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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As the country waits with bated breath for Donald Trump to clarify where he stands on mass deportation, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh told a listener he "never took" Trump "seriously" on the issue and that Trump's supporters are "gonna stick with him no matter what."

The admission came after a listener called in to complain about Trump's current flip-flopping on whether he would deport the 11 million immigrants in the country, according to a transcript posted by Red State.

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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) -- the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and thus a major player in the GOP Senate's refusal to confirm President Obama's Supreme Court nominee -- opened the door to confirming Judge Merrick Garland in a lame-duck session, even as he continued to defend Republicans' stance that the successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia should be chosen by the next president.

At a question and answer session in Sioux City Monday, Grassley told attendees that, "It had nothing to do with Garland," but there was an "understanding" that Supreme Court vacancies that opened in up in a president's final year should not be filled by that president, according to the Sioux City Journal.

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Republican control of the House during President Obama's era was marked by high-stakes showdowns, intra-party sniping and the persistent threat of a coup against the GOP House speaker. A Republican House at the outset of a President Clinton administration could be more of the same–or even worse–if November losses erode the GOP majority, giving the Freedom Caucus types increased leverage in a more closely divided chamber.

While Democrats are signaling they're playing to win back the House, most forecasters still see a flip of the lower chamber to be a long shot. But that doesn’t mean Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the other GOP leaders committed to steering the party away from the recent dysfunction have any reason to breathe easily. An election that preserves Republican control of the House but shrinks GOP’s margins significantly will exacerbate the challenges Ryan was already facing in navigating a fractured party.

Here are 5 points on the headaches awaiting Ryan if Republicans’ margin over Democrats in the House shrinks.

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Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) -- the Senate majority whip -- took a subtle swipe at his own party's nominee Donald Trump for his position against free trade deals. Cornyn penned an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle Sunday that doesn't call out Trump by name, but given the centrality of opposing free trade to Trump's campaign, it's not hard to miss who the target is.

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Donald Trump’s latest line of attack against Hillary Clinton is putting Republicans in an awkward position, with even the GOPers out stumping for his campaign squirming when pressed whether they agree with his claim that Clinton is a "bigot."

As Clinton this week ramped up her attacks on Trump’s connections to the alt-right movement, the GOP nominee countered by explicitly labeling her a “bigot,” first in a speech slamming her "bigotry" earlier this month and then during an interview with Anderson Cooper Thursday evening where he said, “She is a bigot."

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Ann Coulter appears to wrestling with the five stages of grief that come when the GOP nominee upon whom you pin an anti-immigration book makes some erratic comments backtracking from his own hardcore stances the very week your book is set to drop.

Coulter hosted a book party for the launch of "In Trump We Trust" just hours before Fox News aired a town hall Wednesday evening during which Trump went the farthest yet in walking back his previous anti-immigration proposals. Among other things, he said his government would "work with" undocumented immigrants and he would let some stay if they paid back taxes.

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In a not unexpected move, immigrant advocates filed a lawsuit Thursday taking on a federal court ruling that blocked President Obama's 2014 executive actions providing deportation relief to certain undocumented immigrants.

The lawsuit argues that the federal judge who blocked the implementation of the programs -- Andrew Hanen, a conservative in southern Texas -- did not have the authority to impose a nationwide injunction. Because the Supreme Court was evenly divided when Hanen’s order was appealed to the eight justices, the new lawsuit could open the door for Obama's actions to go back into effect for at least some undocumented immigrants living in other parts of the country.

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Donald Trump’s recent waffling on his hardline immigration stances has put some of his most ardent and earliest supporters -- many of them self-proclaimed white nationalists, members of the alt right community or longtime immigration foes -- on the defensive, as they try to rationalize what the perceived shifts mean for their movements.

Alt-right activist Nathan Damigo pleaded for Trump to meet with prominent white nationalists now that the candidate has hosted a roundtable for Hispanic leaders. Ann Coulter went on a Twitter rant about Trump adopting the principles of immigration reform. Mark Krikorian, whose anti-immigrant think tank has been cited by Trump's campaign, compared the GOP nominee to Archie Bunker and said his campaign was "groping" towards real policy, albeit "clumsily and badly." The leader of the white nationalist American Freedom Party William Johnson was less distressed, suggesting Trump was merely tweaking the language around his mass deportation proposals to make them "palatable" for a "rising generation."

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In an opinion that went largely unnoticed, the Missouri Supreme Court issued a ruling Tuesday that had the effect of making most stealing offenses no longer felonies thanks to an apparently inadvertent change to state law way back in 2002. The far-reaching decision sent criminal defense attorneys across the state scrambling.

The case – State v. Bazell – was brought by a woman who had been convicted of multiples felonies for stealing firearms, among other things, in a burglary case. The court said the firearm felonies should be knocked down to misdemeanors because a portion of the state's criminal code designating certain types of offenses as felonies is written in a way that doesn’t make it applicable to the state’s definition of stealing itself.

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Texas and four other states, along with some religious medical organizations, filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging a regulation issued by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on transgender health. The challengers say the regulation -- which bans the discrimination of transgender health treatment in federally-funded services -- amounts to numerous statutory and constitutional violations, including infringing on the religious liberty of doctors.

The Becket Fund -- a religious freedom legal advocacy group that successfully sued the Obama administration over the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate -- is also involved with the case

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