Team Sauron Shoots, Scores

Bad news from the Supreme Court, via WaPo:

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to allow a limited version of President Trump’s ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect, and will consider in the fall the president’s broad powers in immigration matters in a case that raised fundamental issues of national security and religious discrimination.

The court made an important exception: it said the ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

The court also said in the ruling that it would consider whether the case will be moot by the time it hears it; the ban is supposed to be a temporary one while the government reviews its vetting procedures.

The action means that the administration may impose a 90-day ban on travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees entering the United States, with the exceptions noted by the court.

Team Trump said the 90-day ban was necessary to allow the administration to put its “extreme vetting” policies in place. At this point, 156 days have elapsed since the shitgibbon was sworn in, so it makes no sense logically to impose the ban now.

But this was never about logic or sound security policy; it was about codifying anti-Muslim bigotry to please Trump and his xenophobic, anti-Muslim base. Mission accomplished.

The Supreme Court will also hear a public accommodation case in the fall. Again, WaPo:

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will consider next term whether a Denver baker unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake.

Lower courts had ruled that Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, had violated Colorado’s public accommodations law, which prohibits refusing service to customers based on factors such as race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.

There are similar lawsuits from florists, calligraphers and others who say their religious beliefs won’t allow them to provide services for same-sex weddings. But they have found little success in the courts, which have ruled that public businesses must comply with state anti-discrimination laws.

I’m not a lawyer, but the fact that the Supreme Court will hear this case at all strikes me as ominous. It’s an opportunity for people who use religion to justify their bigotry to get cover of law to exercise their prejudice. Of course, in the best case scenario, gay folks’ full equality could be upheld, but why is it in question?

Interested to hear from our legal beagles on these issues.








Open Thread: Sally Yates for SCOTUS

His fellow GOP-Senator from Texas didn’t exactly cover himself with glory, either:

Get right on this, fella…



Open Thread: Margaret Atwood, Prophetess

Each of the three protesters faces up to 12 months in jail, $2,000 in fines, or both, depending on the outcome of a June 21 sentencing hearing…

In verdicts returned shortly after noon Wednesday, the jury also convicted two other activists in the group she was with, Tighe Barry and Lenny Bianchi, who were dressed as Ku Klux Klan members with white hoods and robes and stood up before the Jan. 10 hearing started.

In an April court filing, the office of the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia had argued that all three protesters shared a common goal to “impede and disrupt” the hearing. Ms. Fairooz, the office said, had “created a scene.”

It was early in the hearing when Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, said that Mr. Sessions’s record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented,” Ariel Gold, the campaign director of Code Pink, said on Wednesday…

The Malevolent Leprechaun will not be mocked!!!



Open Thread: LAW ‘NORDAH!!!!

A/k/a, “keeping those people in their place”

Cynical Ankh-Morpork NYC resident Harry Siegel, at the NY Daily News, on Atty-Gen Malevolent Leprechaun’s “Law & order, real & imaginary“:

It’s sports-talk hour at the Justice Department.

“Violent crime is surging in American cities,” drawls longtime-caller Jeff from Mobile, though that’s not, y’know, true. In fact, crime is up sharply in a handful of cities, most notably Chicago, and flat or down in many others. After a quarter century of fairly steady decline, the national murder rate remains near a 50-year low.

Yet American carnage can be averted, United States Attorney General Jefferson Sessions wrote this month, sounding a lot like someone telling Mad Dog “you can’t measure heart,” if we “avoid harmful federal intrusion in the daily work of local police.”

In the real world, cops basically police themselves, for better and for worse, despite feeble efforts from Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to pretend otherwise. The feds don’t pay for policing. Don’t set or even track local standards. Don’t know how many people cops kill, or how many cops who get fired from one department end up back on the job in another one…

Here’s how the attorney general said it, in case you think I’m putting words in his mouth. After his flat, false claim of an urban violent crime surge, he pointed to real rises in Chicago and Baltimore to declare that “amid this plague of violence, too much focus has been placed on a small number of police who are bad actors rather than on criminals. And too many people believe the solution is to impose consent decrees that discourage the proactive policing that keeps our cities safe.”

He didn’t even give lip service to the question of what the right level of focus of would be, just insisted a “small number” (whatever that means) of bad apples won’t spoil the whole barrel…

So instead of staying focused on actual violent criminals, he railed about “lawless” sanctuary cities, blamed the courts that have halted Trump’s executive orders for blood on the streets by “restricting crime tactics” and continued his bizarre on-and-off feud with New York City officials who vow to use discretion — something southern law-and-order types are traditionally all about — in dealing with the feds as ICE ramps up its efforts to round up people here without papers.

The idea that America’s capital for immigrants, legal and otherwise, is also its safest big city is more than he can wrap his head around…

“Crime tactics” instead of “crime control tactics”. I believe that’s what poker-table psychologists call a tell…



More Rain for the Fail Parade

Via CNN:

Judge blocks part of Trump’s sanctuary cities executive order

Washington (CNN)A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a threat to take away funds from sanctuary cities — the latest blow from the federal judiciary to President Donald Trump’s immigration agenda.

In a ruling delivered Thursday, Judge William H. Orrick sided with Santa Clara, the city of San San Francisco and other cities, who argued that a threat to take away federal funds from cities that do not cooperate with some federal immigration enforcement could be unconstitutional.

Velveeta Voldemort was reportedly so angry he transformed Bannon into a ferret, performed a Cruciatus Curse on Conway and made Spicer chug the Drink of Despair so he could check the status of a locket Horcrux.



Open Thread: Malevolent Leprechaun Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III Opens His Latest War on Justice

Sessions was talking to a Deep Wingnut radio host (Mark Levin), and may have forgotten that he has a wider audience these days. Per CNN:

In the interview on Tuesday, Sessions also added that judges shouldn’t “psychoanalyze” Trump when he was asked about potential judges Trump would appoint.

“I think our President, having seen some of these really weird interpretations of the executive orders that he’s put out, I think he’s more understanding now that we need judges who follow the law, not make law,” Sessions said.

“The judges don’t get to psychoanalyze the President to see if the order he issues is lawful. It’s either lawful or it’s not. I think that it will be real important for America to have judges in the model of Judge (Neil) Gorsuch and (the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin) Scalia, people who serve under the law, under the Constitution, not above it, and they are faithful to the law. They honor it and don’t try to remake it as they’d like it to be.”

Some little island! Hawaii — where a certain former President, not to mention hordes of other inadequately-pale individuals, come from. And have allowed themselves to become entirely too UPPITY!

Let’s hope the investigations into Russian interference with the 2016 election remove this evil little man from a position of power before he can reap the delights of destroying more peoples’ lives.

Apart from [headdesk]-ing, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Open Thread: Mitch McConnell, Partnering with Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

Addison Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell Jr. is generally regarded as a political opportunist whose only real loyalty is to the career of Mitch McConnell. But his latest maneuvers to steal a Supreme Court seat for the most retrograde elements of the Republican Party put him in cahoots with fellow flower-of-Southern-manhood, Attorney-General-by-grace-of-the-President-Asterisk, Jeff Sessions. Future historians — assuming there are any — will speak of these two and their GOP cronies as modern historians do of the antebellum Congressional cabal that was willing to tear the country apart rather than give up their “inherent privileges”…