Eight days to a Constitutional crisis. It’s both amazing and not even remotely surprising.
I’m going to dispense with the usual subheadings tonight because it’s all Trump.
Immigration ban, protests, and Constitutional crisis
How Trump’s Rush to Enact an Immigration Ban Unleashed Global Chaos. “With little consultation or regard for basic governance, the White House forged ahead on a campaign promise.”
As President Trump signed a sweeping executive order on Friday, shutting the borders to refugees and others from seven largely Muslim countries, the secretary of homeland security was on a White House conference call getting his first full briefing on the global shift in policy.
Gen. John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, had dialed in from a Coast Guard plane as he headed back to Washington from Miami. Along with other top officials, he needed guidance from the White House, which had not asked his department for a legal review of the order.
Halfway into the briefing, someone on the call looked up at a television in his office. “The president is signing the executive order that we’re discussing,” the official said, stunned.
Administration officials weren’t immediately sure which countries’ citizens would be barred from entering the United States. The Department of Homeland Security was left making a legal analysis on the order after Trump signed it. A Border Patrol agent, confronted with arriving refugees, referred questions only to the President himself, according to court filings.
Benjamin Wittes writes, “The malevolence of President Trump’s Executive Order on visas and refugees is mitigated chiefly—and perhaps only—by the astonishing incompetence of its drafting and construction.”
The ACLU got an emergency hearing Saturday night and the judge issued a stay on the executive order, allowing people who had landed or were still in transit when the order was issued. Three other federal judges ruled similarly. Immigration lawyers camped out at international airports around the country, working for free and in shifts overnight to write up petitions for refugees.
"At least half the immigration bar is here." Overheard at JFK terminal 4, where lawyers have taken over the food court, coordinating defense pic.twitter.com/lvvWm1gBb2
— Max RN (@MaxRivlinNadler) January 29, 2017
Kellyanne Conway said on Fox, “This whole idea that they’re being separated and ripped from their family… it’s temporary,” which is more or less exactly what Nazis told Jews who were being sent to camps.
Angela Merkel explained the Geneva Convention to Trump on Saturday regarding refugees.
— Mike Stanek (@mikestanek) January 29, 2017
US passport holders = US citizens. Heading home into their own country. Being questioned by border agents about internet speech. https://t.co/5a3EiPLBkb
— Alexandra Erin (@alexandraerin) January 30, 2017
The DHS’s response indicates they intend to continue carrying out the order despite the judges’ stay.
The Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce all of President Trump’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people. President Trump’s Executive Orders remain in place—prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety. President Trump’s Executive Order affects a minor portion of international travelers, and is a first step towards reestablishing control over America’s borders and national security.
Welcome to our Constitutional crisis.
In the Middle East, this is the point where we start watching to see who the military will side with. https://t.co/6ZNbceU46B
— Hend Amry (@LibyaLiberty) January 29, 2017
Stephen Miller is telling government employees to ignore the hysterical voices on TV, and that they’re considering screening foreign visitors’ social media:
Miller also noted on Saturday that Trump administration officials are discussing the possibility of asking foreign visitors to disclose all websites and social media sites they visit, and to share the contacts in their cell phones. If the foreign visitor declines to share such information, he or she could be denied entry.
In addition to the “lawyer flash mobs,” thousands of protesters spontaneously flooded international airports.
“Stop doing anything that could be construed as free speech without a permit,” he explains.
“I cannot carry the Constitution without a permit?” one protester asks.
“Correct,” the officer replies.
If you’re wondering how your Senator feels about the ban, author Sarah Pinsker has put together a helpful bite-sized guide.
National Security Council
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I can tell you this is a "Holy Crap" moment https://t.co/spWIU4CiJ7
— Rep. Rick Larsen (@RepRickLarsen) January 29, 2017
Bannon, along with Stephen Miller, wrote the executive order banning Muslim immigrants, the Holocaust Memorial Day message that deliberately omitted mention of Jews, and the jingoist inauguration speech.
Former president Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, called the measure “stone cold crazy” in a tweet on Sunday. Former Obama defense secretary and CIA director Robert M. Gates, who said he was unconcerned about Bannon’s role, told ABC’s “This Week” that “pushing [the DNI and Joint Chiefs chairman] out of the National Security Council meetings, except when their specific issues are at stake, is a big mistake.”
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) January 30, 2017