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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

In an interview that aired Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the United States is not going through the "best of times" but added that she still has "hope" for the country's future.

"I am optimistic in the long run. There was a great man who once said that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle. It is the pendulum. And when the pendulum swings too far in one direction it will go back," she told BBC's "Newsnight."

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Back home in their districts while Congress is in recess, some Republicans have ducked the raucous crowds at town halls in favor of more tightly controlled conference calls and private events. But even those who stuck to closed-door events, facilitating a friendlier crowd, haven't managed to escape the tough questions and protests that earned their colleagues so many headlines.

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New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill on Wednesday indicated that the department will ignore new Department of Homeland Security memos that increase the number of undocumented immigrants prioritized for deportation and call on local law enforcement to help federal agents.

In an internal memo, O'Neill reminded officers of the department's policies on undocumented immigrants and tells officers not to carry out federal immigration enforcement.

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Republicans home in their districts for the week faced more rowdy crowds at town halls on Wednesday night.

In events that drew hundreds of constituents, these GOPers were often pressed about their plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, and some faced shouts and jeers. At a town hall in Louisiana, attendees even turned their backs on Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) as he tried to give a PowerPoint presentation on his replacement plan. The protest forced him to ditch his planned talking points and answer questions instead.

Below is a roundup of Wednesday's district events:

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Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Wednesday said that she would be open to issuing a subpoena for President Donald Trump's tax returns if it's necessary for the committee's probe into Trump's ties to Russia.

"I don’t know whether we will need to do that. If it’s necessary to get to the answers, then I suspect that we would," Collins said on Maine Public Radio when asked if she would subpoena Trump's tax records for the investigation.

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During a town hall in Arkansas on Wednesday night, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) faced a raucous crowd of about 2,000 people for two hours as attendees jeered and quizzed him on Republican plans to repeal Obamacare and the senator's support for President Donald Trump.

As Cotton attempted to answer questions, he was often met with chants like "Do your job" and "tax return," according to CNN.

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For the second day in a row, protests followed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to a ticketed local chamber of commerce event.

As he spoke at a Jeffersontown Chamber of Commerce event in Louisville, hundreds of protesters stood outside shouting chants like "No ban, no wall, Mitch McConnell take our call," according to Louisville television station WAVE.

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After Rep. David Brat (R-VA) complained in January that "the women are in my grill no matter where I go" now that Republicans are working to repeal Obamacare, protesters showed up in force to mock him at a town hall on Tuesday.

At Brat's event in Blackstone, Virginia, several women brought signs referencing his "in my grill" comment. One attendee held a sign that read “VA 7th district, it’s grilling time," according to the Washington Post.

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With Republicans lawmakers home in their districts for the week, members of Congress faced large crowds at town halls across the United States on Tuesday.

At the events, lawmakers faced questions about plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and concerns about President Donald Trump. Some Republicans were met with jeers and boos from the crowd, like Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA). Protesters even gathered outside events that were not billed as public town halls, as was the case with a luncheon Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) attended.

Below is a roundup of Tuesday's notable town halls:

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