National News at a Glance
Posted February 26, 2018 9:45 p.m. EST
Trump Says He Would Storm Into School to Stop a Killer
President Donald Trump asserted Monday that he would have rushed in to save the students and teachers of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida from a gunman with an assault weapon, even if he was unarmed at the time. Speaking to a meeting of the country’s governors at the White House, Trump conceded that “you don’t know until you test it.” But he said he believed he would have exhibited bravery “even if I didn’t have a weapon." Trump continued to grapple publicly with how best to respond to the mass shooting, discussing arming teachers and reopening mental institutions.
Justices Refuse White House Bid in ‘Dreamer’ Case
The Supreme Court on Monday declined an unusual White House request that it immediately decide whether the Trump administration can shut down a program that shields some 700,000 young unauthorized immigrants from deportation. The move meant that the immigrants, often called “Dreamers,” could remain in legal limbo for many months unless Congress acts to make their status permanent. The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the administration’s appeal was expected, as no appeals court has yet ruled on the issue. The court’s order gave no reasons. It said it expected the appeals court to “proceed expeditiously to decide this case.”
Civil Rights Act Protects Gay Workers, Appeals Court Rules
In a case that could have national significance for gay rights, a federal appeals court in New York ruled Monday that a landmark civil rights law bars employers from discriminating against their workers based on sexual orientation. The decision was a setback for the Justice Department, which under President Donald Trump had interceded in a discrimination lawsuit filed by a sky-diving instructor. The department had argued that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act did not explicitly cover sexual-orientation discrimination in the workplace, a stance that put it at odds with another federal body, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Deputy Says He Thought Gunfire Was Outside
The only armed sheriff’s deputy on campus during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, disputed Monday that he violated police protocol by not entering the building to hunt down the gunman, and rebuked the sheriff for portraying him as a “coward.” Scot Peterson, a former deputy with the Broward County sheriff’s office, said in a statement released by his lawyer that he thought the gunfire originated from outside and reacted accordingly by waiting for the suspect there. His statement appeared to contradict Sheriff Scott Israel, who has said Peterson should have immediately charged the building.
Melania Trump Offers Support for Student Protesters After Florida Shooting
In rare public remarks Monday, the first lady, Melania Trump, voiced support for the student-led demonstrations that have unfolded after a school shooting left 17 dead in Parkland, Florida, many of which have called for gun restrictions her husband has resisted. “I have been heartened to see children across this country using their voices to speak out and try to create change,” Trump said. “They’re our future and they deserve a voice.” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in a briefing Monday that the president also supported the student protesters.
Newest Justice, Seen as Key Vote, Is Silent During Arguments on Unions
A crucial voice was silent at Supreme Court arguments Monday in a case that could deal a sharp blow to public unions. Justice Neil Gorsuch, who almost certainly holds the decisive vote, asked no questions, leaving some doubt about whether he would join the court’s conservative majority to rule that forcing workers to support public unions violates the First Amendment. Gorsuch generally votes with the court’s conservatives, and he is likely to do so in this case. But his silence during the argument meant that observers knew no more about his thinking when it ended than when it had begun.
Suit to Legalize Marijuana Nationwide Is Rejected
A federal judge in New York tossed out a sweeping lawsuit Monday that sought to make marijuana legal under federal law, ruling that the plaintiffs had failed to take the necessary first step of asking the Drug Enforcement Administration to remove cannabis from its list of dangerous substances. The ruling by the judge, Alvin K. Hellerstein of U.S. District Court in Manhattan, was a defeat for the plaintiffs — among them a former professional football player who owns a company that sells pot-based pain relievers and a 12-year-old girl who treats her chronic epilepsy with medical marijuana.
Georgia Republicans Vow to Kill Airline Tax-Cut Bill After Delta Ends NRA Discount
The lieutenant governor in Georgia threatened Monday to kill a proposed lucrative tax cut for Delta Air Lines after the company eliminated a discount fare program for the National Rifle Association over the weekend. The move by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who presides over the state Senate, immediately put the legislation in jeopardy and put him at loggerheads with other top state officials, including the governor, who had championed the tax deal. The showdown between one of Georgia’s most powerful politicians and one of the state’s largest employers was the latest clash in a national debate around guns.