Good morning and welcome to Tuesday, the final day of January. President Trump says he’ll name his nominee for the Supreme Court tonight, and of course we’ll have coverage on the radio and online. Here’s the Digest.
1. The president’s executive order on immigration and refugees is causing a lot of uncertainty for a number of local residents and would-be Minnesotans — from a University of Minnesota researcher to people sponsoring family members overseas to refugees scheduled to fly here in coming days. On Monday, local attorneys and families were trying to sort through the impact the order will have in Minnesota. (Star Tribune)
2. Meanwhile many Trump voters in Minnesota generally supported the president’s action. “I think they’re over-reacting,” said Rodney Snyder of Westbrook in southwest Minnesota of people who have protested the order. “And they’re not giving the plan a chance to work. And I realize that everybody wants to say that it’s against the Muslims. It’s not against the Muslims. It’s against the ISIS-type people, the militaristic Muslims. And he has no choice but to do what he said he was going to do.” (MPR News)
3. Minnesota businesses are trying to figure out what the immigration order means for them. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce senior vice president Bill Blazar fears the president’s move could keep the country from making progress on much-needed immigration reform. “The president’s executive orders are a step backwards because of the emotion that they create around all of these issues,” Blazar said. Some business leaders say Trump doesn’t yet appreciate the need to move forward prudently and predictably on immigration issues. “My hope is that ultimately the president settles down,” said Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership. “I don’t think it’s unusual for a new president coming in and wanting to do a lot of things quickly. But things need to be predictable.” (MPR News)
4. President Trump fired the acting attorney general after she ordered the Justice Department on Monday not to defend his executive order on immigration in court. “I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right,” Obama administration holdover Sally Yates wrote in a letter to Justice Department lawyers. “At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.” Trump replaced Yates with Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney in Alexandria, Va. (Politico)
5. When he left office former President George W. Bush withheld any criticism of his successor. Former President Obama is not following that model. Obama on Monday sought to counter the Trump administration’s contention that it had chosen the list of countries in its immigration order because Obama had identified them as dangerous. Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said in a statement, “With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the president fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.” The statement added that Obama “is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.” (Washington Post)