Republican Senators Vote ToFormally Silence Elizabeth Warren
New York Times – Republican senators voted on Tuesday to formally silence a Democratic colleague for impugning a peer, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, by condemning his nomination for attorney general while reading a letter from Coretta Scott King.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, had been holding forth on the Senate floor on the eve of Mr. Sessions’s expected confirmation vote, reciting a 1986 letter from Mrs. King that criticized Mr. Sessions’s record on civil rights.
Sensing a stirring beside her a short while later, Ms. Warren stopped herself and scanned the chamber.
Across the room, Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, had stepped forward with an objection, setting off an extraordinary confrontation in the Capitol and silencing a colleague, procedurally, in the throes of a contentious debate over President Trump’s cabinet nominee.
Trump’s Travel Ban is in the Hands of a Federal Appeals Court
Time – A federal appeals court will decide whether to reinstate President Donald Trump’s travel ban after a contentious hearing in which the judges hammered away at the administration’s motivations for the ban, but also directed pointed questions to an attorney for two states trying to overturn it.
It was unclear which way the three judges of the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals would rule, though legal experts said the states appeared to have the edge.
“I’m not sure if either side presented a compelling case, but I certainly thought the government’s case came across as weaker,” said Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
Energy Transfer to Get Dakota Access Pipeline Approval From U.S.
Bloomberg – The controversial Dakota Access pipeline is set to gain the final go-ahead for completion after President Donald Trump asked for a speedy approval.
The U.S. Army said it will grant Energy Transfer Partners LP the easement it needs to finish the line that will ship almost half a million barrels of crude a day from North Dakota’s shale fields to refineries across the Midwest and on to the Gulf Coast. The approval follows Trump’s memorandum that advised expediting review of the project. Trump took office promising to favor oil and natural gas developments as well as support new infrastructure, such as reviving TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux plans to fight the easement decision.
See Progressive Army’s coverage of this story here.
Yemen Withdraws Permission for U.S. Antiterror Ground Missions
Time – Angry at the civilian casualties incurred last month in the first commando raid authorized by President Trump, Yemen has withdrawn permission for the United States to run Special Operations ground missions against suspected terrorist groups in the country, according to American officials.
Grisly photographs of children apparently killed in the crossfire of a 50-minute firefight during the raid caused outrage in Yemen. A member of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, Chief Petty Officer William Owens, was also killed in the operation.
While the White House continues to insist that the attack was a “success” — a characterization it repeated on Tuesday — the suspension of commando operations is a setback for Mr. Trump, who has made it clear he plans to take a far more aggressive approach against Islamic militants.
White House Targeting ‘Conflict Mineral’ Rule
Reuters – President Donald Trump is planning to issue an executive order targeting a controversial Dodd-Frank rule that requires companies to disclose whether their products contain “conflict minerals” from a war-torn part of Africa, according to sources familiar with the administration’s thinking.
Reuters could not learn the precise timing of when the order will be issued, or exactly what it will say.
However, the 2010 Dodd-Frank law explicitly gives the president authority to order the Securities and Exchange Commission to temporarily suspend or revise the rule for two years if it is in the national security interest of the United States.
The sources spoke anonymously because it is not public and they were not authorized to speak on the record.