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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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Democrats will call for the end of the death penalty at their national convention this month, according to a draft of the party platform released Friday. The proposal represents a win for supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who called for the abolishment of capital punishment during the Democratic primary. Presumptive Dem nominee Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, approves of a "very limited use" of the death penalty, particularly in "horrific" terrorist crimes, according to CNN.

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A major Supreme Court decision on abortion has shifted the legal landscape around the issue, but the battle is by no means close to over.

On one side, abortion rights advocates received a Supreme Court-level confirmation of what they’ve always argued: that evidence matters, that claims of an anti-abortion law’s benefits must be thoroughly vetted, and if those supposed benefits do not justify the effect it has on access to the procedure, the law is unconstitutional

On the other side, abortion opponents are admitting short-term defeat, but they say they're digging in for the long haul. They believe that there are plenty of other types of anti-abortion laws that can still stand up in court and even the provisions invalidated by the high court Monday may still be defendable under different circumstances.

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Update: This post has been updated. A witness at a congressional hearing claimed Tuesday that Congress' two Muslim members spoke at a convention with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The allegations came during a Senate subcommittee hearing titled "Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts to Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism" sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

The witness, Chris Gaubatz, alleged that Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and André Carson (D-IN) participated in a 2008 convention held by the Islamic Society of North America, which Gaubatz labeled as a "Muslim Brotherhood event."

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House Republican lawmakers sought to reverse previously passed legislation restricting the display of the Confederate flag in federal cemeteries by slipping a provision stripping the legislation into a larger appropriations bill that included Zika funding. The House bill passed last week on largely partisan lines, but was blocked in the Senate Tuesday by a Democratic filibuster.

The Confederate flag language was just one of a number controversial provisions included in the bill, which also included an amendment cutting Planned Parenthood funding and other swipes at the Obama administration's public health initiatives.

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The Supreme Court, by a 5-3 vote, ruled in favor of abortion rights in a major case challenging an anti-abortion law passed in Texas. The majority opinion, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, struck down the legislation mandating clinics have admitting privileges with local hospitals and requiring they meet the same standards as surgical centers.

"We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes," Breyer wrote. He said that the restrictions placed "a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion," amounted to an undue burden on abortion access," and were violations of the U.S. Constitution. He was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Ginsburg wrote an additional opinion concurring with the majority. Justice Samuel Alito wrote a dissenting opinion, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas, who also wrote his own dissent.

The decision is a major victory for abortion rights advocates, who had argued the laws were not meant to protect women’s health, as the state claimed, but rather sought to limit abortion access. Other states have passed laws similar to Texas’ and their legality is now in question thanks to Monday's ruling.

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A delegate to the Republican national convention from Virginia filed a federal lawsuit Friday to avoid being bound to vote for Donald Trump on the first ballot in Cleveland.

The delegate, Carroll Boston Correll, is a longtime local GOP official who claims Trump is "unfit to serve" as President. Correll alleges in the lawsuit that state law which binds him to vote for Trump on the first ballot at the convention violates his constitutional right to free speech. Correll is seeking class action status for the suit on behalf of other bound delegates in Virginia, where Trump won 17 delegates in March.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. It list as its defendants Mark Herring, the attorney general of Virginia, and other state and local elections officials. Correll is being represented by a major D.C. law firm, BakerHostetler.

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The official focus of a press call organized Friday by the Hillary Clinton campaign may have been Donald Trump and his response to Brexit -- the United Kingdom’s shocking vote to leave the European Union -- but her previous rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also got an indirect shout out, though not by name.

Reporters pressed the call’s hosts, campaign policy advisor Jake Sullivan and communications director Jennifer Palmieri, on whether the U.K.’s surprise vote fueled by working class discontent and anti-immigrant rhetoric had raised concerns within the campaign, which is facing similar forces embodied in Donald Trump. Their implicit response was this: we beat the angry populist in the primary, and we are prepared to do so again in the general.

“When Americans wake up this morning and saw the impact that voters in another continent took, the effect that that had on our markets and the potential it could have an impact on our economy, they’re going to have the need for steady leadership, and somebody who doesn’t just offer anger, but offers solutions,” Palmieri said. “That's our experience, and what we saw voters ultimately wanted in the Democratic primary, and we think solutions are what voters are going to be looking for in the general election, too.”

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Florida businessman Todd Wilcox is the latest Florida GOP Senate candidate to drop out of the race following Sen. Marco Rubio's decision to run for re-election, the the Palm Beach Post reported. His decision to withdraw sets up a primary showdown between Rubio and Carlos Beruff, a multimillionaire whose campaign has taken on Donald Trump-like quality with its anti-Washington, anti-immigrant rhetoric.

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Reacting to the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union, President Obama said Friday he respected voters' decision, while stressing the "vital" relationships the United States has with both the United Kingdom and the European Union.

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