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Court smacks down Trump with ruling acting immigration chief was illegally installed

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A federal judge on Sunday ruled President Donald Trump illegally installed Ken Cuccinelli as his acting Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Cuccinelli, who has a history of promoting white nationalist, anti-LGBTQ, and misogynistic policies and beliefs, has ties to a hate group, is the former Virginia Attorney General who lost his bid to become that state’s Republican governor.

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In his 55-page decision U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss ruled “that Cuccinelli was not lawfully appointed to serve as the acting Director of USCIS,” and therefore certain directives related to removal of undocumented immigrants seeking asylum he implemented “must be set aside.”

The court also appeared to deliver a lesson in law and history to the Trump administration, saying almost directly that the constitutional requirement of “advice and consent” is not optional. Citing a legal precedent Judge Moss wrote obtaining the Senate’s approval is “more than a matter of ‘etiquette or protocol’; it is among the significant structural safeguards of the constitutional scheme.”

Cuccinelli, who sits on Trump’s coronavirus task force, was just in the news – and mocked – a week ago for this tweet:

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Some experts weigh in on today’s ruling:

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2020 Election

‘Mad King Trump’ is ignoring the COVID-19 crisis and ‘a lot more Americans are going to die’: Paul Krugman

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In an uncharacteristically blunt column for the New York Times, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman declared President Trump "Mad King Donald" and said his refusal to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously will only lead to more needless deaths for at least the next six months.

Admitting that he feels like Americans, including himself, are trapped on the Titanic he described the president as "a madman who insists on steering straight for the iceberg" and those around him as being too fearful to take the wheel and avert disaster.

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I worked at the State Department — there’s no way Trump didn’t know about the Russian bounties

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One of the perennial lessons of the Trump presidency is that you can never put anything past him. There is no bottom—he will go as low as he can. That became painfully apparent once again last week, when we learned that Trump has sat on his hands for months and did nothing in response to reports that Russia paid bounties for the targeted killing of American soldiers in Afghanistan.

The New York Times reported that Russia’s military intelligence arm has offered a bounty to Taliban fighters for every confirmed kill of U.S. and coalition fighters serving in Afghanistan. The CIA reportedly confirmed the veracity of the information after interrogating prisoners and recovering a large stash of U.S. dollars at a captured Taliban base. Former national security adviser John Bolton reportedly briefed Trump on the information in March 2019, and U.S. intelligence officials told the Times that Trump was presented with a list of options in March 2020, but no action has yet been taken.

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2020 Election

The walls are closing in on Trump as he faces a drubbing from the Supreme Court and his own family

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Although the opinion section of the Washington Post has its share of liberals and progressives, it has also been a consistent source of right-wing Never Trump commentary that ranges from columnists Jennifer Rubin, Max Boot and Kathleen Parker to guest op-eds by attorney George Conway. This week, two of those conservatives cite recent examples of the walls closing in on President Donald Trump: Conway discusses the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Trump v. Vance and the arrival of Mary Trump’s tell-all book, while Rubin asserts that former Vice President Joe Biden is seizing the populist narrative from Trump.

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