National Prayer Breakfast
Jeff Sessions Nomination
Supreme Court Nomination
The Guardian – Tom McCarthy – President Donald Trump has nominated circuit court judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the US supreme court, setting up a showdown with congressional Democrats and activists over a pick that could shape the ideological bent of the court for a generation.
Gorsuch, 49, the youngest supreme court nominee in 25 years, was among a group of federal judges reported in recent weeks to be on Trump’s shortlist. A strict adherent of judicial restraint known for sharply-written opinions and bedrock conservative views, Gorsuch, a Colorado native, is popular among his peers and is seen as having strong backing among Republicans generally.
The nomination landed at a moment of sharply-increasing alarm amongst progressives that the Trump administration plans to pursue extremist policies on core questions likely to come before the court, from religious equality to abortion rights, voting rights, access to healthcare, LGBT rights, anti-discrimination protections and more.
National Review – Jonah Goldberg: I find the instantaneous claims that Gorsuch – a hyper-educated scholar with an impeccable resume — is “extreme” to be tedious and exhausting. Why come straight out of the blocks telegraphing that you will not argue in good faith or with reason? Anyone who begins by saying Gorsuch is extreme and dangerous has already forfeited their place at the grown-ups’ table. For instance:
Gorsuch represents a breathtaking retreat from the notion that Americans have fundamental Constitutional rights.
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) February 1, 2017
New York Times – Michael D. Shear: The firing of Ms. Yates came at the end of a turbulent three days that began on Friday with Mr. Trump’s signing of his executive order. The action stranded travelers around the world, led to protests around the country and created alarm inside the bureaucracy.
“It is time to get serious about protecting our country,” Mr. Spicer said in the statement. He accused Democrats of holding up the confirmation of Mr. Sessions for political reasons. “Calling for tougher vetting for individuals traveling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country.”
National Review – Editorial: For inexplicable reasons, the new president left Yates in place to run the Justice Department in anticipation of the confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions. A faithful Obama-appointed progressive, Yates obviously knew which way the political wind was blowing in her tribe.
It was foolish of President Trump to leave officials such as Acting Attorney General Yates in place. The president has issued a raft of executive orders in his first eight days. His obvious intent is to change governance significantly, which means he needs entirely new personnel. Yates never should have been in the position to undertake her grandstanding in the first place — but at least that particular error has now been corrected.
Moscow, January 29 – To find even a hint of the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions in their 50-minute conversation, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin were not optimistic. Nevertheless, it seems that restoration of economic ties between the U..S. and Russia is possible. Russian business, at least, believes it.
In the priority – the joint fight of Russia and the U.S. against international terrorism, and the restoration of economic relations – the only possibility. And we are talking about “economic and trade relations between the business circles of the two countries”, and not the resuscitation of full bilateral relations between the two countries. This is the first impression on the outcome of talks on the phone, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held Saturday night.
Moscow, January 28 – On Saturday evening – the first after the inauguration of the U.S. president – a telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. During the meeting, the leaders discussed the issues of terrorism, Syria, Ukraine and other questions, And then Trump asked to give the Russians Trump wishes of prosperity and added that Americans treat Russia with sympathy.
The conversation between the Russian and American presidents was the third of five planned Saturday calls made by Donald Trump. Before the conversation with Putin Trump managed to talk with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On the American side in addition to the Trump in an interview attended by US Vice President Mike Pence.