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Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) married his longtime partner Jim Ready in a small Saturday ceremony in Newton, Mass. on the banks of the Charles River.

Back in 1987, Frank was the first member of Congress to reveal himself as openly gay. Now he's the first member of Congress to wed a same sex partner. He has served in the House since 1981 retiring at the end of his term.

Frank, 72, and Ready, 42, met at a 2005 fundraiser.

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John Roberts caught the nation by surprise when his vote saved the Affordable Care Act under Congress' taxing power. Few expected the chief justice to uphold President Obama's signature law and even fewer expected him to be the deciding vote in the historic case. Conservatives were furious with what they deemed a betrayal.

After his hostile questioning during oral arguments, most court watchers placed his vote comfortably in the "overturn" column. But in the months leading up to the decision, Roberts left behind a trail of subtle -- albeit inconclusive -- hints that he may vote in favor of the law.

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Mitt Romney's campaign lashed out at the Obama campaign in a Sunday statement following a wave of attacks from Democrats over Romney's offshore bank accounts.

In a statement to reporters, Saul said:

The Obama campaign's latest unfounded character assault on Mitt Romney is unseemly and disgusting. Mitt Romney had a successful career in the private sector, pays every dime of taxes he owes, has given generously to charitable organizations, and served numerous causes greater than himself. Barack Obama has become what he once ran against – a typical politician willing to use false and dishonest attacks to save his job after failing to do his job. The American people expected more from this president, and he continues to let them down.

Obama campaign spokesperson Lis Smith emailed TPM this response:

If highlighting the fact that Mitt Romney had a Swiss bank account and put his money in offshore tax havens is "unseemly and disgusting," perhaps he shouldn’t have done it in the first place. He can put this whole debate to bed by following decades of precedent and releasing additional years of tax returns to prove that he didn’t use these offshore accounts and corporations to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Until he does, Americans have to wonder just what he is hiding.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Sunday that Mitt Romney is the "daddy" of the Affordable Care Act.

"Let's get down to the bottom line here," Durbin said on CBS' "Face The Nation." "Mitt Romney is the Obamacare daddy. He gave birth to this baby up in Massachusetts, and now he doesn't recognize it."

Senior Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs made a quip Sunday about Mitt Romney's slogan while pressing the point that he has offshore bank accounts. 

"This is a guy whose slogan is 'Believe In America' but it should be 'Business In Bermuda'. That's what Mitt Romney's all about," Gibbs said on "State of the Union."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Sunday he isn't sorry he voted for Chief Justice John Roberts in the wake of his decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

"Are you sorry you voted for him?" asked CNN host Candy Crowley on "State of the Union."

"No, I'm not. But I was extremely disappointed," McConnell said.

He then quickly changed the topic to the court's reasoning in decreeing the mandate valid under Congress's taxing power.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Sunday that there's a 50 percent chance his party takes back the Senate majority in the November elections.

"50-50. I think it's going to be a very close, competitive election," he told CNN's "State of the Union." "There are a number of places where we have opportunities for pickups. Not many places where we have much chance of losing a seat. I think at the end of the day we're going to have a very narrow Senate one way or the other."

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate under Congress's taxing power has sparked a heated debate between the Obama and Romney campaigns over whether the provision is a "tax."

After initially siding with President Obama that the mandate is a penalty rather than a tax, Mitt Romney embraced his party's message Wednesday that the decision reveals Obama sneaked a tax hike past the American public.

"The Supreme Court has the final word. And their final word is that Obamacare is a tax," Romney told CBS. "So it's a tax."

His campaign on Thursday issued a press advisory saying that even the Obama administration's Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued before the high court that the penalty for not purchasing insurance was a tax.

Team Obama maintains otherwise, with his campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt telling CNN Thursday that the White House defended the mandate's constitutionality "under the section of the law that is the tax code, but it said very specifically that it's a penalty." Team Obama has sought to fend off attacks by saying it disagrees with the court even though the court didn't label it a tax; it merely validated it under Congress's taxing power.

The sparring is easy grist for a campaign in which Republicans want to hammer Democrats as tax hikers. But what did Verrilli really argue -- and what did the court really say?

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A Mississippi law is compelling the courts to test the limits of permissible anti-abortion legislation, challenging the premise of Roe v. Wade.

Earlier this week a district court issued an eleventh-hour stay to block a Mississippi law designed to shut down the state's last surviving abortion clinic. It's the only one that has muscled through a spate of regulations aimed at making Mississippi "abortion-free," in the words of Gov. Phil Bryant (R).

"The Court has considered the parties' arguments and finds Plaintiffs satisfy the requirements for temporary injunctive relief to maintain the status quo until the newly framed issues can be more thoroughly examined," wrote U.S. district judge Daniel P. Jordan III.

Bryant's intentions are clear: make Mississippi the first state without access to abortion. But that's a tricky legal proposition as a result of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the two key Supreme Court rulings that protect abortion rights.

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Mitt Romney suggested in a Wednesday interview he would no longer nominate a judge like John Roberts, now that the U.S. chief justice has cast the deciding vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

On his campaign website, Romney states that as president he "will nominate judges in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito." But apparently Roberts no longer makes the cut.

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