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Supreme Court allows Trump’s travel ban to take partial effect

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Political Editor, LeNora Millen

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday to take up the litigation over President Trump’s travel ban, but ruled that the administration could start blocking nationals from six Muslim-majority countries who don’t have relationships with U.S. citizens from entering the country.

The decision will reverse the actions of the lower federal courts that ruled to put Trump’s controversial policy completely on hold. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case involving travelers from six majority-Muslim countries and refugees in October.

Although the Trump administration may view the Supreme Court decision on Monday as a clear victory, the verdict could be reversed if proven that the travel ban is unconstitutional or illegal. Trump was quick to seize upon the Justices’ ruling claiming victory on the heels of prior travel ban court ruling defeats.

“Today’s unanimous Supreme Court decision is a clear victory for our national security,” Trump said in a statement. “It allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective.”

Trump’s travel ban was met with harsh scrutiny in federal courts, specifically when decisions of the courts, would fall within ruling the immigration ban crossed the line into a form of religious discrimination against Muslims.  Some judges ruled that the travel ban showed bias based on nationality and exceeded the president’s authority without a firm national security justification.

 
Members of the Supreme Court this month. The court said it would hear arguments on the travel ban in October, noting that the government had not asked it to act faster. Credit Doug Mills/the New York Times

The Supreme Court’s action creates a setback for civil liberties and immigration groups working to eradicate two executive orders through legal action heightening the president’s battles with federal courts that began during the election campaign.

The revised travel ban, issued in March, blocks most new immigrants from six predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days. As a result of the high court’s action, the ban can be implemented for some travelers, along with a long-delayed review of vetting procedures used to screen foreigners trying to enter the United States.

Since the signing of the first executive order Jan. 27, Trump referred to the ban as a temporary anti-terrorism policy required as a measure for the government to improve screening procedures, and review the process in the appropriate amount of time.  The temporary anti-terrorism ban would affect the specific countries in question: Syria, Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

The court’s action was written with a partial dissent from Justices Neil Gorsuch Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and, who would have allowed the ban to apply to all travelers.

“The government’s interest in enforcing (the ban), and the executive’s authority to do so, are undoubtedly at their peak when there is no tie between the foreign national and the United States,” the court said.

The Justices also ruled that the ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

As with the first travel ban signed by Trump on Jan. 27, the chaos and confusion that ensued around the world created much concern and fear among affected travelers. The ban led to the temporary detainment of approximately 746 people at U.S. airports.  Many of those detained were deported back to their home countries, amid the chaos—untold numbers were prevented from boarding their flights at overseas airports.

The court’s action on Monday is not expected to create similar chaos.  One major issue with the Jan 27 travel ban was that it went into effect immediately, barring ‘all’ travelers from the seven countries from entering the U.S., despite having green cards, valid visas or refugee status.

With the court’s limitations, the revised travel ban should go into effect this week, based on a memorandum recently signed by Trump.  Travelers with green cards and visas are allowed to enter the U.S., except for refugees entering the country. Some refugees may get caught in the red tape process; however, the numbers of those stuck should hopefully be significantly lower than the number of people affected by the first ban.

Trump unveiled his revised travel ban order in March, meant to correct the original ban’s language.  The revised ban called for a 90-day ban on travelers from six countries and 120 days for refugees, however, it excluded visa and green card holders, deleted a section that gave preference to Christian minorities, and included a waiver process for those claiming undue hardship.

federal judge in Hawaii had blocked the order hours before it was to go into effect on March 16, and blocked by another federal judge in Maryland. The Justice Department appealed both rulings, leading to similar rulings by federal appeals courts in Richmond May 25 and San Francisco June 12.

Before reaching the Supreme Court, Trump’s travel ban had been struck down on both constitutional and statutory grounds. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled 10-3 that it discriminated against Muslims by targeting only countries with overwhelmingly large Muslim majorities. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled unanimously that the ban violated federal immigration law by targeting people from certain countries without improving national security.

The Supreme Court includes five justices appointed by Republican presidents and four by Democrat presidents. Alito has spent his entire career working for the government. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in a 2015 immigration case that a “legitimate and bona fide” reason for denying entry to the United States can pass muster. Chief Justice John Roberts is a strong proponent of executive authority, particularly in foreign affairs. Gorsuch is known for expertise in the written text of statutes — and banning Muslims isn’t mentioned in Trump’s executive order. Thomas is the most conservative of all.

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Business

Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired by Morgan Stanley for Alleged Misconduct

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Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley following allegations of misconduct, NBC confirmed on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley declined to say specifically what prompted the firing. The allegations were presented after a woman who was not employed at the firm accused Mr. Ford of acting inappropriately in a professional setting.

Mr. Ford’s termination reported by HuffPost as an exclusive has been challenged by the former Congressman as “false claims.”

Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired from his position as a managing director at the financial services firm Morgan Stanley for what the company described as behavior “inconsistent with our values.”CreditMike Groll/Associated Press

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Mr. Ford denied the sexual harassment allegations, stating in a tweet on Thursday that he will be bringing legal action against the reporter, for making false claims against him, as well as Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination.

“This simply did not happen,” Mr. Ford wrote. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.” He added that socializing with members of the press was part of his job, and said that “false claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”

Mr. Ford served five terms in Congress as a Democrat representing a Tennessee district after first being elected in 1996—serving as Congressman from 1997 to 207.

He joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and senior client-relationship manager in 2011 as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser at Bank of America.

Amid the heightened scrutiny of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toppling key figures in the entertainment and political arena, Mr. Ford is the latest high profiled man to lose his job in recent days for similar allegations.

Time magazine on Wednesday named the “Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year. They shared personal stories about harassment and assault and sparked the #MeToo movement.

According to Time, the #MeToo became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

In a tweet acknowledging his thoughts on the “Silence Breaker” quite pointed in his statement, Mr. Ford said the following in regards to news of his firing on Thursday, “This simply did not happen.  I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In another tweet, Mr. Ford spoke about his professional demeanor and his tremendous respect for the brave women speaking out “in this important national dialogue.”  Mr. Ford was pointed in stating that false claims alleged against him “undermine the real “Silence Breakers.”

Mr. Ford appeared as a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” MSNBC – which is owned by NBC 4 New York’s parent company.

“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr.,” a spokeswoman for MSNBC said. “During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”

LeNora Millen            12-7-17

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Business

TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s Morning Show ‘News One Now’

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TV One is canceling Roland Martin’s morning show “News One Now,” Roland made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday.

“Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, who thanked audiences for their support, said the last episode will air on Dec. 21.

Roland Martin’s morning show “NewsOne Now” was cancelled due to budget cuts according to various reports from reliable sources.

“They called a meeting on Wednesday and told the staff they were canceling the show. They’re having significant financial problems and they have to scale back,” a source said. “After four years of award-winning programming and distinguished service to our viewers as the only black daily newscast on television, the network has made the difficult decision to suspend the production of NewsOne Now as a daily morning news show. The last live show is scheduled [Dec. 21],” TV One’s interim GM, Michelle Rice wrote in a memo.

Host of “News One Now” Roland Martin speaks on stage during ColorofChange.org 10 Year Anniversary Gala. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for ColorOfChange)

The news of “NewsOne Now” cancellation shocked Martin and staffers according to sources. The network had recently expanded the morning show to two hours in September.

The memo added: “While we will continue our long-standing partnership with Roland Martin to ensure his important voice can be heard across all Urban One platforms examining issues of importance to the black community, we regret this decision adversely affects several of our valued colleagues whose positions will be eliminated with the suspension of the show.”

The network issued a statement on Twitter that read, “We are committed to providing quality news to our viewers and to our long-standing relationship with @rolandsmartin #NewsOneNow who will continue to have a voice on #TVOne.”

LeNora Millen         12-07-17

 

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Editor Picks

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

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Why declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is so controversial?

The final status of Jerusalem has always been one of the most difficult and sensitive questions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the United States declares Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it would be seen as prejudging that question, deciding an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations and breaking with the international consensus on the holy city.
Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital also moves the United States one major step closer to relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be seen as cementing Israeli sovereignty over the city.

More from CNN…

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