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Super Tuesday on March 1: What does it mean for US presidential Primaries

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Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton were the big winners Saturday, February 21 in the latest round of US presidential primary voting. Trump easily prevailed in the South Carolina primary while Clinton won a narrow victory over Senator Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucuses.

The two now are in driver’s seat and have a psychological advantage over their rivals.
As you might know, Presidential elections will happen in November this year and the newly elected President will assume office in January of 2017, replacing Barack Obama.

What are Primaries or caucuses: As part of inner -party democracy, presidential aspirants have to fight among themselves to secure a ticket or nomination for the election from the respective party. These primary elections (called primaries or caucuses) are held state-wise in the US. So far, 3 primaries have happened- in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. From the Republican side, Donald Trump is leading, while in Democratic party primaries, Hillary Clinton is leading.

On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, as many as 11 states will hold primaries together, thus called Super- Tuesday. Naturally, who so ever winds, will be marching ahead with much more force and conviction.

As primaries keep going, candidates keep dropping out of the race. Typically, at some point, only one candidate is left in the fray with clear lead (or at least so much lead that trailing candidates see no point in contesting further)and the party nominates him/her for the Presidential elections.

Presidential elections in the US are long drawn battles and it takes a mammoth amount of money to contest. In the world’s strongest democracy, money makes the mare go, rest stand no chance how influential they may be. Without money, you do not stand a chance to be visible.

VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has a wrap-up of the Saturday voting from Washington….
The video is brought to you by NewsGram in collaboration with VOA.

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U.S. Appeals Court Refuses To Enforce Asylum Ban On Immigrants

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Asylum, Trump
A migrant family from Central America waits outside the Annunciation House shelter in El Paso, Texas, after a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer drops them off. VOA

A divided U.S. appeals court late Friday refused to immediately allow the Trump administration to enforce a ban on asylum for any immigrants who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

The ban is inconsistent with an existing U.S. law and an attempted end-run around Congress, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 decision.

“Just as we may not, as we are often reminded, ‘legislate from the bench,’ neither may the Executive legislate from the Oval Office,” 9th Circuit Judge Jay Bybee, a nominee of Republican President George W. Bush, wrote for the majority.

Refugees, Migrants, Asylum seekers, Trump
Men line up for dinner outside a shelter housing members of the migrant caravan, in Tijuana, Mexico. VOA

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, Steven Stafford, did not have comment. But he referred to an earlier statement that called the asylum system broken and said the department looked forward to “continuing to defend the Executive Branch’s legitimate and well-reasoned exercise of its authority to address the crisis at our southern border.”

Trump proclamation

At issue is President Donald Trump’s Nov. 9 proclamation that barred anyone who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border between official ports of entry from seeking asylum. Trump issued the proclamation in response to caravans of migrants approaching the border.

A lower court judge temporarily blocked the ban and later refused to immediately reinstate it. The administration appealed to the 9th Circuit for an immediate stay of Judge Jon Tigar’s Nov. 19 temporary restraining order.

In a dissenting opinion Friday, 9th Circuit Judge Edward Leavy said the administration “adopted legal methods to cope with the current problems rampant at the southern border.” Nothing in the law the majority cited prevented a rule categorically barring eligibility for asylum on the basis of how a person entered the country, Leavy, a nominee of Republican President Ronald Reagan, said.

Refugees, Migrants, Asylum seekers, Trump
Honduran migrant Genesis Belen Mejia Flores, 7, waves an American flag at U.S. border control helicopters flying overhead near the Benito Juarez Sports Center serving as a temporary shelter for Central American migrants, in Tijuana, Mexico. VOA

Federal law is clear

In his Nov, 19 ruling, Tigar sided with legal groups who argued that federal law is clear that immigrants in the U.S. can request asylum regardless of whether they entered legally.

The president “may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” the judge said in his order.

Also Read: Refugees’ Entitled To Claim The Right To Asylum in The U.S: U.N.

The ruling led to an unusual public dispute between Trump and Chief Justice John Roberts after Trump dismissed Tigar — an appointee of Trump’s predecessor — as an “Obama judge.”

Roberts responded with a statement that the federal judiciary doesn’t have “Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” (VOA)