In upholding President Trump’s travel ban, the Supreme Court revisited a World War II-era decision.
The Travel Ban and the Echoes of a 1944 Case
At a time when President Trump is engaged in a fight over the southern border, the Supreme Court’s conservative justices handed him a big victory in terms of his power to control who enters the U.S.: They upheld Trump’s travel ban 3.0, and in so doing, argued that his history of negative comments about Muslims had no relevance on the ban’s legality. The 5-4 ruling included a vigorous dissent from the liberal justices, as well as a point that both sides could agree upon: a condemnation of the 1944 decision in Korematsu vs. United States, which upheld the internment of 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II. Still, Karen Korematsu, whose father was at the center of that case, said her heart sank: “To me what the Supreme Court did was substitute one injustice for another.”
America’s Child Custody Battle
What will happen with the more than 2,000 children separated from their parents by authorities after they were apprehended crossing the border illegally? A federal judge in San Diego has ordered the government to reunite them with their parents in detention, just hours after Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Congress that the administration would not do so unless federal law is changed. The judge’s order, which calls for nearly all children under age 5 to be reunited with their parents within 14 days and older children within 30 days, appears to set the stage for more legal battles. Meanwhile, an immigration bill scheduled for a vote today in the House appeared to be DOA.
-- In an upset in a Democratic congressional primary in New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated Rep. Joseph Crowley, who had been considered a candidate to become the next House speaker if Democrats were to win the majority. Trump also had reason to celebrate Tuesday night, as all three of his endorsed candidates survived primary challenges.
-- The Trump administration could impose sanctions against governments that don’t cut imports of Iranian oil to “zero” by Nov. 4, a senior State Department official said. Some allies are resisting.
Free Speech or Professional Speech?
By another 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court decided to block enforcement of a law in California that requires faith-based crisis pregnancy centers to inform patients of state-subsidized medical care, including abortions. The state had argued it had the right to regulate “professional speech.” But Justice Clarence Thomas said the centers are likely to succeed in their lawsuit on the grounds of “free speech.” He joined the court’s other conservatives in sending the case back to lower courts.
Two Certainties: Debt and Taxes
Enjoying those tax cuts championed by Trump? The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is warning that the cuts carry a steep price: an unprecedented level of debt for the country, a greater dependence on foreign investors and the risk of another financial crisis. The solution? Raise taxes or chop government spending by significant amounts. At the moment, neither seems likely.
Our Receding Cliff Line
The cliffs along California’s coast have long attracted hikers, celebrity home buyers and car commercial directors. But rising sea levels are slowly eating away at their grandeur. How much? A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey has found that Southern California’s cliffs could recede more than 130 feet by the year 2100 if the sea keeps rising. How to respond? It’s not as easy as just building a seawall.
-- Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions spoke about immigration before a friendly crowd at a downtown Los Angeles hotel. Outside, it was a different story.
-- After many ups and downs, the Dodgers now look like the best team in the West. Maybe.
-- Voters are poised to consider who should be responsible for cleaning up lead paint in homes after an initiative sponsored by two national paint companies qualified for the Nov. 6 ballot.
-- There have been at least five shootings in and around Malibu Creek State Park over two years. Why didn’t authorities alert the public until a father was killed last week?
-- The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors ordered officials in charge of child protection to examine shortcomings in the system after a 10-year-old boy’s death last week.
-- Graphic novelist Blake Leibel has been sentenced to life in prison for the torture killing of his fiancee.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Director David Lynch would like Trump to know what he really thinks of him: “You are causing suffering and division.”
-- Jerry Seinfeld thinks ABC should just replace Roseanne Barr with another comic for the spinoff.
-- After coming under criticism for a lack of diversity, the Grammy Awards are expanding the number of nominees in the top four categories.
-- For anyone who thinks there’s nothing new to be done with the western, filmmaking brothers David and Nathan Zellner have a few things to show you in their new movie, “Damsel.”
“That’s all I want, that’s all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know?” That line was part of a famous George Carlin routine, but it also described how he went about collecting his comedy material in his final years. When he died, Carlin left one complete storage unit of his career stuff. “It was all laid out on shelving very carefully,” said his daughter.
-- The case of a 15-year-old Honduran immigrant who fled a federally contracted shelter in south Texas last weekend is drawing attention to the small but persistent number of runaways at such facilities.
-- Reality Winner, a former National Security Agency contractor and the first person to be prosecuted during the Trump administration for leaking classified information, has pleaded guilty to espionage.
-- The number of political candidates killed in Mexico has increased dramatically in the run-up to elections Sunday.
-- In Thailand, rescuers have been searching for 12 members of a boys’ soccer team and their coach who went missing in a flooded cave.
-- A study in England has found that bumblebee colonies are significantly more successful in cities and suburbs than they are in the countryside.
-- Studies show high-deductible health plans have been backfiring by making it unaffordable for many people to get sick.
-- Harley-Davidson is just the latest American company to weather a Trump tweet storm.
-- Magic Johnson says he has two summers to work his magic. If not, he’s says he’ll step down as Lakers head of basketball operations.
-- Willie O’Ree, the first black man to play in the National Hockey League when he debuted with the Boston Bruins in the 1957-58 season, has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
-- The Supreme Court’s travel ban decision wasn’t just misguided, it was hypocritical, writes Erwin Chemerinksy, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law.
-- Columnist Gustavo Arellano says he has sympathy for the losses endured by “Angel Families,” but any goodwill dissolves when such families weaponize their grief against immigrants.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Will driverless cars bring financial ruin to cities in the U.S. through a loss of parking revenue, tickets and so on? (Wired)
-- In the World Cup, Mexico plays Sweden this morning. A mysterious mental guru apparently counts as one of El Tri’s secret weapons. (USA Today)
-- Twenty years after the discovery of a giant figure drawn in the Australian outback, we still don’t know its origin story. (BBC)
ONLY IN L.A.
John Z. Blazevich spent more than a decade building a 51,000-square-foot house, most of it underground to comply with zoning restrictions, in Rolling Hills on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Dubbed Hacienda de la Paz, the home has a spa, a lap pool and a tennis court whose walls are decorated with trompe l’oeil paintings — all of it indoors and subterranean. Now he’s putting the mansion up for auction. How much did it cost? “I had no budget, and I exceeded it,” is the only thing Blazevich will say.