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Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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Almost immediately after the first public confirmation that Justice Antonin Scalia had died, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled that the GOP-controlled Senate would block President Obama from nominating Scalia's successor.

"The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice," McConnell said in a statement. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

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As Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battle over which candidate has the strongest record on civil rights, the Sanders campaign touted his endorsement of Rev. Jesse Jackson for president in 1988, when the self-proclaimed socialist was mayor of Burlington, Vermont.

The campaign blasted out video of a speech Sanders made then, in which he praised Jackson for bringing "together the disenfranchised, the hungry, the poor, the workers who are being thrown out of their decent-paying jobs and the farmers who are being thrown off of their land.”

The campaign release also included a flyer Sanders wrote at the time explaining his support of Jackson.

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Abortion is the latest issue that the Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz campaigns are tussling over, with Rubio's allies attacking Cruz for claims Cruz made about Rubio's record on funding Planned Parenthood.

At a campaign stop in South Carolina Friday, the Texas senator pointed to Rubio's vote for a spending bill that included funding for Planned Parenthood as proof the Florida senator had a weaker record on abortion.

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Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin accused Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) of lying by claiming his campaign did not fundraise from lobbyists or special interests. Palin, who endorsed Donald Trump, posted on her Facebook a link to a conservative blog that has what looks to be a screenshot of a Cruz campaign email.

"I will never get -- nor do I want -- money from D.C. lobbyists or the special interest billionaires," the Cruz email says, according to the blog's screenshot. The conservative blog compares the email to a list of Cruz's top donors, culled from Open Secrets, that includes various conservative political groups, investment banks, hedge funds and D.C law firms.

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A lawsuit was filed Friday afternoon challenging the surprise move by the head of a federal elections agency to require proof of citizenship to register to vote in three states. The suit alleges that Brian Newby -- the executive director of the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) who unilaterally approved the change to the federal form -- acted outside of his authority and departed from several commission protocols in making the change.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the League of Women Voters, Project Vote, the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP and others. It is asking for preliminary injunction that voids the recently-added proof-of-citizenship requirement on the federal registration forms for Kansas, Georgia and Alabama.

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Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state with a long history of pushing a stridently conservative agenda on voting rights and immigration, is back in the news again -- this time, for the actions of one of his former underlings.

Late last month, Kobach was granted permission by the newly-appointed executive director of a federal voting commission to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The decision -- issued unilaterally by Brian Newby, who previously worked under Kobach as an elections official in Kansas' largest county -- was a major surprise that was done without the say of the members of the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC), which had rejected Kobach's request for the change twice before.

The revised EAC guidance represented a major win for Kobach, who had been stymied by the courts in his efforts to fully implement his state's proof-of-citizenship requirement. It is a blow to voting rights advocates who have opposed proof of citizenship requirements on the grounds that procuring the necessary documents will make ballot access harder people who are perfectly eligible to vote.

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The weeks-long occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon by anti-government extremists could have ended in a variety of ways -- the most worrisome of which is the way of Waco or Ruby Ridge: violently. But Thursday the FBI was able to convince the remaining four occupiers to leave the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge voluntarily, a conclusion that one expert on anti-government extremism praised as a "nonviolent coda" that reduces the likelihood that sympathizers will seek retribution.

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Cliven Bundy -- the Nevada rancher behind a 2014 showdown with federal authorities and father of two leaders arrested in the Oregon standoff -- has been accused of six violations of federal law, including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and assault of a federal law enforcement officer.

Bundy was arrested late Wednesday evening in Portland, Oregon. The allegations contained in the criminal complaint filed in Nevada are focused on the 2014 showdown at his Bundy Ranch. None of the charges pertain to the Oregon refuge standoff that his sons were involved in.

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An Iranian official said "Republican rivals of the current US administration" attempted to stall last month's Iranian-U.S. prisoner swap until the eve of the U.S. presidential election, Tasnim News Agency reported.

According to the semi-official Iranian news outlet, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, made the claims during a speech Thursday at a rally in Yazd, Iran.

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