Supreme court won’t block Texas’ harsh border law against migrants – live | Donald Trump


Supreme court allows Texas law that empowers police to arrest suspected undocumented migrants to go into effect

The supreme court has allowed a law passed by Texas’s Republican-dominated state government that gives police the power to arrest people suspected of crossing the border illegally to go into effect.

The court’s six conservative justices turned down an appeal from the Biden administration, which wanted the law blocked while it challenged it in lower courts. The court’s three liberals dissented.

The measure had been on hold due to a stay authorized by conservative justice Samuel Alito, who was among the group that allowed it to go into effect. Alito extended it yesterday:

Key events

In a dissent, liberal justice Sonia Sotomayor writes that allowing the Texas immigration law to go into effect “invites further chaos and crisis in immigration enforcement”.

“Texas passed a law that directly regulates the entry and removal of noncitizens and explicitly instructs its state courts to disregard any ongoing federal immigration proceedings. That law upends the federal-state balance of power that has existed for over a century, in which the National Government has had exclusive authority over entry and removal of noncitizen,” writes Sotomayor, who is joined by fellow liberal justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

“Texas can now immediately enforce its own law imposing criminal liability on thousands of noncitizens and requiring their removal to Mexico. This law will disrupt sensitive foreign relations, frustrate the protection of individuals fleeing persecution, hamper active federal enforcement efforts, undermine federal agencies’ ability to detect and monitor imminent security threats, and deter noncitizens from reporting abuse or trafficking.”

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Texas’s Republican governor Greg Abbott called the supreme court’s decision a “positive development”, but notes it is still being challenged at the appeals court level:

BREAKING: In a 6-3 decision SCOTUS allows Texas to begin enforcing SB4 that allows the arrest of illegal immigrants.

We still have to have hearings in the 5th circuit federal court of appeals.

But this is clearly a positive development.

— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 19, 2024

The Texas law allowing police to arrest suspected undocumented border crossers comes amid a wider confrontation with the Biden administration over border security. Here’s more on that, and the supreme court’s decision to allow the law to go into effect, from Reuters:

The US supreme court on Tuesday declined to block a Republican-backed Texas law allowing state law enforcement authorities to arrest people suspected of crossing the US-Mexico border illegally, rejecting a request by President Joe Biden’s administration.

The administration had asked the justices to freeze a judicial order allowing the Texas law to take effect while the US government’s challenge to the statute proceeds in the lower courts. The administration has argued that the law violates the US constitution and federal law by interfering with the US government’s power to regulate immigration.

Governor Greg Abbott last December signed the law, known as SB 4, authorizing Texas law enforcement officers to arrest people suspected of entering the United States illegally, giving local officers powers long delegated to the US government.

Abbott said the law was needed due to Biden’s failure to enforce federal laws criminalizing illegal entry or re-entry, telling a press conference on 18 December that “Biden’s deliberate inaction has left Texas to fend for itself.“

Supreme court allows Texas law that empowers police to arrest suspected undocumented migrants to go into effect

The supreme court has allowed a law passed by Texas’s Republican-dominated state government that gives police the power to arrest people suspected of crossing the border illegally to go into effect.

The court’s six conservative justices turned down an appeal from the Biden administration, which wanted the law blocked while it challenged it in lower courts. The court’s three liberals dissented.

The measure had been on hold due to a stay authorized by conservative justice Samuel Alito, who was among the group that allowed it to go into effect. Alito extended it yesterday:

Joanna Walters

Joanna Walters

An Arizona lawmaker announced on Monday on the state senate floor that she plans to have an abortion after learning that her pregnancy is not viable, the Associated Press writes.

State senator Eva Burch, a registered nurse known for her reproductive rights activism, was surrounded by fellow Democratic senators as she made the announcement, the Arizona Republic reported and the AP brings us via news wire.

Burch said that she found out a few weeks ago that “against all odds”, she was pregnant. The mother of two living children from west Mesa who is running for re-election said she has had “a rough journey” with fertility. She experienced her first miscarriage 13 years ago, was pregnant many times and terminated a nonviable pregnancy as she campaigned for her senate seat two years ago, she said.

Today, Sen Eva Burch shared her heart wrenching story of nonviable pregnancy. AZ laws on have complicated her access to care. Her situation is one of thousands; personal and complicated. Conservatives, butt out and let patients and doctors handle these decisions. Privately. pic.twitter.com/muYnKXRWx3

— Jodi Liggett (@JodiLiggett) March 18, 2024

Now, Burch said that her current pregnancy was not progressing and not viable and she had made an appointment to terminate.

I don’t think people should have to justify their abortions. But I’m choosing to talk about why I made this decision because I want us to be able to have meaningful conversations about the reality of how the work that we do in this body impacts people in the real world.”

Burch said the state’s laws have “interfered” with her decision. Arizona law required an “invasive” transvaginal ultrasound that her doctor didn’t order and she was then read “factually false” information about alternatives that was required by law, she said.

I’m a perfect example of why this relationship should be between patients and providers,” not state lawmakers,” Burch said.

This speaks volumes — “Eva Burch spoke on the Senate floor about her planned abortion, almost all of her GOP colleagues found something else to do.”https://t.co/SRK8ucrWJf

— Christopher Webb (@cwebbonline) March 19, 2024

Burch called on the legislature to pass laws that make sure every Arizonan has the opportunity to make decisions that are right for them. She also said she hoped voters have a chance to weigh in on the topic of abortion rights on the November ballot.

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Joanna Walters

Joanna Walters

Joe Biden is onboard Air Force One en route to Nevada and expects to touch down shortly in Reno, for a campaign event, then head on to Las Vegas and, later, Arizona and its state capital, Phoenix.

The US president and his vice-president, Kamala Harris, are today launching a special push to retain and win over teetering Hispanic voters who might be leaning towards the Republicans.

Donald Trump was ahead of Biden in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll of Latino voters by six points. Many respond to Trump’s conservative economic message and hardline approach to migration and future immigration.

Biden and Harris have devised the “Latinos con Biden/Harris” [Latinos with Biden/Harris] campaign. Harris has posted about it on X/Twitter, with Biden reposting/tweeting. There’s a clip of her on a bilingual radio show in Phoenix, Arizona, and giving speeches and making statements, talking up the US as a nation of immigrants.

“Generation after generation, immigrants have made our nation stronger,” she said. There’s also a clip of her saying the US immigration system has been “broken for years”, which in the fourth year of the Biden administration is a tough message to push, despite intransigence in Congress and unprecedented forces driving migration, from extremism to the climate crisis.

We are excited to launch Latinos con Biden-Harris.

Latinos are part of the fabric that makes this country great, and the power of the Latino vote will help decide this election. Together we are organizing to win in November.

Text LATINOS to 30330 to join us. pic.twitter.com/EPGu4joOFc

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) March 19, 2024

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The day so far

The White House expressed outrage after Donald Trump said in an interview that Jews who vote for Democrats “hate” Israel and their religion, with a spokesman for Joe Biden decrying Trump’s “vile and unhinged antisemitic rhetoric”, and the Democratic National Committee saying the former president “should be ashamed of himself”. Meanwhile, in Congress, the top Democrats and Republicans announced a government funding deal to avert a partial shutdown that would have begun this coming weekend, though it still needs to be approved by lawmakers. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden was “deeply concerned” about reports of an imminent famine in northern Gaza, while again calling on Republican House speaker Mike Johnson to allow a vote on aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

Here’s what else has happened today so far:

  • Peter Navarro, a former Trump White House adviser, reported to federal prison to begin serving a four-month sentence for contempt of Congress, but not without railing against his conviction one last time.

  • Republican senator Lindsey Graham took up a proposal, championed by Trump, to turn Ukraine aid into a loan. The White House declined to comment.

  • It’s primary day in five states, with most of the drama occurring in down-ballot elections.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was also asked if the Biden administration had looked into making its aid to Ukraine a loan, as Donald Trump has proposed.

She didn’t answer the question, only restating their position that Republican House speaker Mike Johnson must allow a vote on legislation approved by the Senate to provide military assistance to Ukraine along with Taiwan and Israel.

“To give Ukraine what they need is to get that national [security] supplemental passed,” Jean-Pierre told reporters.

“We know for a fact that there are multiple Republican congressional members in the House who have said that they would vote for it if it goes to the floor. We know where Democrats are on this,” she continued. “The speaker has to put it to the floor and not … let politics get in the way.”

White House says ‘deeply concerned’ over reports of imminent famine in Gaza

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre just told reporters that the White House is “deeply concerned” over aid groups’ warning that famine in northern Gaza is imminent.

“We certainly are deeply concerned about the report yesterday … about the imminent famine in Gaza,” Jean-Pierre said. “As the report makes clear, despite ongoing and tireless efforts, including by this administration, the amount of aid reaching people in Gaza, and particularly those most in need, remains insufficient. “So, we have been clear that there is more that needs to be done and this report is a stark and devastating reminder of this.”

The United States has been airdropping food and other aid into the enclave, and Joe Biden announced earlier this month that the US military would build a floating pier to allow deliveries by sea.

“Everyone needs to do more,” said Jean-Pierre, who called on Israel “to provide sustained and unimpeded for assistance to enter both northern and southern Gaza.”

Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro rails against conviction before starting prison term

Peter Navarro, a former White House adviser to Donald Trump, is reporting to federal prison today in Florida after being convicted of contempt of Congress.

But before he beginning his time behind bars, Navarro once more appeared before cameras to, in the style of his former boss, decry the fact that a jury found him guilty for ignoring a subpoena from the January 6 committee:

“When I walk in that prison today, the justice system, such as it is, will have done a crippling blow to the constitutional separation of powers and executive privilege.”

— Former White House Adviser Peter Navarro surrenders at federal prison for contempt of Congress conviction pic.twitter.com/G3tjNqDJFN

— The Recount (@therecount) March 19, 2024

It wasn’t just a jury that weighed Navarro’s fate. He appealed all the way up to the supreme court, which turned away his challenge, clearing the way for him to begin serving his four-month term:

Donald Trump is meanwhile spending today raging on his Truth Social account over his inability to find a firm to post a bond for the $454m civil fraud judgment against him.

It was the usual Trump rhetoric:

The Corrupt Political Hacks in New York, Judge and AG, are asking me to put up massive amounts of money before I am allowed to appeal the ridiculous decision. Never done before. No jury, no victim, full disclaimer clause, happy banks. ELECTION INTERFERENCE! WITCH HUNT!

Trump’s problems appear to be driven by the fact that the bond he is looking for is unusually large:

The defense department has managed to scrounge together another $300m to help Ukraine, Reuters reports, even as the Biden administration insists it has no more funds available beyond that:

The Pentagon will rush about $300m in weapons to Ukraine after finding some cost savings in its contracts, even though the military remains deeply overdrawn and needs at least $10bn to replenish all the weapons it has pulled from its stocks to help Kyiv in its desperate fight against Russia, the White House announced on Tuesday.

It’s the Pentagon’s first announced security package for Ukraine since December, when it acknowledged it was out of replenishment funds. It wasn’t until recent days that officials publicly acknowledged they weren’t just out of replenishment funds, but $10bn overdrawn.

The announcement comes as Ukraine is running dangerously low on munitions and efforts to get fresh funds for weapons have stalled in the House because of Republican opposition. US officials have insisted for months that the United States wouldn’t be able to resume weapons deliveries until Congress provided the additional replenishment funds, which are part of the stalled supplemental spending bill.

Trump, Republicans float turning Ukraine aid into loan to break congressional logjam

For months, Congress has been deadlocked over whether to approve more aid to Ukraine, largely due to objections from Republicans over paying for Kyiv’s defense against Russia’s invasion.

Now, an idea is gaining traction among some influential lawmakers to break the logjam: turn the aid into a loan.

Lindsey Graham, the Republican South Carolina senator and foreign policy hawk, said that during a recent meeting with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, “I informed him that given the crisis at the United States’ southern border and our overwhelming debt, President Trump’s idea of turning aid from the United States into a no-interest, waivable loan is the most likely path forward.

“Once Ukraine gets back on its feet, they will be an economic powerhouse because of their access to mass deposits of critical minerals, oil and gas,” Graham added.

Donald Trump, who recently won the delegates necessary to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, has lately proposed that the United States stop giving countries – Ukraine included – aid, and give them loans instead.

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Voters in five states are casting ballots in primary races today, and while Joe Biden and Donald Trump have their respective parties’ nominations sewn up, the Guardian’s Lauren Gambino reports that there’s plenty of intrigue in the down-ballot elections to be decided:

With a rematch set between Joe Biden and Donald Trump after both candidates crossed the delegate threshold needed to clinch their parties’ presidential nominations, suspense around the next wave of Tuesday primaries shifts to a handful of key down-ballot races.

Five states – Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Ohio – will hold their presidential nominating contests on Tuesday. Trump and Biden are expected to sail to victory, growing their delegate counts in a march toward this summer’s conventions, where they will officially secure their parties’ nomination.

Trump’s last Republican challenger, his former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, ended her presidential campaign after being routed on Super Tuesday, while the Democratic congressman Dean Phillips dropped his long-shot challenge to Biden after failing to win a single delegate, including in his home state of Minnesota.

In Florida, the state Democratic party decided support for Biden was strong enough and cancelled its presidential primary. Republicans in the one-time swing state can vote for Trump, though his vanquished rivals, including the governor, Ron DeSantis, will still appear on the ballot. The result may reveal clues about the enduring strength of the anti-Trump vote within the Republican party.

Donald Trump’s attack on Jews who vote for Democrats is part of a string of questionable comments the former president has made in recent days. As the Guardian’s Richard Luscombe reports, Trump on Saturday predicted a “bloodbath” if he lost November’s election:

Joe Biden tore into Donald Trump’s mental stability at a dinner in Washington DC on Saturday – just as the former president was making verbal gaffes at a campaign rally in Ohio as well as, during remarks on the economy and auto industry, predicting a “bloodbath” for the country if he met defeat in November’s election.

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, confused the crowd at an appearance in Vandalia by insisting that Biden had beaten “Barack Hussein Obama” in elections nationally that never took place.

Freewheeling during a speech in which his teleprompters were seemingly disabled by high winds, Trump – a frequent critic of the 81-year-old Biden’s age and mental acuity – struggled to pronounce the words “bite” and “largest”. And he left the crowd scratching their heads over the reference to Obama, whom Biden served as vice-president from 2009 to 2017 before taking the Oval Office from Trump in 2020.

“You know what’s interesting? Joe Biden won against Barack Hussein Obama. Has anyone ever heard of him? Every swing state, Biden beat Obama but in every other state, he got killed,” Trump said.

Biden joked about Trump’s mental fitness at Saturday night’s Gridiron club dinner, a traditional “roast” attended by politicians and journalists dating to the 1880s.

White House repudiates Trump for comment on Democratic Jews

White House spokesman Andrew Bates sharply criticized Donald Trump for his comments that Jews who vote for Democrats “hate” Israel and their religion.

“President Biden has put his foot down when it comes to vile and unhinged antisemitic rhetoric,” he said in a statement. “As antisemitic crimes and acts of hate have increased across the world – among them the deadliest attack committed against the Jewish people since the Holocaust – leaders have an obligation to call hate what it is and bring Americans together against it.”

Here’s more on that, from the Guardian’s Adam Gabbatt:

The government shutdown threat won’t be neutralized until Congress passes the final funding bill, and if you know Congress, you know they are capable of anything. From the Guardian’s Joan E Greve, here’s more on the sprint to head off a partial shutdown that will begin if the funding is not approved by Friday:

Congress faces its third shutdown deadline of the month this week, as much of the federal government is expected to run out of funding by Friday at midnight.

Both chambers of Congress must approve six appropriations bills before Saturday to get the legislation to Joe Biden’s desk and avert a partial shutdown. Although the current fiscal year started more than five months ago, House Republicans have struggled to pass appropriations bills due to demands from hard-right members to include controversial provisions in the legislation.

As a result, Congress has been forced to pass four stopgap bills since the fiscal year began in October, and members hope they can finally conclude the appropriations process this week.

But disputes over the Department of Homeland Security’s budget have hampered the negotiations so far, raising serious doubts about whether members will be able to pass a spending package in time to prevent a funding lapse.

Punchbowl News reported on Monday evening that negotiators had reached a deal on homeland security funding, but it remains unclear whether Congress will have enough time to pass the proposal before Saturday.

Here’s everything you need to know about the shutdown threat:

Congressional leaders announce deal on government funding, averting partial shutdown

Congress’s top Democrats and Republicans say they have reached a final agreement on government funding, and will move to enact legislation before the end of the day Friday that will prevent a partial shutdown.

The sticking point was funding for the Department of Homeland Security, with Democrats over the weekend accusing Republicans of turning down their attempts to channel funds to the department to help it deal with migrant arrivals at the southern border, according to Politico.

The two sides appear to have worked out their disagreement. Here’s what Republican House speaker Mike Johnson had to say:

An agreement has been reached for DHS appropriations, which will allow completion of the FY24 appropriations process. House and Senate committees have begun drafting bill text to be prepared for release and consideration by the full House and Senate as soon as possible.

It was much the same tone from Democratic Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer:

Senate and House leaders and the White House have reached an agreement to finish the final set of full year appropriations bills. The Senate and House Appropriations Committees are in the process of finalizing text and reports for Congress to closely review and consider as soon as possible.

Funding for a chunk of Washington’s departments, including homeland security, defense and state, expires at midnight on Friday. Congress passed legislation to fund the other half of the US government earlier this month.

Outrage after Trump alleges Jews who vote for Democrats ‘hate’ their religion and Israel

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Campaigning for the November election is in full swing, and true to form, Donald Trump is saying things that people find outrageous and offensive. The latest: his comments on Monday that Jews who voted for Democrats “hate” their religion and Israel. America’s relationship with Israel is a major political issue, with Congress deadlocked over approving aid to the country as well as Ukraine and Taiwan despite months of negotiations, and Joe Biden showing signs of exasperation with Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of its invasion of Gaza. Democrats pilloried Trump for his comments, with a party spokesman saying the former president “should be ashamed of himself”.

Perhaps. But Democrats are also grappling with the uncomfortable reality that Biden is stubbornly unpopular, and that Trump has a track record of saying offensive things and yet maintaining Republicans’ loyalty. But Biden’s not Hillary Clinton, it’s not 2016 any more, and we’ll see if this comment lands among voters any differently. Trump is also dealing with his own problems, namely the bond he is so far unable to secure to cover New York’s $454m civil fraud judgment against him.

Here’s what else is going on today:

  • The supreme court will issue opinions at 10am ET. We don’t know what they’ll decide, but one case pending will determine whether South Carolina’s congressional map was an illegal racial gerrymander.

  • Biden heads to Nevada and Arizona, two swing states that will be important to his re-election prospects. In the latter, he’ll launch Latinos con Biden-Harris to attract voters from the demographic that’s well represented in both states.

  • Republicans have an idea for breaking the logjam on Ukraine aid: make it a loan. We’ll see if any Democrats think that’s a good idea.

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