Weekly Roundup, March 12 – 18th

Once again, the “travel ban” has maintained its position in the public eye. Federal judges from Hawaii and Maryland issued a nationwide order blocking the second iteration of the executive order limiting immigration from six majority-Muslim countries. The Justice Department is presently engaging in the appeals process, leaving some analysts to speculate that the judges may be overstepping their legal boundaries and ignoring due process. Given that the executive branch continues to insist that the ban is necessary, Benjamin Wittes and Quinta Jurecic analyze the potential reason behind such an aggressive judicial perspective.
It is possible that this enmity is filtering into other elements of the judicial system, as the Attorney General requested formal resignations from 46 US attorneys, effective early in the week. New York Attorney Preet Bharara attempted to resist this request by refusing to submit a resignation, and was subsequently fired in a more final way. Patrick Collins speculates that the move was poorly timed, and may cause more problems than it resolves.
The issue of funding the southern border wall continues to receive a mention in some outlets. The Trump administration has noted plans to shift $5 billion toward hiring additional agents for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with a significant portion of the funds intended toward the construction of the long-promised wall. This money would come at the expense of the Coast Guard, TSA, and FEMA, in a move that Paul Rosenzewig warns could result in “less security, not more.”
Similarly, budget proposals would cause a cut in funding to “soft” organizations, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities and Meals on Wheels. Given the ongoing struggle to establish a healthcare bill that manages to please all sides, the issue of funding may continue to be contested for weeks to come.
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