Where Trump and the courts stand on the president's immigration ban
For now, President Donald Trump's immigration order will remain in court-ordered limbo. A San Francisco federal appeals court on Sunday said it would not immediately restore enforcement of the order after a Seattle court struck down the order on Friday. That appeals court may rule as soon as this week on whether Trump's order is constitutional. A ruling striking down Trump's order will likely elevate the question to the Supreme Court. Trump's White House predicts challenges to the order will lose and the fight will end in victory. But those with valid visas from the seven countries targeted by Trump's order can enter the country — for now.
The battle between the White House and the courts is shaping up to be as ugly as Trump's time on the campaign trail would suggest. (Remember Judge Gonzalo Curiel and Trump University?) A Supreme Court ruling could end in a 4-4 split between the liberal and conservative justices. That would mean an appeals court ruling striking down Trump's ban would remain in place. Such an outcome would leave Trump feeling deeply burned — an unpopular president with a marquee policy struck down within weeks of his taking office. Apparently fuming over the rulings, Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon: "Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril!" (Reminder: No one from the seven countries named in the order has committed a deadly terror attack on American soil since before 9/11.)
But this condemnation of a judge, delivered from the Oval Office, carries far more weight than it did during the campaign. It lays the groundwork for a more widespread battle, with 100 technology companies and former secretaries of state lining up against Trump in court. For now, the temporary hold is allowing people to reenter the country. But the long-term status for refugees and immigrants is far from clear, as is whether Trump will decide to honor a final court decision on the legality of his order.
And because — as of Monday morning — information that doesn't support Trump's worldview is "fake news," some are not betting on de-escalation.
This is Mic's daily read on Donald Trump's America — and how it affects you. Welcome to the political newsletter that would have slipped through Julian Edelman's fingertips. Want to receive this as a daily email in your inbox? Subscribe here.
• Today: A legal showdown is looming over Trump's immigration order.
• More: A confirmation vote for Betsy DeVos is expected Monday or Tuesday, with a 50-50 tie possible.
• Even more: The Senate has slowed to the point of barely functioning, leaving Trump's Cabinet-to-be in limbo far longer than previous presidents.
• Trump's agenda today: The president is in Florida meeting with Gov. Rick Scott. He will also meet with military personnel at an Air Force base in Tampa, Florida.
This week, Betsy DeVos (probably) gets confirmed
For the first time in history, the vice president will likely have to cast the deciding vote in a Cabinet confirmation. The contentious, highly public fight to confirm Betsy DeVos as secretary of education has driven senators to a projected 50-50 split on DeVos confirmation. Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins are expected to join all 48 Democrats and independents in opposition to DeVos. With Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller announcing his support for DeVos last week, it seems there will be no more Republican defections. The vote is expected sometime Monday or Tuesday.
The collapse of the Senate: The split over DeVos is only the latest in a string of contentious hearings and procedural breakdowns. Frustrated by their inability to block Trump cabinet nominees, Senate Democrats have resorted to boycotting multiple committee votes. In response, Republicans have suspended the rules and sent nominees to the full Senate anyway. Other tactics have slowed the Senate's ability to function to a near halt. Politico notes the confirmation of Trump's Cabinet has been the slowest since President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
What's next on confirmation votes: Following a vote on DeVos, the Senate will give Jeff Sessions a final vote. While the Alabama Republican faced stiff opposition from Democrats in committee, his confirmation is expected with the support of all Republicans and possibly some Democrats. Other confirmation votes for Rep. Tom Price to become health and human services secretary and Steven Mnuchin to become treasury secretary are also expected this week. But all these votes are contingent on Democrats not delaying Senate business or outright filibustering confirmation efforts.
How Trump's financial executive order affects you
On Friday, Trump signed executive orders that began the process of rolling back financial regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. Republicans want to cut some of the consumer and investor protections instituted by the Obama administration. Arguing those protections have made it difficult for banks to grow and for retirees to invest, Trump ordered a review of the law's impact for suggestions of areas where regulations can be cut. Also in the GOP crosshairs is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency created to protect Americans from predatory financial practices, that Republicans contend is unconstitutional.
Trump's charge that the fiduciary rule be reviewed could have major impacts on investors. The rule, set to become official in April, says financial advisers must act in the "best interest" of retirement savers. "In other words, the rule would make advisors more like doctors, who are obligated to protect you," writes Mic's James Dennin. Read more on why you need to care about this potential rule change.
News and insight you cannot miss:
• Before the Super Bowl, Trump sat down for an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. When reminded that "Putin's a killer," Trump said: "We got a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?" (Mic)
• Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, said he volunteered heavily during his time at Harvard Law School. But the Wall Street Journal struggled to find witnesses who remembered Gorsuch's volunteer work.
• Lady Gaga sent a subtle political message during the Super Bowl halftime show: We need to be inclusive. (Mic)
• After a few tumultuous weeks, Trump has ordered his chief of staff to institute a process that aims for better rollouts of executive orders in the future. As it is, staff are (literally) having trouble figuring out how to turn on the lights. Much more in this deeply reported New York Times piece.
• A breakout point from that New York Times report: When Trump put chief strategist Steve Bannon on the National Security Council, he was not aware he was doing so. Conspiracy theorists, eat your hearts out. (Mic)