Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at

Articles by Catherine

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said on Tuesday that he's not interested in speaking with the NAACP after more than 100 people were arrested at the group's demonstration against conservative policies, TV station WTVD reports.

The NAACP's North Carolina chapter held a rally Monday at the Legislative Building in Raleigh, where police estimated 1,000 people were in attendance. 

McCrory said that protesters refusing to leave when asked was unacceptable and consumed "a lot of resources." The governor then added that he has no desire to sit down with the group.

"No," he said. "I am pleased that it's been non-violent, though, and that's the second most important parameter. That it be lawful and non-violent. I'm very pleased with the way the authorities have handled it, in a non-violent manner."

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Miss America 2003 Erika Harold launched a congressional campaign in her native Urbana, Illinois on Tuesday, according to the State Journal-Register.

Harold will challenge freshman Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) in the 2014 Republican primary. The state GOP passed her over for the seat last year in favor of nominating Davis.

Another former Miss America crown holder, Heather French Henry, told the Lexington Herald-Leader in May that she's been encouraged to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for the Kentucky U.S. Senate seat.

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Civil rights organizations and legal ethics experts filed a judicial misconduct complaint on Tuesday against a senior federal judge, alleging that she made inappropriate statements against minority groups and people with mental disabilities, the New York Times reported.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, the complaint alleged that Judge Edith H. Jones, of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said in a speech in February at the University of Pennsylvania Law School that African-Americans and Hispanics are "predisposed to crime" and that defendants facing capital punishment who claim "mental retardation" disgust her.

Jones was a potential Supreme Court nominee during the Bush Administration. Until October, she was the chief judge on the conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

The current chief judge on that circuit, Carl E. Stewart -- the first African-American to fill that post -- will decide whether to dismiss the complaint, speak privately with Jones or order an investigation into the allegations.

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Las Vegas police said a teenager died in a local hospital after being shot Tuesday afternoon at a home, according to TV station KVVU

Metro police spokesman Sgt. John Sheahan told the Las Vegas Sun that the shooting involved two 13-year-olds; KVVU reported that there were three juveniles inside the home when the teen was shot. It's not clear if adults were present at the time of the shooting.

Police said the shooting appeared to be an accident. 

Metro's Sgt. Annette Darr told KVVU, "Guns should be kept under lock and key at all times. Gun safes are the best bet so children don't have easy access to firearms."

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State Rep. Jason Smith (R) won a special congressional election Tuesday in Missouri, taking over the seat from one political family who represented the state's heavily Republican 8th district for 32 years. 

Smith will succeed Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), who left office two months after winning re-election to lead the National Rural Electric Cooperative as president and chief executive. Emerson succeeded her husband Bill Emerson, who assumed the office in 1980, after he died of lung cancer in 1996.

Smith defeated Demorat Steve Hodges in a race in which he was heavily favored.

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Connecticut lawmakers on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill blocking the public release of photos of homicide victims and other records in response to the Newtown school shooting, The Hartford Courant reports

The legislation applies to all homicide cases in the state and will block disclosure of photos, videos, or video stills "depicting the victim of a homicide, to the extent that such record could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy" of the victim or the victim's family. The original language of the bill would have blocked audiotapes of 911 calls from public release as well, but that language was revised in order to allow the bill to pass.

Only four legislators voted against the bill in either house. Gov. Daniel P. Malloy (D) is expected to sign the bill into law, which would take effect immediately.

"My goal with this legislation was to provide some measure of protection for the families affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School [in Newtown]," Malloy said in a statement. "But the fact is, all families have a right to grieve in private."

In addition, the legislation establishes a task force "to consider and make recommendations regarding the balance between victim privacy under the Freedom of Information Act and the public's right to know." 

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Michelle Obama was confronted by an LGBT rights activist who interrupted the first lady's speech at a private fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday night, according to a pool report.

Some 200 people attended the DNC fundraiser at a private home in Washington, D.C. When one protestor shouted for an executive order on gay rights and disrupted her speech, the first lady stood firm.

"One of the things I don't do well is this," Obama said, per the pool report. She left the podium and moved toward the protestor, saying they could "listen to me or you can take the mic, but I'm leaving. You all decide. You have one choice."

Heather Cronk, co-director of the LGBT rights group GetEQUAL, contacted a pool reporter and identified one of its members, Ellen Sturtz, as the heckler. Cronk said Sturtz was advocating for an executive order barring sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination by federal contractors.

Update: The Huffington Post spoke with Sturtz, who said she was disappointed in the first lady's response. 

"Basically, I was asked by the first lady to be quiet, and I can't be quiet any longer," Sturtz said. "I was surprised by how negative the crowd seemed to be. It was actually a little unsettling and disturbing."

Update: BuzzFeed has posted audio of the confrontation:

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A district court judge on Tuesday ordered prominent Utah gun lobbyist Clark Aposhian to remove all firearms from his home, office and on his person, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Domestic violence charges are pending against Aposhian, who allegedly drove an army surplus truck onto his ex-wife's property on Memorial Day and threatened to "run over" her husband.

In court Tuesday, Aposhian said he understood the charges and plead not guilty.

Aposhian chairs the Utah Shooting Sports Council and stirred controversy nationwide when he held free concealed-carry classes to arm Utah educators in the wake of the Sandy Hook, Conn. elementary school shooting.

The Tribune previously reported that Aposhian may have to step down from his chair position if convicted.

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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said "it's irrefutable" that the Republican party's reaction to President Obama's judicial nominations "has gotten out of control" in a press briefing Tuesday. 

Asked why President Obama appeared "heated" during a press conference in the Rose Garden this morning announcing his judicial nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court, Carney cited the GOP's delay in approving nominations.

"The president spoke today because this is an issue that is vital to the carrying out of justice in our system of government," Carney said. "As the president made clear, his nominees have been subjected to political obstruction repeatedly."

The press secretary cited Caitlin Halligan, whose nomination to the Court was withdrawn in March, as an example of a highly qualified judicial nominee filibustered by the GOP.

When a reporter asked him to address Sen. Chuck Grassley's (R-IA) suggestion that seats on the D.C. Circuit be shifted away to address the heavier workloads of other courts, Carney said that claim is "spurious on its face."

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