Supreme Court Declines DACA Case

Tuesday, February 27, 2018Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 8.58.30 AM

Good Tuesday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • The Supreme Court rejected an unusual request from the Trump administration to decide whether it was entitled to shut down a program that shields “Dreamers” from deportation. No appeals court has yet ruled on the issue.

  • In another Supreme Court case that could deal a sharp blow to public unions, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch asked no questions, leaving some doubt about whether the court’s conservative majority was prepared to rule that forcing workers to support public unions violates the First Amendment.

  • President Trump’s threat to rip up the Iran nuclear deal has touched off an urgent scramble in European capitals to preserve the agreement by creating a successor deal that would halt Iran’s ballistic missile program.
  • Castigating the police response to the Florida school shooting, Mr. Trump asserted that he would have tried to save students and teachers, even if he were unarmed.

— The First Draft Team
THE UPSHOT

Democrats Did Better Than on Hundreds of Simulated Pennsylvania Maps

By NATE COHN
In the view of the majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, “perhaps the most compelling evidence” that Republicans sacrificed traditional redistricting criteria for partisan gain was a political scientist’s simulation of 500 possible congressional maps.
The Republican-drawn map was an extreme outlier compared with the simulations made by Jowei Chen of the University of Michigan, who has provided expert testimony in many redistricting cases. None of the simulations favored Republicans by anywhere near as much as the congressional map enacted in 2011, which gave the Republicans a 13-to-5 advantage. And partly on that basis, the court ruled that the map violated the state’s Constitution.
But what about the remedial map recently adopted by the court? It is not an outlier to the same extent as the Republican-drawn map. But if you look at what 2016 statewide results would have been with the new map, the overall Democratic performance arguably would have been better than in all 500 of Mr. Chen’s simulations, according to an Upshot analysis.
Read more »
Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter, at the closing ceremony of 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Sunday. Asked in an interview there about the sexual misconduct allegations against her father, she said, “I think I have that right as a daughter to believe my father.”

Ivanka Trump Calls Question About Father’s Sexual Misconduct ‘Inappropriate’

By NIRAJ CHOKSHI

“I don’t think that’s a question you would ask many other daughters,” Ms. Trump, a presidential adviser, said. “I believe my father.”

A course titled “Statesmanship and American Grand Strategy” in the new School of Civic and Economic Thought at Arizona State University. The school is funded by the conservative Arizona State Legislature.

Arizona Republicans Inject Schools of Conservative Thought Into State Universities

By STEPHANIE SAUL

State lawmakers created new college programs focused on Western thinkers, drawing the ire of longtime faculty members who called the courses unnecessary.

Don Blankenship, the former coal executive, kicked off his campaign for the United States Senate in January at an event in Logan, W.Va.

Coal Country Divides Over an Unrepentant Boss’s Senate Bid

By TRIP GABRIEL

In West Virginia, the name of Don Blankenship, former head of Massey Energy, can evoke hopes for bygone prosperity or the anguish of a deadly disaster.

Donald Zarda

Civil Rights Act Protects Gay Workers, Appeals Court Rules

By BENJAMIN WEISER AND ALAN FEUER

The case, which stemmed from the firing of a Long Island sky-diving instructor, hedged on whether the law covered sexual-orientation discrimination.


First Lady Parts Ways With Adviser in Backlash Over Inaugural Contract

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff in January 2017. Melania Trump has parted ways with Ms. Winston Wolkoff, who had been an adviser to the office of the first lady.By KENNETH P. VOGEL AND MAGGIE HABERMAN

The Trumps were upset when they learned that Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, an adviser to Melania Trump, had won a $26 million contract to help plan the president’s inauguration.

State Senator Chris McDaniel is said to be ready to challenge Mississippi’s junior United States senator, Roger Wicker, in the Republican primary. He plans to announce his decision on Wednesday.

Mississippi Firebrand Appears Set to Challenge G.O.P. Senator From Right

By JONATHAN MARTIN

State Senator Chris McDaniel, who nearly unseated Senator Thad Cochran in 2014, appears to have his sights on Senator Roger Wicker in 2018.

Under a rule restored Monday, a fast-food corporation or other company can be held responsible in labor-rights cases involving a franchisee.

Labor Board’s Do-Over Leaves an Obama-Era Rule Intact

By NOAM SCHEIBER

Citing a member’s conflict in an earlier vote, the panel restored a standard making it easier to hold a company to account for franchisees’ practices.

A proposed tax cut in Georgia, which would primarily benefit Delta Air Lines, was in jeopardy on Monday after the state’s lieutenant governor vowed to kill the legislation after the company eliminated a discount program with the National Rifle Association.

Delta Ends N.R.A. Perk, and Georgia Republicans Vow to Make It Pay

By MATTHEW HAAG AND TIFFANY HSU

A proposed $50 million tax break on jet fuel that would primarily benefit Delta is in jeopardy after the airline eliminated a discount for the N.R.A.

“I have been heartened to see children across this country using their voices to speak out and try to create change,” the first lady, Melania Trump, said during a luncheon for governors’ spouses at the White House on Monday.

Melania Trump Offers Support for Student Protesters After Florida Shooting

By KATIE ROGERS

“I have been heartened to see children across this country using their voices,” she said of the students, many of whom have pushed for gun measures her husband has resisted.

The United States Embassy will be temporarily housed in American consular offices, center, in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Quiet Jerusalem Neighborhood Gets a U.S. Embassy, and a Spotlight

By ISABEL KERSHNER

The White House is accelerating plans to move diplomatic staff members to Jerusalem, with a small office to be set up in time for the 70th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel, in May.