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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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An appellate court panel’s decision that narrowed the avenues by which courts can unseal grand jury materials — an issue that has implications for House Democrats who have demanded the grand jury materials from Robert Mueller’s probe — won’t be reviewed by the full appeals court.

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President Trump may have backed down from the census citizenship question fight, but the ripple effects of that battle are still being felt:

  • The ACLU is continuing to pursue sanctions against the Trump administration for allegedly obscuring key facts about the question’s origins during the litigation.
  • The House held Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for not cooperating with Congress’ investigation into the question. The vote sets the stage for the House to go to court to get the census-related documents that lawmakers seek.
  • The White House is trying to push out a top Ross aide from Commerce, in part due to his bungling of the question.
  • Advocates for an accurate count are still working to mitigate the damage already done to the survey by the push to add the question, news of which may have sown confusion and, in immigrant communities, fear.
  • I noted at Prime that I am keeping a close eye on a census case in Alabama that has taken on new importance now that the administration is apparently collecting citizenship data so that it can be used for congressional apportionment.

North Carolina’s voter ID law, which has been challenged in state court, can go into effect for the 2020 election, a panel of judges said on Friday. However, they stopped short of throwing the lawsuit out entirely.

Conservative activists are pushing a ballot initiative to change Florida’s Constitution to explicitly prohibit noncitizens from voting in the state. While the legal effects of the initiative are minimal, it appears to be a measure aimed at ginning up Republican turnout in 2020. Similar drives are planned in other battleground states.

There’s new scrutiny of  the Election Assistance Commission, where the commutes of two commissioners of the Election Assistance Commission are being subsidized by the typically cash-starved agency. “Christie McCormick and Donald Palmer, the two Republican commissioners, work most days from out of state — McCormick, the agency chairwoman, in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Palmer in a suburb of Jacksonville, Florida,” ProPublica’s Jessica Huseman reported Friday.

And Supreme Court Justice Elana Kagan, who wrote a blistering dissent to the court’s partisan gerrymandering decision last month, said she would never “become accepting of” that ruling while speaking at Georgetown University Law Center Thursday.

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Newly unsealed documents from the investigation into Michael Cohen give a tick-tock of who Cohen was allegedly calling and messaging as he scrambled to pay off a porn star who claimed to have slept with Donald Trump.  And one document, a warrant application, explicitly names the individuals whom the FBI believed were in contact with Cohen as the pay off was arranged.

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Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay a House vote scheduled for Wednesday evening holding them in criminal contempt of Congress for not complying with census-related subpoenas.

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