TPM News

A federal judge in Danville, Va., on Friday ruled that the state is allowed to stop issuing license plates with Confederate flag symbols, according to the Danville Register and Bee.

After the deadly shooting at a historic black church in Charleston sparked a national debate on Confederate symbolism, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) directed the state to begin the process of removing Confederate flags from state-issued license plates.

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Presidential candidate and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) hasn't abandoned his take-no-prisoners approach to politics after all.

Cruz — who called former presidential candidate Mitt Romney "honorable" and "experienced" in his New York Times-best selling book — privately described Romney as the worst possible candidate during an event earlier this year, according to the National Journal on Friday.

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A poll released Friday showed that Donald Trump would completely blow the Republican Party's chances of winning the presidency in 2016 if he ran as an independent.

The McClatchy-Marist Poll of potential voters nationwide showed that in a three-way general election, Democrat Hillary Clinton would lead with 44 percent of votes, former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) with 29 percent, and Trump as an independent with 20 percent.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The white man accused of gunning down nine parishioners at a black church in Charleston wants to plead guilty to 33 federal charges, but his lawyer said in court Friday that he wouldn't do so until prosecutors say whether they'll see the death penalty.

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A weeks-long standoff between Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) and the state legislature had its day in court Friday. The state Supreme Court heard arguments as to whether the governor missed the deadline to veto 65 bills that lawmakers say are now law due to his delay.

The discussion revolved around thorny, complex issues of procedural mechanics and constitutional balance of power between the executive and legislative branches. Over the course of about 45 minutes, LePage's counsel Cynthia Montgomery and the attorney representing Maine's House and Senate each had 15 minutes each for their opposing arguments, with Montgomery given the opportunity for rebuttal at the end. Additionally, an attorney representing a few House Republicans as well as counsel for the attorney general each had a few minutes to make their cases, with the former favoring LePage's view and the latter challenging it.

The justices were clearly seeking to streamline the arguments being presented in front of them, perhaps knowing both the short-term impact of their decision on dozens of pieces of legislation, as well as the long-term precedent they could set in navigating what has become a constitutional crisis. Their questions touched on both broad understanding of the executive branch's veto powers and LePage's specific motivations in waiting to submit his vetoes. They were mostly patient to weed through the convoluted specifics of the case, but at times were willing to call out what appeared to be suspicious reasoning.

"Why, in a extremely difficult session, would the governor chose the time to [run] a test case?" one of the justice's challenged LePage's counsel.

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