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In a mild but significant break with the president, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated on the Joe Scarborough TV show that presidential actions, including Trump's January 27 Muslim ban order (which is properly called a "Muslim ban" since all of the seven countries mentioned in the order are overwhelmingly Muslim in population, including, for example, Yemen, which Wikipedia lists as 99.99 per cent Muslim), are not above judicial review.
According to POLITICO, McConnell said that the power of judges to review the actions of other branches of government for legality applies to:
"Yes, all of us, both Congress and president..."
This is in direct contrast to White House aide Stephen Miller, who has been claiming that, with regard to the Muslim and refugee ban:
"the president's powers here are beyond question."
McConnell also said that he disagrees with the president's attacks against the federal district and appellate judges who have temporarily blocked his Muslim and refugee ban order.
The above is a stark reminder of what is really involved in the issues surrounding the president's January 27 executive order.
Beyond the question of whether some 200 million people living in seven countries (and by extension, potentially, citizens of other, or all, Muslim countries, around the world) can be barred from the United States because of their religion, lies the question of who will have ultimate power in America during the Trump years - the three co-equal branches of government, as provided by our laws and Constitution, or one man - Donald J. Trump.
The POLITICO story is at:
Attorney at Law
Updated 02-15-2017 at 03:07 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
There are no reports that I am aware of indicating that Donald Trump's disgraced former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had any conversations about attitudes toward Muslim immigrants during his discussions with Russian officials which led to his downfall and resignation.
But if that subject had come up during his discussions, Flynn (and his boss Donald Trump) might have been able to learn a great deal about acceptance of Muslims and Muslim immigrants in Russia that would sharply conflict with what the Washington Post, in a February 15 column by Ishaan Tharoor, describes, with a good deal of justification, as Flynn's Islamophobia.
Flynn's ties to Russia are a problem. But what about his Islamophobia?
(Sorry, I do not have a link. Please go to Google.)
In contrast to Flynn's wild statements about Muslims and their religion as being (in effect) the root of all evil, which are detailed in the above WP article, and which I will not dignify by repeating here, Putin's attitudes to Russia's large Muslim population, including Muslim immigrants are, while far from meeting the standards of democratic country, still a great deal more nuanced and realistic.
An exhaustive, in depth discussion of Vladimir Putin's approach toward Muslims, and Muslim immigrants in particular, in Russia is contained in an article (in English) by a research organization in Spain called Grupo De Estudios En Seguridad Internacional (GESI) entitled:
Islam in Russia: Challenge or Opportunity?
In introducing its subject, including an explanation about why Russia needs Muslim immigrants and welcomes them - up to a point - GESI states:
"Russian authorities have elaborated three parallel discourses on Islam to appear both 'Islamophile' and fighting radical Islam."
The article goes on to describe Putin's warm relationship with Muslim leaders whom he regards as supportive of the state, while at the same time taking harsh action against those he suspects of radical tendencies or of other opposition to his regime.
This is a far cry from regarding all Muslims around the world as inherently dangerous or as being in a "War of Civilizations" with the West, as we have been hearing, not only from Flynn, but from Stephen Bannon, another top presidential adviser who reportedly had a major role in developing Trump's disastrous January 27 Muslim travel ban order, which has been put on hold in large part by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
While Flynn's brief role in the Trump White House is now part of America's immigration history, Bannon remains very much at the center of power in Washington.
I will return to the subject of Muslim immigrants in Putin's Russia in a future comment.
Attorney at Law
Updated 02-15-2017 at 12:45 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs