Must-see TV! President Trump said last night that he would be announcing at 8 p.m. EST tonight his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy that was created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. You have to hand it to the President for scheduling the announcement for prime time, when everyone can watch. Although I think it would be even better if he had all the candidates with him and then nixed the also-rans, one by one. Wait — or better yet, have the candidates vote each other off the island! (You’re welcome, Mr. President.)
LGBT protections are here to stay. A rumor started last week that a draft Executive Order was being circulated that would have removed discrimination protections from LGBT individuals working for federal contractors. The White House has now issued an unequivocal denial that this is being considered: “The Executive Order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.”
ICE to harden? In addition to firing Acting Attorney General Sally Yates last night after she said that she would not enforce his Executive Order on refugees, President Trump replaced the Acting Director of Immigration Customs and Enforcement, Daniel Ragsdale, who returned to his Obama Administration position as Deputy Director. The new Acting Director is Thomas Homan, who was ICE’s executive associate director of Enforcement and Removals Operations. For the rundown on immigration-related developments, please see this excellent bulletin by Will Krasnow and Jeanette Phelan.
Best way to less regulation? President Trump signed an Executive Order yesterday requiring federal agencies to repeal two regulations for every new one promulgated. That sounds great in theory, but this Washington Post article indicates (correctly, I think) that the “cure” may be worse than the “disease.” And, yes, it pains me to say that.