FROM Chris Geidner
Politics and the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender Americans During last year's campaign, Donald Trump promised to be a fighter for the LGBT community. As President, he has other ideas. Last week, he shocked the Pentagon with a tweet saying transgender people should be banned from the military — including thousands already serving. That same day, his Justice Department argued in court that federal law does not protect gays and lesbians from being fired because of sexual orientation. It's an issue that goes back to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and it may be on its way to the US Supreme Court.
Partial travel ban will test executive power The US Supreme Court reached a unanimous decision today – sort of. President Trump has the constitutional power to instigate a travel ban from six mostly Muslim countries. Parts of his order will be allowed to go forward, but there will still be hearings next October, after the summer recess.
Trump's First Constitutional Confrontation Refugees and visa-holders from seven mostly Muslim countries have been allowed into the US again since last Friday. That's when President Trump's order banning them was temporarily halted by Federal Judge James Robart in Seattle. America's new Chief Executive is outraged and has personally denounced Robart, labeling him "a so-called judge," for putting the country "in peril." The Administration's appealed, but three states, technology companies, foreign policy veterans and civil right groups say reinstating the ban would create more chaos than ever. As the issue winds through the court process, will Trump have a scapegoat to blame for a future act of terrorism?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?