2.20.19 Sixteen States Challenge Trump’s Emergency Declaration

Sixteen States Challenge Trump’s Emergency Declaration

Sixteen states took to the courts on Monday to challenge President Donald Trump’s recent emergency declaration that would allow him to redirect billions of dollars of government funds to construct a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. The states, including California and New York, argue that Trump doesn’t have the authority to draw from these funds. “Contrary to the will of Congress, the president has used the pretext of a manufactured ‘crisis’ of unlawful immigration to declare a national emergency and redirect federal dollars appropriated for drug interdiction, military construction and law enforcement initiatives toward building a wall on the United States-Mexico border,” the lawsuit states. According to PRRI polling, a majority of Americans oppose building a wall along the country’s southern border. Nearly six in ten (58 percent) oppose building such a wall, while about four in ten (41 percent) Americans are in favor.
Jeffress: Anti-Trump Evangelicals Are “Spineless Morons”

Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, who is one of Trump’s most passionate supporters in the evangelical community, called fellow evangelicals who don’tback Trump “spineless morons.” In an interview last week, Jeffress said, “Let me say this as charitably as I can. These ‘Never Trump’ evangelicals are morons. They are absolutely spineless morons and they cannot admit that they were wrong.” A Newsweek report on Jeffress’ comments notes that “the Public Religion [Research] Institute found that two-thirds of white evangelicals, 52 percent of white [mainline] Protestants and 56 percent of [white] Catholics backed his wall proposal” in a recent survey. 
Sanders Hopes the Country Feels the Bern

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced this week that he will run for president in 2020. Sanders lost the 2016 nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, amid some controversy about Democratic Party leaders’ attitudes toward his candidacy. “I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least a million people from across the country,” Sanders wrote in an email to supporters. Sanders’ first candidacy helped inspire a wave of progressive Democratic socialists to run for office a few years later. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY), the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, worked as a local organizer for Sanders’ 2016 campaign. Sanders is running again at a moment when the country is split on what it means to be a socialist. PRRI data show that a majority (54 percent) of Americans identify socialism as a system of government that provides citizens with services like health insurance, retirement support, and access to free higher education, according to PRRI’s 2018 American Values SurveyForty-three percent of Americans say socialism is a system where the government controls key parts of the economy, such as utilities, transportation, and communications industries.
SC Woman Claims Religiously-Based Adoption Refusal

A South Carolina woman is suing a foster care agency, alleging that the organization discriminated against her because she is Catholic. According to Aimee Maddonna, things were going well during screening interviews with Miracle Hills Ministry until she was asked which church she attended. “By the name, you can tell it’s a Catholic parish,” Maddonna says. According to Maddonna, the organization “immediately responded back with, ‘I’m sorry, we only employ volunteers and mentors who are Protestant Christian.’” The incident came as a shock to Maddonna, per the Associated Press: “I’ve never considered myself a religious minority until that moment,” Maddonna said. “I had to tell my kids that, because we’re Catholic, we can’t take these kids out for ice cream and cheer them on at their games. I was devastated.” PRRI data from 2017 showed that 49 percent of Americans believe that the foster care system in their state was not working well.