In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

President Obama announced his nomination Wednesday of Merrick Garland to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Garland is the chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The announcement comes a little more than a month after Scalia died unexpectedly while staying at a resort in Texas in February.

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As stopping Donald Trump from winning the GOP nomination becomes more of a long shot, the choice facing anti-Trump Republicans becomes more complicated. They despise Trump. But do they despise him enough to vote for Hillary Clinton, a figure that attracts a singular brand of hatred and opposition from the Republican Party?

That is the reality the GOP’s Trump foes are increasingly being forced to grapple with. For Republicans worried a Trump nomination could forever rupture their party, saying they would support Clinton instead is a particularly bitter pill.

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It was a dangerous week to be at a Donald Trump event.

First, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski allegedly roughly grabbed Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields Tuesday after a press conference in Florida. She had asked Trump about affirmative action. After an eyewitness report surfaced and a transcript of the incident emerged, Trump's team continued to deny it.

Then, 78-year-old John McGraw, a white man, was criminally charged for allegedly hitting a black protester right in the face Wednesday as the man was being led out of a Donald Trump rally. On Sunday, Trump said he was looking into paying the man's legal fees.

"Maybe he doesn't like seeing what's happening to the country," Trump said on NBC's Meet the Press.

But the violence between those at the Trump rallies and those protesting them took a turn over the weekend. On Friday, a Trump rally was canceled in Chicago after clashes between Trump supporters and protestors erupted. On Saturday, the Kansas City Police Department unleashed pepper spray on protesters outside of a Trump rally, according to CNN.

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When a political consultant from Michigan who has written a book about contested political conventions pops up in the Virgin Islands making a bid to become a delegate to the Republican convention -- along with his wife and two of their pals -- well, it gets your attention.

John Yob, the owner of Michigan-based consulting firm Strategic National and the former national political director for one-time Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), was on the ballot Thursday in the GOP caucus to be a delegate to the 2016 Republican convention from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Yob, who gained campaign experience working for Paul, John McCain and Rick Santorum, made headlines last September after he was allegedly punched at a Michigan bar by a Marco Rubio staffer.

But, in his peculiar quest to become a Virgin Islands delegate to the Republican convention, Yob and three others hit a roadblock, which has led to a bizarre and messy fight against the supervisor of the U.S. Virgin Island's Election Board.

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Bernie Sanders’ upset victory in Michigan was a major shock for Hillary Clinton supporters for many reasons -- not the least of which was the prior polling that showed her beating Sander by 20-plus percentage points.

But the perils of public primary polling aside, Sanders’ Michigan win suggests it’s too soon to write the Democratic socialist and his message of political revolution off. Next Tuesday’s Ohio primary will be the next major test for him to prove he has broadened his appeal and there, his attacks on her stance on trade deals may prove equally effective as they were in Michigan.

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After months of failing to get off the ground, the GOP’s Stop Trump movement is in a mad dash to throw the frontrunner off his path to the 2016 nomination, and the March 15 primaries set up a major -- if not final -- deadline.

Republican elites -- Mitt Romney chief among them -- are angling to block Trump by urging the three remaining non-Trump candidates to stay in the race and harvest delegates in states where they might have an advantage in order to deny Trump the majority of delegates necessary to win the nomination. Marco Rubio's performance in Florida next week is the plan's linchpin.

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Desperate to avert the impending reality that Donald Trump will be named the Republican Party's presidential nominee, some party leaders have been agitating to block him at the GOP convention in Cleveland. Having failed to get their act together to derail Trump at the ballot box, they now hope against hope that they can turn the convention from the traditional coronation into that rare, political unicorn: the contested convention.

No less a figure than former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney laid out a scenario last week where Trump could be denied the nomination at the convention. It requires the candidates remaining in the race to band together and Republican primary voters to begin to cast their vote strategically in favor of whoever can block Trump. He urged Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to put ego aside and work toward one goal: stopping Trump.

"Given the current delegate selection process, that means that I'd vote for Marco Rubio in Florida and for John Kasich in Ohio, and for Ted Cruz or whoever has the best chance to beat Mr. Trump in a given state," Romney said. He reiterated again Friday that this was a scenario where he believed Trump could be stopped, while Kasich told attendees at a conservative confab that a contested convention is where this race is headed.

Political scientists, political junkies and political reporters have dreamed about contested conventions for years. Now they are in the grips of the contested convention fantasy made suddenly real by Romney. But experts on the convention process and the complicated politics surrounding such a move argue it will be exceedingly difficult to stop Trump at the convention -- and gravely damaging to Republican electoral prospects in the fall and perhaps beyond, even if it is successful in preventing Trump from the securing the nomination.

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Frank Gaffney is back at the Conservative Political Action Conference that for a time shunned his extremist views.

Gaffney, the founder for the Center For Security Policy, led a panel Thursday titled "Countering the Global Jihad" where he invited some of Europe's most notorious anti-Muslim voices to weigh in on how the Western world should be combatting the perceived threat of Islam.

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