I’ll be brief; we have two items, one good and one bad. Good one first.
1.) After a federal judge struck down two provisions of Trump’s anti-immigration bill, the Department of Justice appealed the decision. They lost, so the travel bans are still blocked. The upholding was done by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, which added that a response from the Trump administration was due tomorrow. (The provisions struck down included the 7-nation “Muslim ban” and the new limits on overall immigration.) This one may go all the way to the Supreme Court, which, in the absence of Trump’s nominee, is in a 4-4 liberal/conservative split. The New York Times reports that the new judicial decisions are nebulous:
Judge Robart’s order left many questions, said Josh Blackman, a professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston.
“Does the executive order violate the equal protection of the laws, amount to an establishment of religion, violate rights of free exercise, or deprive aliens of due process of law?” Professor Blackman asked. “Who knows? The analysis is bare bones, and leaves the court of appeals, as well as the Supreme Court, with no basis to determine whether the nationwide injunction was proper.”
Now the bad news, but I suspect it won’t come to fruition:
2.) A Republican congressman has drafted a bill to completely abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. The congressman is Matt Gaetz of Florida:
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has drafted a bill to “completely abolish” the Environmental Protection Agency, according to an email obtained by The Huffington Post.
The freshman congressman sent the email on Tuesday morning to lawmakers who might co-sponsor the legislation, which would shutter the EPA by the end of next year.
“Our small businesses cannot afford to cover the costs associated with compliance, too often leading to closed doors and unemployed Americans,” Gaetz wrote. “It is time to take back our legislative power from the EPA and abolish it permanently.”
. . . For Gaetz, that wouldn’t go far enough. In his email to lawmakers, he cited a statistic from the American Action Forum, a conservative policy group launched in 2010 by Republican heavyweights, stating that “it would take more than 94,200 employees working full-time to complete one year of EPA paperwork.”
“Today, the American people are drowning in rules and regulations promulgated by unelected bureaucrats,” Gaetz said, “and the Environmental Protection Agency has become an extraordinary offender.”
Gaetz has a history of opposing environmental regulations. He began fighting to repeal a requirement that all gasoline in Florida contain ethanol when he first took office as a Florida state lawmaker in 2010. When his bill finally passed in 2013, he called it “one more mandate off the books.”
Here’s the entire text of the bill from Congress.gov. It’s short, and I’m betting it dies in committee. (Of course, I also bet that Trump would lose the election.):
h/t: Matthew Cobb