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politics

When President Donald Trump signed an executive order on immigration and refugees last month, it was Washington state that led the legal battle to overturn it. Now, after a string of court rulings, it appears that the fight could be be heading all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And the question many people are asking is, why Washington?

It's not often you get a chance to come face-to-face with that person who made a nasty comment about you on Facebook. But one interviewee from our Kitchen Table Series got a chance to do that.

Jamie Ruppert of White Haven, Pa. was featured in a story that aired in January.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson prepares to talk to the media about a federal judge's ruling on the Trump refugee order Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

President Trump’s immigration ban will remain on hold.

A three-judge panel unanimously denied the federal government’s appeal to reinstate parts of the executive order barring immigrants and refugees of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Washington state wins another round in court against President Trump's temporary immigration order when a federal appeals court refuses to reinstate the administration's travel ban impacting seven majority-Muslim nations.

Flickr photo/Bill Holmes (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/tujYE

Political scientist Mark Smith says President Donald Trump's tweet against Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom is one form of corruption.

"It's using public office to enrich yourself or your family members," Smith told KUOW's Kim Malcolm.

"We've been able to avoid that for most of our history."


Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has opened an inquiry into potential abuses of the Orphan Drug Act that may have contributed to high prices on commonly used drugs.

In a statement, Grassley said the inquiry is "based on reporting from Kaiser Health News" and strong consumer concern about high drug prices.

"My staff is meeting with interested groups and other Senate staff to get their views on the extent of the problem and how we might fix it," Grassley wrote.

President Trump spoke to around 20 world leaders before calling China's president, Xi Jinping.

But he finally did it Thursday evening.

And despite earlier remarks threatening to upend long-standing U.S. policy, Trump promised Xi that Washington will stick to the "One China" doctrine.

That policy was enacted when the U.S. established diplomatic relations with Beijing almost 40 years ago. It allows the U.S. to maintain relations with both China and a de facto independent Taiwan.

When last spotted in his indigenous habitat, John Oliver was sharing his perception of 2016 and what was to come: a dystopian hellscape.

Nordstrom's flagship store in Downtown Seattle
flickr photo/ Prayitno (CC BY 2.0)/ https://flic.kr/p/93yEzy

Bill Radke talks to Rachel Abrams, New York Times business reporter, about why stores like Nordstrom are rethinking their relationship with Ivanka Trump's clothing line and how consumers and the administration is responding to those decisions. 

The Defense Department's plan to lease space in Manhattan's Trump Tower is already raising ethical concerns, with critics saying it would give the nation's chief executive another way to profit off his new role.

"It creates the appearance that President Trump, through his businesses, may directly benefit financially from charging the Department of Defense to do its job," says Meredith McGehee, chief of policy, programs and strategy at Issue One, a nonprofit that works to remove money from politics.

The Senate has confirmed President Trump's nominee Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general, bringing an end to a bitter confirmation fight that has dredged up past accusations of racism against the Alabama senator.

The vote was largely along party lines, 52-47, with only centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voting yes. Sessions himself voted "present" on his own nomination.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says the U.S. needs to "do a better job to vet" residents of seven majority-Muslim countries that the Trump administration has temporarily banned from entering the U.S.

In an interview with Morning Edition host Rachel Martin, the retired Marine Corps general said the ban, which has been blocked by a district court order that is now being reviewed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, "is not based on religion in any way."

It's a little icky all around.

First lady Melania Trump is seeking $150 million from the Daily Mail newspaper, charging in a lawsuit filed Monday in New York state commercial court that the outlet published damaging and unfounded allegations that she once worked as an "elite escort" in the "sex business."

A day after Senate Republicans invoked a conduct rule to end Sen. Elizabeth Warren's speech against the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general, a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King urging the Senate to reject Sessions' nomination as a federal judge is gaining new prominence.

The words were those of Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

But they resulted in a rarely invoked Senate rule being used to formally silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

How could the first Super Bowl of the Trump era escape politics?

It couldn't.

If you were just watching the game on TV, the politics were mostly subtle. Sure, there were the political ads. There were ads for everyone from NASCAR to Airbnb, which has taken on President Trump's travel ban.

Suddenly, people are more in favor of the Affordable Care Act than are against it. For the first time, more people believe Obamacare is a good idea than think it is a bad idea, as a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed.

Washington Senate Republicans are taking aim at organized labor. They’ve scheduled a series of public hearings beginning Monday on measures designed to reduce the influence of labor unions.

A federal appeals court denied President Trump's attempt to restore his travel ban on refugees and visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries Sunday morning, sending people scrambling to board planes while it is legal once again for them to enter the country.

Photo courtesy of Writers Resist

Authors around the country led a series of events recently called “Writers Resist: A Celebration of Free Speech.” Participants read from their own work or historic writings concerned with freedom, free speech and equality. There were nine such events in Washington State. In Seattle, the participants in order of appearance were:

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson prepares to talk to the media about a federal judge's ruling on the Trump refugee order Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

What was the scene like?

KUOW’s Amy Radil: It's usually pretty sedate but there was a huge turnout to see this hearing. I heard some court employees talking saying they've never seen such a crowd. The courtrooms aren't that big so there was an overflow room a few floors up where people watched it on video.

Updated at 4:13 a.m. ET Sunday

President Trump's travel ban remains suspended, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied a Justice Department request to stay the suspension of President Trump's order.

The court asked opponents of the ban to respond to the Trump administration's appeal by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PT; the court asked the Justice Department to respond by Monday at 3 p.m. PT.

KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

Ten days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration a group of Seattle-area artists and arts supporters came together to share experiences and build community. KUOW set aside a space for them to record personal messages. Their reflections express the conflict of the moment, marked by fear and hope, uncertainty and renewed determination.

Rep. Adam Smith
Office of Adam Smith / U.S. House

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith says he’s deeply disturbed by comments made by President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon.

Courtesy Gil Aegerter

Joe Fuiten likes President Donald Trump's proposal to eliminate tax restrictions on churches' participation in politics.

Fuiten built up one of Washington's largest churches, Cedar Park Church in Bothell. He told KUOW's Kim Malcolm that he found ways around the Johnson Amendment because he knew the law and followed it.


President Trump signed two directives on Friday, ordering a review of financial industry regulations known as Dodd-Frank and halting implementation of a rule that requires financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Trump himself made his intentions clear in a meeting with small business owners Monday. "Dodd-Frank is a disaster," Trump said. "We're going to be doing a big number on Dodd-Frank."

Of all President Trump's Cabinet choices, only one currently seems at serious risk of being denied confirmation by the Senate.

The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary is a question mark after two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, announced they plan to vote against her.

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, is under fire after making the false claim that Bowling Green, Ky., was the scene of a massacre carried out by Iraqis. Conway made the claim in an MSNBC interview that aired Thursday night, in which she argued in favor of President Trump's immigration and refugee ban.

For the second time in as many days, a Senate committee's GOP leadership has bypassed a boycott by Democrats to advance President Trump's Cabinet nominees.

The Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted the second meeting in a row to confirm Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA.

The White House moved up the president's announcement that he was nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court by two days, possibly to distract from the firestorm of criticism over his chaotic rollout of his refugee policy.

But maybe the White House didn't have to worry.

New polls show the policy may not be as unpopular as all those protests over the weekend suggested.

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