In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Two GOP factions in the U.S. Virgin Islands are clashing over who should attend what most expect to be the most contentious Republican convention in decades. The intra-party charade is playing out in a dramatic way in a year when a little-recognized U.S. territory could have an outsize role in a contested convention.

The warring factions in the deeply divided U.S. Virgin Islands Republican Party have each put forth their own slate of delegates the convention in Cleveland.

The latest move in the month's old fight came Monday in the form of a press release from Republican National Committeeman Holland Redfield. He claimed that the delegation from the Virgin Islands has been selected and included nine people including six who received the most votes in a party contest in March. The delegates announced Monday, however, were not the same as those announced by U.S. Virgin Islands Republican Party Chairman John Canegata last month.

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The signs that the Supreme Court is grappling with a depleted bench are starting to show. But what has been a trickle of tie-votes, bizarre orders and slowed activity could turn into a series of orders with contradictory effects as the court is confronted with an onslaught of election-related litigation in the lead-up to Nov. 8.

As the last stop for lawsuits challenging voting restrictions and administrative practices, the Supreme Court would normally see an increase in those cases as the 2016 election draws closer. But the ideologically split court will be facing more than the usual uptick in requests for the justices to intervene in legal battles over voting laws. The 2016 election marks the first presidential election since the Supreme Court crippled the Voting Rights Act and ushered in a wave of voting restrictions now tied up in lawsuits.

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The challengers in a Supreme Court case that sought -- and failed -- to cripple public unions are asking the high court to rehear the case once it has a ninth justice, after the court's 4-4 tie in March meant a lower court ruling against them would stand.

The lawyers representing teachers and the religious teachers' organization in Friedrichs v. California Teacher’s Association filed the long-shot petition Friday.

"The current vacancy will inevitably be filled, and once it is, the tie will be broken. It makes sense to hold the case for resolution until the Court is capable of resolving it," the petition said.

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The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday, citing anonymous law enforcement sources, that there are at least four people who've accused former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) of sexual abuse and who authorities deem credible.

The newspaper confirmed the identities of three male victims, one of whom had died and whose name previously had been reported. The Tribune didn't name the other two individuals, citing its policy on not disclosing the names of sexual abuse victims without their consent, while it was unable to confirm the identity of a fourth alleged victim.

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Democrats are gaining ground in six Senate races, and it has everything to do with it becoming increasingly clear that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will be the Republican Party's presidential nominee.

According to a newly released analysis by the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, senate races in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Missouri and North Carolina are looking to be more favorable for Democrats than previously predicted as moderate and independent voters grow disillusioned with the GOP.

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Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) said in a court filing Wednesday that he was "deeply sorry" for decades-old misconduct and "prepared to accept responsibility" for his actions.

A sentencing memo filed by Hastert's lawyers, in which they asked for probation, did not specify the "unfortunate and harmful incidents he caused decades ago."

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With its unanimous decision in Evenwel v. Abbott, the Supreme Court sent a strong message that it was not interested in upending a decades-old interpretation of the foundational principle: one person, one vote. The question is, will the conservative forces who pushed the case listen?

Voting rights advocates saw the decision as a slam-dunk victory that rejected a challenge they contended was a long-shot to begin with. However, the conservative legal activist who brought the lawsuit is claiming he has found a silver lining and is hinting at a coming crusade to take another swing at one person, one vote. While two of the justices seemed at least open to taking another look at “one person, one vote” if another lawsuit showed up at their doorstep, bringing it there would be an uphill challenge.

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The Department of Justice is investigating the decision by election officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, to reduce the number of polling places by about two-thirds ahead of a presidential primary that was wrought with turmoil.

Elizabeth Bartholomew, a spokesperson for Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, the county's top election official, confirmed to TPM Monday that the local elections agency had received a letter from the feds Friday requesting the data the county used when it decided to set up only 60 vote centers. That the office had received the letter was first reported by the Huffington Post.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton had sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting an investigation in which he argued that minority communities were disproportionately affected by the distribution of the vote centers.

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The Supreme Court unanimously ruled against challengers seeking to change the long-held interpretation of the principle of one person, one vote. Siding with a lower court, the 8-member high court held that total population could be used to draw electoral districts.

The decision for the case, Evenwel v. Abbott, was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas each filed concurring opinions.

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