Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at

Articles by Dylan

Sen. Joni Ernest (R-IA) will emphasize the Republican mandate from the midterm elections and the need for President Barack Obama to work with the new Congress in the formal GOP response to the State of the Union address, according to early excerpts of Ernst remarks.

"We heard the message you sent in November -- loud and clear," the remarks begin. "And now we’re getting to work to change the direction Washington has been taking our country.”

Ernst will single out trade legislation and tax reform as possible areas of agreement between Obama and Congress.

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Most state legislatures are opening for business this month, and that means that Medicaid expansion is once again becoming a hot issue. The last year has seen a number of Republican-led states start to bend on the program, and the new legislative sessions offer new opportunities to make headways in red America -- but could also put one pioneering state at risk.

Four or more conservative mainstays could expand Medicaid in the next year, while another state might become the first to back out of the program after first adopting it. Here's what you need to know.

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A conservative group is suing Dallas County, Texas, for allegedly discriminating against white people in violation of the Voting Rights Act. But the catch is that the 5-member county body they're suing about has a majority of white members. The problem, apparently, is that the board is majority Democratic.

"Like something out of the bad old days, a southern electoral body plays naked racial politics, intentionally using its power to minimize a dissenting race’s political sway," according to the lawsuit, filed last week in federal court by the Equal Voting Rights Institute on behalf of individual white plaintiffs.

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When it comes to his legal opinions, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is by far the most sarcastic justice on the bench, according to a new analysis.

Scalia's penchant for biting humor isn't news to most who follow the Court closely, but University of California-Irvine law professor Rick Hasen has put a number on it in an essay published over the weekend.

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Staff at the University of California-Los Angeles have discovered the recording of a 1965 speech by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the university announced this weekend.

The recording has been long forgotten, the university said, until an archivist noticed recently that King had been listed as a campus speaker on April 27, 1965. The archivist then searched through the university's storage rooms until he came across the recording in a cabinet that had been blocked from view in subsequent years.

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Arkansas's unique Medicaid expansion plan survived uncertain re-approval in 2014, and early signs in 2015 suggest the program could run into some trouble again.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that newly elected Republican. Gov. Asa Hutchinson is expected to address the program, which uses Medicaid dollars to pay for private coverage, in a speech this week. Arkansas's plan must be re-approved every year.

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A plurality of Americans believe that race relations are worse under President Barack Obama, according to a new poll.

The Al Jazeera-Monmouth University poll found that 43 percent of Americans think race relations are worse under Obama, 40 percent said there had been no change and 15 percent said they were better.

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Democrats need to gird for a new battle with Republicans over Social Security and be prepared not to yield any ground in defense of the program, one of the leading Democratic senators on the issue told TPM in an interview.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee's Social Security subcommittee, said that Democrats shouldn't be willing to negotiate after House Republicans have stated outright that they want to pursue changes to the program.

Brown also expressed confidence that President Barack Obama would hold strong on Social Security, despite concerns among Social Security advocates that the president has shown a willingness to negotiate over the program in the past.

"We have a president who can use a veto pen and will eagerly do it on something like this," Brown said. He said his confidence in the White House's position "comes from discussions with them."

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