By Zeke J Miller
February 1, 2017

President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court was widely praised as a “home run” among Republicans. Coming at a time where many in his own party aren’t shy about holding their criticism, it was something of a unifying moment, as many of the president’s GOP critics were in the East Room for the announcement. Speaking to reporters afterward, many of the same lawmakers who lambasted Trump over his immigration executive order and other issues were singing his praises—if just for the night. But the good feelings didn’t last for long. By Wednesday morning, after 48 hours of his Administration arguing that the block on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries was not a ban, Trump injected the debate back into the bloodstream. “Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want, it is about keeping bad people (with bad intentions) out of country!” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Democrats are facing the challenge of deciding just how far to push their opposition to Trump’s pick. Still smarting from GOP obstruction of Merrick Garland, some are plotting to go the distance. But ultimately, they will lose. Republicans have been open about their threats to use the “nuclear option” to remove the filibuster on Supreme Court nominations, as Democrats did under Obama for other nominations. That would deprive them of leverage should Trump have the opportunity to make a further pick, as is widely expected.

Trump’s private security questioned. The nominee for Treasury Secretary faces more questions. And the White House walks back a statement.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

President Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court
A surprise until the final moments [TIME]

Will Democrats Stop President Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee?
They intend to try [TIME]

Treasury Secretary Nominee’s Foreign Money Links Bring New Scrutiny
Another roadblock [CNN]

Trump Security’s Use of Force Questioned
Testimony shows confusion, lack of procedures among Trump security aides. [Politico]

Sound Off

“This may be the most transparent judicial selection process in history.” — President Trump announcing his SCOTUS pick

“The default is if you’re qualified for the position then you should be confirmed” — White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, in what is news to Merrick Garland

Bits and Bites

Gorsuch v. Prepositional Phrases [Language Log]

President Trump has already socked away more than $7 million for his 2020 reelection [Washington Post]

Donald Trump Will Continue Targeting Suspected American Terrorists Overseas [TIME]

President Trump’s Immigration Order Could Harm the Fight Against Domestic Terror Some Experts Warn [TIME]

The Homeland Security Secretary Said President Trump’s Visa Ban ‘Wasn’t a Surprise’ [TIME]

Scaramucci fights to stay in the White House [Politico]

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