In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Wednesday's attack at a South Carolina church that left nine black people dead quickly triggered a bipartisan outpouring of emotional responses and prayers from the likely 2016 presidential candidates.

While most said their prayers were with the victims and their families, some went out of their way to denounce what they saw as the root cause of the violence.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said the fatal attack was a "tragic reminder of the ugly stain of racism." Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said the incident was proof that "there’s a sickness in our country." And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said there weren't "words strong enough to describe how evil this is."

The mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. rocked the nation.

The suspected gunman, a white man identified by authorities as Dylann Roof, was captured Thursday. The shooting was reportedly being investigated as a hate crime and one woman, whom the gunman allowed to live so that she could recount the killings, said he had made racial comments.

According to a relative of one of the victims, the woman who'd survived the attack said the gunman couldn't be talked down and had said: "I have to do it. ... You rape our women and you’re taking over our country and you have to go."

Among those killed in the tragedy was South Carolina state Sen. Clementa Pinckney (D), a reverend at the church.

Below are emotional and colorful responses to the shooting in Charleston.

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The leading opponents of same-sex marriage have been attempting to re-write recent American history, where decades of sneering public attacks on gays and lesbians, condemnations of their "lifestyle," and blaming them for a decline of America's moral virtue are quietly forgotten.

Their argument, made in front of the Supreme Court, no less, is that gay marriage bans are not motivated by prejudice toward gays and lesbians, but by a more noble if newfound purpose. In the days to come, the justices will reveal whether they subscribe to this new version of history in a decision that could decide whether gay couples have the right to marry nationwide.

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Donald Trump says he's now the wealthiest candidate in the 2016 presidential race -- but he'll have a hard time convincing his more casual followers that he's serious about being the most qualified person to occupy the Oval Office.

Trump defied the naysayers who predicted he'd never run for President at his announcement rally Tuesday at the Trump Tower in New York City. But his hyperbolic speech contained snatches of the rambling, oddball rants the reality TV star's Twitter followers have come to expect of him.

Trump has embraced "birtherism" and vaccine fear-mongering and made more than a few racially tinged comments over the past few years as he's flirted with running for office in various media appearances and on Twitter.

Here are some of the most notable things Trump has said in the lead-up to the official launch of his presidential campaign.

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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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