In it, but not of it. TPM DC

In a not unexpected move, immigrant advocates filed a lawsuit Thursday taking on a federal court ruling that blocked President Obama's 2014 executive actions providing deportation relief to certain undocumented immigrants.

The lawsuit argues that the federal judge who blocked the implementation of the programs -- Andrew Hanen, a conservative in southern Texas -- did not have the authority to impose a nationwide injunction. Because the Supreme Court was evenly divided when Hanen’s order was appealed to the eight justices, the new lawsuit could open the door for Obama's actions to go back into effect for at least some undocumented immigrants living in other parts of the country.

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Donald Trump and his campaign have spent the last several days issuing puzzling statements about eradicating detention centers and potentially reversing his original plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. It still may be too soon to know if Trump's backtracking is intentional or just classic Trump hip shooting, but one thing is certain.

No matter which policy prescriptions for immigration Trump finally lands on, the Republican Party's fortunes with Latino voters are inextricably tied to a candidate who has already done long-term damage to the Republican brand.

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Texas and four other states, along with some religious medical organizations, filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging a regulation issued by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on transgender health. The challengers say the regulation -- which bans the discrimination of transgender health treatment in federally-funded services -- amounts to numerous statutory and constitutional violations, including infringing on the religious liberty of doctors.

The Becket Fund -- a religious freedom legal advocacy group that successfully sued the Obama administration over the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate -- is also involved with the case

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In January 2013, dismayed and defeated after Barack Obama had won his second term and Democrats had maintained the Senate, House Republicans–intact, but fraying–gathered at the Kingsmill Resort near historic Williamsburg. A GOP pollster familiar to many of them rose and addressed her mostly male audience. Stop, she urged them, talking about rape.

It’s a “four-letter word,” pollster Kellyanne Conway said, according to reports from the time.

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services fired back at the suggestion by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that the agency was wasting money on Obamacare outreach that could be used on Zika funding.

"The last person who should criticize HHS for not being focused on Zika is the Senate Republican leader who has refused to compromise in order to get a clean, bipartisan funding bill to the President’s desk," an HHS spokesperson said in a statement to TPM Friday evening. The statement was in response to a letter McConnell sent to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell Friday hounding her on reports of a new outreach campaign for Obamacare enrollment.

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Paul Manafort, who made his name (and fortune) as a career power lobbyist, political consultant to dictators, and veteran Republican operative, seems to have finally met his match in Donald Trump.

With news that Manafort resigned from the campaign on Friday, less than three months before Election Day, after being sidelined in favor of new hires Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, Trump firmly rebuked the calls for a more professional and traditional campaign that Manafort promised to implement.

Stuck in a bad reality TV show – and with growing focus on his own dealings with pro-Russian forces in the Ukraine – Manafort jumped ship after losing his central role in the campaign. With a candidate whose persona is staked on lobbing off-color remarks over any perceived slight, speaking off script, and spinning his own controversies into news cycles, Manafort's task was perhaps doomed to fail. But maybe not this spectacularly.

In the nearly five months of Manafort’s reign, Trump managed to get into all kinds of trouble. Here are just a few of the best and worst blunders from the Manafort era and the great general election pivot that never quite arrived.

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With the departure of Aetna and other major insurers from a significant swath of Obamacare exchanges, health care industry analysts anticipate a dramatic increase in regions where competition in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces is low come the 2017 plan year. According to a report released Friday by the health care consulting firm Avalere, consumers in seven states are currently expected to have only one carrier option in their ACA marketplaces.

The report additionally compared the level of marketplace competition by geographical regions within each state.

"Avalere experts predict that one-third of the country will have no exchange plan competition in 2017, leaving consumers with few options for coverage," a press release unveiling the report said.

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North Carolina's Republican Party has had an interesting response to a recent appeals court ruling that said a number of voting restrictions passed by the state's GOP legislature were enacted with the intent to discriminate against minorities, specifically African Americans. In their scramble after the ruling, party operatives and local Republican officials have perhaps inadvertently provided more evidence that the restrictions were passed with the intent to discriminate.

The most egregious example was a memo sent by North Carolina Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse to county election officials urging them to continue to push for reductions in voting access, in which he explicitly spelled out a partisan motivation.

The memo came as the state is asking the Supreme Court to reverse the appeal court ruling, and restore for November's election some of the restrictions the appeals court struck down. And it may provide additional fodder for the voting rights advocates fighting the state's restrictions.

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