(image by Sousa and Sam Machado)
[T]he Government has taken the position that the President’s decisions about immigration policy, particularly when motivated by national security concerns, are unreviewable, even if those actions potentially contravene constitutional rights and protections. The Government indeed asserts that it violates separation of powers for the judiciary to entertain a constitutional challenge to executive actions such as this one.
There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy. See Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723, 765 (2008) (rejecting the idea that, even by congressional statute, Congress and the Executive could eliminate federal court habeas jurisdiction over enemy combatants, because the “political branches” lack “the power to switch the Constitution on or off at will”). Within our system, it is the role of the judiciary to interpret the law, a duty that will sometimes require the “[r]esolution of litigation challenging the constitutional authority of one of the three branches.” Zivotofsky ex rel. Zivotofsky v. Clinton, 566 U.S. 189, 196 (2012) (quoting INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919, 943 (1983)). We are called upon to perform that duty in this case.
This morning: Whatever happened to the Trump-Russia story?
This evening: OH HERE IT IS. WaPo has nine sources who say Mike Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador during the campaign. Flynn has said he didn’t. Mike Pence said there had been no contact between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Neither of those assertions is consistent with the fuller account of Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak provided by officials who had access to reports from U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies that routinely monitor the communications of Russian diplomats. Nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
Pence angle is especially important here. If the VP is implicated, then we are looking at an admin *completely* compromised by Moscow. https://t.co/Icz8PvZpkD
— Jasmin Mujanović (@JasminMuj) February 10, 2017
When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was, these sources said.
Trump then told Putin the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, saying that New START favored Russia. Trump also talked about his own popularity, the sources said.
Democrat moves to force House debate on Trump’s alleged business conflicts and Russia ties. This is a possible first step toward impeachment.
Trump signs three new EOs giving police more authority despite drop in crime, rising violence by police against citizens. British journalists have no problem calling out Trump’s hypocrisy.
Remember all those pieces I’ve posted about how Trump admires Rodrigo Duterte’s handling of the war on drugs in the Philippines? HERE WE GO. Trump promises to ramp up the war on drugs in a speech to police chiefs. In other news, Amnesty International says Duterte may have committed crimes against humanity.
Kushner, 36, has no traditional foreign policy experience yet has become the primary point of contact for presidents, ministers and ambassadors from more than two dozen countries, helping lay the groundwork for deals. His influence extends throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.
Trump administration prepares to execute “vicious” EO on deportations. In addition to last night’s deportation of a Phoenix mother, Twitter reports indicate ICE raids in Austin and LA. I’ll find better sources tomorrow.
— sean. (@SeanMcElwee) February 9, 2017
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 9, 2017
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) February 9, 2017
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has managed to sideline a key player in the ongoing effort to investigate — and potentially impeach or prosecute — him by appointing the state’s attorney general to succeed Sen. Jeff Sessions in the US Senate. … The governor, who denies doing anything illegal, now gets to name Strange’s replacement, an opportunity he could use to install an official less interested in pursuing a case against him.
A number of observers noted that Manchin’s daughter, Heather Bresch, was chief executive of the pharmaceutical company Mylan when it dramatically hiked the price of EpiPens. The matter is currently being investigated by the Department of Justice, which Sessions will now helm.
Senate & House natural resource leaders denounce renewed DAPL construction. Trump, who shut down the White House comment line, says he hasn’t had one call about it and doesn’t think it was a controversial decision.
Jason Chaffetz had a town hall meeting in his Utah district tonight. He failed to answer questions and left 40 minutes early.
— Andrea Grimes (@andreagrimes) February 10, 2017
A grade-school girl just brought the house down at Chaffetz's UT town hall with this question: "Do you believe in science? Because I do."
— Elana Schor (@eschor) February 10, 2017
— Kyung Lah (@KyungLahCNN) February 10, 2017
Cabinet & Federal Appointees
Unlike most Republicans, Tom Price has a detailed plan to replace the ACA.
Empowering Patients makes the individual market more advantageous for healthier people. It eliminates the essential health benefits package, which mandated that all insurers cover a set of 10 different types of care, including maternity services and pediatric care. Empowering Patients would allow insurers to cut whatever benefits they no longer want to cover — they could stop covering maternity benefits, for example, to make their plans less attractive to women who plan to become pregnant. This would likely benefit healthy people, who generally want less robust coverage at a cheaper price. But it’ll send the cost of more comprehensive plans — the plans sicker people need — skyrocketing. And it could leave someone who wants, say, health insurance to cover her maternity costs completely out of luck.
His confirmation vote has been scheduled for 2a.m. tonight. We see you, Mitch McConnell.