Lauren Fox

Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.

Articles by Lauren

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) weighed in on the drama between the Pope and Donald Trump during a CNN town hall Thursday night, saying "I'm pro Pope."

"Put me down in the pro-pope column," Kasich said. "This man has brought more sense of hope."

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Shawna Cox, a leader and one of the few women involved in the Oregon standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, is demanding that the federal government pay her $666 billion.

In a lawsuit she filed in the U.S. District Court in Portland, she claims she was "maliciously prosecuted by State and Federal Bar Association members because they do not want to be held accountable for their subversive activities against the people of the United States of America," according to the Oregonian.

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Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, declared Wednesday that the president has a right to nominate a Supreme Court justice to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but Senate leadership also has the right to do with that nomination what they please.

He argued if Obama was to appoint a Supreme Court justice now, it could "smear the court."

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's bold statement that President Barack Obama should not even nominate a replacement to the Supreme Court sent a clear message to the GOP rank and file: We are not going to be seriously considering an Obama nominee.

However, some Republicans are hinting they may be mildly more willing to entertain the idea. Or at least are seeking to put a public gloss on their opposition that is less obviously obstructionist than McConnell's was.

So far, no one has broken with McConnell in a substantial way, but some of the GOP statements in the wake of Scalia's death have been more politic, careful and cautious than the leader's initial proclamation.

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The lag time was vanishingly short.

In a statement from the Supreme Court posted to the New York Times website at 5:56 p.m. ET Saturday evening, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed what the world by then had gathered from news reports. The conservative firebrand and progressive nemesis Antonin Scalia was dead.

Less than an hour later, at 6:26 p.m. ET, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stunned the political world with a statement declaring President Obama should not fulfill his constitutional duty and appoint a replacement to the highest court in the land.

"The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice," McConnell said in a statement. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

McConnell's statement had been preceded a short time earlier by similar sentiment from the Republican presidential contender, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who had commented on Twitter that "Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement."

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Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) played down the effects of an eight-member Supreme Court deadlocking 4-4 in major cases, during an interview Tuesday with CNN.

"A four-four court functions. It's functioned in the past. It will function this time. Just on the really controversial issues they will probably put them off for a year. It’s not the end of the world," Hatch said.

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