Senate acquits Trump of first impeachment charge | AFP

The United States’ Senate acquits President Donald Trump of abuse of power, the first of two impeachment charges, following a historic two-week trial. After votes are counted, Chief Justice John Roberts announces “48 senators have pronounced Donald John Trump, President of the United States, guilty as charged. 52 senators have announced him not guilty as charged.” SOUNDBITE

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US senators sworn in to serve as jurors at Trump trial | AFP

Members of the US Senate are sworn in to serve as jurors at the historic impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the trial, administers the oath to the senators who will decide whether the president should be removed from office. IMAGES

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US Supreme Court chief justice sworn in to preside over Trump | AFP

US Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts is sworn in on the Senate floor to preside over the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. IMAGES

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Why The Supreme Court Kept Trump’s Travel Ban In Place (HBO)

The Supreme Court upheld the third version of President Trump’s travel ban today in a 5-4 split that split predictably along ideological lines. Their reasoning amounts to a huge statement on presidential power.

The ban they upheld was actually Trump’s third attempt, which went into effect in December 2017, after protests and court rulings related to the first and second versions caused the administration to go through a few rewrites.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, ruling that Trump’s ban was lawful, in part, because he has “broad discretion… to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States.” A majority of the court also believed that the government proved that the ban was related to a “legitimate national security interest.”

The challenge to the ban, brought by the state of Hawaii, several individuals, and a Muslim advocacy group, pointed to President Trump’s retweets, and campaign promises specifically to bar Muslims from entering the United States as a reason why the ban was unconstitutional.

But Chief Justice Roberts addressed that too, saying that it wasn’t the court’s job to “denounce the President’s statements.”

Both the majority and the minority also considered whether this case resembled Korematsu v. United States, the World War II-era case that upheld the decision by the United States government to hold Japanese Americans in in internment camps.

In a scathing dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the majority “deploys the same dangerous logic” in the “name of a superficial claim of national security” as the court did in the Japanese internment case. But her dissent relies on the idea that the president’s previous statements about Muslims should be considered when deciding this case — and that’s not what the majority decided to do.

In fact, Roberts addressed Sotomayor’s dissent directly and wrote “Korematsu has nothing to do with this case.” He continued, “It is wholly inapt to liken that morally repugnant order to a facially neutral policy denying certain foreign nationals the privilege of admission.” But Roberts did take the opportunity to denounce the Korematsu decision calling it “gravely wrong.”

There was also a warning embedded in the decision. Justice Kennedy, who sided with the majority and upheld the ban, wrote:

The oath that all officials take to adhere to the Constitution is not confined to those spheres in which the Judiciary can correct or even comment upon what those officials say or do. Indeed, the very fact that an official may have broad discretion, discretion free from judicial scrutiny, makes it all the more imperative for him or her to adhere to the Constitution and to its meaning and its promise.

He added that an “anxious world” needs that commitment. It’s hard not to see Kennedy’s statement as message intended for the president.

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Cops Need A Warrant To Search Your Cell Phone’s Location History, Supreme Court Rules

The Supreme Court just ruled that cops need a search warrant to get information about where people have been from their cell phones.

The 5-4 decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, sets a strong legal limit on how much of your digital data the government can access. But the justices also stressed that these limits apply only to the type of data at question in the case: historical location information. The justices made clear they weren’t weighing in on real-time location records or data related to foreign affairs or national security.

Even so, the ruling is a strong rebuke of the government’s encroachment on technological advances.

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Trump Seems Likely to Win Travel Ban Case

President Donald Trump appears likely to win his travel ban case at the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy both signaled support for the travel policy in arguments Wednesday at the high court. (April 25)

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