Trump made an executive order for “strong vetting” of immigrants from seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Many referred to it as a “Muslim ban.” The administration may expand on the move by adding other countries to the list. However, a judge ordered a temporary restraining order, resulting on a hold on enforcing the law. Trump tweeted about the ruling, using the term “so-called judge” for Western District of Washington Judge James Robart, who made the decision.
Trump then picked Judge Neil Gorsuch for Justice Anton Scalia’s (deceased) seat on the Supreme Court, someone who is close to Scalia in his approach to judging — a strong belief in originalism and that judges should interpret a law according to its text and structure and not impose the judge’s own personal values. Gorsuch is considered to be an intellectual judge.
Trump threatened to have his staff “go nuclear” on his pick — using the Republican majority to push through new laws with a simple majority (51 out of 100), rather than the 60-vote supermajority considered by many to be needed for a durable, strong law because it has broad support and is less likely to be overturned when the party composition of the senate changes.
The controversy around the Supreme Court judge pick centers largely around how rights are going to be allocated, especially in terms of woman’s right to choice versus states right to prevent abortion and gay’s rights to be served versus vendors rights to not do things that violate their beliefs about right and wrong. During Obama, a law was passed which forces vendors to serve gay couples or face criminal punishment. Before making his choice, Trump had been clear on his litmus test for who he would pick for the role: abortion, religious liberty and guns.
It also takes place in light of the Republican refusal to entertain the idea of former President Obama’s pick for the seat.
Trump made moves to cut taxes.
Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran (12 companies and 143 people) in response to Iran’s ballistic missile test this month.
Reportedly, Trump and the Australian prime minister had a bit of an argument over the phone. Australia is noted broadly as being probably America’s most loyal ally, which has stood with America pretty much everywhere it has gone.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis made his first international visit to South Korea and Japan, hard on Trump’s comments that the U.S. should do more for its allies.
So far, only a quarter of Trump’s staff has been confirmed by the Senate, so various departments are not able to go ahead with big changes planned by the administration, although much day to day work continues from before because there are still workers in position.