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The disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has caused international controversy.
- Trump vowed "severe punishment" on Saudi Arabia if it's shown the royals had something to do with the vanishing and possible murder of Khashoggi.
- Saudi Arabia faces mounting pressure from Western nations and businesses to explain why the journalist was never seen again after he stepped into the Saudi embassy in Turkey on October 2.
- It's unclear how Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will handle the meeting with Saudis without hard evidence linking officials to the case.
YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images
An official looks from inside the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, on October 12, 2018. - A Saudi delegation has arrived in Turkey for talks on missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, officials said on October 12, with Riyadh and Ankara sharply at odds over how he disappeared last week from the kingdom's Istanbul consulate.<p>The Saudi government, which is effectively ruled by the king's son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been facing mounting pressure from Western nations—the U.S., Germany, France and the U.K—to answer for the strange disappearance.<br></p><p>"As the President has conveyed, the United States is concerned by his disappearance," Pompeo <a href="https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/08/pompeo-journalist-disappearance-saudi-arabia-881100" target="_blank">said in a statement last week</a>. "State Department senior officials have spoken with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through diplomatic channels about this matter...We call on the government of Saudi Arabia to support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation."</p><p>On Friday, a Saudi official announced the opening of an internal investigation into the case. But Turkish officials have accused the Saudi government of failing to cooperate with ongoing investigations, which include attempts to search the house of the consul general.</p><p>"We wanted to come in with all the chemicals and equipment investigators use to inspect crime scenes," a <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/turkey-to-inspect-saudi-consulate-where-khashoggi-went-missing-1539604362" target="_blank">Turkish official said</a>. "The Saudis said we could only get a brief tour."</p><p>Turkish officials, speaking anonymously, also claimed to have evidence showing Khashoggi was <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/turkey-to-inspect-saudi-consulate-where-khashoggi-went-missing-1539604362" target="_blank">killed and dismembered</a> by a team of 15 operatives dispatched from the Saudi capital Riyadh.</p>
Emrah Yorulmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: Flag of Saudi Arabia is seen at Saudi consulate as the waiting continues on the disappearance of Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul, Turkey on October 15, 2018. Khashoggi, a journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, has been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.<p>Meanwhile, the Saudi economy has been taking blows. Facing the possibility of retaliatory U.S. sanctions, many Saudi stocks have plunged over the past two weeks, and some international businesses are placing deals on hold. Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin Galactic, had hoped to collaborate with the Saudi government to boost tourism in the region, and to accept a $1 billion investment into space tourism ventures, but said on Thursday that he might need to cancel those deals if the government had a hand in Khashoggi's death.</p><p>"What has reportedly happened in Turkey ... if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government," <a href="https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/my-statement-kingdom-saudi-arabia" target="_blank">Branson</a> said in a statement.</p><p>Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been accused by multiple sources of using violence to silence critics and dissidents. Khaled bin Farhan al-Saud, a Saudi prince living in exile in Germany, told <em><a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/jamal-khashoggi-missing-khaled-farahan-saudi-arabia-crown-prince-mbs-mohammad-bin-salman-a8579746.html" target="_blank">The Independent</a> </em>that several Saudi officials have disappeared in recent weeks after speaking out about the Khashoggi case.</p><p>"Over 30 times the Saudi authorities have told me to meet them in the Saudi embassy but I have refused every time. I know what can happen if I go into the embassy," he said, adding, "Around 10 days before Jamal went missing they asked my family to bring me to Cairo to give me a cheque. I refused."</p>
Trump's response<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f0c0e4f79a1f2e97d695bf0bd4635155"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wljJ9ep80Mo?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>In an interview with <em>CBS' 60 Minutes</em> on Sunday, Trump promised "severe punishment" if it's shown the Saudi royals played a part in Khashoggi's disappearance.</p><p>"There's something really terrible and disgusting about that, if that was the case, so we're going to have to see," Trump said. "We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment."</p><p>He also suggested on Monday that perhaps "rogue killers" could have been responsible for the journalist's disappearance, but added "who knows." Without hard evidence showing the Saudis killed Khashoggi, or evidence proving the journalist is even dead, it's unclear how Pompeo will handle the meeting with the royals.</p>
West delivered an impassioned speech on American industry and transport, even pitching a high-tech plane to Apple.
- West met with the President to discuss urban revitalization, stop-and-frisk policies, and crime in Chicago, among other topics.
- West praised Trump for his work in office so far, and pleaded for the rest of the country to support its leader.
- West's support of Trump has long been a source of controversy among his fans and fellow artists.
A wild meeting in the Oval Office<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODcxNTU0NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzQwMTk0M30.y-sK5hktiazfxAP73EdtB-Amr89JEl1rdjKR439bv1Q/img.jpg?width=980" id="7b7dd" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b59c0453afb57b8c597559c7ed70727b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />US-PEOPLE-politics-RACE-TRUMP-KANYEUS President Donald Trump meets with rapper Kanye West in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, October 11, 2018. (Photo by SEBASTIAN SMITH / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEBASTIAN SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)<p>"There was something about putting this hat on that made me feel like Superman," said West, who recently made headlines for delivering a similarly excited speech during a segment of Saturday Night Live that ultimately wasn't aired. "You made a Superman - that's my favorite superhero - you made a Superman cape for me."</p><p style="">The White House said West's meeting with the president, which also included a luncheon, was focused on topics like urban revitalization, workforce training, African-American unemployment and crime in Chicago. During the press briefing, West denied rumors that he's considering a 2020 presidential run, suggesting he'd only consider it after Trump's tenure. </p><p> "Let's stop worrying about the future, all we have is today," West said. "Trump is on his hero's journey right now. He might not have thought he'd have a crazy mother-f***r like me (supporting him)." </p><p> West has long drawn criticism from his fans and fellow artists for supporting Trump, an admiration that seems to stem partly from Trump's communication style, as West told a concert crowd in 2016: </p><p> "There's nonpolitical methods to speaking that I like, that I feel were very futuristic. And that style, and that method of communication, has proven that it can beat a politically correct way of communication." </p><p> In May, West caused some outrage when suggested <a href="https://www.vox.com/2018/5/2/17311148/kanye-west-slavery-choice-harriet-tubman-quote-comments-trump" target="_blank">"400 years" of African American slavery seemed like "a choice."</a> He later apologized. Meanwhile, Trump has remained grateful for West's support. </p><p> "He can speak for me any time he wants, he's a smart cookie," said Trump, who seemed at times speechless between West's stream-of-consciousness remarks. "He gets it." </p>
Haley, who's at times been both a supporter and critic of the president, reportedly "shocked" White House officials by announcing the end of her two-year tenure as a U.N. ambassador.
- Nikki Haley has resigned as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
- Haley didn't offer a clear reason why she's stepping down, but said "it's time."
- The resignation reportedly came as a surprise to many White House officials, though Trump said she first floated the idea of stepping down about six months ago.
Why did Haley resign?<p> Without any explicit explanation, there's only speculation about why the U.N. ambassador chose to announce her resignation just weeks ahead of the midterm elections. <br> </p><h2>The South Carolina swap</h2><p> One possibility is that Haley plans to take the Senate seat of Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the state for which Haley spent six years as governor, should he replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general, though Graham said he has no interest in pursuing the position. To gain the Senate seat, Haley would need the approval of South Carolina's governor, Republican Henry McMaster, according to Senate vacancy rules. </p><h2>Clashes with the Trump administration</h2><p> Others note that Haley has had a strained relationship with White House officials like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/09/politics/nikki-haley-resignation-donald-trump/index.html" target="_blank">CNN wrote</a> that "Haley was outwardly very tough within the UN (and the Trump administration), she was reportedly a voice urging more moderation -- and toeing the preferred line of establishment Republicans -- in private." </p><p> Haley has also clashed with Trump himself, perhaps most visibly in April when she announced U.S. sanctions on Russia. Larry Kudlow, the Trump administration's top economic adviser, later told media there were no sanctions and that Haley was confused. Haley shot back on live TV that she doesn't "get confused." </p><p> More recently, Haley penned an opinion piece responding to an anonymous op-ed published by the <em>New York Times</em> in September that outlined a secret resistance inside the White House. Haley <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/when-i-challenge-the-president-i-do-it-directly-my-anonymous-colleague-should-have-too/2018/09/07/d453eaf6-b2ae-11e8-9a6a-565d92a3585d_story.html" target="_blank">wrote</a>: </p><p> "...I don't agree with the president on everything. When there is disagreement, there is a right way and a wrong way to address it. I pick up the phone and call him or meet with him in person." </p><p> The treatment of sexual assault allegations has likely been one area of disagreement between Haley and the president. </p><p> "They should be heard, and they should be dealt with," <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/nikki-haley-says-trumps-accusers-should-be-heard/2017/12/10/bd23e65e-ddd6-11e7-bbd0-9dfb2e37492a_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a1e15a658f16" target="_blank">Haley told <em>CBS </em>in December</a>. "And I think we heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up.</p><h2>2020 presidential run</h2><p> Some have speculated that Haley could be plotting a 2020 presidential bid, though she's denied that and said she plans to campaign for Trump. Still, if Haley does indeed believe that the special counsel investigation could ruin the current administration, she'd be in a unique position to run for office, as Jennifer Rubin noted in an <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/10/09/why-nikki-haleys-resignation-is-no-surprise/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.dbba064b6d4e" target="_blank">opinion piece for the </a><em><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/10/09/why-nikki-haleys-resignation-is-no-surprise/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.dbba064b6d4e">Washington Post</a>: </em></p><p>"She will then be in a position to pick up the pieces, a unifying figure not objectionable to Trump cultists or to the flock of Republicans who when things go downhill will claim they opposed Trump all along. She will be untainted and arguably the most highly credentialed challenger to Trump still within the GOP fold in 2020." </p><h2>Expenses controversy</h2><p> It's also worth noting that the <a href="https://www.citizensforethics.org/" target="_blank">Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington</a>, a liberal nonprofit watchdog group in Washington, issued a report to the State Department on Monday night asking for officials to investigate how Haley and her husband had accepted free flights from businessmen in 2017, which could constitute <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/09/us/politics/nikki-haley-united-nations.html" target="_blank">violations of executive branch rules on accepting gifts</a>.</p><h2>Taking a break</h2><p>Despite rumors of a presidential run, it's also plausible that Haley, who's served in high-level government positions for more than a decade, simply wants to take a break from politics, possibly with the intent to rest or <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/09/politics/nikki-haley-resignation-donald-trump/index.html" target="_blank">make more money</a>.</p><p>"It's been eight years of intense time, and I'm a believer in term limits," Haley told reporters on Tuesday. "I think you have to be selfless enough to know when you step aside and allow someone else to do the job."</p>
Haley is close with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner<p> Haley praised Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in the Oval Office briefing on Tuesday. </p><p> "Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands," Ms. Haley said. "And Ivanka has been just a great friend, and they do a lot of things behind the scenes that I wish more people knew about, because we're a better country because they're in this administration." </p><p> Some have speculated that Trump could pick his daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump to fill the role, noting Haley's positive comments and the fact that Ivanka's Twitter account recently began following many government accounts on Monday. </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en">According to <a href="https://twitter.com/TrumpsAlert?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Trumpsalert</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/IvankaTrump?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@IvankaTrump</a> started following a lot of Defense Department accounts yesterday <a href="https://t.co/J3ZtngjloG">pic.twitter.com/J3ZtngjloG</a><br>— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) <a href="https://twitter.com/dave_brown24/status/1049673145433694208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 9, 2018</a></blockquote><script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/09/us/politics/nikki-haley-united-nations.html" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em> noted</a> some other possible successors, including "Dina Powell, a former deputy national security adviser to the president, and Richard A. Grenell. Mr. Grenell, the American ambassador to Germany, served as spokesman for John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, when he was ambassador to the United Nation under former President George W. Bush."<br></p>
The White House quoted the president as telling ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega that she's "never thanking."
- President Donald Trump made an insulting comment to ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega yesterday.
- The White House transcript of the exchange was incorrect, though it's unclear whether the error was made mistakenly or deliberately.
- The White House later issued a corrected transcript.
U.S. Supreme Court justices receive lifetime appointments to the bench, but many wonder if indefinite terms do more harm to our legal system than good.
- With a second nomination to the Supreme Court, President Trump has the ability to alter the political leanings of the country's highest court for decades.
- The Founding Fathers gave justices and other federal judges a lifetime appointment to prevent them from being influenced by other branches of government.
- Today, many argue that federal judges should be subject to term limits as modern politics and life expectancy have outpaced the Founders' original vision.
The why of lifetime appointments<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODY0MjI5OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NTk3NTg0N30.-0ZZOdmawao0LwfXWv5_uWZ5h4TVQLCRAAWbMr39D1E/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C1325&height=700" id="27509" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4f89b529f0750fc0e053c85e856e337b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="SCOTUS justices are granted a lifetime appointment under Article III, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution." />
A close up of the U.S. Constitution. SCOTUS justices are granted a lifetime appointment under Article III, Section 1.
(Photo by Tetra Images/Getty Images)<p> The U.S. Constitution doesn't specifically grant Supreme Court justices a lifetime appointment. Instead, Article III, Section 1, <a href="https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript" target="_blank">states that</a> federal judges "shall hold their Offices during good Behavior" and… that's it. As long as <a href="https://bigthink.com/risk-reason-and-reality/has-the-supreme-court-become-dishonest-and-untrustworthy-one-of-its-members-thinks-so" target="_blank">federal judges don't commit a crime</a> — and remember their pleases and thank yous — they keep their seat. </p><p> The phrase "during good Behavior" translates to a lifetime appointment because the Founders set no specific term or age limit for service. This means that the only actions that can remove a federal judge are death, resignation, or impeachment by Congress. </p><p> Most federal judges exit by way of death or resignation, with impeachment coming into play sparingly. <a href="https://www.fjc.gov/history/judges/impeachments-federal-judges" target="_blank"> <u>Only 15 federal judges</u></a> in U.S. history have ever been impeached and never a Supreme Court justice. Of the 113 justices to serve, only two have been faced with the threat of impeachment. </p><p> In 1804, the House impeached Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase, but he was not convicted by the Senate, and he continued to serve on the bench until his death in 1811. In 1969, Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas resigned under threat of impeachment. There have been <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/12/12/can-a-supreme-court-justice-be-forcibly-removed-from-the-bench-a-quick-civics-lesson/?utm_term=.73eeffed1b67" target="_blank">other calls for impeachment</a>, of course, but these two stories represent the farthest such actions have managed to hinder a justice's career.</p><p> For the record, justices serve on average <a href="https://www.supremecourt.gov/about/faq_justices.aspx" target="_blank">for 16 years.</a> However, when we only take into consideration justices from after the 1970s, the average jumps to <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dems-choices-for-bench-suprisingly-slim/" target="_blank">26 years</a>. The longest-serving justice was William O. Douglas, who sat on the bench for 36 years, seven months, and eight days.</p>
Reasons for a lifetime appointment<p>This conversation is uniquely American. No other major democracy grants federal judges lifetime tenure. Some have mandatory retirement ages, some set term limits, and <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=701121" target="_blank">some do both</a>. But the Founding Fathers had very specific concerns they were trying to counter with such a far-reaching policy. </p><p> Returning to the Constitution, Article III, Section 1, also states that federal judges shall receive compensation and that compensation "shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office." (As of Jan. 1, 2018, associate justices <a href="https://www.fjc.gov/history/judges/judicial-salaries-supreme-court-justices" target="_blank">receive a salary</a> of $255,300, and the chief justice receives $267,000.) </p><p> The reason the Founders set no term limits goes hand-in-hand with their prohibition on diminishing wages: Both serve to prevent the legislative and executive branches from manipulating the courts. The wording of Article III means that neither the president nor Congress can institute term limits or a pay cut, ensuring judges are secure in their job and beholden to neither branch's whims. </p><p> Alexander Hamilton made this argument overt in <em><a href="http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed78.asp" target="_blank">The Federalist Papers: No. 78</a></em>. "If, then, the courts of justice are to be considered as the bulwarks of a limited Constitution against legislative encroachments, this consideration will afford a strong argument for the permanent tenure of judicial offices," Hamilton wrote, "since nothing will contribute so much as this to that independent spirit in the judges which must be essential to the faithful performance of so arduous a duty."</p><p> These Constitutional freedoms should (in theory) put justices above politics and allow them to rule through a fair, unbiased interpretation of the law. Rising above partisan politics would also allow the Supreme Court to stand as a lawful, <a href="https://schultzstake.blogspot.com/2015/07/getting-money-out-of-politics-two-essays.html" target="_blank"><u>counter-majoritarian</u></a> force that could protect the rights of the minority in the face of popular politics. (Again, in theory. There have been times when the Supreme Court has enshrined popular tyranny into law—looking your way, <a href="https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2932.html" target="_blank"><u><em>Dred Scott v. Sandford</em></u></a><em>.)</em></p><p> When it comes to the idea of imposing term limits, some worry that such an act would set a precedent that allows the other branches of government to further shackle the court's power—effectively negating the checks and balances set by the Founding Fathers. </p><p> "Imagine if Congress all of a sudden thought […] that it should be regulating the Supreme Court on a much more aggressive basis," said Stephen Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, during a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9kCV0JeuVg" target="_blank"><u>National Constitution Center debate on the subject</u></a>. "I worry about a precedent where we start opening the door for Congress—especially <em>this </em>Congress—to flex its muscles, to use its power to try new ways to impose more and more constraints on the independence of the justices." </p>
Should we set term limits on SCOTUS justices?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODY0MjMzMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MTMwOTk2MX0.t_isHAgTXOnF76tcXpbGZjj3Epg3LzvXT89Jk3G_MkA/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C45%2C0%2C594&height=700" id="10190" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e22f5bb76eeb023616683721c10600bc" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. " />
United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Appointed by President Clinton, Justice Ginsburg continues to serve at 85 years old.
(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)