealt a major blow to President Barack Obama’s unilateral attempt to enact amnesty for illegal immigrants Thursday. And in response the “big three” networks let their feeling be known during their evening broadcast, where they threw a pity party for the president. “A crushing disappointment today for the Obama White House and the president’s go at it alone immigration strategy,” said NBC anchor Lester Holt on Nightly News.
Most of the network reporters seemed disappointed. “The president had tried to provide legal status for millions with the stroke of a pen,” reported ABC’s Jon Karl on World News Tonight, “But the gridlocked Supreme Court said no.”
CBS’s Jan Crawford seemed to excuse the president’s unconstitutional action on Evening News, “The president announced the program in 2014 after congress failed to pass immigration reform.” Crawford continued, “The executive action would have shielded up to 4 million illegal immigrants from deportation, parents with children who are here legally.”
It didn’t take long for the coverage to turn political. NBC’s Pete Williams knocked Republicans for praising the outcome of the case, “Because a tie doesn’t decide anything, the ruling says nothing about presidential power, though Republicans acted like it did.”
Karl compared the responses of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. He even played a clip from a Clinton campaign video showing how well she’ll treat illegal immigrants.”
– Even with only four votes, the Supreme Court sent President Barack Obama a strong message that his unconstitutional power grab around Congress and the Constitution was a bridge too far.
In affirming the federal injunction against implementing DAPA and expanding DACA, the Court upheld the principle that only Congress can make the laws. Expanding benefits and citizenship rights to parents who brought their children to the USA illegally, was in fact the Court decided, making law.
What is frightening is that four justices tried to uphold the notion that the president can unilaterally by executive order, expand rights and benefits to individuals that Congress has made no express law or appropriation for.
Moreover, what was not ruled on but required if you don’t get Congress’ expressed permission, is the moving around of budget appropriations from designated accounts to undesignated accounts by the Executive. How else do you pay for unapproved expenses? This Obama Administration policy is clearly unconstitutional and needs correction./CJ
President Obama just gave $500 million of Your Money to the UN Green Fund
Senate Foreign Relations Committee March 8, 2016
According to The Guardian;
Obama administration pays out $500m to climate change project The first chunk of a $3bn commitment made at the Paris climate talks ‘shows the US stands squarely behind climate commitments’, the State Department said Administration officials said the initial $500m payment to the Green Climate Fund demonstrated that Obama would follow through on the promises of last December’s Paris climate agreement – despite February’s setback at the supreme court and threats by Republican presidential candidates to dismantle Obama’s agenda.
“Today, the United States provided a $500m grant to the Green Climate Fund,” a state department official said. “This grant is the first step toward meeting the president’s commitment of $3bn to the GCF, and shows that the United States stands squarely behind our international climate commitments.”…
– So, instead of government by legal custom, rules, hearings, Congressional appropriations, transparency and executive approval, we now have government by ‘legal counsel’ telling clueless political appointees, what they can and can’t do, but don’t tell Congress.
Note that at 2:19 of the video, the DC bureaucrat, Heather Higginbottom, who has been pretty arrogant with the senator up to then, actually shouts him down./CJ
A Blast from the Past…… Dec 2015
Paul Ryan Betrays America: $1.1 Trillion, 2,000-Plus Page Omnibus Bill Funds ‘Fundamental Transformation of America’
“Paul Ryan’s first major legislative achievement is a total and complete sell-out of the American people masquerading as an appropriations bill.
Too harsh, you say? Let the programs, the spending, and the implications speak for themselves.
(1) Ryan’s Omnibus Fully Funds DACA
Though much of the public attention has surrounded the President’s 2014 executive amnesty, the President’s 2012 amnesty quietly continues to churn out work permits and federal benefits for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens. Paul Ryan’s bill funds entirely this 2012 executive amnesty for “DREAMers”—or illegal immigrants who came to the country as minors.
Specifically, Division F of Ryan’s omnibus bill contains no language that would prohibit the use of funds to continue the President’s unconstitutional program. Obama’s executive action, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), has granted around 700,000 illegal aliens with work permits, as well as the ability to receive tax credits and federal entitlement programs. A recent GAO report documented how this illegal amnesty program for alien youth is, in large part, responsible for the illegal alien minor surge on our southern border.
In 2013, Paul Ryan said that it is his job as a U.S. lawmaker to put himself in the shoes of “the DREAMer who is waiting” and work to find legislative solutions to his or her problems.
(2) Ryan’s Omnibus Funds Sanctuary Cities
Five months ago, 32-year-old Kate Steinle was bleeding to death in her father’s arms. She was gunned down in broad daylight by a five-time deported criminal alien whose presence in the country was the direct result of San Francisco’s refusal to comply with U.S. immigration law—yet Paul Ryan’s omnibus rewards these lawless Sanctuary Cities with federal grants. Division B Title II of Ryan’s omnibus funds various grant programs for the Department of Justice (pages 167, 168, and 169) and contains no language that would restrict the provision of such grants to sanctuary jurisdictions.
In a Congressional hearing, Steinle’s father demanded Congressional action and recalled his daughter’s dying words: “Help me, Dad.”
(3) Ryan’s Omnibus Funds All Refugee Programs
Despite broad support amongst Republican lawmakers for a proposal introduced by Brian Babin to halt all refugee resettlement, Ryan’s appropriations bill will fund President Obama’s refugee resettlement operation and will allow for the admission of tens of thousands of refugees with access to federal benefits. Division H Title II of Ryan’s bill contains appropriations of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and contains no language that would restrict the program. Nor are there any restrictions for the program in Division K of Ryan’s bill, which provides funding for the Department of State, which oversees refugee admissions.
Ryan is not one of the 84 cosponsors of Babin’s bill to halt the refugee operation, and he recently told Sean Hannity that he does not support halting resettlement because, “We’re a compassionate country. The refugees laws are important laws.” Similarly, this outcome represents a legislative win for Marco Rubio, who told Sean Hannity he’d “hate to use” Congress’s power of the purse to deny funding for Obama’s resettlement operation.
(4) Ryan’s Omnibus Funds All of the Mideast Immigration Programs That Have Been Exploited by Terrorists in Recent Years
Although multiple immigrant and visa programs in recent years have been exploited by terrorists (such as the F-1 “student” visa, the K-1 “fiancée” visa, and our green card and refugee programs), Ryan’s proposal does nothing to limit admissions from jihadist-prone regions. As Senators Shelby and Sessions of Alabama noted in a joint statement: “The omnibus would put the U.S. on a path to approve admission for hundreds of thousands of migrants from a broad range of countries with jihadists movements over the next 12 months, on top of all the other autopilot annual immigration.”
(5) Ryan’s Omnibus Funds Illegal Alien Resettlement
On page 917 of Ryan’s omnibus a section titled“Refugee and Entrant Assistance” funds the President’s resettlement of illegal immigrant border crossers.
(6) Ryan’s Omnibus Funds the Release of Criminal Aliens
Senior legislative aides tell Breitbart News that Ryan’s bill does not do anything to change the enforcement priorities that Jeh Johnson established a little over a year ago that would shield entire categories of criminal aliens from immigration law, nor does it include language recommended by Sessions and Shelby to “deny the expenditure of funds to issue visas to countries that refuse to repatriate criminal aliens.”
(7) Ryan’s Omnibus Quadruples H-2B Foreign Worker Visas
Despite Ryan’s pledge not to move an immigration compromise with President Obama, tucked 700 pages into Ryan’s spending bill is language that would resuscitate and expand a controversial provision of the Schumer-Rubio Gang of Eight plan to increase the H-2B visa program.
The provision “would quadruple the number of H-2B visas for unskilled guest workers, for a total of more than 250,000,” writes immigration attorney Ian Smith. The Americans who fill these jobs are typically “society’s most vulnerable — including single women, the disabled, the elderly, minorities, teenagers, students, and first-generation immigrants,” Smith explains.
A recent BuzzFeed exposé revealed how this program allows businesses to discriminate against American workers and “deliberately den[y] jobs to American workers so they can hire foreign workers on H-2 visas instead.” As one GOP aide told Breitbart News, “This provision is a knife in the heart of the working class, and African Americans.”
(8) Ryan’s Omnibus Funds Tax Credits for Illegal Aliens
Ryan’s bill preserves the expansion of the President’s expiring child tax credits without any accompanying language to prevent illegal aliens from receiving those tax credits. While Sen. Sessions attempted to include language in the bill that would prevent illegal immigrants from receiving tax credits, his recommendation was rejected.”
Deadlocked Supreme Court Deals Critical Blow to Obama’s Illegal Amnesty
– the Hill
A divided Court affirmed a nation-wide injunction on President Barack Obama’s 2014 deferred-action policy
“The Supreme Court dealt a critical blow to President Obama’s immigration policies on Thursday, deadlocking in a 4-4 decision over two controversial programs the White House wants to implement.
The tied vote leaves in place a lower court ruling that blocks a program allowing undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to remain in the United States for three years and apply for work permits.
It also prevents the administration from otherwise expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program issued by Obama in 2012.
This is the most prominent Supreme Court case to stall in a 4-4 tie, and it raises the stakes further in this fall’s presidential election.
After Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, Obama nominated federal Judge Merrick Garland to the court.
But Senate Republicans, even before that nomination, said they would not hold a vote or a hearing for anyone nominated by Obama, arguing the pivotal vote on the high court should be determined by the next president.
The White House and Democrats in Congress have howled in rage over that move, and Thursday’s decision will increase tensions over the Senate blockade.
Obama in an appearance from the White House press briefing room decried what he called the “lack” of a decision by the eight-justice court.
“The fact the Supreme Court wasn’t able to issue a decision today doesn’t just set the system back even further, it takes us further back from the country we want to be,” he said.
Democratic Party standard-bearer Hillary Clinton has backed the president’s actions and said she would go even further as president to reshape immigration policy.
“Today’s deadlocked decision from the Supreme Court is unacceptable, and shows us all just how high the stakes are in this election,” she said in a statement.
Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has pledged to place tough new restrictions on illegal immigration, including the construction of a massive wall along the U.S.’s southern border that he says Mexico will pay for.
Republicans hailed the high court’s vote.
“The Supreme Court’s ruling makes the president’s executive action on immigration null and void,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement. “The Constitution is clear: The president is not permitted to write laws — only Congress is. This is another major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers.”
Thursday’s action does not affect the original DACA decision by Obama that allows certain children who entered or stayed in the United States illegally to remain in the country and apply for work permits.
Twenty-six Republican-led states sued the federal government over the expansion of that program, as well as the new program for parents, after the president issued fresh executive actions in November 2014.
The states claimed they would be burdened by having to spend more on public services like healthcare, law enforcement and education if undocumented parents of both American citizens and legal permanent residents were allowed to stay in the country.
Texas, specifically, said it would be hurt by having to issue more driver’s licenses, a benefit that’s now subsidized.”
Obama: SCOTUS Ruling Doesn’t Change My ‘Priorities’ — I’m Still Not Deporting Most Illegals
– Daily Caller
President defies Supreme Court
Speaking shortly after the Supreme Court’s immigration decision, President Obama made it “very clear” that deporting illegal immigrants is not a priority of his administration.
On Thursday morning, Supreme Court upheld an injunction on Obama’s 2014 Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents policy by a 4-4 split vote.
The executive order would have granted work permits and legal status to millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States.
“What was unaffected by today’s ruling, or lack of a ruling, is the enforcement priorities that we’ve put in place,” the president stated. “Our enforcement priorities have been laid out by Secretary Jeh Johnson and the Department of Homeland Security are pretty clear.”
“We prioritize criminals, we prioritize gang-bangers, we prioritize folks who have just come in,” he explained. “What we don’t do is prioritize people who have been here a long time, who are otherwise law-abiding, who have roots and connection of their communities, so those enforcement priorities will continue.”
– From the comment section: “People are basically fed up with all the romanticizing of people coming into the country illegally and going to the front of the line. When you have a government at any level that rigidly enforces every nuance of the law on its citizens, but willingly and openly bends those laws to accommodate illegal aliens, all that it does is breed cynicism toward the government and resentment of the illegal aliens who get preferred treatment.“
Fifth Circuit Rules President Obama Violated Constitution On Unilateral Immigration Changes
“A federal appeals court said President Obama’s own words claiming powers to “change the law” were part of the reason it struck down his deportation amnesty, in a ruling late Monday that reaffirmed the president must carry out laws and doesn’t have blanket powers to waive them.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled that President Barack Obama violated the Constitution in order unilateral changes to immigration laws in the latest such ruling against executive overreach by the President. The President’s own words were used by the panel to rule that he intended to unilaterally change the law.
Some 26 states sued to stop the amnesty as violative of the Immigration and Nationality Act. President Obama ordered Deferred Action for Parental Arrivals, or DAPA, to grant up to 5 million illegal immigrants a proactive three-year stay of deportation and to give them work permits. To qualify, illegal immigrants had to be parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident children.
Smith added that the Justice Department seemed to stumble over the remarks: “At oral argument, and despite being given several opportunities, the attorney for the United States was unable to reconcile that remark with the position that the government now takes.”
Deferred action, however, is much more than nonenforcement: It would affirmatively confer “lawful presence” and associated benefits on a class of unlawfully present aliens. Though revocable, that change in designation would trigger (as we have already explained) eligibility for federal benefits—for example, under title II and XVIII of the Social Security Act99—and state benefits—for example, driver’s licenses and unemployment insurance—that would not otherwise be available to illegal aliens.
I testified (here and here and here) and wrote a column on President Obama’s increasing circumvention of Congress in negating or suspending U.S. laws. I ran another column listing such incidents of executive over-reach. My prior testimony has discussed unilateral actions in the immigration field that do raise separation issues.
Major changes in these areas should not be the result of unilateral action in my view. The Madisonian system is designed to allow different constituencies to come to bear in the bicameral system to take factional disputes and convert them into majoritarian compromises. The result has greater legitimacy as the result of the legislative process and often constitutes a better process after being put through the difficult drafting and amendment process. During times of division, less may get done. Both sides must either compromise or seek to change the balance of power in the next election. If the country and Congress is too divided to reach a compromise, unilateral action will only deepen the questions of legitimacy and over-reach.”