News, Straight to the Point

News outlets reported late Thursday that the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapter at the University of Oklahoma had lawyered up as the fallout continued from a viral video of its members singing a racist chant on a party bus.

The fraternity chapter's board voted to hire high-profile attorney Stephen Jones as it mulled whether to take legal action against the university and its president, David Boren. Boren severed the school's ties with the fraternity chapter earlier in the week and ordered all its members to vacate their frat house.

Jones said in a news conference Friday afternoon that he wouldn't rule out filing a lawsuit against the university, although he and the members of OU's SAE chapter would prefer to come to terms with the university administration outside of the legal arena. Jones said that he'd been retained to ensure that the frat members receive due process before the university and the fraternity's national organization, but also to ensure the students' safety as they face physical threats from other students on campus.

Jones is best known for representing Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, but there are other aspects of his biography that are worth surfacing.

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WASHINGTON — It goes without saying that a Supreme Court ruling against Obamacare would be devastating for President Barack Obama, dealing a blow to his signature domestic achievement, as well as the millions of Americans who would no longer be able to afford health coverage. But it's not a zero-sum game.

The perils of a Court ruling to erase Obamacare subsidies in dozens of states extend to Republican governors who are eying the presidency in 2016.

The justices met Friday morning, two days after oral arguments in King v. Burwell, to cast their votes and decide whether the law restricts health insurance tax subsidies to state-run exchanges, as opposed to the federal exchange.

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The Department of Justice issued a report on Wednesday detailing what it alleged was the Ferguson Police Department's pattern of racial bias and violations of people's Constitutional rights.

Shortly after the release, Attorney General Eric Holder held a news conference in which he said the police had created a "highly toxic environment" for the residents of Ferguson, especially for blacks.

"These policing practices disproportionately harm African American residents," Holder said, according to prepared remarks from the news conference. "In fact, our review of the evidence found no alternative explanation for the disproportionate impact on African American residents other than implicit and explicit racial bias."

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The circumstances surrounding Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich's (R) sudden death last week remained a mystery even as the state's political establishment prepared to pay its respects today to the man who was the GOP's leading gubernatorial candidate.

Schweich died Thursday of an apparent suicide, just minutes after arranging a meeting with reporters to go public with allegations that the state Republican Party's top official had been spreading misinformation about his religion.

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Republican politicians and conservative pundits alike have been apoplectic in recent days over President Obama's approach to combating the Islamic State terror group in the Middle East in general and his administration's hesitance to label the group's militants as Islamic in particular.

The outrage surged against a backdrop of brutal attacks carried out by the terror group, also known as ISIL or ISIS, as well as a pair of shootings at a free speech event and a synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark.

By Thursday, the right's rage had spiraled into a litmus test in which potential 2016 Republican presidential contenders were leaping to tell the public whether they believed Obama really "loves America."

In some ways, the latest test unfolded much the same way as the last one did. In that case, the issue of the moment was unexpectedly and suddenly about vaccine mandates.

Here is a brief look at how the GOP's latest debate took root:

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WASHINGTON — Stalemate in the war over President Barack Obama's unilateral actions on immigration has put the Republican-led Congress on a path to partially shutting down the Department of Homeland Security on February 27.

With just five legislative days to go before the funding deadline, the House and Senate are at a standstill and there are growing signs that Congress won't act in time.

Here are five reasons why.

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Since news broke that Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) has an ornately-decorated congressional office styled after a room from Downton Abbey, there's been an increased focus on the Illinois congressman's spending. Schock, according to Politico and USA Today, charters private planes, stays in some of the most expensive hotels around the world, and uses a personal photographer. Here are a few of Schock's more lavish indulgences.

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You'd be forgiven for not understanding why measles vaccinations and the anti-vaccine movement have been dominating headlines the last two days, making it the improbable first litmus test for 2016 Republican presidential aspirants that has owned the latest news cycle.

Believe it or not, it all started at Disneyland.

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