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

President Obama on Thursday bashed Senate Republicans' reasoning that the voters should weigh in on the Supreme Court in the 2016 presidential election and that consideration of a nominee should wait until then.

"One of the most puzzling arguments that I've heard from [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and some other Republicans is this notion that the American people should decide. We should let the American people decide as part of this election, who gets to fill this seat," Obama told NPR in an interview set to air in full on Friday morning. "Well, in fact the American people did decide — back in 2012 when they elected me president of the United States with sufficient electoral votes."

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Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said Thursday that considering President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, during the lame duck session after the election, as some Republicans have suggested, "makes no sense," according to The Hill.

"I know there has been some members of the press who asked ... how about in a lame-duck session of the Congress," he said, according to The Hill. "I think that is a terrible idea."

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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Thursday that the Republicans are now undercutting their own argument for blocking President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.

During a press conference with Senate Democrats in front of the Supreme Court, Schumer said the suggestion made by some GOP senators that they could confirm Merrick Garland during the lame duck period after the November election "just undercuts everything they’re saying." He said that they've been pushing to wait until after the 2016 election, "but in this case they’ll make an exception," he noted.

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Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), on Thursday called out Republican senators who have now said that they would be open to confirming Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court after the November election if a Democrat wins the White House.

"It appears to be getting less and less about principle," Franken said on MSNBC. "We've heard now a number of my Republican colleagues say that they would confirm or take up Judge Garland in a lame duck session if Hillary Clinton wins."

"It's gone from -- even under their reasoning -- from 'Let the people decide' ... to 'Let the people decide unless they decide on Hillary Clinton,'" he continued.

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Frank Gaffney, a prominent anti-Muslim activist and former Reagan administration official, will join the Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) campaign's national security advisory team, according to Bloomberg's Eli Lake.

Other members of Gaffney's Center for Security Policy -- Fred Fleitz, Clare Lopez, and Jim Hanson -- will also join Cruz's national security advisory team, according to Bloomberg.

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During an interview on Fox Business on Wednesday, host Neil Cavuto quizzed Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on why he opposes consideration of President Obama's Supreme Court nominee when he has supported Merrick Garland in the past.

Throughout the interview, Cavuto called out Hatch for contributing to the politicization of the nomination process.

The Fox Business host began the interview by playing a 1997 clip of Hatch praising Garland when he was nominated to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Cavuto asked, "What changed?"

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After Ben Carson on Monday said that he discussed with Donald Trump a possible role in his administration, Carson on Wednesday said that the two "did not discuss any quid pro quo."

CNN's Erin Burnett asked Carson on Wednesday about his discussions with Trump and what kind of role he would expect in the administration if Trump were elected president.

"First of all, we did not discuss any quid pro quo. There seems to be a great desire by many people to try and make it seem that way," Carson said in response. "But we did agree that we're both extremely interested in saving America -- particularly for the next generations, and that we will continue to work together in the process of doing that."

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Five deputies with the Cumberland County, North Carolina, sheriff's office were disciplined for failing to take action when an attendee at a rally for Donald Trump allegedly punched a black protester last week, the sheriff's office announced on Wednesday.

Three of the deputies were demoted in rank and suspended without pay for five days, and two other deputies were suspended without pay for three days, according to Raleigh television station WRAL. All five deputies who witnessed the punch could face up to a year of probation.

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