Another Appeals Court Rules Against President Trumps’ Travel Ban

The efforts of President Donald Trump to bar the traveling of people from six Muslim countries to the United States suffered legal setbacks when another ruling by the federal appeals court indicated that it discriminated people based on their nationality. The court also ruled that it did not have any effect on national security. The 9th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals made its judgment by referring to the federal immigration laws hence giving the Supreme Court several reasons to stick down President Trump’s law. Most courts in the U.S have ruled that Muslims are significantly discriminated by the ban.


The panel of the 9th Circuit gave a 78-page decision. Hawaii and Maryland also released their arguments to the Supreme Court, which may either decide to let the ban continue or listen to the petitions. The challengers responded to the Justice Department request to the justices to implement the ban immediately. The case indicated the negative impact of the travel ban to people from Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Iran, and Syria. The legal papers cited the statements of President Trump during campaigns and his tweets that called for extreme vetting. California’s 9th Circuit Court avoided the argument of whether the ban does not abide by the U.S Constitution’s law that protects people against religious discrimination. The judges ruled that the Trump administration was discriminating individuals based on their nationality yet it was not improving national security.


The panel argued that the being a citizen of any of the six countries does not link an individual to any of the terrorist organizations that operate in their countries. The ban also fails to prove citizen as being active contributors to a conflict that could lead to national insecurity. Being a native of any of the six countries does not make one have a motive for committing terrorist activities. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has however criticized the decision. He said that President Trump understood that he had been elected as a leader of a nation that is constantly under terrorist threats.


A Plurality of Voters Think Trump Should be Impeached

According to a recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, 49 percent of voters think that President Donald Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice, while only 41 percent of voters think that he did not. There is also a plurality of support for impeachment, with 47 percent of voters in favor and only 43 percent opposed. The poll further said that 53 percent of Americans believe the current president to be dishonest, with only 37 percent believing the president to be honest.



The President is accused of firing James Comey to prevent investigation into Russian involvement in his 2016 campaign for the presidency.



Comey recently testified before the Senate regarding three meetings with the President where Trump asked him three times for personal loyalty. Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to appear before the Senate as well.



The President officially stated that the reasoning behind his firing of the former FBI Director was the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.



The President later remarked in an interview with Lester Holt that he was “going to fire [Comey] regardless of recommendation” and that he had made the decision to fire Comey before asking the Deputy Attorney General for a recommendation.



Further, he continued to say that, when he fired Comey: “I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”


In ancient Athens, public court cases were tried in front of all voting members of the populace. One stood and defended oneself before the “assembly” (called an “ecclesia”). Citizens would take a vote, and the person’s fate would be decided.

If Trump were president of Ancient Athens, he’d be in serious trouble.



Regardless of what polls say about the opinions of Americans, the power to impeach Trump will ultimately rest on what the Department of Justice’s special counsel reveals.


Depending on these findings, it will be up to Congress to decide whether to impeach the President. If successful, the trial will be decided by the Senate, and will require a two-thirds majority to succeed.

Trump’s Travel Ban Fails in 9th Circuit Court

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban, making their decision this Monday. This is the second time that Trump’s travel ban has been rejected by a U.S. Court of Appeals.



The 90-day travel ban, proposed by the U.S. President, would prevent people from Iran, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering into the United States.



The panel, composed of three judges, ruled that Trump’s order issued on March 6 fails to conform to existing immigration law. What were the reasons behind the panel’s ruling?



The court ruled that the President lacked sufficient reasons for his claim that people from these nations were “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” Moreover, the court ruled that the Immigration and Nationality Act disallows discrimination on the basis of Nationality alone.



In the published opinion, the court pointed out that of the named countries, only one citizen had been formally charged with attempted terrorism. In 2014, a Somalian-born naturalized citizen was captured for attempting to use explosives to commit a terrorist attack at a Christmas celebration in Portland, Oregon. Two other examples of Iraqi nationals were mentioned, but Iraq is no longer among the listed countries, as Trump has withdrawn their name from the list given the presently positive state of the relations between the United States and Iraq.



The court opined that the Executive Order fails to provide examples of any terrorist activities committed by people coming from Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen.



The court said nothing about whether the ruling was unconstitutional on the basis of religious discrimination, but merely claimed that the Executive Order lacked sufficient grounds for evoking the travel ban.



The court further cited Trumps June 5 tweet as part of their reasoning for the claim. Trump wrote: “That’s right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won’t help us protect our people!” The court, in turn, responded that the Executive Order “does not provide any link between an individual’s nationality and their propensity to commit terrorism or their inherent dangerousness.”



The decision was unanimous.


The Law Profession Itself Might be Biggest Winner in Trump Inquiry

With Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifying before Congress and F.B.I. Director James Comey receiving his walking papers a few weeks ago, there’s no doubt that both sides’ lawyers must remain on their toes.


So, who is up in this debate between the Republican establishment and Democratic politicians and their legal teams? Well, the lawyers themselves might be, according to a recent New York Times‘ article that chronicled an uptick in the need for high-level legal representation on both sides of the aisle.


The latest shakeup is the firing of James Comey and the appointment of former F.B.I. Director James Mueller as new special counsel. James Mueller will be tasked with overseeing the investigation spearheaded by the Justice Department looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign team and associates with ties to the Russian government.


Cool thinking and impartiality will have the final say as counsel from both sides seek to gain the cooperation of low-level staffers to point to either misconduct or fair play. The money will really start to add up and overflow the coffers of the top law firms representing both sides.


Thousands of dollars per hour isn’t unusual, and you can expect to multiple that hourly rate by as many staffers as that law firm has combing through murky records and preparing a witness for testimony. Preparing a witness for Congressional hearings, and all that that entails, could lead to the total legal costs soaring to six or seven figures.


In corporate law cases, the CEO being charged for malfeasance could typically have some or all of those costs defrayed by the corporation. With federal employees, though, the costs are usually borne by the person being sued or doing the suing. This means that President Trump might be shelling out more money for legal representation and conflicts of interest between the prosecutors involved (e.g., James Mueller has ties to a corporate law firm that represents former SEC heads).


Supreme Court Rules Against Deportation Provision for Unwed Mothers

The US Supreme Court decided last Monday that gender-based distinctions in the Immigration and Nationality Act were unconstitutional. The court held with a unanimous ruling of 8-0 that the provision violated the Equal Protection clause of the Fifth Amendment, which protects against such gender-based discrimination.



Before the ruling, the Immigration and Nationality Act would grant the children of U.S. Citizens the right of citizenship if they lived in the domestic United States for ten years prior to their birth. This applies to both fathers and to married couples. However, the law makes a provision for unwed American mothers, granting their children citizenship even if they have only been in the United States for a year prior to the child’s birth.



This means that the same protection isn’t guaranteed to children born to foreign mothers, which Morales-Santana wished to contest. The father of Morales-Santana is an American citizen, but his mother was a citizen of the Dominican Republic. When deportation procedures were set into motion to remove Morales-Santana from the United States, he argued that this law violated the equal protection clause.



The Supreme Court agreed with Morales-Santana, ruling that the law in its present form is unconstitutional. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg opined: “We hold that the gender line Congress drew is incompatible with the requirement that the Government accord to all persons ‘the equal protection of the laws.”



However, the court did not decide that fathers should also be guaranteed one year protection of citizenship for their unwed children. This decision remains in the hands of Congress, who will have to divine a law to govern future immigration cases. What happens until such a law is passed? The court opined: “In the interim, the Government must ensure that the laws in question are administered in a manner free from gender-based discrimination.”


Since the provision for mothers was a provision to the existing law, the court ruled not to extend the provision, even though one typically would resolve such an issue by extending the advantage to the disadvantaged party. Despite the court’s ruling in his favor, Morales-Santana will be deported.


Is Trump Receiving Improper Foreign Payments?

Donald Trump is undoubtedly the most controversial President of the United States since its foundation way back in 1776. Most have heard of various lawsuits pressed against Trump, although none have been successful. Attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland have filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump for receiving payments of foreign origin as they allegedly violate U.S. constitution.


The countless businesses that Donald Trump owns and operates were turned over to his sons’ control directly prior to him assuming Presidency. Because Trump does not directly own or operate the businesses that earned him millions and escalated his claim to fame, the lawsuit may not further advancements.


The lawsuit from the two Democrat-related attorneys general deals with the Emoluments Clause, which bars Presidents or people holding political office from accepting presents, titles, or offices from foreign states. The Emoluments Clause was designed to help those holding political office stay independent of foreign nations interfering in the United States’s business.


United States politicians can accept presents, payments, and gifts from foreign nations if Congress first approves of them. However, President Trump has not been approved of any such foreign payments.


Pending lawsuits must specify harm done to the United States, something plaintiffs against Trump have been unable to prove thus far. Revenue gained from Trump’s sons’ holdings are not considered improper payments under U.S. law, either. The lack of asserting both such requirements in lawsuits have prevented any lawsuits from advancing in courts of law against Trump.


Last Friday, June 9, the Justice Department claimed the two attorneys general did not hold sufficient legal standing because they failed to specify harm and whether revenue gained was considered improper. With such a high volume of lawsuits coming from reputable sources such as these two attorneys general, it is likely something will stick before the President’s term end.


Executive Privilege if You Are Not the Executive?

At the recent testimony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to the Senate Intelligence Committee, he frequently stated that that he would not answer questions that related to private conversations that he had had with President Trump. This frustrated some of the members of the committee, but Sessions refused to waiver from his position.


Sessions claimed to be protecting the president’s right to executive privilege. Several legal experts have weighed in on if the attorney general was correct in his use of the constitutional protection or not.


The primary platform of those experts who believe that Attorney General Sessions was not acting according to the constitution, stated that executive privilege can only be invoked by the president. When Sessions testified, the president had not yet invoked executive privilege to his conversations with the attorney general.


Because this particular hearing was planned in advance, the president had the opportunity to instruct Sessions not to answer any questions about their conversations and base his request on executive privilege. To the best of our knowledge, that is not what happened.


If the Senate committee wants to force Sessions to answer questions, they would have to vote to cite the attorney general of contempt, and he would have to be tried in a court. It is pretty clear that no one in the Senate had reached that point to get answers to their questions about private conversations with President Trump.


Supporting Sessions, one legal expert stated that, in the past, other executive branch officials have failed to give information on items that they perceived the president may want to execute privilege in the future. The term “executive privilege” was first used under President Eisenhower, but its use goes all the way back to George Washington.

Supreme Court Justice Argues for Heightened Scrutiny of Discriminatory Citizenship Laws

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court has taken a stand against federal immigration laws that treat unwed fathers and mothers differently. Presently, it is easier for children born to US-citizen mothers to obtain automatic citizenship compared to those born to fathers. Justice Ginsburg said that such discriminatory laws were not only outdated but also unconstitutional.


Ginsburg made the ruling in a case brought forth by Luis Ramon Morales-Santana who sought to gain automatic US citizenship similar to those enjoyed by children born to US mothers since his father was a US citizen. Luis Ramon argued that children in similar situations as him should have their US citizenship determined by the same laws used for US-citizen mothers. However, Justice Ginsburg failed to uphold Louis Ramon’s request.


Unfair Application of Federal Immigration Laws


Writing for the court, Ginsburg noted that the Immigration and Nationality Act laws that dictated requirements for children born abroad to unwed parents were outdated. She said that the 1940 laws were written in an era that had overbroad generalizations of women and men. She continued that, today, such laws must be subject to closer scrutiny.


Under the present immigration laws, a child born outside the US to an unwed US-citizen father can only automatically become a citizen at birth if their father had lived in the country for ten years, five of which should be after he turned 14. On the other hand, a child born to a US-citizen mother automatically becomes a citizen if their mother hand spent only one year in the country.


Justice Ginsburg said that taking into consideration the equal protection jurisprudence developed by the court since 1971, the different treatment of unwed fathers and mothers under the context of immigration law citizenship was stunningly anachronistic. She, however, failed to hold that children born to US-citizen fathers should be eligible to use the same standard applied to US-citizen mothers. She wrote that moving forward, Congress should address the issue and come up with a uniform prescription that does not discriminate persons based on gender.


How Securus Technologies Solved a Recent Crime Spree

My job as a crime scene investigator changes from week to week. Some days we are hunting for the most dangerous fugitives, other times we are trying to piece together evidence to identify a suspect. This month we had a unique combination of both. A dangerous fugitive was on the loose, but we only had the clues that he left after the home invasions to go by. His techniques were the same in each robbery, so all we really had was his patterns of crimes to go by.


Without any solid leads, we were unable to reach out to the family or friends of the suspect, so my resources were very limited in this case. I thought if I went to the local jail, maybe if I described his actions to the inmates, someone would be able to point me in a direction. I learned a long time ago however that these inmates would rather have a longer sentence that cooperate with authority, so I had to keep trying in case I could break one inmate.


Around this time, Securus Technologies was in the jail installing a new inmate phone monitoring system. The call system was going to help officers in the jail listen more closely to how inmates talk on the phone and the LBS software was going to be able to alert officers if specific chatter was detected. It was around that time one of the officers came to me to say that my conversations with the inmates has really sparked some unique chatter on the phones.


One inmate was talking about how he was nervous I was there trying to connect him to our suspect, and that his family needs to lay low for a while. We staked out that residence and were able to identify that a person of interest was involved in the next violent home invasion and hiding at that residence.


Austin and San Antonio Challenge the New Texas Immigration Laws

Officials of San Antonio and Austin cities recently filed lawsuits to stop the enactment of the anti-sanctuary-cities-law that was passed by Texas State and is set to take action as from September 1. The employees of the two cities revealed their intentions toward the end of May and San Antonio went the to federal District Court to file their case on the same day. The law is called the Texas Senate Bill 4, and the two cities claim that it violates the processes by introducing vague regulatory rules. It also threatens to impose harsh penalties for individual who do not comply.


According to the Austin and San Antonio officials, SB 4 does not respect the First Amendment since it imposes penalties on people who support any policy that goes against its mandate. The new law is also against equality protection since it allows that police to use enhanced interrogation on immigrants who lack the right documents. It also bases its arguments on ethnicity, race, immigration status, and nationality. The officials also disagree with the Texas State since the SB 4 forces the local law enforcement to obey any requests that are made by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest immigrants. It also demands the sacking of officials who will support the sanctuary cities idea. More than 300 local and state authorities in different parts of the United States have policies that make them not to work with the federal immigration efforts.


The SB 4 was signed by Governor Greg Abbott on May 7, and it has had mixed reaction in the 85th Legislative session. El Paso County and Maverick Country are also against the law since they believe it will not keep the people of Texas safe. The officials believe that everyone in the state needs to feel safe whenever he or she reports a crime to the police. Discriminating the immigrants will make them lose their trust in the local authorities.