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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Thanks to North Carolina, major legal questions about how civil rights law applies to transgender people will be hashed out in a case about their access to bathrooms.

“Transgender rights still are very much an open question in American law,” Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA, told TPM. “It’s going to take a law like the North Carolina bathroom bill to bring the question of transgender rights to the courts for final resolution.”

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The Department of Justice Monday filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina's HB2, known as the state's "bathroom bill." The complaint alleges that provisions in the law that bars transgender people from using bathrooms of public agency aligned with their gender identity violates various civil rights laws.

In particular the Justice Department is focusing on North Carolina state government as an employer and alleges that enforcement of the law discriminates against transgender state employees.

"This action is about a great deal more than bathrooms," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in press conference announcing the lawsuit. "This is about the dignity and the respect that we accord our fellow citizens and the laws we as the people and as a country have enacted to protect them, indeed to protect of all of us."

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Donald Trump accused the New York Times and others Monday of misreporting his assertion -- made on live national TV last week -- that he would "make a deal" with U.S. creditors if he were elected and not fully pay back the national debt. In Trump's new remarks Monday, he also asserted that the U.S. government would never default "because you print the money."

Given the chance to respond to the firestorm created by his ill-informed comments on the national debt, Trump took aim at the New York Times, in particular.

"It was reported in the failing New York Times and other places that I want to default on debt," Trump said on a CNN phone interview Monday, reiterating his claim that he is "the king of debt."

"People had it, the Times and others, that, 'Oh Trump wants to go and see creditors and buy debt at a discount," Trump said.

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Donald Trump's newly installed campaign finance chair tried to walk back Friday Trump's idea that the U.S. should flirt with defaulting on its debt.

"I’d say, I’m not going to comment specifically on that. Obviously, the government has to honor its debts," Steven Mnuchin, who worked for years in the finance industry, said on CNBC. He was asked whether Trump was suggesting he was willing to "'adjust and massage' the full faith and credit of the United States."

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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) struggled to explain the so-called "Biden rule," when pressed by a progressive activist at a Iowa town hall.

Asked about when the clock kicks in for a president to no longer be able to nominate a Supreme Court justice, Grassley demurred.

"I don’t think that finite approach can be answered unless you actually want to write a rule or law that says that," Grassley said Thursday, describing the Biden rule as more of a "understanding."

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The same anti-abortion groups that have bashed Donald Trump for screwing up their messaging during the primaries are now singing his praises after he reportedly hired as an adviser John Mashburn, who was praised by one top advocate as "a smart strategist with deep pro-life roots."

"If I were running for president, I would want John Mashburn as a top advisor, too," Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, wrote at The Pulse 2016. "Congratulations on your new hire, Mr. Trump. If elected, no doubt John Mashburn will serve you well as you fulfill your campaign promises to defund Planned Parenthood, advance and sign into law the popular Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and appoint Justices to the bench who will protect and defend the Constitution."

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Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee who has made criticism of politicians' cozy relationship with Wall Street a hallmark of his campaign, has named Steven Mnuchin his finance chair. Mnunch spent 17 years working for Goldman Sachs before launching his own hedge fund, according to a Variety story about his involvement in a bankruptcy mess at a Hollywood studio.

"Steven is a professional at the highest level with an extensive and very successful financial background. He brings unprecedented experience and expertise to a fundraising operation that will benefit the Republican Party and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton,” Trump said in a statement announcing Mnunch's position on the campaign.

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