CNN: TRUMP GOES “FULL GONZO” IN AZ — REWRITES HISTORY, PRAISES RACIST SHERIFF, TRASHES NAFTA, SLAMS AZ’S GOP SENATORS, THREATENS USG SHUTDOWN IN TANTRUM ABOUT WALL, COZIES UP TO WHITE NATIONALISTS — DIVIDER IN CHIEF’S UNFITNESS FOR OFFICE ON FULL DISPLAY!

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/23/politics/donald-trump-phoenix-rally-analysis/index.html

Stephen Collinson reports for CNN:

“(CNN)Donald Trump just showed why even some Republicans question whether he has the temperament and the capacity to serve as President.

In an incredible performance at a raucous Arizona rally Tuesday, Trump rewrote the history of his response to violence in Charlottesville and reignited the culture wars.
Trump in effect identified himself as the main victim of the furor over the violence in Virginia, berating media coverage for a political crisis that refuses to abate over his rhetoric on race.
“They’re trying to take away our culture. They’re trying to take away our history,” Trump said, blaming “weak, weak people” for allowing the removal of statues commemorating the Confederacy.
TRUMP’S PHOENIX SPEECH
Lemon: Speech ‘total eclipse of facts’
Trump’s 77-minute speech
Police spray tear gas at protesters
Trump: We’ll probably kill NAFTA
Clapper: ‘Downright scary and disturbing’
In defending his responses to the Charlottesville violence, Trump selectively omitted his reference to “many sides” or “both sides,” comments he made that drew bipartisan condemnation for equating neo-Nazis with their counterprotesters.
Trump insisted at the start of his speech that all Americans must realize that they are on the same team, must show loyalty to their country, and that he wanted everyone to love one another.
But his performance was a fresh indication that he still feels far more comfortable, and perhaps motivated, to act as a political flamethrower who pulls at national divides than a President who wants to unite the nation.
Throwing gasoline onto political controversies, Trump threatened to shut down the government unless Congress funds his border wall and all but promised a pardon for Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court in a case related to racial profiling.”

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Read the entire jaw-droppingly disturbing report of our President’s unhinged performance at the link.

PWS

08-23-17

GUILTY! — JoeToGo (To Jail?) — Arpaio On Wrong Side Of Law!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/ex-sheriff-joe-arpaio-convicted-of-criminal-contempt/2017/07/31/26d9572e-7620-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html

Matt Zapotosky reports in the Washington Post:

“Joe Arpaio, a former Arizona sheriff whose extreme stance on illegal immigration made him a household name, was convicted Monday of criminal contempt of court for ignoring a judge’s order to stop detaining people because he merely suspected them of being undocumented immigrants.

U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton wrote that Arpaio had shown a “flagrant disregard” for the court’s command and that his attempt to pin the conduct on those who worked for him rang hollow.

“Not only did Defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise,” Bolton wrote.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said Arpaio faces up to six months in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for October 5. Arpaio’s attorney said he would appeal in order to get a trial by jury. He had been convicted after a trial in front of Bolton.”

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Read the complete article at the link.

Eventually, justice catches up with folks like Arpaio.

PWS

08-01-17

DHS MISTREATS KIDS: U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee Finds That DHS Has Blown Off Her Prior Orders & Continues To Mistreat Children In Detention!

http://immigrationimpact.com/2017/06/28/government-continues-ignore-rights-children-detention-court-finds/

Karolina Walters writes in Immigration Impact:

“Despite being among some of the most vulnerable, children seeking asylum in the United States often fare the worst. Upon entering the United States, children are often detained for extended periods in violation of a long-standing agreement known as the Flores settlement.

The Flores agreement essentially acts as a contract between the government and children held in immigration custody. On Tuesday, a federal district court judge ruled once again that the government is failing to meet its obligations to children held in immigration custody.

The court found a number of violations, including holding children too long in detention, in substandard conditions, and in non-licensed facilities. In addition, the court ruled that the government is required to look at each child’s case individually to determine whether release from custody is appropriate—the government may not rely on any blanket standard to avoid the responsibility of assessing each case individually.

The Flores agreement is a nationwide settlement reached in 1997. In this settlement, the government agreed that children taken into immigration custody would be placed in the “least restrictive setting appropriate to [their] age and special needs” and would be released “without unnecessary delay,” preferably to a parent. The settlement also requires that if a child is not released to a parent, adult relative, or an appropriate guardian, children must be placed in non-secure facilities licensed for the care of dependent children within five days of apprehension.

Two years ago, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL), on behalf of immigrant children, brought suit to enforce the Flores settlement. In July and August of 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee said the government must apply the settlement to all minors, including those detained with family members. Tuesday’s order from Judge Gee outlines the particular ways in which the government is in breach of the Flores settlement and how the court seeks to ensure compliance going forward.”

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Read the complete article at the link.

While AG Jeff Sessions is out whipping up xenophobic frenzy and promoting the need for an “American Gulag” to support his “Gonzo Apocalypto” immigration enforcement agenda, he ignores his real legal and constitutional duties: Get General Kelly and the rest of the folks over at DHS to obey the law and stop mistreating kids!

That someone like Sessions with such totally warped values and lack of any sense of justice or decency should be in charge of our supposedly due process providing U.S. Immigration Court system is a continuing travesty of justice.

PWS

06-29-17

 

Problems Mount For Administration On Travel Ban — Can’t Find Support For Their “Pre-Hatched” Conclusions — Stephen Miller Shoots Off Mouth Again — DOJ Litigators Undoubtedly Cringe As In-Court Statements Undermined!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/a-new-travel-ban-with-mostly-minor-technical-differences-that-probably-wont-cut-it-analysts-say/2017/02/22/8ae9d7e6-f918-11e6-bf01-d47f8cf9b643_story.html?utm_term=.e2b487b295a7

Matt Zapotsky writes in the Washington Post:

“Senior policy adviser Stephen Miller said President Trump’s revised travel ban will have “mostly minor technical differences” from the iteration frozen by the courts, and Americans would see “the same basic policy outcome for the country.”

That is not what the Justice Department has promised. And legal analysts say it might not go far enough to allay the judiciary’s concerns.

A senior White House official said Wednesday that Trump will issue a revised executive order on immigration next week, as the administration is working to make sure the implementation goes smoothly. Trump had said previously that the order would come this week. Neither the president nor his top advisers have detailed exactly what the new order will entail. Miller’s comments on Fox News, while vague, seem to suggest the changes might not be substantive. And that could hurt the administration’s bid to lift the court-imposed suspension on the ban, analysts said.

“If you’re trying to moot out litigation, which is to say, ‘Look, this litigation is no longer necessary,’ it is very bad to say our intent here is to engage in the prohibited outcome,” said Leon Fresco, who worked in the office of immigration litigation in President Barack Obama’s Justice Department.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/02/23/white-house-gives-plenty-of-ammunition-to-travel-bans-opponents/?utm_term=.9442c17ff14b

Jennifer Rubin writes in Right Turn in today’s Washington Post:

“Opponents of President Trump’s travel ban have one big advantage — the Trump White House. If not for the confusion, lack of staffing (nary a deputy, let alone an undersecretary or assistant secretary, has been named in national security-related departments), organizational disarray, policy differences or all of the above, the administration might have put together on its first try a legally enforceable executive order. It might by now even have come up with a new executive order, thanks to a road map provided by the 9th Circuit. However, the rollout has been pushed back to next week.

Understand that if this is such a matter of urgent concern, the president would have had his advisers working around the clock on this (not transgender bathroom assignments, plans to deport non-criminal illegal immigrants or haggling with Mexican officials over a wall that Trump insists they pay for). In fact, since the point of the ban is to initiate a review of our vetting procedures, you’d think that the Homeland Security Department would already have come up with its proposed “extreme vetting” recommendations.

Meanwhile, the president and his staff continue to provide legal ammunition to opponents of the ban. On Tuesday, senior adviser Stephen Miller in a Fox News interview boldly declared, “Fundamentally, you’re still going to have the same basic policy outcome for the country, but you’re going to be responsive to a lot of very technical issues that were brought up by the court.” Just to remind the courts of the administration’s arrogance, Miller proclaimed that there was nothing wrong with the first order.

“By saying that the policy effects of the new travel ban will be essentially the same as those of the travel ban that so many federal judges found constitutionally suspect, Miller is effectively inviting federal courts to suspend the new one as well, given that the religiously discriminatory history of the ban can’t be ignored, much less erased, simply by purporting to start over again,” Supreme Court litigator and professor Larry Tribe tells me. “If, as I am told, the new ban is a more artfully disguised version of [an] anti-Muslim measure, without explicit preferences for religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries (i.e., for Christians) written into the very text of the ban, then some judges might be less inclined to issue a temporary restraining order, but most federal judges would be savvy enough to recognize that they are being treated to a masquerade.”

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/politics/white-house-effort-to-justify-travel-ban-causes-growing-concern-for-some-intel-officials/index.html

Meanwhile, Jake Tapper and Pamela Brown on CNN highlight more difficulties with the Administration’s “shoot first, ask questions later” approach:

“Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump has assigned the Department of Homeland Security, working with the Justice Department, to help build the legal case for its temporary travel ban on individuals from seven countries, a senior White House official tells CNN.

Other Trump administration sources tell CNN that this is an assignment that has caused concern among some administration intelligence officials, who see the White House charge as the politicization of intelligence — the notion of a conclusion in search of evidence to support it after being blocked by the courts. Still others in the intelligence community disagree with the conclusion and are finding their work disparaged by their own department.
“DHS and DOJ are working on an intelligence report that will demonstrate that the security threat for these seven countries is substantial and that these seven countries have all been exporters of terrorism into the United States,” the senior White House official told CNN. “The situation has gotten more dangerous in recent years, and more broadly, the refugee program has been a major incubator for terrorism.”

The report was requested in light of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ conclusion that the Trump administration “has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States.” The seven counties are Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The senior White House official said the desire to bolster the legal and public case that these seven countries pose a threat is a work in progress and as of now, it’s not clear if DHS and DOJ will offer separate reports or a joint report.
One of the ways the White House hopes to make its case is by using a more expansive definition of terrorist activity than has been used by other government agencies in the past. The senior White House official said he expects the report about the threat from individuals the seven countries to include not just those terrorist attacks that have been carried out causing loss of innocent American life, but also those that have resulted in injuries, as well as investigations into and convictions for the crimes of a host of terrorism-related actions, including attempting to join or provide support for a terrorist organization.
The White House did not offer an on-the-record comment for this story despite numerous requests.

. . . .

Asked about the report Thursday on “The Lead,” Rep. Dan Donovan, R-New York, emphasized that the intelligence community be nonpartisan.
“They should take data, take information, shouldn’t interpret it in a political way and provide the President the information he needs to make decisions to protect our country,” he said.
Also commenting on the report was Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, who acknowledged that he hadn’t seen the specifics but “it looks wrong to me.”
“We ought to be doing the intel first, then set the policy and in large part based upon the intelligence,” Haass said. “If these reports are true, it’s yet another example where this administration is having real trouble ing a functional relationship with the intelligence community.”

[Emphasis supplied in all quotes]

********************************

I was never a “line litigator.” But, I was involved in defending and prosecuting thousands of cases during the “Legacy INS Phase” of my career. I also participated in thousands more cases as an appellate and trial judge during the last 21 years at EOIR.

One of my jobs in providing litigation assistance as the Deputy General Counsel of the INS was to make sure my “institutional clients” did not comment on pending cases. Such comments both unnecessarily antagonized the judges hearing the cases and, on occasion, when folks didn’t heed my instructions, completely “tanked” our positions by giving our opponents new arguments.

As a sitting judge, I can guarantee that one of the least successful approaches was for a lawyer to insult my intelligence or integrity and then turn around and ask me to help out his or her client. Sure, in the end, I had to separate the law from the lawyer and do the right thing. But, it certainly interfered with the effectiveness of the lawyer’s communication and made it more difficult for me to get to the substance of his or her client’s case.

And, one thing that certainly infuriated all judges, including me, was for a lawyer to represent one thing in court and then have his or her client do something else. It made me lose confidence in the lawyer’s reliability and integrity and his or her ability to control and speak for the client. I can remember “chewing out” several lawyers at Master Calendar for misrepresenting facts or law to me in their briefs or oral arguments.

It appears that the Trump Administration’s combination of arrogance, ignorance, and disrespect for the court system and the role of judges is undermining both their credibility and the credibility of the Department of Justice career lawyers whose job is to represent them over and over again before most of the same judges. Once a judge loses faith in the credibility of a lawyer and/or her or his client, “bad things will happen” and they do.

PWS

02/23/17

Morning Joe: “Stephen Miller’s weekend performance: That was horrendous and an embarrassment!” — Other Than That, He Loves The Guy!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/13/joe-scarborough-is-trying-to-make-trump-turn-on-stephen-miller/?utm_term=.8c119ea36330

Callum Borchers Wirtes in “The Fix” in today’s Washington Post:

“Joe Scarborough is trying to use whatever influence he has over Donald Trump to change the president’s mind about Stephen Miller. It hasn’t worked so far.

The MSNBC host previously blamed Miller for mishandling the rollout of the travel ban and on Monday resumed his campaign against Trump’s senior policy adviser, who made a series of breathtakingly forceful statements on the Sunday political talk shows, including:

“Our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”
“Sean Spicer, as always, is a hundred percent correct.”
“It is a fact, and you will not deny it, that there are massive numbers of noncitizens in this country who are registered to vote.”

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The video clips on this one (see link) are truly amazing.  Miller is the “Perfect Storm” of arrogance, ignorance, and intolerance all wrapped into a package of smart-ass, off-putting demeanor, lack of gravitas, and robotic delivery. Hopefully, they never let this guy into a courtroom. Or, perhaps they should . . . .

Come to think of it, I’d love to see him go “toe to toe” with Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit. Nothing Judge P loves better than being told “who’s in charge.” And, as for the “I’m from the White House come to tell you about your authority, you robed boob” tone, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. On the other hand, couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

PWS

02/13/17

WashPost: The Fix: Trump Threatens Third Branch!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/08/president-trump-is-not-so-subtly-threatening-the-american-court-system/?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_trumphearing-1230pm:homepage/story&utm_term=.889ea4d1df98

Aaron Blake writes in the Washington Post:

“In a speech to law enforcement officials, Feb. 8, President Trump read federal law giving broad him broad authority to set immigration restrictions, adding, “a bad high school student would understand this.” (The Washington Post)

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is now weighing what to do with President Trump’s travel ban. And Trump did his best Wednesday to put his finger on the scales of justice.

Continuing a highly unusual days-long effort by a president, Trump issued a stark warning to the three-judge panel and, really, the entire court system: Run afoul of me, and you may just pay a price.

In a speech in front of law enforcement in Washington, Trump suggested to the three-judge panel that they would marginalize themselves politically if they decide the wrong way. Trump has said similar things about the judge who previously halted his travel ban — albeit after the decision had come down.

The comments were oblique, but Trump’s point was crystal clear.

“If these judges wanted to help the court in terms of respect for the court, they’d do what they should be doing,” Trump said, in a comment thick with subtext. “It’s so sad.”

He added: “I don’t ever want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased. But courts seem to be so political, and it would be so great for our justice system if they would read [the law] and do what’s right.”

If that isn’t a threat to marshal support against the American court system and fight it politically, I’m not sure what is. Trump is basically saying: That’s a nice reputation you’ve got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it.”

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So, if this is the contemptuous and disrespectful way Trump treats the Article III Courts, what does that say about the chances for fairness and due process in the U.S. Immigration Court System, where all the U.S. Immigration Judges and the Appellate Immigration Judges on the Board of Immigration Appeals work directly for Trump’s friend and enthusiastic supporter, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a well-established “immigration hard liner” who is reputed to be the “inspiration” behind Trump’s immigration enforcement program.

How long will an Immigration Judge who rules in favor of an individual who is one of Trump’s “removal priorities” or an Appellate Immigration Judge who speaks out in favor of due process in the face of Trump’s “move ’em all out” Executive Orders remain on the bench. Not long, I suspect. Is Attorney General Jeff Sessions really going to stand up for and protect a conscientious Immigration Judge who in good faith attempts to follow the law even when it conflicts with Trump’s edicts? Not likely.

The only question probably will be whether Article III Judges will stand up to Trump’s bullying and excesses and force Constitutional due process back into the system after Trump and Sessions drain it out. So far, the Article III Judiciary seems to be almost as unfazed by Trump’s bulling and threats as, say, the cast of SNL. But, it’s early in the game. And even Article III Judges eventually might find that they have to pick their fights. Will the due process rights of foreign nationals be one of them? Only time will tell. Stay tuned.

PWS

02/08/17

Copy Of TRO By Judge Leonie Brinkema, EDVA, Prohibiting Removal Of LPRs & Requiring Access To Counsel — Aziz v. Trump

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA Alexandria Division

Case No. 1:17-cv-116

Date: January 28, 2017

Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz, by their next friend,

Aqel Muhammad Aziz, and

John Does 1-60, Petitioners,

v.

 

DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (“DHS”); U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION (“CBP”); JOHN KELLY, Secretary of DHS; KEVIN K. MCALEENAN, Acting Commissioner of CBP; and WAYNE BIONDI, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Port Director of the Area Port of Washington Dulles,

Respondents.
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65, the Court orders that:

a) respondents shall permit lawyers access to all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport;

b) respondents are forbidden from removing petitioners—lawful permanent residents at Dulles International Airport—for a period of 7 days from the issuance of this Order.

Dates: January 28, 2017

1

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Seems pretty straightforward.  Lawful permanent residents (“green card holders”) returning from abroad are entitled to full Removal Hearings before a U.S. Immigration Judge at which the DHS bears the burden of establishing removability by clear and convincing evidence.  They are also entitled to representation by counsel of their own choosing (at no expense to the Government) in such a hearing.  Therefore, it’s hard to understand the the basis for the apparent DHS claim that they could detain and remove a returning green card holder without a hearing and without allowing him or her access to a lawyer.  But, I’ve read and heard reports from local attorneys saying that DHS CBP officials at Dulles International Airport have been slow to comply or resisted complying with Judge Brinkema’s very clear order.

I’ve never personally met Judge Brinkema, who sits in the U.S. District Court a few blocks from our home in Alexandria. But, I’m familiar with her work. Occasionally, one of my custody/bond decisions from the Arlington Immigration Court ended up before her for judicial review by habeas corpus. Sometimes she upheld my decision, sometimes not.

On several occasions, she ordered me to conduct immediate individualized custody hearings for detained individuals notwithstanding BIA precedent to the contrary. I always complied immediately, just as she had ordered. The DHS Arlington Chief Counsel also got on board. Judge Brinkema wasn’t someone you wanted to “mess around with.”

Unlike U.S. Immigration Judges, who were given statutory contempt of court powers by the Congress, only to have that authority withheld by the U.S. Dept. of Justice over three Administrations, Democratic and Republican, Judge Brinkema has authority to hold individuals, including U.S. Government officials, in contempt of court for disobeying her orders. And, I never had the impression that she would be reluctant to do that when necessary.

Additionally, failure to comply with court orders can result in large attorney fee awards against the Government under the Equal Access to Justice Act. If the reports of non-compliance are true, it seems that DHS and their lawyers are “playing with fire” here.

Remember guys, this isn’t Immigration Court. Article III Judges have life tenure, and they don’t work for the President. He’s just another party to them.

PWS

01/29/17