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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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In an unusual move Monday, the Department of Justice signaled it would be siding with the voting rights groups and against a federal official over whether proof of citizenship should be required to register to vote in three states.

The groups are suing Brian Newby, the recently appointed executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), over his decision to change the federal voting registration forms in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama to require proof of citizenship. The challengers say adding the requirement to the form violates the National Voter Registration Act and additionally that Newby failed to go through the typical protocols of making the change, which the commission opposed in the past.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defeated Sen. Bernie Sanders in Saturday’s Nevada caucus Saturday, a crucial win for the former first lady as she seeks to prove that she has a broader appeal in diverse electorates than the democratic socialist from Vermont.

“Americans are right to be angry, but we are also hungry for real solutions," Clinton said Saturday night during her victory speech.

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President Obama issued a statement praising Harper Lee, who died at the age of 89 Thursday, in which he said the reclusive author "changed America for the better."

The statement began with a quote from "To Kill A Mockingbird," her classic novel about racial injustice in the South. ("To Kill A Mockingbird" was also her only published novel until the controversial release of "Go Set a Watchman" last year.)

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President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama met privately with the family of the late Justice Antonin Scalia Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said via a White House pool report.

"This afternoon, while at the Supreme Court, the President and First Lady had the opportunity to meet privately with some members of Justice Scalia’s family," Earnest said. "The President and Mrs. Obama extended their personal condolences on behalf of the nation, and expressed gratitude for Justice Scalia’s decades of public service."

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Suggestions by college Republicans in Nevada that they planned to participate in both the GOP caucus next week and in Saturday's Democratic caucus to presumably undercut Hillary Clinton in her race against Bernie Sanders prompted a fiery blowback from prominent Dems.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who hails from the state, issued a statement calling the alleged plans "shameful and immoral."

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Moderate GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK), one of the few Republicans initially willing to break ranks on whether President Obama's nominee to succeed Antonin Scalia should be considered, reversed course Thursday evening. In a series of Tweets she said "the American people will be weighing in on the direction of SCOTUS" in the upcoming election and that Obama should "allow his successor to select the next Supreme Court justice."

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the Senate GOP leadership's insistence that it will not consider a Supreme Court nominee until the next president takes office is "very different" than her vote against President George W. Bush's Supreme Court nominees when she was in the Senate.

"I did oppose Justice Alito and as you say Chief Justice Roberts," Clinton said, adding that after "after meeting with them, listening to them," she did not think their approach "would be the best for the country."

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Asked how he would address Islamophobia as president, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at Thursday's MSNBC town hall pivoted from criticism of Donald Trump's general rhetoric on Muslims to the "obstructionism and hatred" faced by President Obama and "the idea of making him a delegitimate president."

"People can agree with Barack Obama, you can disagree with Barack Obama," Sanders said. "Anybody who doesn't understand that the kind of obstructionism and hatred thrown at this man, the idea of making him a delegitimate president by suggesting he was not born in America because his dad came from Kenya."

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