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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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Days after anti-Muslim activist Pam Geller submitted an ad depicting the Prophet Muhammad to DC's transit authority, its board opted to ban all "issue" advertisements on metro transit for the rest of the year. The motion to ban political, religious and other issue ads was put forward by Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Chairman Mort Downey, according to The Hill, and the Metro board approved it Thursday.

Geller announced Tuesday that her group American Freedom Defense Initiative was launching an ad campaign on DC buses and in train stations bearing the winning cartoon from the group's Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas that became the target of an attempted shooting earlier this month.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), a top 2016 contender, has reiterated his support for a Wisconsin bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy,
with no exceptions for rape or incest.

With 20-week abortion bans gaining momentum on Capitol Hill and in states nationwide, Walker’s office confirmed to the Daily Beast this week that the governor intends to sign the bill, which supporters expect will move quickly through Wisconsin's GOP-controlled legislature. A joint state House and Senate committee hearing on the bill is scheduled next week.

The issue of rape exemptions nearly tanked a federal version of the bill in the U.S House of Representatives, when female Republicans objected to a provision that required assault victims report their rapes to the police if seeking an exemption. A compromise that broadened the exemption passed the House earlier this month. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is also considering a presidential run, has promised to introduce a Senate version of the 20-week ban soon.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is threatening to subpoena Treasury Department officials if they continue to refuse to testify before his Senate subcommittee about Obamacare subsidies.

The subpoena threat comes after Treasury declined to make the officials available, citing ongoing litigation on Obamacare subsidies. The case of King v. Burwell is currently pending before the Supreme Court, with a decision expected in June on whether Obamacare subsidies are available through the federal exchanges.

The Internal Revenue Service, which is within the Treasury Department, wrote the rules which interpreted the Affordable Care Act to allow subsidies to be provided to those who obtained health insurance through the federal exchange. That interpretation is at the heart of the dispute in King v. Burwell.

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A 2013 Arkansas law banning abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy has been permanently blocked by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in a decision issued Wednesday.

The three-judge panel affirmed a district court's earlier decision finding the ban unconstitutional and placed a permanent injunction on the law, which was one of the strictest abortion prohibitions in the country.

The Arkansas legislature overrode the veto of then-Gov. Mike Beebe (D) to enact the legislation, which banned abortions on the basis of a fetal heartbeat. It was challenged by two doctors on their own and their patients' behalf.

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday opted to hear arguments in a case that could redefine "one person, one vote" -- one of the bedrock principles of modern voting rights law. The case could change how electoral districts are drawn across the country, revamping who comprises electoral districts and reshaping the idea of who is ultimately "represented" by elected officials.

The case, Evenwel v. Abbott, originated in Texas and is being spearheaded by a conservative legal group. Legal experts tell TPM that the impact of the case could be far-reaching, especially for Latinos and residents of urban districts.

Here's what you need to know:

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Former Sen. Olympia Snowe, a Maine Republican, became the latest lawmaker involved in the drafting of President Obama’s health care law to undermine the case against the legislation currently being considered by the Supreme Court. In an interview with the New York Times, Snowe, who left office in 2013, said that the language at the heart of the suit was perhaps the product of “inadvertent language” and “never part of our conversations at any point.”

The plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case, King vs. Burwell, say a phrase in the law -- “established by the state” -- means that only those participating in exchanges set up by the states have have access to federal tax subsidies to offset their premiums. Currently, residents in the 34 states that did not chose to set up their own exchanges have access to the subsidies through a federal exchange marketplace, which plaintiffs say contradicts the four words in question.

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All four of the GOP governors with 2016 ambitions are facing budget shortfalls back home that their critics would argue are disasters of their own doing. It puts them in a politically difficult position: consider tax increases that put their fiscal conservative credentials on the line, or move forward with ugly cuts that risk high-profile showdowns with their legislative counterparts.

Complicating matters, three of the four -- Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Ohio's John Kasich -- have signed the anti-tax pledge heralded by conservative activist Grover Norquist, while New Jersey’s Chris Christie has verbally promised to not raise taxes. That limits their options to address revenues that have fallen short of expectations.

“Post-Tea Party there are new requirements for being a successful candidate if you’re a Republican,” Norquist told TPM. “And that includes reining spending more than some are willing to do.”

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With an executive order issued Tuesday evening, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal made clear he intended to enforce his own version of a religious freedom proposal that hours earlier the state House had killed in committee. However, Jindal's intentions aside, legal experts tell TPM the executive order will have little practical effect.

"As far as real world effects in Louisiana? Probably not much," Keith Werhan, a professor of law at Tulane University said. But it's important to recognize, Werhan said, that this amounts to a state symbolically "legitimizing discriminatory treatment against same-sex couples."

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Let a fellow student conduct an "invasive" transvaginal ultrasound on you while your teacher calls you "sexy" and suggests you should be an "escort girl," or be "blacklisted" from working at local hospitals. That is the choice sonography students at Valencia College, a community college in central Florida, allegedly faced, according to a lawsuit filed last week by two former students.

While asking students to participate voluntarily in certain procedures is not uncommon in education programs, medical professionals told TPM, forcing them to do so goes against established standards of the medical education field.

The lawsuit alleges Valencia College officials unconstitutionally forced students in its medical sonography program to submit to the “extremely invasive and often painful" transvaginal ultrasound procedure. The plaintiffs were threatened with academic and professional punishment when they brought up their concerns, including the presence of a male student who would be performing the procedure on them, the suit says.

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