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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After spending the last year railing against the Washington establishment on the campaign trail, it looks like Ted Cruz wants to stick around the belly of the beast, the U.S. Senate.

The Texas troublemaker announced Wednesday afternoon that he filed paperwork to run for his seat again in 2018, and that his senatorial campaign committee had been reactivated in the wake of the suspension of his presidential campaign.

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After winning the West Virginia primary Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told supporters at an Oregon rally he'd continue fighting to defeat Hillary Clinton—who is well ahead of Sanders in the delegate count—for the Democratic nomination.

"Let me be as clear as I can be, we are in this campaign to win the Democratic nomination," Sanders said, pointing to upcoming primaries in Oregon, Kentucky, and California.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is projected to win the Democratic primary in West Virginia, a state his rival Hillary Clinton won against Barack Obama in 2008. Clinton supporters were anticipating an uphill battle in the lead-up to Tuesday’s election. His West Virginia victory was projected by NBC and Fox News.

Despite the win -- and a series of recent success -- Sanders still trails Clinton in the delegate count and has virtually no path to making up the difference and winning the Democratic nomination.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders proclaimed himself the victor of the West Virginia primary Tuesday evening even as many networks and the Associated Press had yet to call the race.

"We just won West Virginia!" was the subject of a Sanders campaign email that went out to supporters not long after polls closed. At that point, NBC projected him the winner, but other networks have held off.

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Back on Capitol Hill for the first time since dropping out of the GOP 2016 race, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) again refused to say Tuesday whether he would support Donald Trump, after dodging the question earlier in the day in a radio interview.

"We suspended our campaign one week ago today. There are two and half months until the Republican convention, six and half months until the general election," Cruz said to reporters outside his Senate office. "There will be plenty of time for voters to make the determination who they are going to support."

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While avoiding saying Donald Trump's name out loud, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill that "the early indications are that our nominee is likely to be very competitive."

"We know that Hillary Clinton will be four more years of Barack Obama. I think that's in the end going to be enough to unify Republicans across the country," McConnell said in a press conference after the GOP caucus lunch, the first official gathering of Republican senators since Trump emerged as the party's presumptive presidential nominee.

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Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus was highly critical of the idea put forward by some Never Trump GOPers that conservatives should rally behind an independent or third party alternative to Donald Trump. Priebus called it a "stupid" idea that would "ensure a liberal Supreme Court for generations" while on the Sean Hannity Show Monday, as reported by Buzzfeed.

Preibus was asked by Hannity if he had spoken to 2012 GOP nom Mitt Romney or Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) about their desire to support a third party option.

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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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