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

When pressed on Monday morning on his position on whether the Senate should consider a Supreme Court nominee from President Obama, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took a stronger stance against confirming a justice this year.

Bush had said on Sunday that "it is not important to me" whether Senate Republicans set up a vote on the Obama's nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away over the weekend. He also acknowledged that the president had constitutional authority to nominate a Supreme Court justice during Saturday evening's GOP debate.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Sunday slammed congressional Republicans for suggesting they would block any Supreme Court nominees put forward by President Obama. She criticized Republicans for arguing that confirmation of a justice to fill the seat of Antonin Scalia -- who died over the weekend unexpectedly -- should wait until after a new president comes into the office so the American electorate could have a say.

In a Sunday Facebook post, Warren pointed out that the people re-elected President Obama in 2012.

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During a heated exchange about immigration during the Saturday night Republican presidential debate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said that Donald Trump is "weak" because he disparages women, Hispanics, and the disabled.

Trump first accused Bush of being weak on immigration.

"The weakest person on this stage by far on illegal immigration is Jeb Bush. They come ‘out of an act of love,'" he said during the debate, referencing Bush's comment in 2014. "Whether you like it or not, he is so weak on illegal immigration, it’s laughable, and everybody knows it."

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During the Saturday night Republican presidential debate, Donald Trump listed the first three questions he would ask his national security advisers when elected president, and the real estate mogul focused largely on how hard he would want to hit America's enemies.

CBS moderator John Dickerson asked Trump, "It's your first day in the situation room. What three questions do you ask your national security experts about the world?"

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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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