National News Roundup: Week 3 (February 5–11)

Some great stuff happened this week! Admittedly, also some not-so-great stuff. But all in all, there’s a lot more positive news this week than there have been in previous weeks, so I’ll take it! Also, I went a little overboard with the alliteration this week — sorry I’m not more sorry about that. The news is also a little late this week on account of a sinus infection laying me low yesterday, and that part I am sorry about.

As always, we start with the stock reminders: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m only summarizing the news within my area of expertise. I may touch on news I think folks should know that is outside my area as a legal generalist, but if we undertake any offroad adventures I’ll do my best to signal that for you upfront by giving that headline an asterisk. Okay, warning label over. Onward to the news!

The Weird

  • Trump vs. the Media, Round ???: I’m already tired of saying “I can’’t believe I’m not making this up” when it comes to Trump and the media, but here we go again. First Trump famously claimed on Monday that the media was covering up terrorist attacks for their own gain. The White House then doubled down with a list of terrorist attacks that had been underreported, and about half the list involved zero deaths. The same day, incidentally, Trump also literally said that “any negative polls” about the immigration ban are “fake news.” White House official Sebastian Gorka followed up by explaining that “until the media understands how wrong it is [to “attack a duly elected President in the second week of his term”], we are going to continue to say, ‘fake news.’” In other words, “exercising your First Amendment right to critique our President now makes the President of the United States tell everybody on Twitter that you’re fake news.” Yup, that sure is a thing I had to write. Welcome to the Trump Administration.

The Bad

  • Papers Please: ICE conducted raids in at least six states this past week, creating checkpoints, entering homes, stopping at work places, and generally terrifying immigrant populations. The raids have already resulted in the detention of hundreds of people across the U.S. This is likely the beginning of enforcement of one of the President’s less focused-on executive orders, which largely targeted undocumented populations. I wrote a bit yesterday about the history of immigration raids under George W. Bush, and many immigration organizations have excellent reading materials on this topic.

The Good

  • 9th Circuit Showdown: The Ninth Circuit heard a challenge to the stay of the immigration ban this week, after the Justice Department challenged last week’s District Court order from Seattle, which granted a temporary restraining order enjoining the executive branch from enforcing the travel ban while the court decided its constitutionality. In response to the government filing its appeal, literally hundreds of people filed amicus briefs supporting the stay of the ban, including tech companies, law professors, diplomats, and national security officials. The Ninth Circuit unanimously decided to leave the stay in place, stating that the federal government had not made its case for a suspending the restraining order. Though the scope of the holding was narrow — it only applies to a procedural question about whether the TRO remains while the District Court decides the underlying case — it’s still extremely exciting to confirm that the ban will remain on hold for now.

In the meantime, though, that’s all the news that’s fit to print this week!

Boots on the ground for social change, one step at a time.