Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Quick Hits: Volume CLI

- Part of the "Deep State" which has continually thwarted President Donald Trump's so-called "travel ban" suffered a blow at the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.

(T)he full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit had put the order on hold last month, concluding that – although it did not specifically say so – the order likely violated the Constitution because the president intended to discriminate against Muslim travelers. Earlier this month, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit also blocked the order, but on a different ground: It concluded that the order exceeds the authority that Congress has given the president to regulate immigration. The (Supreme) (C)ourt’s announcement (Monday) means that the justices will review both of those decisions. The justices also granted the Trump administration’s request to allow the ban to go into effect, at least for would-be travelers who don’t already have some connection to the United States.

So what does that "connection to the U.S." entail?

For individuals, a close familial relationship is required. A foreign national who wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member, like Doe’s wife or Dr. Elshikh’s mother-in-law, clearly has such a relationship. As for entities, the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading EO–2. The students from the designated countries who have been admit- ted to the University of Hawaii have such a relationship with an American entity. So too would a worker who accepted an offer of employment from an American company or a lecturer invited to address an American audience. Not so someone who enters into a relationship simply to avoid §2(c): For example, a nonprofit group devoted to immigration issues may not contact foreign nationals from the designated countries, add them to client lists, and then secure their entry by claiming injury from their exclusion.

I'm on record as saying I am skeptical that this is the most effective deterrent to radical Islamic terror. Many of the recent high profile terror attacks in western world countries have been perpetrated by citizens of those very countries. Said perpetrators have been radicalized by means that a "travel ban" would not have thwarted.

That said, I agree with National Review's David French when he says that, for now, the "constitutional and statutory primacy of the executive and legislative branches over national security and immigration has been restored." 

- The fetching Mrs. Carlson and I finally saw Wonder Woman in theaters over the weekend. To date, it is my favorite film of the latest set in the superhero genre.

If you have yet to see it, I highly recommend it! 

- There are some decisions that, when they're announced, are just destined to be abject failures. And these decisions can be within any facet of life, whether it's sports, entertainment, politics, etc.

Some examples?

The Minnesota Twins starting Miguel Sano in right field to start the 2016 season.

Chevy Chase being given his own late night talk show.

But the latest bad idea which has come home to roost? Significant hikes in minimum wage.

As cities across the country pushed their minimum wages to untested heights in recent years, some economists began to ask: How high is too high?

Seattle, with its highest-in-the-country minimum wage, may have hit that limit.

In January 2016, Seattle’s minimum wage jumped from $11 an hour to $13 for large employers, the second big increase in less than a year. New research released Monday by a team of economists at the University of Washington suggests the wage hike may have come at a significant cost: The increase led to steep declines in employment for low-wage workers, and a drop in hours for those who kept their jobs. Crucially, the negative impact of lost jobs and hours more than offset the benefits of higher wages — on average, low-wage workers earned $125 per month less because of the higher wage, a small but significant decline.

All the adverse affects of this higher wage were pretty well predicted ahead of time. Heck, even some of the biggest proponents of minimum wage acknowledged the adverse economic impacts to come, but dismissed those concerns as secondary to what's "moral" or something.

Oh, and you're next, Minneapolis!


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