In it, but not of it. TPM DC

It’s been nearly a month since the Supreme Court issued a string of decisions that roiled conservatives’ faith in Chief Justice John Roberts' court. But Republicans are not backing down from their push to drastically alter the judicial branch.

Conservatives had already been looking into ways to undermine the Supreme Court’s authority ahead of its decision to legalize same-sex marriage. But when that decision, along with one upholding a provision in Obamacare, came down in late June, their frustrations reached a fever pitch.

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Republican presidential candidate and noted abortion flip-flopper Donald Trump has yet to make a statement on a pair of sting videos that allege Planned Parenthood affiliates are selling tissue from aborted fetuses for profit.

His silence on the issue enraged conservative commentators and right-leaning political observers on two levels. On one hand, they blasted the mainstream media for conveniently glomming onto the latest Trump sound bite instead of substantively covering the sting videos. On the other hand, they suggested the real estate mogul was missing an opportunity to use his high profile to draw further attention to the Planned Parenthood controversy.

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The Republican-controlled Congress can still kill President Obama's Iran deal, but to do so, it faces an uphill battle.

Now that the historic deal, which would lift international sanctions in return for new limits on the Iranian nuclear program, has been announced, Congress has the ability to weigh in on it under the legislation signed by the president in May.

Under the process outlined by the legislation, Obama will report the details of the negotiation to Congress, upon which a 60-day clock will start ticking for Congress to act. It can vote to approve the deal, vote to disapprove it, or simply do nothing. If it votes against the deal, it would have the legal effect of maintaing U.S. sanctions on Iran, which would effectively kill the deal.

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The timing of last week’s unexpected fight in Congress over the Confederate flag could not have been much worse for congressional Republicans. If GOP leaders don’t get a handle on the issue soon, the debate could undermine their position on their major agenda issues, particularly in the high stakes budget battle expected this fall.

Their plan was to strengthen their position in the budget standoff by passing a series of conservative spending bills to show that they could govern and to put negotiating pressure on Obama and Democrats in the budget process. But with the standoff over the Confederate flag, none of the spending bills are going anywhere immediately. That has created a roadblock with no clear way around it for Republicans, all due to the party's reluctance to abandon the flag entirely.

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As Republicans face a withering blowback for embracing the display of Confederate flags on National Parks and federal cemeteries, Democrats are looking to capitalize on the misfire and draw attention to Republican reluctance to let go of the Confederate flag.

The procedural maneuvering is a little complicated, but the gist is this: Late Wednesday night Republicans introduced an amendment that would have reversed a previously passed Democratic amendment restricting the display of Confederate flags at federal cemeteries.

Democrats were quick to decry the sneak-attack reversal, carrying with them to the House floor poster boards bearing the Confederate flag. The backlash was so immediate and fierce that by Thursday morning the House GOP leadership was forced to cancel a vote on a major Interior appropriations bill that contained the flag provision.

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Wisconsin Republicans may have swiftly backtracked on a proposal that would have gutted the state’s open records law, but the big question remains as to who inserted the language into the budget bill in the first place and whether Gov. Scott Walker (R) -- who was already facing a lawsuit challenging him to release certain legislative documents -- was involved in pushing the changes.

The changes to the public records law were initially approved by the Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Finance Committee by a party-line vote Thursday evening, before the long Independence Day weekend. But a fierce backlash prompted Republican leaders, led by Walker, to announce during the holiday weekend they were dropping the provisions. The proposal, part of a budget package known as Motion #999, would have removed a number of legislative documents from under the scope of government transparency laws, and would have permitted lawmakers to opt out of submitting to other types of public records requests. The proposal appeared to target communications tracking how legislation is developed, which often reveals the influence of special interests.

So far, Republicans have stayed mum on who initially pushed for the changes, though it has emerged in the last 72 hours that most of leadership chain was at the very least aware of them before they were put in front of the Joint Finance Committee on Thursday. As for Walker's role, the specifics of his involvement, if any, remain unknown. But the consensus in Madison is nothing would have gotten that far in the legislative process without at least Walker's tacit approval.

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While a case the Supreme Court decided in favor of the death penalty Monday focused on the use of a singular execution drug, Justice Stephen Breyer broke new ground in a dissent joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing that it was “highly likely” that capital punishment as a whole violated the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

“[R]ather than try to patch up the death penalty’s legal wounds one at a time, I would ask for full briefing on a more basic question: whether the death penalty violates the Constitution," Breyer wrote.

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Leading LGBT groups were planning for all contingencies that could have come out of Friday's Supreme Court gay marriage decision. But just because the high court granted them a win doesn't mean their work is over.

“There we will be a lot of work by a lot of different people to enforce a Supreme Court victory,” Camilla Taylor, Lambda Legal’s Marriage Project Director, told TPM earlier this week before the decision.

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