Weekly Roundup, April 23rd – 29th

Another executive order is facing at least a temporarily block from the judicial branch. San Francisco filed a lawsuit in January requesting an injunction against the executive order that would, in part, seek to strip federal funding from sanctuary cities declining to comply with ICE detention requests. On Tuesday, Judge William H Orrick agreed with the city and ruled that the financial threats contained within the order may be unconstitutional. Kartikay Mehrotra speculates about the ways in which this might boost California’s efforts to become a leader in the political resistance against the presidential administration. Darla Cameron has compiled a breakdown of “sanctuary cities” and their function. President Trump intends to argue this ruling in the Supreme Court.

Despite the administration’s commitment to finding funding for a border wall, the congressional spending bill inspired bipartisan discussion attempting to deflect the threat of a government shutdown. Some Republican senators dismissed the commitment entirely, stating that “There will never be a 2,200-mile wall built, period” as South Carolina senator Lindsey O. Graham did. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) seemed to take the wall discussion more metaphorically: “I think you’re going to get a down payment on border security generally.” Ultimately, Congress negotiated a spending bill which was approved by the president late in the weekend. This plan is still pending approval from the full House and Senate.

The National Security Agency released a statement announcing its intent to cease collecting an element of “upstream” communicative data to foreign targets. Whereas previous guidelines required collection “to, from, or about” a target, the NSA will eliminate “about” surveillance.  Charlie Savage provides an overview of this decision’s place in American surveillance.


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