TIME Immigration

White House Hits Back at Appeals Court After Immigration Ruling

"Today, two judges of the Fifth Circuit chose to misinterpret the facts and the law"

The Obama Administration said it is weighing its options in the wake of an appeals court ruling that kept a block on the president’s executive action on immigration.

On Tuesday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to lift an injunction of the president’s action to grant millions of undocumented immigrants temporary reprieve from deportation.

Texas and twenty-five other states are suing the Obama administration over the president’s immigration plan, and a federal judge in Texas blocked the action temporarily in February.

The appeals court on Tuesday rejected the federal government’s argument that the temporary hold is a threat to national security, but the White House accused judges of choosing to incorrectly apply the law. “Today, two judges of the Fifth Circuit chose to misinterpret the facts and the law in denying the government’s request for a stay,” spokesperson Brandi Hoffine said.

“The President’s actions were designed to bring greater accountability to our broken immigration system, grow the economy, and keep our communities safe. They are squarely within the bounds of his authority and they are the right thing to do for the country.”

The lone dissenter on the three-judge panel, Judge Higgison, defended the president’s action, saying that deportation deferrals have existed “for half a century” and that it wasn’t the judicial branch’s place to intervene.

The Department of Justice is evaluating the ruling and considering the appropriate next steps. It’s not immediately clear whether it will appeal. Though the appeals court decided not to remove the temporary block on the immigration plan, the Fifth Circuit Court has yet to rule on whether or not 26 states were right in their initial suit against the President’s order.

The order, it said in a statement, “is consistent with laws passed by Congress and decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as five decades of precedent by presidents of both parties who have used their authority to set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws.”

 

TIME National Security

Obama Calls on Senate to Act on Patriot Act During Recess

Barack Obama,
Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP President Barack Obama speaks to members of the media during his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

“I strongly urge the Senate to work through this recess and make sure that they identify a way to get this done,” Obama said Tuesday

President Obama called on the Senate Tuesday to work through their early summer vacation in order to keep the Patriot Act from expiring in a week.

“I strongly urge the Senate to work through this recess and make sure that they identify a way to get this done,” Obama said, following a meeting with the NATO Secretary General in the Oval Office.

The Senate left town ahead of Memorial Day without passing a bill to either reauthorize or reform the Patriot Act, including portions that have given the National Security Agency leeway to collect massive amounts of data on American’s telephone calls. The House of Representatives came to an agreement and reformed the controversial program, which was revealed in leaks by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. The Senate, however, failed to pass the USA Freedom Act before leaving Washington.

The President said Tuesday that the USA Freedom Act “strikes an appropriate balance” between the intelligence community and American’s privacy, but said failing to affirm remaining Patriot Act authorities puts the nation’s security at risk.

“You have a whole range of authorities that are also embodied in the Patriot Act that are non-controversial, that everybody agrees are necessary to keep us safe and secure,” Obama said. “Those also are at risk of lapsing. So this needs to get done.”

Leaders of both the House and the Senate have been in conversations about a compromise bill that would allow the retention of phone records to continue, with the information remaining stored at the phone companies for a set number of years, where it could be searched by government officials with a court order. Currently, the information is retained by the government, a fact that led Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, to seize the floor of the Senate late last week for 11 hours, helping to prevent a resolution of the issue before the recess.

The Patriot Act expires on June 1.

TIME Foreign Policy

Obama Restates Support of Israel in Synagogue Speech

President Barack Obama delivers remarks in celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month at Adas Israel Congregation May 22, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images President Barack Obama delivers remarks in celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month at Adas Israel Congregation May 22, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

President Obama sought to reassure American Jews that he fully supports the state of Israel while reiterating the need for a two-state solution at a Northwest Washington synagogue on Friday.

“Our commitment to Israel’s security and my commitment to Israel’s security is and always will be unshakable,” Obama said, adding that not doing so would be a “moral failing.”

Obama spoke at the Adas Israel Synagogue on the inaugural “solidarity sabbath,” a holiday meant to consolidate support for Jews amid rising anti-Semitism that falls toward the end of Jewish Heritage Month. On Friday, lawmakers were slated to appear in congregations across the country to mark the day.

In the wake of attack at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a string of anti-Semitic attacks across Europe, there’s been growing attention to the persecution of Jews across the world. Obama noted that the rise of anti-semitism should not be treated as “passing fad.”

“When we allow anti-Semitism to take root, our souls are destroyed,” Obama said. “It will spread.”

The statements follow a wide-ranging interview published by The Atlantic on Thursday, in which President Obama stressed his love for the Jewish state of Israel, telling commentator Jeffrey Goldberg that supporting the rights of Jews abroad is equivalent to supporting the freedom of African-Americans at home.

“There’s a direct line between supporting the right of the Jewish people to have a homeland and to feel safe and free of discrimination and persecution, and the right of African Americans to vote and have equal protection under the law,” he said. “These things are indivisible in my mind.”

On Friday, he reiterated those sentiments, reflecting on his own introduction to the Israeli community. “For a young man like me grappling with his own identity, Obama said, “the idea that you could be grounded in your history as Israel was but not be trapped by it. That idea was liberating”

Obama’s statements to Goldberg and before the congregation at Adas Israel on Friday come amid nuclear negotiations Iran that have put strain on one of the U.S.’ closest relationships. But he made clear Friday that criticism is not going to change his mind.

“I want Israel, in the same way that I want the United States, to embody the Judeo-Christian and, ultimately then, what I believe are human or universal values that have led to progress over a millennium,” he told Goldberg.

And on Friday, before a crowd in a packed synagogue where the rabbi called him a “champion of freedom,” Obama sought to reassure the congregation that he could be both a friend and a critic of Israel.

“It’s precisely because I care so deeply … that I feel a responsibility to speak out honestly about what I feel,” he said.

TIME politics

Senator Says Republican Plan If Obamacare Struck Down Is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Junior United States Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy addresses journalists in Budapest on Jan. 31, 2014.
Attila Kisbenedek—AFP/Getty Images Junior United States Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy addresses journalists in Budapest on Jan. 31, 2014.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Affordable Care Act this summer

A Democratic Senator used a popular Internet symbol on Thursday to describe what he says is the Republican plan should the Supreme Court strike down the Affordable Care Act.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy presented a poster with an enlarged image of the “shruggie”, or ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, during his speech. Murphy said the image was a “pretty good summary of what the Republicans plan is to respond to King v. Burwell.

“The Republicans plan,” Murphy said, “is essentially a shrug of the shoulders.”

The court is expected to issue a ruling this summer. Watch the full clip below.

Read next: 4 Ways the Supreme Court Could Rule on Obamacare

TIME Education

Mom Attends High School Graduation in Late Son’s Place

A Chicago area woman sat among students at Thornton Fractional North High School's graduation in honor of her son who died in a car crash

A mother mourning the loss of her son took his place at the high school graduation ceremony on Wednesday that he was supposed to attend.

Katherine Jackson’s son, 18-year-old Aaron Dunigan, died in a weekend car crash in suburban Chicago after his senior prom, NBC Washington reports. Dunigan was the passenger in a vehicle that crossed over a median and collided with another car; the driver of the car Dunigan rode in was charged with DUI causing death, as well as reckless homicide with a motor vehicle.

On Wednesday, Jackson took her son’s spot among the graduates of Thornton Fractional North High School and walked the stage to receive his diploma.

“[My son] knows his mom never walked the stage,” she said. “I’m going to be his legs and he’s going to be my wings and we’re going to go up there and get our diploma.”

Dunigan, a quarterback, was set to play football at Southern Illinois University in the fall.

[NBC Washington]

TIME movies

Reese Witherspoon to Star in Live-Action Tinker Bell Movie

Reese Witherspoon visits "The Late Show with David Letterman" at the Ed Sullivan Theater on May 5, 2015 in New York City.
Donna Ward—Getty Images Reese Witherspoon visits "The Late Show with David Letterman" at the Ed Sullivan Theater on May 5, 2015 in New York City.

The 39-year-old actress will produce and play the lead in Tink

One of Disney’s most beloved fairies will come to life in a live-action feature and Reese Witherspoon will be its star.

The 39-year-old actress, whose film with Sofia Vergara called Hot Pursuit recently hit theaters, will produce and star in Tink as the fiery character known for her love of the boy who would not grow up, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Victoria Strouse, who is also working on a Finding Dory sequel for the beloved Pixar film Finding Nemo, is writing the script.

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter.

TIME celebrities

Josh Duggar Responds to Child Molestation Claims: ‘I Acted Inexcusably’

19 Kids and Counting star responds to accusations

Josh Duggar, the eldest son in the family chronicled in TLC’s series 19 Kids and Counting, has spoken out after it emerged he had been accused of child molestation in the past.

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Duggar, who was accused as a teenager of molesting five underage girls, told PEOPLE in a statement. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation.”

Duggar, 27, who has since resigned from his role at the Family Research Council, said his parents took him to the authorities and later arranged for him and his victims to receive counseling. In a statement to PEOPLE, his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, reaffirmed their support for their son and called the events “one of the most difficult times of our lives.”

“I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions,” Duggar added. “I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”

Read more at PEOPLE

TIME justice

Six Baltimore Officers Indicted in Freddie Gray’s Death

Gray died April 19, a week after his arrest

Six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray have been indicted by a grand jury, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced Thursday, the latest milestone in a case that brought riots and protests to the city and reignited the national debate over police force.

Gray, 25, died on April 19, a week after suffering a severe spinal injury in police custody after being arrested over a knife in West Baltimore. Mosby said Thursday that the charges against the officers—Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Garrett E. Miller, Edward M. Nero, William G. Porter, Brian W. Rice and Alicia D. White—were similar to what she had announced on May 1.

“As is often the case, during an ongoing investigation, charges can and should be revised based upon the evidence,” Mosby said, declining to take questions. Additional charges were brought against three officers, she said, while three others had a charge of false imprisonment dropped. A charge of reckless endangerment was added to the earlier charges against all six officers.

Goodson remains charged with the most serious of the charges against the officers, called second-degree depraved-heart murder.

Marc Zayon, who represents Nero, told the Baltimore Sun that he was “quite confident” of securing an acquittal after the charge of false imprisonment and one of the second-degree assault charges were dropped against his client.

Ivan Bates, one of White’s attorneys, told the Sun he “looks forward to trying this case against Mrs. Mosby herself and proving that Sgt. Alicia White is innocent.”

MORE: What Is ‘Depraved Heart Murder’?

Mosby said Gray’s injury occurred while he was being handcuffed and put head-first into a police van. She added that his pleas for aid were repeatedly ignored. Attorneys for the officers had previously called for Mosby to be dismissed from the case for what they claimed as potential conflicts of interest or bias. The Justice Department began a civil rights investigation into the city’s police department after Gray’s death.

In an interview with CNN, Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin said he wasn’t surprised by Thursday’s announcement, adding, “Now it’s up to our court system to process this.”

Read next: Why Charges in the Freddie Gray Case Came Quickly

TIME Education

See the Best Advice Given to 2015 Graduates in Under 3 Minutes

From Michelle Obama, George W. Bush and more

Commencement speeches are chock full of inspiring words, delivered to students as they prepared for life in the real world. This year’s speeches were no different.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told the Tufts University class of 2015 that their graduation day was one of their most important life milestones. The others, she said, are “birth, death, marriage, and the day you pay off your student loans.” First Lady Michelle Obama told Tuskegee University’s graduating class to stay true to “the most real, most sincere, most authentic parts of yourselves.” And former President George W. Bush reminded the “C” students of Southern Methodist University that they, too, could one day become President.

These quirky quips are some of many gems thought leaders have dropped on graduating classes this commencement season. Watch the video above for more motivating words to graduating scholars.

Read more: 4 Commencement Speeches to Get You Through the Week

Read more: President Obama to Grads: We Should Invest in People Like You

TIME LGBT

Boy Scouts President Says Ban on Gay Leaders Not Sustainable

“The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained,” Robert Gates said Thursday

Boy Scouts President Robert Gates called for an end to the organization’s ban on gay adult leaders.

During a speech Thursday at the Boy Scouts’ annual national meeting in Atlanta, Gates said the ban is no longer sustainable and called for a change. Gates, who is the former U.S. Secretary of Defense, said the ban could lead to tough legal battles, the Associated Press reports

“The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained,” he said, though according to NBC News he did not announce a formal change on Thursday.

Though the Boy Scouts of America now accepts gay scouts, a ban on openly gay troop leaders remains in place. Some councils, including one in New York, have defied that ban by allowing openly gay leaders to serve, but the national ban is still in effect. Gates said Thursday that could change soon.

Gates’ statement is being well-received by those in the scouting community who have been pushing for a removal of the ban. Scouts for Equality executive director Zach Wahls said in a statement he was “proud” that Gates is “chartering a course towards full equality in BSA.”

“Dr. Gates has built his reputation on straight talk, and I’m glad he’s fully endorsing a re-evaluation of the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay adults,” said Wahls. “It seems like the Boy Scouts will continue an internal dialogue about the subject and that a full vote within the next year or two is imminent.”

GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis called it a good first step. “We are pleased that Roberts Gates has acknowledged what has always been true – this discriminatory ban needs to be dropped,” Ellis said in a statement. “There is much more left to be done until full equality prevails in Scouting, but recognizing how out of step the ban is with basic fairness is a good first step.”

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