Open SCOTUS Thread: More Good News (If We Can Keep It Up)

The NYTimes:

While a parade of witnesses spoke in the committee room, Mr. Schumer went to the Senate floor and announced that he and other Democrats would refuse to permit an up-or-down vote on President Trump’s nominee. The Senate’s “cloture” rule requires a supermajority of 60 votes to overcome such a filibuster.

“After careful deliberation I have concluded that I cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court,” Mr. Schumer said. “His nomination will have a cloture vote. He will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation. My vote will be no, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”

If at least 41 of the chamber’s 48 Democrats stick together in the filibuster, it would force the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, to decide whether to try to change the rules of the chamber and approve Judge Gorsuch with a simple majority. Mr. Trump has urged Mr. McConnell to take that step if necessary.

Mr. McConnell has said he wants the Senate to confirm Judge Gorsuch to fill the vacancy, which was created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia a year ago, before departing for a scheduled recess on April 7….



Late Night Open Thread: All the Right Enemies, All the Wrong Friends


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I am not, in general, a big fan of the ‘Trump’s using this as a distraction’ theory — flinging all the crap he can find to see what sticks is not advanced strategery. But when it comes to their golly-gosh SCOTUS nominee, the Repubs are sure making a valiant, all-out effort to turn the slightly steaming pitcher of vodka-scented yellow liquid of this week’s Trump/FBI revelations into something that could plausibly be sold as lemonade…



The New “Improved” Muslim Travel Ban Struck Down

Amazing how much of a prissy little old man Lord Smallgloves looks in this clip — that pursed-lipped, finger-wagging, unnaturally-curved backbone posture is every neutered assistant principal reprimanding the “young toughs” for their unseemly camaraderie. The opposite of #WINNING!

“The order he blocked was a watered-down version of the first order that was also blocked by another judge and should have never been blocked to start with,” Trump said during a rally in Nashville. “This new order was tailored to the dictates of the 9th Circuit’s — in my opinion — flawed ruling.”

Trump called the court actions blocking his orders “unprecedented judicial overreach.”…

“And let me tell you something, I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do in the first place,” Trump said.

The President’s comments came during a previously scheduled campaign rally. It took place shortly after US District Court Judge Derrick Watson blocked Trump’s executive order. The new travel ban was set to take effect Thursday.

The new executive order removed Iraq from the original list of seven banned countries, stripped away language about prioritizing religious minorities in the refugee admissions process and did not include an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. But it still banned citizens of six Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — and temporarily stopped the admission of all refugees…

As the “bad news” drew jeers from the crowd, Trump explained that he needed to be cautious in his criticism, an apparent reference to the flak he took after calling the first federal judge who ruled against his executive order a “so-called judge.”

“I have to be nice otherwise I’ll get criticized for — for speaking poorly about our courts. I’ll be criticized by these people, among the most dishonest people in the world,” Trump said referring to reporters in the room.
Read more



Muslim Ban 2.0 — First Time Tragedy; Second Time Tragic Farce

I’ll leave it to the more knowledgeable among us to dissect (looking at you, Adam…). But the greatest hits are about what I’d expected.  Iraq’s off the list as we owe too much to too many there.  The other six countries from the original order remain, though the specific restrictions are a little different than in Fear The Furriner version one.  Here’s The Washington Post‘s take:

President Trump signed a new travel ban Monday that administration officials said they hope will end legal challenges over the matter by imposing a 90-day ban on the issuance of new visas for citizens of six majority-Muslim nations, authorities said.

In addition, the nation’s refu­gee program will be suspended for 120 days, and it will not accept more than 50,000 refugees in a year, down from the 110,000 cap set by the Obama administration.

 

The goal is obviously to deliver some red meat to the Trump base while sliding past inconvenient judicial reality tests. Trumpistas are already suggesting that the administration should not have to justify the order in court, despite evidence that there is no net national security gain from a Muslim ban:

A Department of Homeland Security report assessing the terrorist threat posed by people from the seven countries covered by President Trump’s original travel ban had cast doubt on the necessity of the executive order, concluding that citizenship was an “unreliable” threat indicator and that people from the affected countries have rarely been implicated in U.S.-based terrorism.

The Department of Homeland Security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, criticized the report as being incomplete and not vetted with other agencies, and he also asserted the administration should not be pressed by the judiciary to unveil sensitive national security details to justify the ban.

“This is not something that the Department of Justice should have to represent to a federal-district court judge,” the official said.

We shall see.

Over to y’all.

Image: Benjamin West, The Ambassador from Tunis with His Attendants as He Appeared in England in 1781, 1781



Twitter Meltdown in 3…2…1

His twitter feed is a thing of beauty. If he’s reading it, his head must be about to explode. Some of my favorites:

Also, I cribbed this from someone last night and I think I’m going to have it made into a t-shirt or better yet, frame it:

“Nevertheless, she persisted.” Please let this also be my life’s legacy.



Take This Ban and Shove It

The 9th circuit issued a unanimous opinion upholding the suspension of the Muslim ban. Here’s a copy of the ruling:



Open Thread: AWKward, Judge Gorsuch!

Note the senders: happy-chat morning tv show, and a conservative who still thinks Hillary would’ve been a terrible president (although better than the current occupant).

GOOD JOB BREAKING IT, REPUBS!

“I watched last night in amazement, and I heard things I couldn’t believe!”