Two really good things happened today! Kellyanne Conway got called out by the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and even more importantly, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the suspension of Trump’s Muslim ban!
Regarding Conway, let’s get a little background. Yesterday, Nordstrom said they were dropping Ivanka’s line from their stores. Of course Trump tweeted about how unfair that was, you know, instead of working on actual issues. That was followed up by Conway appearing on Fox and Friends this morning to outright plug Ivanka’s products in her official capacity as Counselor to the President. That’s a no-no. Her quotes were:
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I would tell you.”
“It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully – I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
Those simple utterances violated two Federal Ethics laws. “An employee shall not use or permit the use of his government position or title or any authority associated with his public office in a manner that could reasonably be construed to imply that his agency or the Government sanctions his personal activities or those of another” and “An employee shall not use or permit the use of his government position or title or any authority associated with his public office to endorse any product, service, or enterprise”.
The heads of the Oversight Committee (Jason Chaffetz – R, Utah and Elijah Cummings – D, Maryland) sent a letter to Walter Shaub, the Director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. The White House itself is responsible for punishment doled out in this circumstance and all they’ve done so far is ‘counsel’ her (which means nothing), but if there is enough backlash she may get fired. We can only hope!
In even greater news, a federal court upheld U.S. District Judge James Robart’s decision last week to stay the Trump Administration’s Muslim ban. In a case originally brought to Judge Robart by Washington State (I love my state!) with a sign-on by Minnesota, the administration can now take it to the Supreme Court. With just eight justices on the bench the probability of a tie is great and if it were split 4-4, the verdict from the appeals court would stay.
There is usually wide latitude in allowing a president to decide who can and cannot enter the country, but because Trump’s ban was intentionally targeting Muslims, it has been declared unconstitutional. The best part is that Trump’s own words and the words of his surrogates were used against him. His ‘Donald J. Trump will implement a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering this country…” and Rudy Guilani stating on Fox News that Trump had asked him how to legally do a Muslim ban. They didn’t even try to hide it except for when they got caught.
This administration is so completely inept and incompetent that it’s frightening. But at least we’re starting to get a little movement on the opposite side. We must continue to resist at all costs. And next on our list of resistance…Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch!