Did You Wake Up This Morning In A Protesting Mood?

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Trump’s so-called travel – but as Trump was never shy about telling his movement, in reality Muslim – ban. Worse, in the interim between now and when the high court rules on the case, the revised executive order is partially enforceable.

In concrete terms this means

foreigners with ties or relationships in the United States would not be prohibited from entering the country. But, those applying for visas who had never been here, or had no family, business or other ties could be prohibited.

The rightmost flank of justices would have gone further.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch, dissented from part of the court’s opinion. They said they would have revived the travel ban in its entirety while the court considered the case.

“I fear that the court’s remedy will prove unworkable,” Justice Thomas wrote.

“Today’s compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding — on peril of contempt — whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country.”

“The compromise also will invite a flood of litigation until this case is finally resolved on the merits, as parties and courts struggle to determine what exactly constitutes a ‘bona fide relationship,’ who precisely has a ‘credible claim’ to that relationship, and whether the claimed relationship was formed ‘simply to avoid’ the executive order, Justice Thomas wrote, quoting from the majority opinion.

Do you have fight left in you? Do you still possess the capacity to rally and rage? The ban continues to be an inflection point on the strictures or lack thereof on Donald Trump’s power. It’s a major bullet point on his fascist agenda. The president claims he has a mandate from Americans to enforce it.

Fight it like you mean it. Scream so loud your dissent can’t be ignored.

(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Fifty-Eight)

ICE Arrests Are Skyrocketing

The president’s travel ban executive order may be stalled in the courts, but at least one element of Trump’s nativist agenda is enjoying resounding success. ICE arrests of undocumented persons have risen by 37.6% over 2016’s numbers during the same period.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement may pride themselves in their coldly efficient removal of our friends and neighbors, but it tears families apart and ruins lives. Sometimes it ends them. At least seven people have died while under their custody since October of last year, including two who died in the last week.

If this is how our country is protected, we don’t deserve protection.

(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Twenty-Three)

How Far Will The Trump Administration Push The Second Travel Ban?

As hoped, Trump’s revised “Muslim ban” executive order has been blocked in federal court.

A federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order Wednesday evening blocking President Trump’s ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world, dealing a political blow to the White House and signaling that proponents of the ban face a long and risky legal battle ahead.

Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing is slated for next week. If the administration hopes to take the fight all the way to the Supreme Court, the odds may soon tilt in their favor.

Wednesday, Thursday…

Trump’s new “it’s not a Muslim ban you guys, just an executive order that targets predominantly Muslim counties” goes into effect on Thursday.

Or does it?

The first Wednesday hearing, taking place in Maryland at 9:30 a.m., was ordered by US District Judge Theodore Chuang, in a case brought by two nonprofit refugee organizations, as well as individuals affected by the order. The International Refugee Assistance Project and HIAS, Inc., are going broad, asking for an order “enjoining Executive Order 13780 in its entirety.” Among those representing the plaintiffs in the case are lawyers from the national ACLU, the ACLU of Maryland, and the National Immigration Law Center.

The second Wednesday hearing, taking place in Hawaii at 9:30 local time (3:30 p.m. Eastern Time), was ordered by US District Judge Derrick Watson, in a case brought by Hawaii and an individual affected by the order. Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin has brought in the Hogan Lovells law firm, including former US Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, to help represent the state. Slightly more limited than the litigation taking place in Maryland, Hawaii is seeking a temporary restraining order halting enforcement of sections 2 and 6 of the new executive order — the travel and refugee provisions.

Since the judiciary hasn’t been dismantled quite yet, we again pin our hopes on to the “so-called” judges who “interpret the law”, a “power” given to them by “the constitution”.

(Year Zero/Day Fifty-Two)

A Defanged Order? Not Quite.

Trump’s reboot of his “Muslim ban” executive order reads half like a poorly-edited Wikipedia article and half like a pseudo-intellectual high schooler’s Livejournal rants about how the “normies” just don’t understand. If Stephen Miller was in charge of writing it, the analogy is especially apt.

Our opinion on the whole deranged anti-immigration project has not changed substantively. The emphasis on protecting religious minorities in other countries (read: Christians) was removed, but taking into account the administration’s long-standing rhetoric and the language of the first executive order, that’s transparently a legal hedge for future court cases. Gone is the inclusion of Iraq in the list of countries affected by the ban; gone too is the indefinite revocation of asylum to Syrian refugees. Visa holders will be exempt, and the ban won’t take effect until March 16th to avoid chaos at airports – or bad optics.

But the ugly spirit of the order remains. Once the ban ends, if indeed it survives injunctions, the Refugee Admission Program will be forced to cut off yearly admissions into the United States at 50,000. USRAP had planned to admit 110,000 refugees in 2017. Given the distance between now and January 2021, we should not take much comfort at one “defanged” but still awful and xenophobic executive order.

(Year Zero/Day Forty-Six)