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Updated with arguments

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had tough questions Tuesday for both sides arguing over the future of President Trump's executive order barring refugees and citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.

The Department of Justice has filed a brief with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, responding to a legal challenge to President Trump's executive order on immigration.

The court is set to hear oral arguments by phone on Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET, in the next critical legal test of whether the president's decision to ban travel by people from seven Muslim-majority countries and halt refugee resettlement in the U.S. will be upheld.

Senate Democrats held an all-night session Monday night into Tuesday morning in a last-ditch effort to try to stop President Trump's nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, from being confirmed.

Among those who took to the floor was Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who said it was "difficult to imagine a worse choice to head the Department of Education."

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

On Friday night, U.S. District Judge James Robart ordered a nationwide stay on President Trump's week-old executive order barring refugees and immigrants from seven countries from entering the U.S.  His ruling was broad and did not rule on whether the order was constitutional.

Governor Cuomo’s proposal to pass a constitutional amendment enshrining the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 abortion decision Roe v. Wade into the state’s constitution, is not gaining much traction in the state Senate.

Joe Gratz / Creative Commons

After the Hampden County district attorney announced he was not going to charge police officers in a 2015 assault, the head of the Springfield NAACP and one of the victim’s lawyers expressed concern about too much — and too little — police involvement in the investigation.

Updated at 4:13 a.m. ET Sunday

President Trump's travel ban remains suspended, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied a Justice Department request to stay the suspension of President Trump's order.

The court asked opponents of the ban to respond to the Trump administration's appeal by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PT; the court asked the Justice Department to respond by Monday at 3 p.m. PT.

When we last heard from Philip, an Iraqi interpreter living in Minnesota, he was trying to bring his family to the U.S.

Philip came to the United States in 2013 and was living with Paul Braun, the sergeant of the company he was assigned to in Iraq. Braun and Philip spoke to StoryCorps in 2014.

"You scared me, dude," Philip says. "Your attitude in the beginning and with your Mohawk — "

Updated Feb. 3 at 4:45 p.m. ET

On Thursday the GOP-controlled House voted to overturn an Obama administration rule designed to keep firearms out of the hands of some people deemed mentally ill.

The action was the latest move by congressional Republicans to undo several of President Obama's regulations on issues such as gun control and the environment through an arcane law called the Congressional Review Act.

On Wednesday Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy nominated Gregory D’Auria, a veteran attorney in the state's Attorney General’s Office to serve as an associate justice on the Connecticut Supreme Court.

C-SPAN

President Donald Trump's first National Prayer Breakfast was notable -- not only for his criticism of "The Apprentice" host, actor Arnold Scwarzenegger -- but for his promise to "destroy" the Johnson Amendment.

UMass Amherst

Over the last several days, a UMass Amherst student from Iran has been denied access to a flight out of Tehran, where he traveled over winter break to get married.

Connecticut's perennial debate over road tolls starts again this month, but this year there is more momentum after a state panel recommended automated tolling.

In Washington, D.C., the cognoscenti confidently predict that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will be easily confirmed. But both supporters and opponents are chastened by the predictors' embarrassingly wrong prognostications over the past year. And that is presenting Senate Democrats in particular with a strategic dilemma.

President Trump has gotten his man at the State Department.

Rex Tillerson was approved by a 56-43 vote Wednesday in the Senate. Four senators who caucus with the Democrats crossed the aisle and joined all of the Republicans in voting for Tillerson. They were Democrats Mark Warner of Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, as well as independent Angus King of Maine.

Updated 1:15 p.m. ET

A day after Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted votes to advance the nominations for President Trump's nominees to lead the departments of the Treasury and Health and Human Services, the panel's Republicans met in a surprise meeting Wednesday morning and voted to suspend committee rules to vote on those nominees without Democrats present.

Senate Republicans and conservative groups quickly rallied behind President Trump's nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, as Democrats focused on lingering anger over another jurist: Merrick Garland.

"I had hoped that President Trump would work in a bipartisan way to pick a mainstream nominee like Merrick Garland and bring the country together," Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement in which he pledged a "thorough and unsparing" confirmation process for Gorsuch.

President Trump has selected federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill a Supreme Court seat that has sat vacant for nearly a year, setting up a blockbuster confirmation hearing that could put the new White House's domestic political agenda on trial in the U.S. Senate.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Democratic lawmakers in Connecticut said they’re prepared to protect women’s health care and abortion rights in the state, whomever is confirmed to the vacant Supreme Court seat. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The theme of the past week may well be "protest." Thousands came out to local airports across the country to protest Donald Trump's immigration executive order. Democrats, including Connecticut's own senator Chris Murphy, are speaking out against Trump's executive orders and cabinet nominations.

Greatagain.gov

Connecticut's elected officials paid tribute to the actions of now-former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, and expressed grave concern about the independence of the Justice Department under her likely eventual successor, Jeff Sessions.

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET.

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted planned votes on Tuesday morning to advance the nominations of two Trump Cabinet nominees.

In the U.S., protests, confusion and anger have followed President Trump’s executive order that prevents new refugees from entering the country for 120 days, suspends resettlement for Syrians indefinitely and bars travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days.

A Stony Brook doctoral student has been released after being detained at John F. Kennedy Airport following President Trump’s executive order barring citizens from certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Alex Barth / Creative Commons

Fifty-eight years; fifty states; one governor's commitment to change. This hour: statehood for Puerto Rico -- is it in the cards? We consider what lies ahead for the island under its new leader, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

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