TPM News

Days after Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to prohibit its courts from considering Sharia or international law, CAIR's Oklahoma director filed a lawsuit asking for an injunction against the law.

Muneer Awad, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Oklahoma chapter, filed suit against the Oklahoma Board of Elections in federal court on Thursday. In the suit, he alleges the law both violates the First Amendment and harms his family's ability to carry out his will after he dies.

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Here's what we know about the brewing House Democratic leadership struggle, and how the situation emerged.

The short version is this: By losing the Speakership, Democrats lose a leadership position. If the hope is to transition the current leadership team over into the minority, somebody's gotta go. Nancy Pelosi's apparently angling for that person to be current Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

At a long meeting between Pelosi and Hoyer after the election, Hoyer and Pelosi discussed the issue of Democratic leadership extensively, according to a democratic aide and a member of the Democratic caucus.

As recently as last night, Pelosi was saying publicly that she hadn't even really had time to think about whether to fight for the top slot in the House Minority. But clearly that wasn't quite the case.

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Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) already has a challenger for his 2012 re-election, the Lincoln Journal Star reports, with Republican state Attorney General Jon Bruning forming an exploratory committee:

Bruning has started raising money for a Senate campaign, formed a four-person campaign staff, and is ready to go.

"I can't imagine any conditions under which I would not run," Bruning acknowledged at a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda.

"I want to run. I'm ready to run."

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The Log Cabin Republicans, which is fighting Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the court system, today asked the Supreme Court to block an appeals court's decision to allow the military to enforce the policy.

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the military could continue enforcing DADT while the federal government appeals a lower court's ruling that the policy is unconstitutional. The lower court had issued an injunction ordering the military to immediately stop enforcement.

The Log Cabin Republicans, which brought the original lawsuit, is now asking the Supreme Court to vacate the appeals court's stay of the lower court's injunction. In other words, they are trying again to end the enforcement of DADT immediately.

The Illinois gubernatorial race has now come to an end, with Republican nominee state Sen. Bill Brady conceding the race to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

"I just a few minutes ago got off the phone with Gov. Quinn and congratulated him on his victory," said Brady at a packed news conference at a hotel in downstate Bloomington with dozens of well wishers in attendance. "We came to the conclusion that Gov. Quinn won this race."

Brady called leading Illinois Republicans this morning to inform them of his decision to end the race as he trails Quinn by more than 19,000 votes.

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Two hours before polls closed on Tuesday, over 50,000 Maryland voters started receiving mysterious phone calls instructing them to "relax" and not bother voting because Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) had already won re-election.

The Baltimore Sun reported that calls were sent from the account associated with a controversial Democratic operative, Julius Henson, by Rhonda Russell, a former director of Progressive Maryland.

Russell, now a Universal Elections employee, placed the order with, a Pennsylvania company which works exclusively with Democrats. Universal Elections is the company of Henson, a longtime Democratic operative who is based out of Baltimore but worked as a consultant for the former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) this election cycle in his campaign against O'Malley. In an interesting twist, Hanson previously called Ehrlich a "Nazi," but eventually took at least $32,000 in consulting fees from the Ehrlich campaign, according to the Sun.

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Steny Hoyer won't be challenging Nancy Pelosi for House Minority Leader. But he's very likely to challenge James Clyburn (the current Majority Whip) in the race to be Minority Whip next Congress.

In a statement, Hoyer says "Speaker Pelosi has announced that she will be running for Democratic Leader in the next Congress. In the days since the election, I have received an outpouring of support from Democratic colleagues who have told me that I should remain in our party's leadership, so that our Caucus can hit the ground running with a strong, tested leadership team. Over the next several days, I will continue to speak to my colleagues about serving our Caucus as Democratic Whip, and I will announce a decision after I have consulted with them."

For a bit of context, Clyburn is a Pelosi ally. Hoyer and Pelosi, by contrast, haven't had the best relationship, and clashed frequently. Clyburn's swift announcement of his intentions, on the heels of Pelosi's decision -- combined with the fact that Pelosi has urged Larson to seek the third-ranking position in the minority -- suggests that the two of them are trying to consolidate power and squeeze Hoyer out. Seems like he's not going gently.

Keith Olbermann has been suspended from MSNBC, indefinitely and without pay, after news that he had made political contributions to three Democratic candidates.

"I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night," Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC, said in a statement. "Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay."

Politico reported this morning that Olbermann had made the maximum donation, $2,400, to three Democratic candidates this year: Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords and Senate candidate Jack Conway.

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