supreme-court

Trump Challenges Federal Judge to High Court Duel Over Sanctuary Cities
President’s tweets rekindle battle with Ninth Circuit

President Donald Trump lashed out Wednesday at a federal judge who blocked another of his immigration executive orders. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has a message for the federal judge who blocked his executive orders tailored to keep some so-called “sanctuary” cities from receiving federal funds: “See you in the Supreme Court!”

Trump took to Twitter before 7 a.m. Wednesday morning to blast a federal judge in California who on Tuesday issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against provisions in an executive order signed by Trump that is meant to block federal funding for “sanctuary” jurisdictions that decline to assist federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws.

Syria, Trump and Congress’ Ever-Eroding War Powers
Lawmakers lukewarm to a force-authorization measure for U.S. missile strike

President Donald Trump and his national security team receive a briefing on April 6 about an air strike he ordered on a Syrian air base. (White House photo)

President Donald Trump has gone to great lengths to break from the policies and approaches of his predecessor. Yet, when it came to justifying a round of U.S. military missile strikes in Syria, the new commander in chief dusted off a legal rationale crafted by Barack Obama’s administration.

Like the 44th president, Trump contended that the Constitution vests in the office of the presidency enough war powers to carry out some isolated military operations without lawmakers’ approval.

Opinion: In North Carolina, the Good and Not-So-Good News
Compromise on ‘bathroom bill’ but an attempt to ban same-sex marriage

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, left, is fighting a Republican supermajority in the state legislature that has sometimes seemed more intent on thwarting him than governing, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Courtesy Gov. Roy Cooper Facebook page)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s North Carolina, so, of course, the good news is followed by that pesky dark cloud every time.

You would think everyone in the state would welcome the end of the long saga over House Bill 2, the so-called bathroom bill, which was repealed recently in a compromise. That bill, which had compelled people to use the bathroom that corresponded to the gender on their birth certificates, also said cities could not follow Charlotte’s lead and enact their own anti-discrimination ordinances or a minimum wage and much more.

Senators Look to Move Past Nuclear Option
Bipartisanship touted when they return from recess

Maine Sen. Susan Collins said lawmakers should move on to an issue with bipartisan support, such as improving infrastructure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators are getting some time away from the nation’s capital for the next week and half, following a tense battle over the Supreme Court. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked the so-called nuclear option last Thursday to effectively change the Senate rules and lower the threshold for ending debate on high court nominees. While the move raised questions about whether the chamber had reached a partisan point of no return, senators were hopeful they could still come together on other issues.

Opinion: Would Trump Nuke Congressional Budget Rules?
They could stand in the way of president’s infrastructure plans

President Donald Trump may feel that he has the credibility to shatter the Republican consensus on budgetary issues now that his nominee has joined the Supreme Court, Walter Shapiro writes. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If real life resembled apocalyptic 1950s movies, the triggering of the nuclear option would have left a radioactive cloud all over North America and Europe. And the remnants of humanity would be hunkering down in Australia, calculating how long it would take for the deadly wind currents to reach that far south.

Instead, when the Senate went nuclear, Neil Gorsuch was elevated to the Supreme Court and Congress went home for recess without needing Geiger counters or fallout shelters. In fact, amid the thrill-a-minute gyrations of the Donald Trump White House, the nuclear option is already half-forgotten as all punditry is now raining down on the cruise missile strike in Syria.

Trump Gladhands Senators as Gorsuch Joins Supreme Court
McConnell, Grassley, Gardner, Lee and Crapo get presidential shout-outs

Neil Gorsuch, newly sworn in as the ninth Supreme Court justice, speaks at a White House ceremony on Monday as President Donald Trump looks on. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump celebrated a rare domestic achievement on Monday as he watched Neil Gorsuch become the ninth Supreme Court justice — and he used the occasion to give a shout-out to several senators. 

The 45th president has had a rough go so far, with the failure of the Republican-crafted health care measure he backed, no measurable progress on a package of tax cuts and code changes, federal courts blocking two travel ban executive orders, and other stumbles. But a bright and warm spring day in the White House Rose Garden afforded Trump a picturesque backdrop to take a victory lap.

Hill Frustrated by Trump Administration’s Lack of Long-Term Syria Plan
Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker: ‘I wish we were further along’

Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, an Armed Services member, said Friday he wishes the Trump administration was closer to having a long-term Syria plan after launching an airstrike there Thursday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senior Trump administration officials did not disclose to lawmakers any long-term plans for dealing with Syrian strongman Bashar Assad or the years-old conflict in his country, further complicating President Donald Trump’s relationship with Congress.

Republican and Democratic senators expressed surprise and frustration, after a classified briefing Friday, that the new president and his team have no strategy for what comes next, following a Trump-ordered Tomahawk missile strike on a Syrian air base in response to a reported Assad government chemical attack that killed dozens of the country’s own civilians.

Tense Senate Confirms Gorsuch to Supreme Court
Colorado jurist will restore conservative tilt as Scalia replacement

Neil Gorsuch is the next associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1:41 p.m. | The Senate confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch as the next Supreme Court justice on Friday on a mostly party-line vote, 54-45. Democrats Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana joined all Republicans present in voting to confirm. Republican Johnny Isakson of Georgia did not vote.

Gorsuch was supported by the fewest number of senators since Justice Clarence Thomas was confirmed in 1991 on a 52-48 vote. 

Analysis: Syria Strike Puts Trump’s Still-Young Presidency at Risk
Slide into deeper U.S. involvement could set up armed hostilities with Russia

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross fires a Tomahawk missile as part of strikes on Syria ordered by President Trump on Thursday evening. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert S. Price/U.S. Navy)

By pounding a Syrian air base with nearly 60 cruise missiles, Donald Trump created for himself a number of political and foreign policy risks that threaten to alter his still-young presidency.

Just shy of his 80th day in office, the populist “America-first” president — should he entangle the United States into the complex Syrian conflict — could see his record-low approval ratings fall even further, while also finding himself in the same Middle East quicksand that his two predecessors found so stymying.

Nuclear Option Deployed in Quiet Senate Chamber
Gravity of situation tempers reactions amid historic moment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gives a thumbs-up on Thursday after the Senate invoked the "nuclear option" to allow for a simple majority vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Thursday was a day for the Senate history books, but the ultimate change of the chamber’s rules for ending debate on Supreme Court justices was met with a quiet resignation.

Just after 12:30 p.m., the Senate clerk read the tally: 52 in the negative, 48 in the affirmative, overruling the presiding officer’s ruling that cloture, or ending debate, on Supreme Court justices required 60 votes.