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Thursday, Sep 03rd

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Supreme Court won't review Kansas, Arizona voter registration appeal

Kris KorbachThe U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's appeal of a federal court decision that partially blocked Kansas' attempt to implement tougher voter registration standards.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled in November 2014 that federal election officials didn’t have to help Kansas and Arizona enforce their state laws requiring new voters to submit a birth certificate, passport or other papers documenting U.S. citizenship.

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SCOTUS upholds Arizona’s system for redistricting

redistricting decisionThe Supreme Court ruled Monday that an independent commission created by Arizona voters to draw congressional and state legislative districts is constitutional. If the court had struck down AZ’s commission, it would have made it much harder for states to find ways to stop partisan lawmakers from drawing districts in a way that benefits their party.

By 5-4, the justices ruled that the Constitution does not necessarily bar states from cutting their legislatures out of the redistricting process. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor. Chief Justice Roberts, as well as Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito dissented.

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Conservative lobbying group ALEC sets sights on local lawmakers

ALEC Moments before Adam Briggle was arrested in early June along with other protesters for blocking the entrance to a fracking site in Denton, Texas, police Sgt. Scott Jenkins approached him with a smile. “He shook my hand and thanked me for my years of service to Denton,” Briggle recalled. “I thanked him as well. And then they put me in cuffs.”

In Denton’s fight against fracking, Briggle, a philosophy professor at the University of North Texas, became an unlikely advocate in the fight for community control over corporate interests. “I hadn’t even heard of fracking until I moved to Denton,” he said. Alarmed, however, by oil industry plans to put fracking wells close to schools, playgrounds and parks, he and other concerned citizens spent the previous four years organizing a grass-roots campaign to get an anti-fracking provision on the city ballot.

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Dear Sirs, I Am the Son of US President George H.W. Bush and I Have a Business Proposition for You

Jeb BushIn March 1989, Jeb Bush arrived in Nigeria to a royal welcome. More than 100,000 American-flag waving Nigerians lined the streets of Gombe to watch as the US president's son was honored with a 1,300-horse "durbar," a festival typically reserved for heads of state and religious holidays.

Bush later met with Nigerian dictator Ibrahim Babangida, who had come to power in a 1985 military coup. They chatted about Cuban human rights and the failed nomination of John Tower, Bush's father's pick for defense secretary.

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Angry US Republicans tell Pope Francis to ‘stick with his job and we’ll stick with ours’

Santorum angry at Pope FrancisLeading figures on the American right are launching a series of pre-emptive attacks on the pope before this week’s encyclical, hoping to prevent a mass conversion of the climate change deniers who have powered the corps of the conservative movement for more than a decade.

The prospect that the pope, from his perch at the pinnacle of the Catholic church, will exhort humanity to act on climate change as a moral imperative is a direct threat to a core belief of US conservatives. And conservatives – anxious to hang on to their flock – are lashing out.

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GOP operative sentenced to 2 years for illegal coordination

Tyler HarberA Republican political operative has been sentenced to two years in prison for illegally funneling campaign contributions from a super PAC he secretly ran to a congressional campaign he was managing.

Thirty-four-year-old Tyler Harber of Alexandria was sentenced Friday in federal court in Virginia. In February, he became the first person convicted of illegally coordinating campaign contributions between political committees.

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Iowa Republicans ending straw poll, a tradition born in 1979

Iowa straw poll endsThe Iowa Republican straw poll, once a staple campaign event for GOP presidential candidates, is vanishing because of waning interest from 2016 hopefuls and questions about its relevancy.

A governing board for the Republican Party of Iowa voted unanimously during a private conference call Friday to drop the event, according to state GOP Chairman Jeff Kauffman. It was scheduled to be held in the central Iowa city of Boone on Aug. 8.

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