By the numbers:
Trump cabinet confirmations: 6
Number of tech companies against Trump immigration order: 99
Final vote confirming Betsy DeVos: 51 – 50
Appeals Court Hearing
Today, three appellate judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments pertaining to President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. Two of the judges were former President George W. Bush appointees and one judge is former President Obama’s appointee.
All three judges grilled the special counsel to the assistant U.S. attorney general in Washington State, August E. Flentje. Flentje argued the state of Washington does not have standing to challenge the executive order but dodged questions pertaining to a hypothetical order that discriminated on the basis of religion, which Flentje denied Trump’s order was.
In the second half of the oral arguments, Noah Purcell, the solicitor general for the state of Washington, made his case. Purcell received a much lighter line of questioning than Flentje but still received a tough line of questioning from Judge Richard R. Clifton, a Bush appointee. Clifton asked why Purcell was arguing the order was based on religion when the vast majority of Muslims were unaffected by the ban. Clifton continued to grill Purcell by saying the state of Washington had more allegations than evidence.
No matter how the three judges rule, this case will more than likely be brought to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In an unprecedented tie-breaking vote for a cabinet nomination, Vice President Mike Pence cast the confirming vote for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. DeVos ignited a furor from the Senate Democrats with all 48 voting against her nomination. They were later joined by two Republicans who broke rank with their party to oppose DeVos.