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

For the fourth time in three months, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia helped forward marriage equality in a state that had banned it, with his work cited by the federal judge invalidating Virginia's ban on same-sex nuptials.

Following her predecessors in Utah, Ohio and Kentucky, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen name-checked Scalia and his dissent from last year's Supreme Court decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act in her decision Thursday to overturn Virginia's ban on gay marriage.

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A Missouri lawmaker has proposed what ranks among the most anti-evolution legislation in recent years, which would require schools to notify parents if "the theory of evolution by natural selection" was being taught at their child's school and give them the opportunity to opt out of the class.

The bill had its first public hearing Thursday after being introduced in late January.

State Rep. Rick Brattin (R), who sponsored the bill, told a local TV station last week that teaching only evolution in school was "indoctrination."

"Our schools basically mandate that we teach one side," he told KCTV. "It is an indoctrination because it is not objective approach."

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A bill passed Wednesday by the Kansas House would allow businesses and government employees to deny services to same-sex couples on the basis of their religious beliefs, the Kansas City Star reported.

It now heads to the state Senate; it has already earned the tacit endorsement of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

“Religious liberty issues are ones that I’ve been around for a long time. I’ve fought for religious liberty in many countries and with many different faiths,” Brownback told the Wichita Eagle last week, adding that he had not reviewed the bill's specific language yet. “It’s basic in the Bill of Rights.”

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In what could be a political first, a gay Republican congressional candidate released a campaign ad featuring shots with his partner.

Carl DeMaio, who is running for the GOP nomination in California's 52nd Congressional District to challenge Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, included shots of he and his partner Johnathan Hale at a gay pride parade. GOP consultants and independent media analysts told the Wall Street Journal that they believed it was that first time that a candidate from either party had released an ad with a same-sex partner.

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As of Feb. 1, nearly 3.3 million Americans have enrolled in private health coverage through Obamacare, the Obama administration reported Wednesday.

January was the first individual month that the law beat its pre-launch projections, a major turnaround from's dark opening months. The initial estimate of 7 million enrollees by March 31 seems at least plausibly within reach.

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Obamacare had its second-best enrollment month in January, adding more than 1 million people to its rolls, much improved from the law's rough opening months. The drop was expected after December's key enrollment deadline, but didn't slow the sign-ups as much as anticipated.

The 1.1 million enrollments as of Feb. 1 bring the law's total to 3.3 million -- still behind its projected totals ahead of the Oct. 1 launch, which had anticipated that many sign-ups by the end of December. But after the law signed up a fraction of its expected enrollees in October and November -- before was declared fixed -- it's continued positive news for the law, administration officials said.

According to the Washington Post's Sarah Kliff, January was the first individual month that Obamacare beat its pre-launch projected enrollment.

"These encouraging trends show that more Americans are enrolling every day, and finding quality, affordable coverage in the marketplace,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

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Once again, a federal judge nodded to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in striking down part of a state's ban on same-sex marriage.

In ruling Wednesday that Kentucky must recognize out-of-state gay marriages, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II referenced Scalia's dissents in the Court's decisions to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act and strike down state laws that ban sodomy.

It wasn't as big a rhetorical bear hug as the outspoken conservative justice received in December from the federal judge who overturned Utah's prohibition on same-sex marriage, but it was further evidence of Scalia's prescience when he declared that the DOMA decision would inevitably undercut state laws on marriage.

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The 2003 Miss America, who is challenging a Republican incumbent for a U.S. House seat, says potential donors are being intimidated by unnamed parties and warned not to give money to her campaign.

Erika Harold, a Harvard Law School graduate who is running against sitting congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) in the Republican primary, made the allegations in an interview with the State Journal-Register's editorial board.

“There are absolutely people who say to me, ‘I cannot give because I have been told I cannot give to your campaign,’” Harold said.

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In one of their last ploys to undercut Obamacare before it becomes firmly entrenched, conservatives are arguing that people who purchase coverage through shouldn't be allowed to receive financial help from the law.

They insist Congress intended for the assistance to be available only through state-run websites as a way of forcing states to create them. The only problem is: The people who actually wrote the law say they're wrong.

Two staff-level sources directly involved in drafting the law told TPM that no one intended to block subsidies from being administered through the federal website. Instead, they blame the poorly worded phrase on which conservative have based their case on the unusual legislative process through which Obamacare became law.

"I don't even understand how the question is being asked," one source said, "except you could go through the law and find all sorts of issues that probably could have been drafted clearer. I think the opponents of health reform are just scanning for inconsistencies and poorly drafted language and trying to exploit them."

"It never crossed anyone's mind that tax credits couldn't be accessed through the federal exchange," a second source told TPM, "because that would make no sense and isn't consistent with the clear intent and structure of the statute."

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