5 things for Wednesday, February 8, 2017: Trump travel ban, Elizabeth Warren, New Orleans tornado

travel ban oral arguments sidner lklv nr_00004810
travel ban oral arguments sidner lklv nr_00004810


    Judges grill lawyers during travel ban hearing.


Judges grill lawyers during travel ban hearing. 02:45

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(CNN)Good morning from the CNN Center in Atlanta, where it's still too soon for jokes about the Falcons' epic Super Bowl collapse. Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

1. Travel ban

A trio of federal judges is expected to rule this week on President Trump's travel ban, after a fiery hearing on whether to reinstate it. The Justice Department argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel that the courts don't have the authority to block Trump's ban of travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries because it involves national security. Lawyers from Washington state, which along with Minnesota is challenging the ban, said the executive order is not just a travel ban but a Muslim ban -- because that's what Trump called it during his campaign. Whichever way the judges rule, this hot potato seems bound for the Supreme Court.

    2. US Senate

    Who knew that quoting a civil rights icon would elicit a Senate smackdown? But that's what happened to Elizabeth Warren, who was pretty much told to shut up and sit down as she tried from the Senate floor to read a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr. The letter was critical of Sen. Jeff Sessions, then a nominee for a federal judgeship. Now he's the nominee for attorney general. King accused Sessions of trying to stop black people from voting. When Warren read that section, her GOP colleagues howled and accused her of breaking an arcane rule that bars senators from trashing each other. Now Warren is barred from speaking from the floor for the rest of the debate on Session's nomination. #LetLizSpeak is trending.

    3. New Orleans tornado

    Destroyed and damaged homes are seen in this aerial photo after a tornado tore through eastern New Orleans, on Tuesday, February 7.
    A tornado ripped through a New Orleans neighborhood, causing some injuries and destroying property. Thankfully, no one was killed. The twister, with winds as strong as 135 mph, demolished homes and flipped cars as it cut a 2-mile long path across an area that flooded badly in Hurricane Katrina. It was one of seven confirmed tornadoes that hit southeast Louisiana.

    4. Florida manhunt

    The search for an accused killer and his alleged accomplice is over. William "Billy" Boyette Jr. apparently shot himself while holed up in a motel in Georgia. Shots rang out just after Mary Barbara Craig Rice, the woman who cops say had been on the run with Boyette, surrendered to police. The two were wanted in four killings over the past week in south Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

    5. Betsy DeVos

    Betsy Devos is education secretary, but it took a bit of history to make it happen. Her Senate confirmation vote was tied at 50 after two Republicans voted against her (her lack of experience with public schools and her Senate hearing performance drew criticism). So Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie. It was the first time a veep had to do that for a Cabinet nominee. Half of President Trump's Cabinet is now in place. That's considerably behind where George W. Bush and Barack Obama were with their nominees at this point in their presidencies.


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