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Trump will ask the Supreme Court to forbid lower judges from blocking unconstitutional laws

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On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence told the right-wing Federalist Society that President Donald Trump will ask the Supreme Court to abolish the practice of “nationwide injunctions.”

“A Supreme Court Justice has to convince four of his colleagues to uphold a nationwide injunction — but a single district court judge can issue one, effectively preventing the duly-elected president of the United States from fulfilling his constitutional duties,” said Pence. “This judicial obstruction is unprecedented. In the days ahead, our administration will seek opportunities to put this question before the Supreme Court.”

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Courts frequently issue injunctions, which block the government or other entities from taking a certain action. A “nationwide” injunction is an injunction that also applies to people who aren’t part of the lawsuit — and such injunctions are frequently used by both liberal and conservative litigants to prevent that government from enforcing unconstitutional laws.

Simply put, Pence is saying that lower courts should not be allowed to block the government from enforcing a law even if that law is found unconstitutional — they should only be allowed to exempt the specific person or people who sued from the law.

Reasonable legal minds have argued nationwide injunctions have grown too common and too partisan. For one thing, they encourage “forum shopping,” where lawyers who want a partisan ruling pick a specific court where they know they’ll get a partisan judge who agrees with them. A key example is the lawsuit seeking to repeal all of Obamacare, whose plaintiffs filed in North Texas so they’d get a specific right-wing judge who used to be a GOP staffer. Some academics also argue nationwide injunctions speed up debate of cases, leaving the Supreme Court with less information if it needs to review the issue.

But abolishing nationwide injunctions would cause even worse problems. As SCOTUSBlog’s Amanda Frost noted, lower-court judges wouldn’t be able to solve certain kinds of cases at all without nationwide injunctions — for example, if a school was segregated and an African-American plaintiff sued, a judge could order the school to admit that one plaintiff but not desegregate the whole school.

Moreover, nationwide injunctions are an essential limit on executive power, because modern presidential administrations can make massive changes to regulatory policy that affect millions of people at a stroke, and Congress is generally too gridlocked to check this power legislatively. Which is likely the main reason Trump wants nationwide injunctions ended — federal courts have been the main obstacle to his rolling back everything from labor laws to environmental protection to migrant rights.

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Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.

Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.

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‘Aides to the president are not happy’ Gordon Sondland held the phone up in restaurant: CNN’s Jim Acosta

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CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Friday that White House aides are unhappy with Ambassador Gordon Sondland for holding up a call with Trump in a restaurant for multiple witnesses to listen.

The details were revealed in bombshell closed-door testimony before Congress on Friday.

Acosta noted the administration was trying to downplay the significance of the call.

"But I will tell you, that the aides of the president are not happy that Gordon Sondland apparently held the phone up so other aides could hear what was going on and the words of the source familiar with the conversations inside the White House, the president speaks loudly, Sondland should know that," Acosta reported.

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David Holmes’ opening statement to Congress directly implicated Donald Trump: report

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donald trump on the phone

Congress will hear first-hand testimony of President Donald Trump's involvement in the Ukraine scandal.

"David Holmes, the state department aide who overheard President Donald Trump's conversation with the US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, said that Sondland told Trump that the Ukranian President would do 'anything you ask him to,' and that he confirmed the Ukrainians were going to 'do the investigation,'" CNN reported Friday.

""Sondland told Trump that (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky 'loves your ass,'" Holmes testified. "I then heard President Trump ask, 'So, he's gonna do the investigation?' Ambassador Sondland replied that 'he's gonna do it,' adding that President Zelensky will do 'anything you ask him to.'"

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