web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 54)

Supreme Court allows Trump administration to restrict asylum seekers who have not sought refuge elsewhere

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Supreme Court allows Trump administration to restrict asylum seekers who have not sought refuge elsewhere

Immigration experts say successfully achieving asylum in the U.S. is incredibly difficult, especially for those coming here from Central America. USA TODAY, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court freed the Trump administration Wednesday to implement its policy denying asylum to migrants at the southern border who have not sought protection from another country en route.

The brief order signaled the justices’ more tolerant view of efforts to restrict asylum seekers while legal challenges work their way through the courts. In December, they refused to let the administration deny asylum at locations other than official ports of entry.

Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the brief order. No other justices announced their votes.

“The rule the government promulgated topples decades of settled asylum practices and affects some of the most vulnerable people in the Western Hemisphere – without affording the public a chance to weigh in,” Sotomayor wrote.

The new policy, announced in July, was challenged as even more restrictive than the first by the American Civil Liberties Union. Migrants from Central America are unlikely to win asylum in Mexico or elsewhere on their way to the southern border.

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, cautioned that the high court’s order was “just a temporary step.”

“We’re hopeful we’ll prevail at the end of the day,” Gelernt said. “The lives of thousands of families are at stake.”

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar had blocked the policy from going into effect nationwide only days after it was unveiled, ruling that it violated laws passed by Congress. 

“While the public has a weighty interest in the efficient administration of the immigration laws at the border, it also has a substantial interest in ensuring that the statutes enacted by its representatives are not imperiled by executive fiat,” Tigar wrote.

A federal appeals court panel later upheld Tigar’s ruling but limited its impact to the Ninth Circuit, which includes California and Arizona but no other states bordering on Mexico. Then just two days ago, Tigar reinstated the ban nationwide – only to have the appeals court temporarily block it from taking effect. 

When the Supreme Court refused to green-light the separate policy regarding asylum seekers who cross the border illegally, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberal justices, and four other conservative justices dissented.

This time, apparently Roberts – perhaps joined by liberal Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan – sided with the administration. Court orders are unsigned.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued that the policy was intended to screen out asylum seekers “who declined to request protection at the first opportunity.” 

“It alleviates a crushing burden on the U.S. asylum system by prioritizing asylum seekers who most need asylum in the United States,” Francisco wrote. “The rule also screens out asylum claims that are less likely to be meritorious by denying asylum to aliens who refused to seek protection in third countries en route to the southern border.”

Gelernt responded that the ban “would eliminate virtually all asylum at the southern border, even at ports of entry, for everyone except Mexicans.”

“The court should not permit such a tectonic change to U.S. asylum law,” he wrote. “Allowing the ban to go into effect would not only upend four decades of unbroken practice, it would place countless people, including families and unaccompanied children, at grave risk.”

Under federal law, applicants can be denied asylum if the U.S. has a formal “safe-country” agreement with a third country. But those do not exist with Mexico and Guatemala, the two countries traversed by migrants from El Salvador and Honduras.

The administration policy represents one of its many attempts to limit or halt migrants from requesting asylum at the southwest border.

Immigration explainer: Is Trump following through on his campaign promises?

In June 2018, the Justice Department introduced a policy cutting off asylum for victims of domestic abuse and gang violence. In November, the Justice and Homeland Security departments issued the plan to block migrants who enter the country illegally from requesting asylum. Both those policies were blocked by federal judges.

Tigar’s denial of the latter plan led to a rare war of words between President Trump and Roberts. In a series of tweets, Trump bashed the Ninth Circuit as politically biased. That prompted a rare retort from Roberts, who said there are no “Obama judges” or “Trump judges” but “an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

In December, the administration tried a different approach. The Department of Homeland Security announced a “Remain in Mexico” plan that forces migrants seeking asylum to return to Mexico to await the outcome of their applications.

That policy was temporarily blocked by a federal judge, but the Ninth Circuit appeals court handed Trump a rare victory and allowed it to go into effect. As a result, some 38,000 migrants await their fates across the border.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/09/11/supreme-court-trump-administration-can-deny-asylum-seekers-border/2225034001/

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Judge In Brock Turner Case Fired From New Job As Girls Tennis Coach

Westlake Legal Group 5d79818723000010055164b6 Judge In Brock Turner Case Fired From New Job As Girls Tennis Coach

Aaron Persky, the former judge in the Brock Turner sexual assault case, has lost his new job as a high school girls tennis coach.

“Effective September 11, 2019, Mr. Persky’s employment with the District as the Junior Varsity Girls Tennis coach has ended,” Rachel Zlotziver, a spokesperson for the Fremont Union High School District, told HuffPost Wednesday night. 

Zlotziver said the district will begin the search for a new junior varsity girls tennis coach immediately. 

“Please know that we are deeply committed to maintaining an effective, safe, and positive environment for all students,” she added. 

Persky was hired last week to coach tennis at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California. The former judge was recalled from the bench in June 2018 after sentencing Turner, a former Stanford University student, to a mere six months in jail on three felony sexual assault charges.  

Turner was arrested in 2015 for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster during a fraternity party at Stanford. The woman, known as “Emily Doe” throughout the trial, has since revealed her real name: Chanel Miller. Turner faced up to 14 years in prison for the crime but was released after serving three months.  

“A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. I think he will not be a danger to others,” Persky infamously said during Turner’s sentencing. He also said part of his reasoning for a lenient sentence was due to “mitigating” factors like the role alcohol played in the assault.

The news of Persky’s coaching position went public late Monday night, and a petition to remove Persky from the role was created shortly afterward. As of Wednesday night, the petition had over 3,000 signatures.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Twitter critics claim Melania Trump's coat in 9/11 tribute looks like plane flying into tower

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Twitter critics claim Melania Trump's coat in 9/11 tribute looks like plane flying into tower

President Trump has made several versions of this claim but there is a lack of evidence that he or hired people helped days following the attack. USA TODAY

President Donald Trump’s tribute tweet for the 9/11 anniversary garnered attention for the wrong reasons Wednesday: The picture showed first lady Melania Trump wearing a coat that trolls were certain showed a plane flying into a tower. 

It didn’t. 

The picture in the tweet was not taken Wednesday during the 9/11 memorial ceremonies the Trumps participated in at the White House and the Pentagon, under sunny skies. The first lady wore a short black Ralph Lauren dress for those. 

Instead, the foggy picture in the president’s tweet shows the couple from the back standing on some kind of overlook before an unfamiliar landscape. Trump is wearing a long black coat trimmed in white thread.

“We will never forget,” it says under an American flag. The first lady’s Twitter account posted a version of the picture, too. 

If you enlarge the picture, you can make out the white trim tracing across her back, on the coat belt, and up and down the split in the coat back, which is closed with a button tab.

Aha! It shows a tower with a plane flying into it, declared eagle-eyed users alert to anything that can be used to criticize POTUS via FLOTUS.

Melania Trump, after all, was harshly mocked in 2018 when she wore a jacket with the words “I REALLY DON’T CARE DO U?” scrawled on the back for a humanitarian visit to migrant children separated from their parents at the border.

Critics have been on alert ever since, in search of FLOTUS outfits to disparage.  

“I’m sure I’m not the first one to spot this but who in the world thought it was a good idea for Melania to wear this coat in the 9/11 photo. It legit looks like an object is flying into a tower or the Washington Monument,” tweeted Ashley Spivey. 

Some of the critics couched their observations in the form of a question.

“Is…is that a plane crashing into one of the twin towers in the back of Melania’s coat?!?,” Abe Caldwell tweeted.

“Not to sound like a complete conspiracy nut…But does anyone else see a plane flying through a tower on Melania’s coat?” Kittie Hill tweeted. 

Twitter users had fun posting enlarged versions of the photo, some of them doctored in obscene ways suggesting that Trump was trolling her husband. (Even though he was the one who posted the tweet.)

“Melania wears a coat in thier 911 post that literally looks like a plane flew into a tower. 

Did they fire all the stylists too or is Melania just the biggest troll ever??” one user asked. 

At least one user liked what he saw.

“Melania‘s jacket has the Washington monument stitching with a button flap on lower back. Very cool coat,” tweeted Charles Newby, a self-identified Reagan conservative.

Some users wondered what the fuss was about.

“That’s just a vent on the back of Melania’s coat. It has a button to keep it closed,” tweeted one user.

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, the former press secretary for FLOTUS who now works for both Trumps, had this to say about this latest kerfuffle over the first lady’s clothes. 

“It’s ridiculous.”

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2019/09/11/melania-trumps-9-11-outfit-criticized-twin-tower-resemblance/2288444001/

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jesse Watters: Debra Messing needs ‘Twitter vacation’ after retweeting claim Ivanka is a ‘national security threat’

Westlake Legal Group Watters-Messing_FOX-Getty Jesse Watters: Debra Messing needs 'Twitter vacation' after retweeting claim Ivanka is a 'national security threat' fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/tv fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 52203891-ea7b-582c-b214-fb4417a963a2

“Will & Grace” co-star Debra Messing should take a hiatus from social media after taking a second jab at the Trump family in two weeks, according to Jesse Watters.

Messing retweeted a message from author Sarah Kendzior that alleged Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner are “national security threats,” Watters said Wednesday on “The Five.”

“I think Debra Messing should just stay off Twitter,” he said.

“Take the ‘L’ from last week, cool off, listen to your group — your entourage knows what’s best. I would go on a little hiatus — call it a Twitter vacation — then come back refreshed and then you can kind of dip your toes back in.”

COMEDIAN MICHAEL LOFTUS: ‘WILL & GRACE’ STARS WEREN’T MISUNDERSTOOD IN ANTI-TRUMP TWEETS

Initially, Russian-born world chess champion Garry Kasparov — a critic of both President Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin — tweeted about the departure of National Security Adviser John Bolton.

You may disagree with Ambassador John Bolton’s beliefs more than I do, but at least he believed in something other than the cult of Trump. Autocrats don’t trust anyone they don’t control 100 percent,” Kasparov tweeted.

Kendzior retweeted Kasparov, writing: “This is exactly right. It’s also why way more attention needs to be paid to Ivanka and Kushner, who are both national security threats.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Messing retweeted Kenzior’s and Kasparov’s chain.

On “The Five,” host Juan Williams said celebrities of any political ideology get paid too much attention when they make controversial or politically charged remarks.

More from Media

“I’m on their side of the aisle and I think these people have no relevance to a political conversation,” he said, adding the same is true for right-leaning celebrities Jon Voight, Clint Eastwood and Kid Rock.

Last week, Messing made headlines for appearing to seek the names of donors from a Beverly Hills, Calif. Trump campaign fundraiser.

Westlake Legal Group Watters-Messing_FOX-Getty Jesse Watters: Debra Messing needs 'Twitter vacation' after retweeting claim Ivanka is a 'national security threat' fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/tv fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 52203891-ea7b-582c-b214-fb4417a963a2   Westlake Legal Group Watters-Messing_FOX-Getty Jesse Watters: Debra Messing needs 'Twitter vacation' after retweeting claim Ivanka is a 'national security threat' fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/tv fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 52203891-ea7b-582c-b214-fb4417a963a2

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

‘The Moron Fascists’: ICE Fails to Properly Redact Document Proposing ‘Hyper-Realistic’ Urban Warfare Training Facility | “Sure feels like ICE is positioning itself to become an all encompassing, no accountability, paramilitary force.”

Westlake Legal Group Seg2er5gWQ6z3nDuzHUxwFwGh2sP6Et_IepRSjpoWnU 'The Moron Fascists': ICE Fails to Properly Redact Document Proposing 'Hyper-Realistic' Urban Warfare Training Facility | "Sure feels like ICE is positioning itself to become an all encompassing, no accountability, paramilitary force." r/politics

As a reminder, this subreddit is for civil discussion.

In general, be courteous to others. Debate/discuss/argue the merits of ideas, don’t attack people. Personal insults, shill or troll accusations, hate speech, any advocating or wishing death/physical harm, and other rule violations can result in a permanent ban.

If you see comments in violation of our rules, please report them.


I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Pressed Top Aide to Have Weather Service ‘Clarify’ Forecast That Contradicted Trump

Westlake Legal Group 11dc-storm-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Trump Pressed Top Aide to Have Weather Service ‘Clarify’ Forecast That Contradicted Trump Weather United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Ross, Wilbur L Jr National Weather Service National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Mulvaney, Mick Jacobs, Neil Hurricane Dorian (2019) Commerce Department

WASHINGTON — President Trump, seeking to justify his claim of a hurricane threat to Alabama, pressed aides to intervene with a federal scientific agency, leading to a highly unusual public rebuke of the forecasters who contradicted him, according to people familiar with the events.

In response to the president’s request, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, to have the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration publicly correct the forecasters, who had insisted that Alabama was not actually at risk from Hurricane Dorian.

A senior administration official, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters, said Mr. Trump told his staff to have NOAA “clarify” the forecasters’ position. NOAA, which is part of the Commerce Department, then issued an unsigned statement saying the Birmingham, Ala., office of the National Weather Service was wrong to refute the president’s warning so categorically.

But the statement only exacerbated the uproar over Mr. Trump’s storm prediction as critics accused his administration of politicizing the weather. The Commerce Department inspector general has opened an investigation, and on Wednesday, a Democrat-controlled House science committee kicked off its own inquiry.

As a result, the furor over Mr. Trump’s storm prediction has evolved from a momentary embarrassment into a sustained political liability for the administration — no longer just a question of a president unwilling to admit a mistake but now a White House willing to force scientists to validate it.

The New York Times reported this week that Mr. Ross warned NOAA’s acting administrator that top employees at the agency could be fired if the situation were not addressed. Mr. Ross’s spokesman has denied that he threatened to fire anyone. A senior official on Wednesday said that if Mr. Ross did make such threats, it was not at the direction of Mr. Mulvaney.

After The Times disclosed Mr. Mulvaney’s role on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that he was acting at Mr. Trump’s direction, which the senior official confirmed to The Times. But when Mr. Trump was asked by a reporter if he told his chief of staff to instruct NOAA to “disavow those forecasters,” he denied it.

“No, I never did that,” Mr. Trump said. “I never did that. That’s a whole hoax by the fake news media. When they talk about the hurricane and when they talk about Florida and they talk about Alabama, that’s just fake news. It was — right from the beginning, it was a fake story.”

The White House had no comment beyond the president’s remarks. The senior official made a distinction between telling NOAA to “disavow” the forecast and “clarify” it. The White House argument was that the forecasters had gone too far and the president was right to suggest there had been models showing possible impact on Alabama.

The release of the NOAA statement provoked complaints that the Trump administration was improperly intruding in the professional weather forecasting system to rationalize an inaccurate presidential assertion. In opening its investigation, the Commerce Department’s inspector general said the events could call into question scientific independence.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology expressed similar concerns as it announced its own investigation into Mr. Ross’s actions on Wednesday.

“We are deeply disturbed by the politicization of NOAA’s weather forecast activities for the purpose of supporting incorrect statements by the president,” wrote Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, the chairwoman of the committee, along with Representative Mikie Sherrill, the chairman of its oversight panel.

The latest challenge to Mr. Trump’s credibility has its origins in one of the more prosaic duties a president has, warning the nation when natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian threaten communities.

On Sept. 1, as Dorian gathered strength over the Atlantic and headed toward the east coast, the president wrote on Twitter that Alabama, among other states, “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.” Earlier forecast maps had suggested that Alabama might see some effects from the edge of the storm, but by the time of the president’s tweet, the predictions had already changed.

A few minutes after Mr. Trump’s tweet, the National Weather Service in Birmingham posted its own message on Twitter flatly declaring that “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane Dorian will be felt across Alabama.” The forecasters were correct; Alabama was not struck by the hurricane.

Nonetheless, Mr. Trump was furious at being challenged and kept insisting for days that he had been right. He displayed or posted outdated maps, including one that had been apparently altered with a Sharpie pen to make it look like Alabama might still be in the path of the storm. He had his homeland security adviser release a statement backing him up.

After Mr. Trump told his staff on Sept. 5 to address the matter, Mr. Mulvaney called Mr. Ross, who was in Greece traveling for meetings. Mr. Ross then called Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, at home around 3 a.m. on Friday morning Washington time and instructed him to clear up the agency’s contradiction of the president, according to three people informed about the discussions.

Dr. Jacobs objected to the demand and was told that the political appointees at NOAA would be fired if the situation was not fixed, according to the three individuals, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the episode. The political staff at an agency typically includes a handful of top officials, such as Dr. Jacobs, and their aides. They are appointed by the administration currently in power, as opposed to career government employees, who remain as administrations come and go.

The statement NOAA ultimately issued later on Friday faulted the Birmingham office for a tweet that “spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time.”

Dr. Jacobs has since sought to reassure his work force and the broader scientific community concerned about political interference.

“This administration is committed to the important mission of weather forecasting,” Dr. Jacobs told a weather conference in Huntsville, Ala., on Tuesday. “There is no pressure to change the way you communicate or forecast risk in the future.”

In the speech, Dr. Jacobs praised Mr. Trump, calling him “genuinely interested in improving weather forecasts,” and echoed the president’s position that Dorian initially threatened Alabama. “At one point, Alabama was in the mix, as was the rest of the Southeast.”

He also said he still had faith in the Birmingham office. “The purpose of the NOAA statement was to clarify the technical aspects of the potential impacts of Dorian,” Dr. Jacobs said. “What it did not say, however, is that we understand and fully support the good intent of the Birmingham weather forecast office, which was to calm fears in support of public safety.”

Unassuaged, the House science committee has demanded documents and information related to the NOAA statement and its origins.

In addition to emails, memos, text messages and records of telephone calls, the committee asked Mr. Ross to answer a number of questions, including whether any representative of the Executive Office of the President directed NOAA to issue Friday’s statement or specify the language in it.

They also reminded Mr. Ross of statements that he made under oath in his confirmation hearing that he would not interfere with science, particularly at NOAA, which in addition to weather forecasting is the agency responsible for understanding and predicting changes in the earth’s climate.

“Science should be done by scientists,” Mr. Ross testified in that January 2017 hearing. “I support the release of factual scientific data.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

More than two dozen fake NBA championship rings seized at LA airport, CBP says

Authorities in California recently seized more than two dozen counterfeit National Basketball Association championship rings, which could have cost potential buyers more than half a million dollars.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at Los Angeles International Airport discovered the 28 fake rings in a shipment from China that was bound for Arizona. CBP said in a statement that the rings were apparently meant to be sold as a collection, and added that if genuine,  they would have had an estimated retail value of $560,000.

$3.4M IN FAKE GUCCI, HERMES, NIKE ITEMS SEIZED AT LA AIRPORT, CBP SAYS

Westlake Legal Group ceda1145-Championship20Rings20Photo201 More than two dozen fake NBA championship rings seized at LA airport, CBP says Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/us fnc article 91e30eb8-131f-5fbd-93f4-29983e817f07

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in California recently seized more than two dozen counterfeit NBA championship rings, with an estimated retail value of more than half a million dollars, authorities said Wednesday. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection )

“Scammers take advantage of collectors and pro-basketball fans desiring to obtain a piece of sports history,” said CBP’s director of field operations in Los Angeles, Carlos Martel. “This seizure illustrates how CBP officers and import specialists protect not only trademarks, but most importantly, the American consumer.”

LAX FLIGHTS GROUNDED, CANCELLED BECAUSE OF POWER OUTAGE

Import specialists confirmed that the designs violated trademarks by the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Air Jordan and the NBA, according to the agency.

Westlake Legal Group Nba-rings More than two dozen fake NBA championship rings seized at LA airport, CBP says Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/us fnc article 91e30eb8-131f-5fbd-93f4-29983e817f07

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in California recently seized more than two dozen counterfeit NBA championship rings, with an estimated retail value of more than half a million dollars, authorities said Wednesday. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection )

Officials said an authentic NBA championship ring typically costs between $10,000 and $40,000. In some cases, the rings can be sold for more than $200,000.

“Transnational criminal organizations are shipping illicit goods to the United States via small express parcels in an attempt to circumvent U.S. laws,” said CBP’s port director at LAX, Donald Kusser.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

A CBP spokesperson told Fox News no arrests have been made.

Westlake Legal Group ceda1145-Championship20Rings20Photo201 More than two dozen fake NBA championship rings seized at LA airport, CBP says Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/us fnc article 91e30eb8-131f-5fbd-93f4-29983e817f07   Westlake Legal Group ceda1145-Championship20Rings20Photo201 More than two dozen fake NBA championship rings seized at LA airport, CBP says Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/us fnc article 91e30eb8-131f-5fbd-93f4-29983e817f07

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Pressed Top Aide to Have Weather Service ‘Clarify’ Forecast That Contradicted Trump

Westlake Legal Group 11dc-storm-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Trump Pressed Top Aide to Have Weather Service ‘Clarify’ Forecast That Contradicted Trump Weather United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Ross, Wilbur L Jr National Weather Service National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Mulvaney, Mick Jacobs, Neil Hurricane Dorian (2019) Commerce Department

WASHINGTON — President Trump, seeking to justify his claim of a hurricane threat to Alabama, pressed aides to intervene with a federal scientific agency, leading to a highly unusual public rebuke of the forecasters who contradicted him, according to people familiar with the events.

In response to the president’s request, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, to have the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration publicly correct the forecasters, who had insisted that Alabama was not actually at risk from Hurricane Dorian.

A senior administration official, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters, said Mr. Trump told his staff to have NOAA “clarify” the forecasters’ position. NOAA, which is part of the Commerce Department, then issued an unsigned statement saying the Birmingham, Ala., office of the National Weather Service was wrong to refute the president’s warning so categorically.

But the statement only exacerbated the uproar over Mr. Trump’s storm prediction as critics accused his administration of politicizing the weather. The Commerce Department inspector general has opened an investigation, and on Wednesday, a Democrat-controlled House science committee kicked off its own inquiry.

As a result, the furor over Mr. Trump’s storm prediction has evolved from a momentary embarrassment into a sustained political liability for the administration — no longer just a question of a president unwilling to admit a mistake but now a White House willing to force scientists to validate it.

The New York Times reported this week that Mr. Ross warned NOAA’s acting administrator that top employees at the agency could be fired if the situation were not addressed. Mr. Ross’s spokesman has denied that he threatened to fire anyone. A senior official on Wednesday said that if Mr. Ross did make such threats, it was not at the direction of Mr. Mulvaney.

After The Times disclosed Mr. Mulvaney’s role on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that he was acting at Mr. Trump’s direction, which the senior official confirmed to The Times. But when Mr. Trump was asked by a reporter if he told his chief of staff to instruct NOAA to “disavow those forecasters,” he denied it.

“No, I never did that,” Mr. Trump said. “I never did that. That’s a whole hoax by the fake news media. When they talk about the hurricane and when they talk about Florida and they talk about Alabama, that’s just fake news. It was — right from the beginning, it was a fake story.”

The White House had no comment beyond the president’s remarks. The senior official made a distinction between telling NOAA to “disavow” the forecast and “clarify” it. The White House argument was that the forecasters had gone too far and the president was right to suggest there had been models showing possible impact on Alabama.

The release of the NOAA statement provoked complaints that the Trump administration was improperly intruding in the professional weather forecasting system to rationalize an inaccurate presidential assertion. In opening its investigation, the Commerce Department’s inspector general said the events could call into question scientific independence.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology expressed similar concerns as it announced its own investigation into Mr. Ross’s actions on Wednesday.

“We are deeply disturbed by the politicization of NOAA’s weather forecast activities for the purpose of supporting incorrect statements by the president,” wrote Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, the chairwoman of the committee, along with Representative Mikie Sherrill, the chairman of its oversight panel.

The latest challenge to Mr. Trump’s credibility has its origins in one of the more prosaic duties a president has, warning the nation when natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian threaten communities.

On Sept. 1, as Dorian gathered strength over the Atlantic and headed toward the east coast, the president wrote on Twitter that Alabama, among other states, “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.” Earlier forecast maps had suggested that Alabama might see some effects from the edge of the storm, but by the time of the president’s tweet, the predictions had already changed.

A few minutes after Mr. Trump’s tweet, the National Weather Service in Birmingham posted its own message on Twitter flatly declaring that “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane Dorian will be felt across Alabama.” The forecasters were correct; Alabama was not struck by the hurricane.

Nonetheless, Mr. Trump was furious at being challenged and kept insisting for days that he had been right. He displayed or posted outdated maps, including one that had been apparently altered with a Sharpie pen to make it look like Alabama might still be in the path of the storm. He had his homeland security adviser release a statement backing him up.

After Mr. Trump told his staff on Sept. 5 to address the matter, Mr. Mulvaney called Mr. Ross, who was in Greece traveling for meetings. Mr. Ross then called Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, at home around 3 a.m. on Friday morning Washington time and instructed him to clear up the agency’s contradiction of the president, according to three people informed about the discussions.

Dr. Jacobs objected to the demand and was told that the political appointees at NOAA would be fired if the situation was not fixed, according to the three individuals, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the episode. The political staff at an agency typically includes a handful of top officials, such as Dr. Jacobs, and their aides. They are appointed by the administration currently in power, as opposed to career government employees, who remain as administrations come and go.

The statement NOAA ultimately issued later on Friday faulted the Birmingham office for a tweet that “spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time.”

Dr. Jacobs has since sought to reassure his work force and the broader scientific community concerned about political interference.

“This administration is committed to the important mission of weather forecasting,” Dr. Jacobs told a weather conference in Huntsville, Ala., on Tuesday. “There is no pressure to change the way you communicate or forecast risk in the future.”

In the speech, Dr. Jacobs praised Mr. Trump, calling him “genuinely interested in improving weather forecasts,” and echoed the president’s position that Dorian initially threatened Alabama. “At one point, Alabama was in the mix, as was the rest of the Southeast.”

He also said he still had faith in the Birmingham office. “The purpose of the NOAA statement was to clarify the technical aspects of the potential impacts of Dorian,” Dr. Jacobs said. “What it did not say, however, is that we understand and fully support the good intent of the Birmingham weather forecast office, which was to calm fears in support of public safety.”

Unassuaged, the House science committee has demanded documents and information related to the NOAA statement and its origins.

In addition to emails, memos, text messages and records of telephone calls, the committee asked Mr. Ross to answer a number of questions, including whether any representative of the Executive Office of the President directed NOAA to issue Friday’s statement or specify the language in it.

They also reminded Mr. Ross of statements that he made under oath in his confirmation hearing that he would not interfere with science, particularly at NOAA, which in addition to weather forecasting is the agency responsible for understanding and predicting changes in the earth’s climate.

“Science should be done by scientists,” Mr. Ross testified in that January 2017 hearing. “I support the release of factual scientific data.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Pressed Top Aide to Have Weather Service ‘Clarify’ Forecast That Contradicted Trump

Westlake Legal Group 11dc-storm-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Trump Pressed Top Aide to Have Weather Service ‘Clarify’ Forecast That Contradicted Trump Weather United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Ross, Wilbur L Jr National Weather Service National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Mulvaney, Mick Jacobs, Neil Hurricane Dorian (2019) Commerce Department

WASHINGTON — President Trump, seeking to justify his claim of a hurricane threat to Alabama, pressed aides to intervene with a federal scientific agency, leading to a highly unusual public rebuke of the forecasters who contradicted him, according to people familiar with the events.

In response to the president’s request, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, to have the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration publicly correct the forecasters, who had insisted that Alabama was not actually at risk from Hurricane Dorian.

A senior administration official, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters, said Mr. Trump told his staff to have NOAA “clarify” the forecasters’ position. NOAA, which is part of the Commerce Department, then issued an unsigned statement saying the Birmingham, Ala., office of the National Weather Service was wrong to refute the president’s warning so categorically.

But the statement only exacerbated the uproar over Mr. Trump’s storm prediction as critics accused his administration of politicizing the weather. The Commerce Department inspector general has opened an investigation, and on Wednesday, a Democrat-controlled House science committee kicked off its own inquiry.

As a result, the furor over Mr. Trump’s storm prediction has evolved from a momentary embarrassment into a sustained political liability for the administration — no longer just a question of a president unwilling to admit a mistake but now a White House willing to force scientists to validate it.

The New York Times reported this week that Mr. Ross warned NOAA’s acting administrator that top employees at the agency could be fired if the situation were not addressed. Mr. Ross’s spokesman has denied that he threatened to fire anyone. A senior official on Wednesday said that if Mr. Ross did make such threats, it was not at the direction of Mr. Mulvaney.

After The Times disclosed Mr. Mulvaney’s role on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that he was acting at Mr. Trump’s direction, which the senior official confirmed to The Times. But when Mr. Trump was asked by a reporter if he told his chief of staff to instruct NOAA to “disavow those forecasters,” he denied it.

“No, I never did that,” Mr. Trump said. “I never did that. That’s a whole hoax by the fake news media. When they talk about the hurricane and when they talk about Florida and they talk about Alabama, that’s just fake news. It was — right from the beginning, it was a fake story.”

The White House had no comment beyond the president’s remarks. The senior official made a distinction between telling NOAA to “disavow” the forecast and “clarify” it. The White House argument was that the forecasters had gone too far and the president was right to suggest there had been models showing possible impact on Alabama.

The release of the NOAA statement provoked complaints that the Trump administration was improperly intruding in the professional weather forecasting system to rationalize an inaccurate presidential assertion. In opening its investigation, the Commerce Department’s inspector general said the events could call into question scientific independence.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology expressed similar concerns as it announced its own investigation into Mr. Ross’s actions on Wednesday.

“We are deeply disturbed by the politicization of NOAA’s weather forecast activities for the purpose of supporting incorrect statements by the president,” wrote Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, the chairwoman of the committee, along with Representative Mikie Sherrill, the chairman of its oversight panel.

The latest challenge to Mr. Trump’s credibility has its origins in one of the more prosaic duties a president has, warning the nation when natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian threaten communities.

On Sept. 1, as Dorian gathered strength over the Atlantic and headed toward the east coast, the president wrote on Twitter that Alabama, among other states, “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.” Earlier forecast maps had suggested that Alabama might see some effects from the edge of the storm, but by the time of the president’s tweet, the predictions had already changed.

A few minutes after Mr. Trump’s tweet, the National Weather Service in Birmingham posted its own message on Twitter flatly declaring that “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane Dorian will be felt across Alabama.” The forecasters were correct; Alabama was not struck by the hurricane.

Nonetheless, Mr. Trump was furious at being challenged and kept insisting for days that he had been right. He displayed or posted outdated maps, including one that had been apparently altered with a Sharpie pen to make it look like Alabama might still be in the path of the storm. He had his homeland security adviser release a statement backing him up.

After Mr. Trump told his staff on Sept. 5 to address the matter, Mr. Mulvaney called Mr. Ross, who was in Greece traveling for meetings. Mr. Ross then called Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, at home around 3 a.m. on Friday morning Washington time and instructed him to clear up the agency’s contradiction of the president, according to three people informed about the discussions.

Dr. Jacobs objected to the demand and was told that the political appointees at NOAA would be fired if the situation was not fixed, according to the three individuals, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the episode. The political staff at an agency typically includes a handful of top officials, such as Dr. Jacobs, and their aides. They are appointed by the administration currently in power, as opposed to career government employees, who remain as administrations come and go.

The statement NOAA ultimately issued later on Friday faulted the Birmingham office for a tweet that “spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time.”

Dr. Jacobs has since sought to reassure his work force and the broader scientific community concerned about political interference.

“This administration is committed to the important mission of weather forecasting,” Dr. Jacobs told a weather conference in Huntsville, Ala., on Tuesday. “There is no pressure to change the way you communicate or forecast risk in the future.”

In the speech, Dr. Jacobs praised Mr. Trump, calling him “genuinely interested in improving weather forecasts,” and echoed the president’s position that Dorian initially threatened Alabama. “At one point, Alabama was in the mix, as was the rest of the Southeast.”

He also said he still had faith in the Birmingham office. “The purpose of the NOAA statement was to clarify the technical aspects of the potential impacts of Dorian,” Dr. Jacobs said. “What it did not say, however, is that we understand and fully support the good intent of the Birmingham weather forecast office, which was to calm fears in support of public safety.”

Unassuaged, the House science committee has demanded documents and information related to the NOAA statement and its origins.

In addition to emails, memos, text messages and records of telephone calls, the committee asked Mr. Ross to answer a number of questions, including whether any representative of the Executive Office of the President directed NOAA to issue Friday’s statement or specify the language in it.

They also reminded Mr. Ross of statements that he made under oath in his confirmation hearing that he would not interfere with science, particularly at NOAA, which in addition to weather forecasting is the agency responsible for understanding and predicting changes in the earth’s climate.

“Science should be done by scientists,” Mr. Ross testified in that January 2017 hearing. “I support the release of factual scientific data.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Supreme Court Backs New Trump Asylum Restrictions

Westlake Legal Group 12Mexico-Migrants-03-facebookJumbo Supreme Court Backs New Trump Asylum Restrictions United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Supreme Court (US) Sotomayor, Sonia Immigration and Emigration Ginsburg, Ruth Bader Decisions and Verdicts Asylum, Right of

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Trump administration to bar many Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the United States. The court said the administration may enforce new rules that generally forbid asylum applications from people who had traveled through another country on their way to the United States without being denied asylum in that country.

A federal appeals court had largely blocked the new policy, but the justices, in a brief, unsigned order, allowed it to go into effect while legal challenges move forward. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

In a Supreme Court brief, the solicitor general, Noel J. Francisco, representing the administration, said the new policy was needed to address “an unprecedented surge in the number of aliens who enter the country unlawfully across the southern border and, if apprehended, claim asylum and remain in the country while their claims are adjudicated.”

Under the policy, which was announced July 15, only immigrants who have been denied asylum in another country or who have been victims of “severe” human trafficking are permitted to apply in the United States. “The rule thus screens out asylum seekers who declined to request protection at the first opportunity,” Mr. Francisco wrote.

Under the rules, Hondurans and Salvadorans must seek and be denied asylum in Guatemala or Mexico before they can apply in the United States. Guatemalans must seek and be denied asylum in Mexico.

The rules reversed longstanding asylum policies that allowed people to seek haven no matter how they got to the United States.

Two federal trial judges had issued conflicting rulings on whether the new plan was lawful.

In July, Judge Timothy J. Kelly of the Federal District Court in Washington, who was appointed by President Trump, refused to block the administration’s rules.

That same day, Judge Jon S. Tigar of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, blocked the new rules, saying they were put in place without following the required legal procedures.

He ordered the administration to continue accepting applications from all otherwise eligible migrants, even if they had not sought asylum elsewhere on their journey north.

Judge Tigar said his ruling applied across the nation. Such nationwide injunctions have been the subject of much criticism, but the Supreme Court has never issued a definitive ruling on whether and when they are proper.

When Judge Tigar blocked a different aspect of the administration’s asylum policies in November, Mr. Trump criticized the ruling, saying it had been issued by an “Obama judge.” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. issued a rare rebuke to Mr. Trump.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” the chief justice said, adding that an “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

When Judge Tigar’s earlier ruling reached the Supreme Court in December, the court refused to issue a stay by a 5-to-4 vote. Chief Justice Roberts joined the court’s four-member liberal wing to form a majority.

In August, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, narrowed the geographic scope of Judge Tigar’s more recent ruling while it considered the administration’s appeal, saying it should apply only in the territorial jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit, which includes two border states, California and Arizona. (Two other border states, Texas and New Mexico, are in the jurisdictions of other federal appeals courts.)

On Monday, however, Judge Tigar again imposed a nationwide injunction, saying he had been presented with additional evidence justifying one. “Anything but a nationwide injunction,” he wrote, “will create major administrability issues.” On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit temporarily blocked the new injunction and ordered the two sides to submit briefs on whether it should issue a stay.

In an emergency application to the Supreme Court last month seeking a stay of Judge Tigar’s initial ruling while the case moved forward, Mr. Francisco argued that the administration was entitled to skip ordinary notice and comment requirements for new regulations because foreign affairs were at issue and because a delay after the announcement of the procedures “may prompt an additional surge of asylum seekers.”

In any event, Mr. Francisco wrote, the Ninth Circuit’s narrower injunction, covering only the western states in its territorial jurisdiction, was still too broad. At most, he wrote, the injunction should cover only clients of the four groups challenging the new policy — East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Al Otro Lado, Innovation Law Lab and Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles.

In response, the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the groups along with the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center, said the administration was trying to rewrite a federal immigration law enacted in 1980. There was no reason, the A.C.L.U. said, to alter “the 40-year-long status quo while this case is heard on an expedited basis in the court of appeals.”

“The current ban would eliminate virtually all asylum at the southern border, even at ports of entry, for everyone except Mexicans (who do not need to transit through a third country to reach the United States),” the A.C.L.U.’s brief said. “The court should not permit such a tectonic change to U.S. asylum law.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com