PHOTO: Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch speaks as Donald Trump looks on
The headline developments from the Trump Administration, Day 12:
*Trump named Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado as his nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the death of another judicial conservative, Antonin Scalia, in February 2016.
Gorsuch is an “originalist”, interpreting the Constitution as he believes those who wrote it would have.
Republicans in the Senate refused to consider Barack Obama’s nominee for the vacancy, Merrick Garland, in the hope of swinging the balance of the Court, which is generally considered as split 4-4 between conservatives and moderates after Scalia’s death.
*Congressional committees sent the nominations of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to the full Senate for votes. However, Democrats held up the process for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, and Health Secretary Tom Price.
DeVos was approved 12-11 despite concerns that some of her answers may have been plagiarized.
*San Francisco, California is the first city to sue the Trump Administration to prevent cut-off of federal funding for “sanctuary cities”, who have pledged to protect immigrants from deportation or detention by federal authorities.
*Four states — New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington are suing the Trump Administration over the visa bans on citizens of seven mainly-Muslim countries.
The Administration was mired in confusion over its restrictions on visas and bars on refugees, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer saying these were not “bans” — even though Donald Trump had explicitly labelled them as such.
If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the "bad" would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad "dudes" out there!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2017
*900 State Department employees signed and delivered a “dissent memorandum” protesting the bans on visas and refugees.
*Trump met representatives of drug manufacturers to argue for lower drug prices, amid uncertainty over what system will replace ObamaCare if it is repealed.
(h/t to Al Jazeera Plus)