In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Ahead of a potentially historic Supreme Court ruling, leading Republicans are vowing to defy any decision that sanctions same-sex marriage and are challenging the very legitimacy of the high court.

With a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges expected before the end of June, conservatives are confronted with what was only a few years ago a nearly unthinkable possibility: a Supreme Court decision that decisively makes same-sex marriage a constitutional right.

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The 20-week abortion ban is poised to get its biggest moment yet when Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) rolls out his own federal version Thursday.

While Graham's bill stands little chance of overcoming an expected Democratic filibuster in the Senate, it shines a light on a measure already on track to be a major 2016 issue and which abortion rights proponents fear looks reasonable enough to voters but is in fact a trojan horse with major legal implications.

While the bans only apply to a relatively small portion of abortions, they are part of a much broader, long-term legal strategy among anti-abortion activists to push the Supreme Court into chipping away at some of the protections established in Roe v. Wade.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has cleared the way for most of a restrictive Texas abortion law -- that among other things requires clinics to meet hospital-like standards and providers to attain special credentials with local hospitals -- to go into effect.

"In plain terms, H.B. 2 and its provisions may be applied throughout

Texas," the appeals court panel said, with the exception of one clinic in McAllen, Texas, where certain provisions had previously been blocked by the Supreme Court. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, all but seven of the clinics in the state stand risk of closing.

The suit, brought by Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of independent providers in the state, was the second federal challenge to Texas' omnibus abortion law, which passed in a special session in 2013 after then-Sen. Wendy Davis filibustered lawmakers' initial attempts to advance it. The law mandates that clinics meet the standards required of ambulatory surgical centers, requires that providers attain special credentials known as "admitting privileges" at local hospitals, bans abortions after 20 weeks and puts restrictions on the use of medication abortion (also known as the abortion pill).

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Republican state lawmakers in Louisiana and anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist are in a war of words over the state's terrible budget options, with Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), a 2016 White House contender, stuck in the middle.

The state faces an enormous $1.6 billion budget shortfall, a reality Jindal blames on falling oil revenues. However, he is one of a number of GOP governors, many of them considering presidential runs, who have found themselves with budget crises due to their unwillingness to raise tax revenue. Jindal's anti-tax orthodoxy has limited legislators' options for balancing the state's budget and means the state is facing the prospect of drastic cuts in key areas like higher education.

For months now legislators have accused Jindal of kowtowing to Norquist's "no tax pledge," which stipulates that taxes cannot be raised unless they’re offset by spending cuts elsewhere. And this weekend they'd had enough. A group of self-described "conservative" Republican state representatives took their complaints to Norquist himself, asking him to give them some wiggle room on raising taxes and to shoot down some Jindal-backed legislation that they say would set a "dangerous precedent" in how government could mask revenue hikes.

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North Carolina state lawmakers are not letting their governor’s veto of a "religious freedom" bill stop them from trying to push through the controversial proposal, which would let local authorities opt out of officiating same-sex marriages. The North Carolina House will be back in session Monday evening to potentially vote on Senate Bill 2, which Republican Governor Pat McCrory previously vetoed out of constitutional concerns. Last week, the state's Republican-led Senate -- by a 32 to 16 vote -- did its part to override his veto, which requires a three-fifths majority in both chambers.

Like similar legislation in Indiana and Arkansas, the proposal is drawing the condemnation of civil rights groups and the business community for appearing to undermine same-sex marriage, which became legal in the state last fall and could be expanded nationwide pending an upcoming Supreme Court ruling.

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