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  Politics - Legal News


Legal groups suing the Trump administration over its ban on asylum for anyone who illegally crosses the U.S.-Mexico border have argued their case before a federal judge in San Francisco.

U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar did not immediately rule Monday on the groups' request to stop the administration from enforcing the ban.

President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 that says anyone who crossed the southern border would be ineligible for asylum. That would potentially make it harder for thousands of people who enter the U.S. to avoid deportation.

Trump issued the proclamation in response to the caravans of migrants that have started to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border. The American Civil Liberties Union quickly sued, saying U.S. law makes clear that people can seek asylum regardless of how they enter the country.



Maryland is challenging the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as the new U.S. acting attorney general.

A draft filing obtained by The Associated Press argues that President Donald Trump sidestepped the Constitution and normal procedure by naming Whitaker to the position in place of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (ROH'-zen-styn).

Whitaker was appointed Nov. 7 after the White House demanded the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Whitaker had been Sessions' chief of staff.

The Maryland filing was expected to be made Tuesday in a legal dispute with the Trump administration over the Affordable Care Act. That lawsuit names Sessions as a defendant. The state seeks to name Rosenstein as a defendant over Whitaker. Spokespeople for the Justice Department haven't responded to an email seeking comment.

Trump attends Kavanaugh ceremony at Supreme

  Politics  -   POSTED: 2018/11/08 17:21

President Donald Trump has visited the Supreme Court for the ceremonial swearing-in of new Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The president and first lady Melania Trump also met privately with the justices before Thursday's brief courtroom ceremony.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker took part in the ceremony for an invitation-only crowd that included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, retired Justice Anthony Kennedy and many of Kavanaugh's former colleagues. Among them was Judge Merrick Garland, whose high court nomination McConnell blocked in 2016.

Kavanaugh was nominated to take Kennedy's seat and confirmed last month amid allegations he sexually assaulted a woman decades ago. Kavanaugh denied it.

Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath Kavanaugh took when he was officially sworn in October. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, hospitalized with fractured ribs, was absent.

At Ohio rally, Trump takes another victory lap

  Politics  -   POSTED: 2018/10/13 07:39

President Donald Trump has taken another victory lap in Ohio. He was touting a “really historic week for America” that began with the installation of his second Supreme Court justice and concluded with the release of an American detained in Turkey.

Trump campaigned Friday for Ohio’s gubernatorial and congressional candidates, but, as he often does, spent much of the hour-plus speech touting his own track record. He zeroed in on the past week, which many White House aides believe was one of the most successful of his presidency.

Trump drew loud cheers from the crowd for securing the release of pastor Andrew Brunson, swaggering that “we bring a lot of people back.”


Guatemala's Constitutional Court has ordered President Jimmy Morales to allow the head of a U.N.-backed anti-corruption commission to return to the country.

Ivan Velasquez is the head of the commission known as CICIG for its initials in Spanish. It has led a number of high-profile graft investigations, including one that is pending against Morales.

Earlier this month the president announced that he would not renew CICIG's mandate for another two-year term, effectively giving it a year to wind down and end its activities.

He later said that Velasquez, who was traveling in Washington, would be barred from re-entering the Central American nation. Morales called Velasquez "a person who attacks order and public security in the country."


Poland's deputy prime minister says his government will likely ignore the European Court of Justice if it suspends a new Polish law compelling numerous Supreme Court judges to retire early.

The attempted forced retirements are part of a broader overhaul of the justice system by Poland's nationalist ruling party, Law and Justice. The changes have alarmed the European Union, which says rule of law is under threat in Poland.

The government insists it is reforming a corrupt system.

Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Gowin says if the EU court suspends the retirement law, "our government will probably have no choice" but to ignore the ruling. His comments were published Monday by a pro-government weekly, Do Rzeczy.



President Donald Trump has interviewed four prospective Supreme Court justices and plans to meet with a few more as his White House aggressively mobilizes to select a replacement for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Eager to build suspense, Trump wouldn't divulge whom he's talking to in advance of his big announcement, set for July 9. But he promised that "they are outstanding people. They are really incredible people in so many different ways, academically and in every other way. I had a very, very interesting morning."

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump met with four people for 45 minutes each Monday and will continue meetings through the rest of the week. She said Tuesday he has "two or three more that he'll interview this week and then make a decision."

The interviews were with federal appeals judges Raymond Kethledge, Amul Thapar, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, said a person with knowledge of the meetings who was not authorized to speak publicly about them. The Washington Post first reported the identities of the candidates Trump spoke with.

The president spent the weekend at his Bedminster golf club, consulting with advisers, including White House counsel Don McGahn, as he considers his options to fill the vacancy with a justice who has the potential to be part of precedent-shattering court decisions on abortion, health care, gay marriage and other issues.

McGahn will lead the overall selection and confirmation process, the White House said Monday, repeating the role he played in the successful confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch last year.

McGahn will be supported by a White House team that includes spokesman Raj Shah, taking a leave from the press office to work full time on "communications, strategy and messaging coordination with Capitol Hill allies." Justin Clark, director of the Office of Public Liaison, will oversee White House coordination with outside groups.

Trump's push came as the Senate's top Democrat tried to rally public opposition to any Supreme Court pick who would oppose abortion rights. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a campaign-season call to action for voters to prevent such a nominee by putting "pressure on the Senate," which confirms judicial nominees.

With Trump committed to picking from a list of 25 potential nominees that he compiled with guidance from conservatives, Schumer said any of them would be "virtually certain" to favor overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that affirmed women's right to abortion. They would also be "very likely" to back weakening President Barack Obama's 2010 law that expanded health care coverage to millions of Americans, he said.

Schumer said that while Democrats don't control the Senate — Republicans have a 51-49 edge — most senators back abortion rights. In an unusually direct appeal to voters, he said that to block "an ideological nominee," people should "tell your senators" to oppose anyone from Trump's list.

"It will not happen on its own," the New Yorker wrote in an opinion column in Monday's New York Times. "It requires the public's focus on these issues, and its pressure on the Senate."

Schumer's column appeared a day after Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she would oppose any nominee she believed would overturn Roe v. Wade. Collins, who appeared on ABC's "This Week" and CNN's "State of the Union," said she would only back a judge who would show respect for settled law such as the Roe decision, which has long been anathema to conservatives.

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