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SCOTUS gives POTUS a partial win — and asks about vetting

People leave the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday,

People leave the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017, as justices issued their final rulings for the term. Credit: AP

Lifting the ban on the travel ban

By agreeing to take up the hard-fought travel-ban case in the fall, the U.S. Supreme Court signaled a major ruling may come regarding the scope of presidential powers.

But a crucial, practical question hovers over the issue.

President Donald Trump’s order limiting foreign travel from six mostly Muslim nations was supposed to be short-term, giving officials time to review immigration vetting procedures.

Could that be done by the time the case is heard, making the matter of an interim ban moot? The judges broach the question in their latest ruling.

But the limit is limited

The high court lifted earlier stays of Trump’s order. But the SCOTUS said the ban can’t be enforced against those with existing U.S. ties — such as students admitted to U.S. universities and foreign nationals visiting relatives.

Trump ignored the gray areas in a somewhat distortive victory tweet: “Very grateful for the 9-0 decision from the U. S. Supreme Court. We must keep America SAFE!”

Justice Nonesuch?

The top-court rulings issued Monday made Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch something of a paragon on the right.

Justices Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito said Trump’s order should have been upheld without exceptions.

When the court struck down an Arkansas ban on naming both same-sex parents on a birth certificate, Gorsuch wrote a dissent. He also protested the court’s refusal to review a California gun-permit case, citing “a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right.”

Latest ‘score’: 22 million uninsured

Don’t bet your premium money that this latest Senate health care bill passes without changes. Enacting it would mean 22 million more uninsured Americans after 10 years than under current law, says the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

That’s slightly lower than the CBO’s “score,” or analysis, of the House bill that the Senate chose to take apart and redo — and that Trump criticized after pushing for it.

The largest money savings to the federal budget “would come from reductions in outlays for Medicaid,” which would decline by 26 percent by 2026 compared to current law.

Disputin’ over Putin

Trump is apparently eager to make a big show of a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Given the sensitivity, however, some of his advisers aren’t so psyched and wish to keep the profile low amid reports of more administration infighting.

The two leaders are due in Germany next month for a multinational summit.

What else is happening

  • Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser, was questioned by the FBI in March over Russia, The Washington Post reported.
  • First son-in-law Jared Kushner hired Abbe Lowell, a well-known criminal attorney, for the Russia probe.
  • First daughter Ivanka Trump was ordered to be deposed in a lawsuit filed by an Italian shoe manufacturer.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked trade with Trump in a cordial meeting Monday.
  • Trump repeatedly blasted former President Barack Obama again on Monday and even demanded an apology.


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