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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.

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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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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump allies acquiring ‘dirt’ on journalists to take them down during the 2020 election

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President Donald Trump's war against the media has taken a next step. According to The New York Times, Trump's allies have been compiling information on reporters at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times to strike back because the president believes they "aggressively investigated" him.

The information was revealed Sunday using information disclosed by associates of conservative Arthur Schwartz, who is spearheading the project. Schwartz is an adviser to Donald Trump Jr. and previously worked with Steve Bannon.

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Iran Foreign Minister Zarif perfectly Twitter-trolls Trump with photos of meeting with smiling Macron at G7

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Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif used Donald Trump's favorite social media platform to get in a dig at the president and rub his nose in the fact that French President Emmanuel took time out from the busy G7 meeting he is hosting to sit down with him.

The White House was reportedly blindsided by Macron's invitation that had been kept a secret from Trump and now, if Trump wanted proof of the meeting, he need only hop on Twitter to see the evidence.

As Zarif wrote, "Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues. Met @EmmanuelMacron on sidelines of #G7Biarritz after extensive talks with @JY_LeDria & Finance Min. followed by a joint briefing for UK/Germany. Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying."

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Hong Kong police fire first gunshot in protest clashes

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Hong Kong police used water cannon for the first time and at least one officer fired his sidearm during pitched battles with protesters Sunday, one of the most violent nights in three months of pro-democracy rallies that have rocked the city.

An afternoon rally in the district of Tsuen Wan spiralled into violent running confrontations between protesters and police, with officers several times caught outnumbered and isolated by masked youths wielding sticks and throwing rocks.

In one instance, several police officers drew their sidearms, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

"According to my understanding, just now a gunshot was fired by a colleague," Superintendent Leung Kwok Win told the press.

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