In it, but not of it. TPM DC

House Republicans have hired a new lead attorney to handle their lawsuit against President Barack Obama over his unilateral tweaks to Obamacare.

William A. Burck of the firm Quinn Emenual Urqhart & Sullivan has been retained, after David Rivkin backed out under pressure his firm faced from other clients, a House Republican aide with knowledge of the lawsuit said.

As Burck notes in his official biography, he was the defense counsel for Maureen McDonnell, wife of now-convicted Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), in his recent high-profile political corruption trial.

The news was first reported by David Drucker of the Washington Examiner.

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UPDATE: 4:05 p.m. In an unexpected twist, Kobach's office is ordering election officials to send out overseas military ballots without a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate. His office would not say, however, what would happen next if the state Democratic Party eventually nominated a new candidate, as Kobach has said they should.

More here.

After his Thursday defeat at the Kansas Supreme Court, Secretary of State Kris Kobach unveiled a new plan to make sure a Democratic candidate is on the ballot in the state's Senate race. He would push back the mailing date for ballots sent to overseas military members and argue under state law that Democrats must name somebody to replace withdrawn nominee Chad Taylor.

But to move the mailing date for overseas military ballots from Sept. 20 to Sept. 27, as Kobach said Thursday that he would, he would need federal approval. And as of Friday afternoon, federal officials told TPM, he hasn't sought it.

The federal MOVE Act requires state election officials to send ballots to overseas military voters 45 days before the election. That would be Sept. 20 this year. States are, however, allowed to request a waiver if an "undue hardship" resulting from a legal contest arises -- and election law experts say that this circumstance would likely qualify.

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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) isn't backing down after the state Supreme Court blocked him from keeping Democratic Senate nominee Chad Taylor on the November ballot. He is now demanding that the Democratic Party select a new candidate, arguing that state law requires it.

What Kansas Democrats are actually going to do, though, remains unclear. If, as is widely believed, Taylor's withdrawal was a ploy by the party to funnel Democratic voters to independent candidate Greg Orman and unseat long-time incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, naming a new nominee doesn't make much sense. But Kobach seems intent on forcing the issue.

A spokesperson for Kobach confirmed to TPM that he believed state law required the party to fill the vacancy. He said he would consider suing the Democratic Party to compel them to name a replacement if they didn't do it on their own.

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House Republicans' campaign chief rolled his eyes on Friday over comedian Bill Maher's push to oust six-term Rep. John Kline (R-MN) in November.

"He's all about ratings. It's showbiz. That is what it is," National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Greg Walden (R-OR) told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, when asked about Maher's campaign.

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Almost simultaneously, BuzzFeed and Politico published extensive stories Wednesday on what they described as the troubled leadership of Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The Politico story in particular was full of anecdotes from Democratic insiders wielding shivs: She's tone deaf and tried to use party money to pay for her own clothes. She's grasping and more concerned with her own personal ambitions than the fate of the party. She's so relentlessly self-promotional that even President Barack Obama has grown tired of her -- and he lets it show.

Some folks within the Democratic Party are clearly dissatisfied with her leadership. But who exactly has their knives out for Wasserman Schultz? And what's their angle? That's a little more opaque.

What we do know, though, is that some kind of change could be coming to the DNC very soon. The party is expected to have a presidential frontrunner after the new year -- when presumed nominee Hillary Clinton has said she'll make her decision about whether to run -- and presidential candidates tend to want their own people at the top of the party. It might not be normal for a not-yet-nominated candidate to get their pick of party chair (and publicly, she surely won't), but nothing is normal about the potential Clinton 2016 bid. And combined with the attacks on Wasserman Schultz, it certainly seems that a new chair is not to be ruled out.

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