They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

A federal judge declined Tuesday a request by voting rights groups to block temporarily a new voting restriction in three states. The groups are suing a federal official over his unilateral move to approve a proof-of-citizenship requirement to register to vote in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama.

In his order refusing to issue a temporary restraining order on the measure, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon in Washington suggested that he was skeptical the challengers would succeed when a full case was heard on the merits. The order comes after the Department of Justice had signaled it was siding with the voting rights groups, at least when it came to temporarily blocking the requirement.

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In an unusual move Monday, the Department of Justice signaled it would be siding with the voting rights groups and against a federal official over whether proof of citizenship should be required to register to vote in three states.

The groups are suing Brian Newby, the recently appointed executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), over his decision to change the federal voting registration forms in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama to require proof of citizenship. The challengers say adding the requirement to the form violates the National Voter Registration Act and additionally that Newby failed to go through the typical protocols of making the change, which the commission opposed in the past.

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The list of legal troubles Kansas faces in implementing its voter proof-of-citizenship requirement has grown longer. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a new lawsuit challenging the policy, as well as the state's plans to purge 30,000 people from the state's voter rolls because they did not submit a proof of citizenship in the 90-day period mandated by the state.

The lawsuit, Fish v. Kobach, was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City. It is being brought by Kansas residents who say they have been disenfranchised by the requirement. The complaint alleges the requirement that Kansans show proof of citizenship when they register to vote at a driver's license office violates the National Voter Registration Act, also known as the "Motor Voter" law. It also says the move to block the voters who already registered for not showing a proof of citizenship violates a section of the NVRA that outlines when a voter can be removed from a state's voter registration roll.

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Shawna Cox, a leader and one of the few women involved in the Oregon standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, is demanding that the federal government pay her $666 billion.

In a lawsuit she filed in the U.S. District Court in Portland, she claims she was "maliciously prosecuted by State and Federal Bar Association members because they do not want to be held accountable for their subversive activities against the people of the United States of America," according to the Oregonian.

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She thought she'd be on the phone for a few minutes.

KrisAnne Hall, an attorney and self-proclaimed traveling constitutional educator, had called into a livestream radio show Thursday morning to promote her interpretation of the Constitution and applaud the final occupants at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge for a peaceful end to a more than month-long standoff.

But one man, David Fry, was not ready to go.

"I am actually feeling suicidal right now," Fry said after the three others had walked out and surrendered to the FBI.

“When he said 'I am not going,' for us, there was a moment of silence like we had been punched in the gut," Hall told TPM the next day.

The saga unfolded for well over an hour as Hall (pictured below) and internet broadcaster Gavin Seim pivoted from constitutional evangelists to mental health counselors. This had not been part of the plan, but they encouraged Fry to walk out of his tent and into law enforcement custody.

When Fry finally gave up, Hall broke down in tears.

"I don’t think I really fully understood the stress of the situation until the FBI turned off the phone, and we knew that he was safe," Hall said. "You could not see me, obviously, but in my hotel room, my body physically collapsed, and I could not hold back the emotion."

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A lawsuit was filed Friday afternoon challenging the surprise move by the head of a federal elections agency to require proof of citizenship to register to vote in three states. The suit alleges that Brian Newby -- the executive director of the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) who unilaterally approved the change to the federal form -- acted outside of his authority and departed from several commission protocols in making the change.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the League of Women Voters, Project Vote, the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP and others. It is asking for preliminary injunction that voids the recently-added proof-of-citizenship requirement on the federal registration forms for Kansas, Georgia and Alabama.

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Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state with a long history of pushing a stridently conservative agenda on voting rights and immigration, is back in the news again -- this time, for the actions of one of his former underlings.

Late last month, Kobach was granted permission by the newly-appointed executive director of a federal voting commission to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The decision -- issued unilaterally by Brian Newby, who previously worked under Kobach as an elections official in Kansas' largest county -- was a major surprise that was done without the say of the members of the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC), which had rejected Kobach's request for the change twice before.

The revised EAC guidance represented a major win for Kobach, who had been stymied by the courts in his efforts to fully implement his state's proof-of-citizenship requirement. It is a blow to voting rights advocates who have opposed proof of citizenship requirements on the grounds that procuring the necessary documents will make ballot access harder people who are perfectly eligible to vote.

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The weeks-long occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon by anti-government extremists could have ended in a variety of ways -- the most worrisome of which is the way of Waco or Ruby Ridge: violently. But Thursday the FBI was able to convince the remaining four occupiers to leave the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge voluntarily, a conclusion that one expert on anti-government extremism praised as a "nonviolent coda" that reduces the likelihood that sympathizers will seek retribution.

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More than a month since a group of anti-government extremists took over a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon and nearly nearly two weeks since the authorities arrested most of the group's leaders in a dramatic confrontation that left one of the occupier's dead, the standoff drags on with no end in sight.

Hopes that arrests of the ringleaders would lead to a quick and peaceful resolution to the ongoing takeover have diminished as the holdouts still at the refuge dig in and the occupier who was killed, LaVoy Finicum, has been elevated as a martyr in extremist circles. The remaining diehards at the Malheur National Wildlife Center have re-dubbed it "Camp Finicum."

National attention on the standoff has waned since Finicum's death, but things have continued to get weirder. Franklin Graham, the minister, has gotten involved at some level to try to bring an end to the standoff. Ammon Bundy, the main leader who is now jailed in Portland, reportedly in solitary confinement, has been making regular statements to the public via recorded messages released by his lawyers, and police have tightened the cordon around the refuge even as the handful of militants holed up inside ​have sounded the call for their supporters on the outside to "stand up" in their defense.

Here's what has happened since Ammon Bundy and brigade were arrested last month:

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