Progressive Breakfast for March 20

Morning Message

White Nationalism, Born in the USA, Is Now a Global Threat

The recent massacre of 50 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand is the latest confirmation that white supremacy is a danger to democratic societies across the globe. Driven by fear over the loss of white primacy, white nationalists believe that white identity should be the organizing principle of Western society. This disturbing international trend, in its modern incarnation, was born in the United States. And Despite President Donald Trump’s suggestion that white nationalist terrorism is not a major problem, recent data from the United Nations, University of Chicago and many other sources show the opposite.

Mueller Probe Scope Expands

New Mueller probe revelations explain Trump’s rage. CNN: “President Donald Trump looks — and is acting — rattled and encircled by the Russia investigation. And a series of fresh disclosures on Tuesday show there is every reason for him to feel threatened by the vast shadow it is casting over his life, business and presidency. Newly unsealed court documents detailing special counsel Robert Mueller’s activity reveal an investigative field of breathtaking scope and a prosecutorial machine that ratcheted quickly up in mid-2017. The search warrants targeting Trump’s ex-personal lawyer Michael Cohen offer a glimpse of the covert world of the probe. As is often the case with Mueller, they give only a tantalizing hint of the wider, yet still hidden, puzzle. But such disclosures are almost never good news for Trump.
There is enough to explain from Tuesday’s reveal why the investigation must be weighing on Trump’s spirits, and driving his angry Twitter outbursts.
The vast breadth of the investigation by various jurisdictions also could offer a rich seam for Democratic House chairmen should they eventually subpoena primary evidence uncovered by Mueller and other prosecutors. And the release underlines that various investigations that are penetrating deep into Trump’s business, personal and political life are likely to be haunting the President for years to come — even after Mueller has left the stage.”

SCOTUS Allows Indefinite Detention Of Immigrants

Supreme Court disregards due process, allows ICE to detain certain immigrants indefinitely. Slate: “The Supreme Court delivered a brutal blow to immigrants’ rights on Tuesday morning, ruling that the Trump administration may detain unauthorized immigrants indefinitely once they have been taken into criminal custody. Its 5–4 decision permits the government to arrest and imprison undocumented individuals who were released from custody years, even decades ago. Even immigrants convicted in the distant past of a minor crime, like possession of a stolen bus transfer, may now be apprehended and detained without bond. To reach this result, the court’s conservative justices manipulated the plain text of a federal statute and ignored basic principles of due process. Their decision hands Immigration and Customs Enforcement even more power to terrorize immigrant communities, suspending due process for certain unauthorized immigrants snatched up by ICE. Tuesday’s ruling in Nielsen v. Preap revolves around a 1996 law designed to crack down on unauthorized immigration. One section of the statute compels the Department of Homeland Security to detain certain non-citizens without a bond hearing as the government awaits permission to deport them.”

SCOTUS Backs Yakama Tribe In Decision

Gorsuch provides decisive 5th vote in case interpreting treaty with Indian tribe. NPR: “Every year, the Supreme Court hears around 150 cases, and while there will usually be a few blockbuster opinions, the majority garner little media attention. But these more obscure decisions can often illustrate something interesting, even unexpected, about one of the justices. And so it was on Tuesday with Justice Neil Gorsuch and a relatively obscure and underplayed Indian treaty case. On this conservative court, Gorsuch has been one of the most conservative voices. But in cases involving Indian treaties and rights, he is most often counted among those sympathetic to Indian claims. On Tuesday, Gorsuch split from his conservative colleagues, siding with the court’s more liberal members in a case involving the Yakama Tribe and its right under an 1855 treaty to travel the public roads without being taxed on the goods brought to the reservation. Not only did he provide the decisive fifth vote in the case, he wrote an important concurring opinion for himself and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the leader of the court’s liberal wing.”

FL GOP Wants To Block Returning Citizens From Voting

What Referendum? Florida GOP Set to Exclude Up to 80% of Felons From Voting. Daily Beast: “When the people of Florida voted, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, to allow former felons to vote in state and federal elections, progressives wondered how the state’s Republican-controlled legislature would respond. Now we know. After a series of trial balloons—ignoring the referendum, delaying its implementation—the Florida House of Representatives’ Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted Tuesday to throw a huge roadblock in its path. According to the bill, approved on party lines, felons would first have to pay any outstanding fines and fees before regaining the right to vote. While the condition may seem minor, in fact it creates an insurmountable obstacle for thousands of people the amendment was meant to help. As approved by voters in November, Florida’s Amendment 4 requires the ‘automatic’ restoration of voting rights to felons ‘who have completed all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation.’ (It also excludes those ‘convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.’) Backers of the House bill say that fines and fees are part of the ‘terms of their sentence’ which must be ‘completed’ for restoration of voting rights to take place. “