WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) - A coalition of 16 states, including California and New York, on Monday (Feb 18) challenged US President Donald Trump in court over his plan to use emergency powers to spend billions of dollars on his border wall. The lawsuit is part of a constitutional confrontation that Mr Trump set off on Friday (Feb 15) when he declared that he would spend billions of dollars more on border barriers than Congress had granted him. The clash raises questions over congressional control of spending, the scope of emergency powers granted to the president, and how far the courts are willing to go to settle such a dispute. The suit, filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco, argues that the president does not have the power to divert funds for constructing a wall along the Mexican border because it is Congress that controls spending. Mr Xavier Becerra, the attorney general of California, said in an interview that the president himself had undercut his argument that there was … [Read more...] about 16 states sue to stop Trump’s use of emergency powers to build border wall
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source Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Judge Brett Kavanaugh sat through several days of hearings last week, during which senators on the Judiciary Committee probed his record and positions to determine his fitness to serve on the Supreme Court. The hearings were routinely interrupted by protesters each day, while Democrats and Republicans on the committee fought with each other about procedure and transparency. Kavanaugh did answer a lot of questions in a number of key areas, including abortion, gun rights, and special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The makeup of support and opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the Senate appears to have held relatively steady throughout the marathon testimony. WASHINGTON – The confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh were a long four days in which lawmakers grilled President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve on the Supreme Court. And while Kavanaugh’s judicial … [Read more...] about Here’s what Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said about key issues like abortion during his marathon confirmation hearings
By Michael Schwirtz The New York Times Ellen Barry Mon., Sept. 10, 2018 MOSCOW—Sergei V. Skripal was a little fish. This is how British officials now describe Skripal, a Russian intelligence officer they recruited as a spy in the mid-1990s. When the Russians caught Skripal, they saw him that way, too, granting him a reduced sentence. So did the Americans: The intelligence chief who orchestrated his release to the West in 2010 had never heard of him when he was included in a spy swap with Moscow. But Skripal was significant in the eyes of one man — Vladimir Putin, an intelligence officer of the same age and training. The two men had dedicated their lives to an intelligence war between the Soviet Union and the West. When that war was suspended, both struggled to adapt. One rose, and one fell. While Skripal was trying to reinvent himself, Putin and his allies, former intelligence officers, were gathering together the strands of the old Soviet system. … [Read more...] about A spy story: Sergei Skripal was a little fish who had a big enemy
By Adam Liptak Sheryl Gay Stolberg And Emily Cochrane, The New York Times Wed., Sept. 5, 2018 Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh is before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the second day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing, defending his judicial independence. Sens. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Dianne Feinstein of California, as the top members of the committee, get the first questions, followed by the rest of the panel. Each senator has 30 minutes to interrogate Kavanaugh. Protests have already begun. Kavanaugh cites Nixon to assert his independence Answering the first question Wednesday, from Grassley, the Judiciary Committee chairman, Kavanaugh said he would be an independent justice. He cited three Supreme Court landmarks to make his case. Article Continued Below Two were predictable: Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 decision that ruled segregated public schools unconstitutional, and Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer, the 1952 decision … [Read more...] about U.S. senators question Kavanaugh about his record and legal positions
By Marc Fisher The Washington Post Sari Horwitz Fri., Feb. 23, 2018 They are the sons of wealth, brought up in families accustomed to power. They were raised to show and demand respect, and they were raised to lead. They rose to positions of enormous authority, the president of the United States and the special counsel chosen to investigate him. They dress more formally than most of those around them; both sport meticulously coiffed hair. They have won unusual loyalty from those who believe in them. They attended elite all-male private schools, were accomplished high school athletes and went on to Ivy League colleges. As young men, each was deeply affected by the death of a man he admired greatly. Yet Robert Swan Mueller III and Donald John Trump, born 22 months apart in New York City, also can seem to come from different planets. One is courtly and crisp, the other blustery and brash. One turned away from the path to greater wealth while the other spent half … [Read more...] about Mueller and Trump: Born to wealth and raised to lead. Then, they made sharply different choices.