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Vox Sentences: The case for Trump’s ban would be much stronger without Trump

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Dara Lind and Dylan Matthews. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

Both sides gear up for a legal battle over President Trump's immigration order.

Status quo ante EO

  • Immigration to the US is working more or less as it was two weeks ago. [Plain Dealer / Brian Albrecht]
  • After a federal judge temporarily froze President Trump's executive order banning people from seven majority-Muslim countries (and nearly all refugees) from entering the US, the federal government began restoring the tens of thousands of visas it had revoked. [Washington Post / Robert Barnes, Matt Zapotosky, and Abby Phillip]
  • The Trump administration is trying to appeal the judge's temporary restraining order (something that you usually can't do). The Ninth Circuit refused the federal request to immediately stay the order, but will allow the government to make its case tomorrow in an oral argument. [BuzzFeed News / Chris Geidner]
  • It's unlikely that the liberal Ninth Circuit is going to side with the Trump administration on the stay — especially when it's unusual for this type of motion. That will force the Trump administration to decide if it wants to escalate this all the way to the Supreme Court, or just wait one to two weeks for the lower court to decide what it's going to do next. [Josh Blackman]
  • If the Trump administration doesn't push it, the law might actually be on its side here. [Lawfare / Peter Spiro]
  • But who are we kidding? This is Donald Trump. His response to Friday's ruling was to spend the weekend blaming the judge for future terrorist attacks. He will push it, and that makes it more likely he'll lose. [Lawfare / Jack Goldsmith]

Romanians keep to the streets

Protester in Romania Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images
  • Protests in Romania — the largest since the fall of communism — have forced the government to shelve an "emergency decree" that would have loosened anti-corruption laws. [NYT / Rick Lyman and Kit Gillet]
  • The decree would have made corruption a jailable offense only if the amount in question was over $48,000; conveniently, this would prevent the current leader of the Social Democratic Party (who is facing charges of defrauding the state of about $26,000) from serving prison time. [BBC]
  • The current Social Democratic-led government has only been in power since a December election; the last time the party was in power, in 2015, the prime minister was forced to resign in the face of mass protests involving, among other issues, corruption. [NYT / Kit Gillet and Palko Karasz]
  • All of this is to say that this is an issue Romania has been struggling with for some time. But it's been improving — which made the emergency decree so disheartening to some. [FT]
  • (The government's argument for the decree is that the judiciary and prosecutors are still a little overzealous in a communist-holdover sort of way, which might be true but might not justify such a broad loosening.) [BBC / Nick Thorpe]
  • The reversal of the decree hasn't been enough to slow protests, though. Some protesters want to see ministers fired; some want the whole government to step down. [The Guardian / Carmen Fishwick and readers]

Make America Brady Again

Falcons vs. Patriots Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
  • Donald Trump won Super Bowl LI. Well, the New England Patriots won, but — given how closely identified Trump is with quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick — that's kind of the same thing. [SB Nation / Charlotte Wilder]
  • The Patriots' win seemed like a cold reversal of fortune after a night of celebration of progressive cultural values, from Lady Gaga mashing up "God Bless America" and "This Land Is Your Land" during the halftime show... [Helen Rosner via Twitter]
  • commercials that, even though they were conceived and filmed months in advance, totally seemed like a celebration of diversity instead of an attempt to get millennials to buy products from woke megabrands. [Vox / Caroline Framke and Todd VanDerWerff]
  • The culture-war narrative is misleading, though. In reality, only about a quarter of America was rooting for the Patriots — which means three-quarters of America were, one presumes, utterly deflated by the team's epic second-half (and overtime) comeback. [SB Nation / Charlotte Wilder]
  • Maybe Vladimir Putin will give Patriots owner Bob Kraft his 2005 Super Bowl ring back now. [NY Post / Marisa Schulz]


  • His chief strategist ran a viciously anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim news site with a section devoted to "black crime." His senior adviser worked with Richard Spencer at Duke. At what point do we just start describing the Trump administration as white nationalist? [Slate / Jamelle Bouie]
  • Women's chess world champion Hou Yifan was outraged that she kept getting matched against women at a chess tournament in Gibraltar. So she purposely threw a match in protest. [The Guardian / Leonard Barden]
  • Sex ed in the US isn't great for anybody. But for autistic LGBTQ people, it's a veritable nightmare. [Slate / Daniel Summers]
  • How "relative deprivation" theory helps explain both Trump's victory and the Women's March against him. [NPR / Danielle Kurtzleben]
  • Six words: Run the Jewels. Tiny Desk Concert. [NPR / Run the Jewels]


  • "If a novelist were imagining the Trump presidency, this book, a case study in what can go wrong from the outset of an administration ushered in by a change election in uncertain times, is precisely what Mr. Bannon would be reading." [NYT / Marc Tracy]
  • "I want the culture to treat mental health like physical health. You are not embarrassed to say you are eating a salad, or going on a run or to yoga." [Megan Jones Bell to California Sunday / Diana Kapp]
  • "Then [Curt] Schilling — who is thinking about running for U.S. Senate next year against Elizabeth Warren — chimed in, wishing Kander bodily harm." [Kansas City Star / Lisa Gutierrez]
  • "Bullied at school, but forbidden by his Quaker parents to fight back, he turned to philosophy as his weapon, dismissing his schoolyard persecutors as the 'unwitting followers of David Hume.'" [Washington Monthly / Avi Klein]
  • "The Mosuo matriarchy probably came about as a way of keeping peasants in line … lower classes were strictly matrilineal — meaning property and status were inherited strictly through the mother — so that the nobility were the only men who actually had a family line and could pass on titles and land." [A.V. Club / Mike Vago]

Watch this: How NFL rule changes made linemen gigantic

Football players weren't always this huge. [YouTube / Christophe Haubursin and Gina Barton]