Oct 23, 2018 - Politics

Supreme Court blocks questioning of Wilbur Ross in census suit

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday night blocked a federal court order demanding Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross face questioning in a lawsuit challenging his decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Why it matters: The decision is a major blow to the 18 states suing Ross, which argue that the additional question will discourage both legal and illegal immigrants from participating in the census. The census is used to determine electoral boundaries and the distribution of federal funds.

What's next: The Supreme Court's decision means that the trial in New York, set to begin on Nov. 5, will go forward without Ross’ deposition. However, the justices declined to halt the deposition for the acting head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, John Gore, and ordered that the administration hand over more documents related to the issue.

The backdrop: Ross has recently changed his explanation for adding the question. He initially told a congressional committee that he had only talked with officials at the DOJ to determine the question's legality, but he recently said that Steve Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, also played a role in his decision.

What's next

Bolton alleges in book that Trump tied Ukraine aid to investigations

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton alleges in his forthcoming book that the president explicitly told him "he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens," the New York Times first reported.

Why this matters: The revelations present a dramatic 11th hour turn in Trump's Senate impeachment trial. They directly contradict Trump's claim that he never tied the hold-up of Ukrainian aid to his demands for investigations into his political opponent Joe Biden.

Honoring Kobe Bryant: Sports stars, politicians and celebrities mourn NBA great

Kobe Bryant on court for the Los Angeles Lakers during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at American Airlines Center in Dallas in February 2010. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Sports stars, politicians and celebrities paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a California helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others on Saturday. He was 41.

What they're saying: Lakers great Shaquille O'Neal said in an Instagram post of his former teammate, "There's no words to express the pain I'm going through now with this tragic and sad moment of losing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you brother and you will be missed."

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Sports

What's next: Trump's broader travel ban

A sign for International Arrivals is shown at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Photo: Ted S. Warren/AP

President Trump is expected to announce an expanded travel ban this week, which would restrict immigration from seven additional countries — Nigeria, Myanmar, Sudan, Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Tanzania, per multiple reports.

  • The announcement would come on the third anniversary of Trump's original travel ban, which targeted Muslim-majority nations, per Axios' Stef Kight.