Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Saturday issued a statement mourning the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, describing him as "one of the most influential and eloquent Justices" to ever serve on the Supreme Court.

"Justice Antonin Scalia was, and will always be remembered as, one of the most influential and eloquent Justices ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court," Lynch said. "His indomitable conviction and his fierce intelligence left a lasting imprint – not just on the way the Supreme Court resolves cases, but on the legal landscape that he helped to transform. A lion of American law has left the stage, and it is up to all of us – every American – to keep our national constitutional dialogue as lively and as learned as he left it."

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Updated at 10:18 p.m.

Hillary Clinton on Saturday evening released a statement on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, offering her condolences and criticizing calls to delay the nomination of the next justice.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Justice Scalia as they mourn his sudden passing. I did not hold Justice Scalia’s views, but he was a dedicated public servant who brought energy and passion to the bench," Clinton said.

"The Republicans in the Senate and on the campaign trail who are calling for Justice Scalia’s seat to remain vacant dishonor our Constitution," the former secretary of state continued. "The Senate has a constitutional responsibility here that it cannot abdicate for partisan political reasons."

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All of the occupiers have finally left the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, but they warned that they left behind some booby traps for authorities to dismantle, according to a Friday Reuters report.

"They spoke to us about booby traps. We don't know how sophisticated or what kind," a law enforcement official told Reuters.

Federal workers at the refuge before the standoff had materials on hand to create controlled fires, which would have left the occupiers with the materials to create explosives, the official told Reuters. So law enforcement will have to be careful when moving through the refuge.

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While discussing congressional Republicans' fierce opposition to his agenda on Wednesday, President Obama downplayed the idea that they are motivated primarily by racial animus. He suggested instead that it was merely hardball politics, because if things in Washington, D.C. aren’t working, it’s bad for incumbent president.

"Although there’s no doubt that there are pockets of the country where some dog whistles blow and there’s underlying racial fears that may be exploited, overall, what’s more the case, I think, is just the straight hardball politics of running against an incumbent and beating the heck out of him and softening him up," Obama said. "Because if a whole bunch of stuff gets done, he’s going to get the credit."

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During his first court appearance since his arrest, Nevada rancher and anti-government icon Cliven Bundy requested a court-appointed attorney Thursday, according to The Oregonian.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice M. Stewart said she needed to see Bundy's financial documents to assess whether he should receive a public defender.

"The court only appoints counsel for those who can't afford an attorney," Stewart said, according to The Oregonian.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thursday said he had nothing to do with reported push polls to South Carolina residents denounced by both Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Donald Trump.

"I have no idea. We had nothing to do with them. I don't know what they were. We had nothing to do with them. So I had read reports of what is being said but somebody else is doing them, not us," Cruz told reporters on Thursday when asked about reports of the polls, according to Politico.

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After the last four occupiers left the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Thursday, the Harney County Court said it was "grateful" that the standoff was over, but warned against any continued presence of militia groups in the community.

"Law enforcement will now be able to begin the process of clearing booby traps and processing the crime scene. Let’s be clear, armed occupation of federal property is a crime, it is not a peaceful protest, and the illegal taking of federal property is a matter rightly dealt with by the FBI," the statement reads.

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