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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The Tennessee state Senate passed legislation Wednesday stripping funding from the office of diversity at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. A similar bill was approved by the state House earlier this week. The bill will return to the House one more time to consider Senate amendments before it heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

The Senate legislation was introduced by Sen. Todd Gardenhire, who accused the office of engaging in “foolishness.”

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This week gave Obamacare foes some health care industry lemons to turn into anti-Affordable Care Act lemonade.

News that the UnitedHealth, a major insurer, is cutting back its involvement in Affordable Care Act exchanges isn’t great news for the Obama administration. But it’s not the sky-is-falling, death-spiral fever dream that conservatives are making it out to be.

The challenges UnitedHealth was facing on the exchanges are legitimate, but rather than a canary in the coal mine of Obamacare doom, health care experts tell TPM, the news of UnitedHealth’s exit should be seen as collateral damage from the general chaos of a industry in transition, and that the specifics of its own business model -- including its strategy in the individual markets in particular -- played an important role in its decision.

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Immigrants -- and specifically, Hispanic immigrants -- are among those benefiting the most from Obamacare, a New York Times analysis published Sunday said. The Times' report on the first full year of Affordable Care Act implementation found that low-wage workers also saw their uninsured rates decrease sharply, as did part-time workers and those with only high school degrees.

"The analysis shows how the law lifted some of the most vulnerable citizens," the Times reported.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell turned down an opportunity to comment on his personal beef with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to implicitly criticize Donald Trump and said he is "increasingly optimistic" that there were would be a contested GOP convention in Cleveland.

McConnell did not call out Trump by name, but when asked by WHAS11ABC over the weekend to comment on Cruz's refusal to apologize for calling McConnell a liar, the Kentucky Republican instead pivoted to address claims that the delegate system was somehow rigged.

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If Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is thinking about dismissing a major immigration lawsuit on a technicality, he wasn’t showing it at Monday’s oral arguments.

The case is U.S. v. Texas, a lawsuit Texas and 25 other states brought challenging President Obama’s 2014 executive action that shielded certain undocumented immigrants from deportation.

An ideological 4-4 split would defer to a lower court’s decision halting the action, so the next best hope defenders of the immigration program had was that Roberts -- who in the past has shown skepticism to suits brought by states against the federal government -- would vote with the liberal justices to throw the case out on the basis that Texas didn’t meet the legal qualification known as "standing" to sue in the first place.

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A lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party challenging Arizona’s election practices is the latest front in the legal battle over voting rights since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act.

The legal complaint gives a glimpse into the meticulous details involved in election planning, details that, when overlooked, could have major implications for voters on Election Day. It zeroes in on Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county, where March's presidential preference election featured hours-long lines that made it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for many to vote.

Democrats say that many of the problems would have been prevented had the Supreme Court not taken a major swipe at the Voting Rights Act in 2013's Shelby County v. Holder decision. Due to that decision, Arizona was no longer required to submit any changes to its voting regulations for federal approval. Now Democrats are asking a federal judge in Phoenix to examine Maricopa's plans for carrying out its general election in November and make sure minority voters will not be disproportionately burdened by the system. It is also asking the judge to block state laws that Democrats say will also disenfranchise minorities and other Democratic-leaning voters.

Here are 5 points on how Dems say Arizona screwed up its election.

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When President Obama announced his major second term executive actions on immigration, it was almost immediately clear that it would lead to a Supreme Court showdown. But now that the case is finally at the high court, the conservative forces pushing it will be without a major ally, with Justice Scalia's unexpected death in February.

All eyes at Monday's oral arguments will be on Chief Justice John Roberts to gauge how he will navigate his court through an already hyper-political case that the vacant seat further complicates.

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A spokeswoman for Donald Trump on Thursday accused the reporter who alleged Trump's campaign manager had manhandled her of setting a "bad precedent," and said the allegation "actually hurts real cases of battery."

Spokeswoman Katrina Pierson made that comment after state prosecutors in Palm Beach County, Florida announced they were dropping their investigation into the allegations that Corey Lewandowski grabbed reporter Michelle Fields' arm at a campaign event last month.

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A federal lawsuit led by the Democratic Party and the Hilary Clinton campaign will be filed Friday challenging Arizona's election practices that allegedly led to long wait times in the primary contest last month, the Washington Post reported.

The complaint will accuse Arizona of having an "alarmingly inadequate number of voting centers" that "resulted in severe, inexcusable burdens on voters county-wide, as well as the ultimate disenfranchisement of untold numbers of voters who were unable or unwilling to wait in intolerably long lines,” the Post said.

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If an unexpected order the Supreme Court issued in an Obamacare case could be seen as a last ditch effort to avoid a four-four split, the challengers in the case do not look too eager to play along.

Both the U.S. government and the religious organizations suing it weighed in on what seemed to be a compromise proposal by the Court in the case -- in which religious organizations are objecting to the accommodation offered to them as a part of Obamacare's contraceptive mandate -- and neither side was too happy with it.

But, while government begrudgingly signaled it would accept the tweaks to the current workaround that the Supreme Court floated, the challengers in the case doubled down on their arguments that female employees should do the extra work to get birth control coverage if their employers object to it and that coverage must come through a separate "contraceptive-only" plan. Their posturing isn't going to make life easy for the eight-justice Supreme Court to avoid a tie vote, which threatens a patchwork system where some employees' access to contraceptive coverage could depend on where they live.

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