Newsletter: A victory for Trump’s asylum ban

The justices’ order on asylum seekers further indicates that President Trump is changing the way the Supreme Court functions.
(Bill Heinsohn / Getty Images)

The Supreme Court’s decision isn’t final, but it will let the Trump administration move forward with a new asylum policy.


A Victory for Trump’s Asylum Ban


The Supreme Court has cleared the way for President Trump and his administration to enforce a ban on nearly all asylum seekers arriving at the southern border. Though it is not a final ruling on the issue, the justices by a 7-2 vote granted an emergency appeal from Trump administration lawyers and set aside decisions from judges in California who had blocked the new rule from taking effect. It will probably be at least a year or two before the Supreme Court takes up the case and decides it, meaning the asylum ban could last for the remainder of Trump’s current term in office. Meanwhile, the administration says new immigration courts in tents on the Texas border with Mexico will be closed to legal observers, the media and the public. Immigration lawyers condemned the restrictions as a violation of the due process rights of asylum seekers.

More Politics

— Trump has opened the door to lifting some sanctions on Iran in an effort to set up a meeting with that country’s leaders, a softening of his “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran that comes right after the departure of national security advisor John Bolton.

— The president claimed the U.S. is missing out economically because “boneheads” at the Federal Reserve won’t lower interest rates as much as he wants: “to zero, or less.” One former Fed economist’s reaction: “This is a recipe for disaster.”

— Trump also said his administration plans to ban non-tobacco-flavored vaping products amid heightened concerns about their health hazards and surging use by teenagers.

— The latest Democratic presidential debate is tonight. Here are five things to watch for.

Is the Gig (Economy) Up?

Ridesharing drivers, construction workers, truckers, janitors and even strippers could have their relationships with their bosses upended by a piece of legislation that would curb businesses’ use of independent contractors. AB 5 won final approval from state lawmakers after vigorous debates over what jobs should be exempt, and Gov. Gavin Newsom has promised to support it. Contractors are not covered by laws guaranteeing a minimum wage, overtime pay, discrimination protections and more. While other states have extended some benefits to them, California’s bill is arguably the nation’s strongest. It would give the state and cities the right to sue companies for misclassifying workers — but enforcing it against multibillion-dollar tech behemoths like Uber and Lyft could herald long court battles.

More From Sacramento

— Under another bill lawmakers just sent to Newsom’s desk, California would let college athletes profit from endorsements. The idea has garnered national attention and LeBron James’ praise, but strong pushback from the NCAA.

— Tenants across the state will for the first time have protections against how much landlords can increase their rents after legislators narrowly approved a measure to cap annual rent hikes.

— Californians would be barred from buying more than one semiautomatic rifle a month and those weapons would be off-limits to people younger than 21 under a bill set for a final vote in the Legislature this week.

The Black Market for Weed Is Thriving

There are at least three times as many illegal cannabis sellers as regulated ones, according to an audit an industry group conducted by scouring the popular and controversial website Weedmaps. It’s another sign California is still struggling to tame a cannabis economy that has long operated in limbo, a year after the rocky rollout of the legal marketplace. The industry group called for a crackdown on Weedmaps, which it criticizes for amplifying the reach of unlicensed sellers. But any effort to tally them is just an estimate; the state doesn’t track such data, and there are illegal businesses that don’t advertise on the site.

Fight Fire With ...

Four months after the town of Paradise was incinerated in the most destructive wildfire in California history, Newsom issued an emergency proclamation, ordering agencies to thin trees and clear shrubs near some of the state’s most fire-threatened communities to the tune of $32 million. One problem: Those clearances, called fuel breaks, have repeatedly failed to protect communities in wind-driven wildfires. Some experts say curbing development in high-risk areas and hardening existing homes would be a more effective approach.

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What if getting rear-ended by another car made for a splash, not a crash? That was the idea, apparently, behind an unusual safety innovation of the ‘60s: bumpers filled with water. One version was demonstrated in Van Nuys on this day in 1967. The Los Angeles Times reported at the time: “On impact, pressure forces stoppers from water-filler tubes, reducing shock. Manufacturer Rich’s Soft Cushion Bumper Co. from Sacramento says the devices are being used by several police departments, the Valley Cab Co.’s fleet of 50 cars and many individuals.”

Sept. 12, 1967: A soft cushion bumper filled with water absorbs the impact of a car traveling 20 mph hitting a stationary car during a demonstration in Van Nuys.
Sept. 12, 1967: A soft cushion bumper filled with water absorbs the impact of a car traveling 20 mph hitting a stationary car during a demonstration in Van Nuys.
(John Malmin / Los Angeles Times)


— Divers have recovered the final victim of the Conception boat fire that killed 34 people off Santa Cruz Island on Labor Day. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard has issued a safety bulletin on battery charging and preparedness.

— A 60-year-old deputy city attorney in L.A. and his wife and adult son were killed in their Northridge home in what authorities are describing as a probable murder-suicide.

— Detectives used a genealogical database to solve the 1972 murder of a Torrance girl. The suspect has been dead for 16 years.

— A women’s shelter opened this week in a restored Midcentury Modern library building in Hollywood, continuing the trend of converting distinctive structures to take homeless people off the sagging community’s streets.


— Columnist Mary McNamara binge-watched YouTube for five days. This is what she learned.

— It’s been 20 years since the band Blink-182 had its big break. Now, the goof-punks with cute videos are having the last laugh.

Daniel Johnston, an Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter whose childlike lyrics and homemade cassettes inspired many artists of the ’90s alternative rock boom, has died at 58.

— The planned auction of a looted Maya sculpture has created a storm of controversy. Art critic Christopher Knight explores.


— Americans marked the 18th anniversary of 9/11 with wreath-layings and the solemn roll call of the dead.

— Did British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lie to Queen Elizabeth II? A court ruling suggesting that he did has set off a furor.

Uganda is addressing the late dictator Idi Amin’s legacy and memorializing his victims in museum exhibits and other projects potentially aimed at tourists.


— The end of the backend? Walt Disney Co., which became a dominant player in television production with its acquisition of Fox assets earlier this year, is pushing to transform how TV show creators are compensated for their work.

— OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma reached a tentative deal with about half the states and thousands of local governments over its role in the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic, but criticism by several state attorneys general has clouded prospects for an end to litigation.

T. Boone Pickens, a brash oil tycoon who grew even wealthier through corporate takeover attempts, has died at 91.


UCLA football superfan George Villafuerte missed his first home game in 70 years because of illness. He’s hoping for a new streak now.

— The Dodgers’ bullpen stumbled again in a 7-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.


— Trump is going to solve L.A.'s homeless crisis just like Hurricane Dorian hit Alabama, columnist Steve Lopez writes.

— Banning flavored vapes may not stop a deadly respiratory outbreak, but it can cut teen use.


— The story of a hero on 9/11 and the widow he left behind. (The New Yorker)

Emily Dickinson and the long, convoluted fight over the copyright to her work. (Los Angeles Review of Books)


Husband-and-wife Hungarian curlers Gyorgy Nagy and Ildiko Szekeres have made their way to the States, shelling out $6.1 million for a Mediterranean-style mansion in Bel-Air that has park-like grounds and an 8,360-square-foot interior, including a gym and sauna. (But apparently no curling rink ... yet.) You can get a look here for a not-so-chilling price.

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