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Federal Courts stop President Trump's
second Muslim country ban (Concl.).
Public assessment of the President.
Earth Day 2017.
Court of Appeals continues injunction.

2017-MAR/APR/MAY

Part 12

Trump Tower
Image downloaded from Pixabay.com

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This topic is continued from the previous essay.

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2017-MAR-24: Judge Watson was targeted with threats:

Judge Watson had issued an injunction against part of the President Trump's second executive order to ban Muslim immigrants and refugees. Michele Ernst, spokesperson for the FBI reported that Judge Watson had received threatening messages since his injunction was written. The U.S. Marshals Service issued a statement, saying:

"The US Marshals Service is responsible for the protection of federal judicial officials, including judges and prosecutors, and we take that responsibility very seriously. While we do not discuss our specific security measures, we continuously review the security measures in place for all federal judges and take appropriate steps to provide additional protection when it is warranted." 1

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2017-MAR-29: Judge Watson extended his temporary restraining order:

In response to a request by the State of Hawaii District Court Judge Derrick Watson revisited the temporary injunction that he had made two weeks earlier against President Trump's executive order. The order had been expected to ban travel by nationals from six predominately Muslim countries, but was overruled by the court a few hours before it was to go into effect. Judge Watson had blocked the President's order on the basis that it likely violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. This is the portion of the First Amendment to the federal Constitution that prohibits the government from favoring one religion over another.

Zia H Shah, writing for the Muslim Times, said:

"The President’s 90-day ban on foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries and the 120-ban on all refugees entering the country are now blocked indefinitely, unless any higher court changes Watson’s order or the state’s lawsuit is otherwise resolved. 2

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2017-APR-17: Gallup poll shows a drop in various assessments of President Trump during his first 100 days in office:

By late March, his overall job approval rating dropped to a new low of 36%.

Comparing polling results from 2017 February and April, Gallup reports that President Trump's ratings have significantly dropped on four parameters:

  • The percentage of U.S. adults who believe that keeps his promises dropped by 17 percentage points, from from 62% to 45%.

  • Those who regard him as a strong and decisive leader dropped by 7 percentage points from 59% to 52%.

  • Those who believe that he can bring about changes this country needs dropped by 7 percentage points from 53% to 46%.

  • Those who regard him as honest and trustworthy dropped 6 percentage points from 42% to 36%.

Slippage also occurred in two other parameters; however these reduction are not statistically significant:

  • Those who believe that he cares about the needs of "people like you" dropped 4 percentage points from 46% to 42%.

  • Those who believe that he can manage the government effectively dropped 3 percentage points from 44% to 41%. 3

Margin of error for the 2017-FEB and 2017-APR polls was ±4 percentage points. 4

Jim Norman, writing for Gallup, said:

"Political friends and foes alike have complained that Trump is not carrying out the promises he made on the campaign trail. Supporters have expressed unhappiness that more has not been done on taxes and immigration, in addition to healthcare. Opponents say he has not protected middle- and working-class Americans." 3

A great deal of attention during this interval has been paid to the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ACA and Obamacare). As adults in the U.S. have learned more about the act, it is receiving more support. Just after the election in 2016-NOV, 42% approved of the ACA and 53% disapproved. By 2017-APR-02, a significant majority (55%) approve of it:

  • 40% want to keep the act but make significant changes.
  • 30% want to repeal and replace it
  • 26% want to keep the ACA unchanged.

There are major differences in support by political affiliation. By 2017-MAR:

  • 86% of Democrats support the ACA.
  • 57% of Independents agree.
  • 17% of Republicans agree.
  • Margin of error for both the 2016-NOV and 2017-APR polls was ±4 percentage points. 4

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2017-APR-22: Earth Day, the Marches for Science, and President Trump's scientific illiteracy:

According to www.earthday.org:

"Our planet is currently losing over 15 billion trees each year—that’s 56 acres of forest every minute. We’re working hard to reverse that trend by supporting global reforestation projects. Earth Day Network’s Reforestation Campaign benefits local communities, increases habitat for species, and combats climate change."

15 billion carbon dioxide absorbing/oxygen producing trees is very close to two trees being lost annually for each human on Earth .

Earth Day was founded by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson (1916-2005). It has been celebrated on APR-22 since 1970. It is now the largest secular observance in the world, and is being observed by over a billion people.

"Trump’s scientific illiteracy seems to stem from a damaging combination of serving the interests of the fuel extraction industry and whatever screaming headline he’s read on that day’s conspiracy website. He suggested climate change is a hoax. He has made inaccurate statements about the danger of vaccines, and has also made inaccurate and potentially panic-inducing statements about Ebola patients in the United States. Trump has spread unfounded lies about the dangers of wind farms and has underplayed the well-documented dangers of fracking." 5

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2017-APR-22: Majority of U.S. adults believe Trump is not making progress in changing Washington:

A Gallup Poll conducted approximately 100 days after President Trump's Inauguration, found that:

  • 54% believed he has not made progress to change Washington.

  • 40% believed he has made progress.

At a similar point in the First obama administration, 2009-APR-20:

  • 53% believed he had not made progress to change Washington.

  • 45% believe he had made progress.

Jeffrey Jones, writing for Gallup said:

"Opinions about the success of Trump's efforts to change Washington are driven mostly by political partisanship. More than three-quarters of Republicans, 78%, say Trump has made progress, while nearly the same percentage of Democrats (79%) say he has not made progress. Independents, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, believe Trump has not made progress.

When Gallup asked the same question in 2009 about Obama, opinions were not as starkly partisan. At that time, 69% of Obama's fellow Democrats thought he was making progress in changing Washington, while 36% of Republicans agreed. Independents were divided evenly about Obama's progress. 6

President Trump's overall approval rating has been dismal during his first 100 days in office. His initial rating, shortly after his inauguration, was 46% -- the lowest of any president to date. It sunk to 35%, and has since risen to 43% at the end of his first 100 days in office. His averaged job approval rating during his first quarter as president, was 41%. This was 14 percentage points lower than any other previous president in the history of Gallup's polls.

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2017-MAY-25: Federal appeals court rules on President Trump's second Muslim ban:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, VA refused to lift the nationwide injunction on Trump's second executive order that would have banned Muslims from the U.S. Because of the importance of the topic, the court bypassed their usual procedure of having the appeal heard by a three-judge panel. Instead, it was immediately reviewed by the full 13-judge court.

Christine Farlas, writing for Huffington Post, said:

"U.S. Chief Circuit Judge Roger Gregory wrote that the text of Trump’s executive order, which was challenged in courts across the country for targeting members of a particular fait,:

... 'speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination. ... Congress granted the President broad power to deny entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute. ... It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the President wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation'." 7

Judge James Wynn agreed, writing:

"Laid bare, this Executive Order is no more than what the President promised before and after his election: naked invidious discrimination against Muslims. Such discrimination contravenes the authority Congress delegated to the President in the Immigration and Nationality Act ... and it is unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause [of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution]."

U.S. Circuit Judge Dennis Shedd dissented from the majority opinion. He expressed concern over:

"... the larger ramifications of this decision [for the nation’s safety]. Regrettably, at the end of the day, the real losers in this case are the millions of individual Americans whose security is threatened on a daily basis by those who seek to do us harm."

Later that day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement saying that the Justice Department:

"...will seek review of this case in the United States Supreme Court. .. [the order was] well within his lawful authority to keep the Nation safe. ... [The Department of Justice] strongly disagrees with the decision of the divided court, which blocks the President’s efforts to strengthen this country’s national security."

As the dissenting judges explained, the executive order is a constitutional exercise of the President’s duty to protect our communities from terrorism. The President is not required to admit people from countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism, until he determines that they can be properly vetted and do not pose a security risk to the United States." 7

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More developments are inevitable.

President Trump's term still has almost four years to go!

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Faith Karimi & Joe Sutton, "Federal judge who blocked Trump's travel ban gets threats," CNN, 2017-MAR-24, at: http://www.cnn.com/
  2. Zia H Shah, "Federal judge in Hawaii extends ruling halting travel ban indefinitely," The Muslim Times, 2017-MAR-30, at: https://themuslimtimes.info/
  3. Jim Norman, "Majority in US No Longer Thinks Trump Keeps His Promises," Gallup, 2017-APR-17, at: http://www.gallup.com/
  4. Jim Norman, "Affordable Care Act Gains Majority Approval for First Time," Gallup, 2017-APR-04, at: http://www.gallup.com/
  5. August Brunsman, "Scientific inquiry should be an American value, too," Religion News Service, 2017-APR-20, at: http://religionnews.com/
  6. Jeffrey M. Jones, "Majority Says Trump Not Making Progress in Changing D.C.," Gallup, 2017-APR-22. at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/
  7. Cristian Farias, "Appeals Court Slaps Down Donald Trump’s Travel Ban Yet Again," Huffington Post, 2017-MAY-25, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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How you may have arrived here:

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Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted on: 2017-APR-21.
Most recent update: 2017-MAY-27.
Author:
B.A. Robinson
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