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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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A weeks-long standoff between Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) and the state legislature had its day in court Friday. The state Supreme Court heard arguments as to whether the governor missed the deadline to veto 65 bills that lawmakers say are now law due to his delay.

The discussion revolved around thorny, complex issues of procedural mechanics and constitutional balance of power between the executive and legislative branches. Over the course of about 45 minutes, LePage's counsel Cynthia Montgomery and the attorney representing Maine's House and Senate each had 15 minutes each for their opposing arguments, with Montgomery given the opportunity for rebuttal at the end. Additionally, an attorney representing a few House Republicans as well as counsel for the attorney general each had a few minutes to make their cases, with the former favoring LePage's view and the latter challenging it.

The justices were clearly seeking to streamline the arguments being presented in front of them, perhaps knowing both the short-term impact of their decision on dozens of pieces of legislation, as well as the long-term precedent they could set in navigating what has become a constitutional crisis. Their questions touched on both broad understanding of the executive branch's veto powers and LePage's specific motivations in waiting to submit his vetoes. They were mostly patient to weed through the convoluted specifics of the case, but at times were willing to call out what appeared to be suspicious reasoning.

"Why, in a extremely difficult session, would the governor chose the time to [run] a test case?" one of the justice's challenged LePage's counsel.

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With the Maine Supreme Court set to hold oral arguments Friday on whether Gov. Paul LePage (R) botched some 65 vetoes, the governor is making a new legal argument that -- if adopted by the court -- could send Maine into chaos.

Legislators are arguing that LePage missed the deadlines in early July to veto the bills in question and thus, the legislation was already law when LePage did finally returned the vetoes days later. LePage says the legislators had taken the type of formal adjournment that under the state Constitution would allow him to wait until the next time they reconvened to return the vetoes. Lawmakers say it was not an adjournment but an informal break that would have kept the clock ticking. History and custom is on the legislators' side, but the governor has asked for the court to settle the argument.

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Conservative websites Breitbart and The Federalist are claiming that a reported cyber-attack of the Planned Parenthood website is in fact a "PR stunt" staged by the organization and the communications firm it has hired.

"PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S ‘HACKED’ WEBSITE LOOKS LIKE PR STUNT" blares the Breitbart headline.

The Federalist declares: "Planned Parenthood 'Hacking' Sure Looks Like An Orchestrated PR Stunt"

The Federalist has the more skeptical of the two takes.

"Planned Parenthood says it’s been hacked by 'extremists,' but a review of the publicly available evidence suggests that the only things being hacked at Planned Parenthood right now are perfectly healthy and viable unborn babies."

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Anti-abortion activists have amped up their campaign attacking Planned Parenthood ahead of a planned Senate vote to end federal funding to the reproductive health organization. The group called Center for Medical Progress released its fourth video overall -- and second this week -- purporting to show that Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting off of procuring tissues from aborted fetuses for researchers.

In Thursday's video, a doctor said to be associated with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains appears to discuss the pricing structure and legal classifications the affiliate prefers in its procurement of tissues for researchers, as well as the abortion protocols it follows to see to it certain tissues remain intact. The video released Tuesday features a woman who says she is a former worker for a tissue procurement company, in which she suggests Planned Parenthood nurses had profit motives in how they asked her to procure specimens.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) aides may have had a bigger role in a failed attempt to gut the state's government transparency laws than his office previously admitted, The Wisconsin State Journal reported on Thursday.

Emails surfaced by the Journal suggested the governor's office was behind provisions of the proposal that would have shielded “deliberative process" documents from open records requests. Walker is currently facing lawsuits from various publications and transparency organizations over his refusal to turn over documents related to the so-called "deliberative process," such as emails and drafting materials concerning how legislation evolves.

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Before Donald Trump was dominating sitting governors and U.S. senators in the polls, the top GOP presidential contender was facing off with an adversary of a different sort: Vince McMahon, the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.

In 2007, the two moguls staged a pay-per-view standoff known as the “Battle of the Billionaires." Akin to how 2016 candidates use surrogates to hash it out on cable news, Trump and McMahon used proxy wrestlers -- Trump, the Bobby Lashley; McMahon, the Umaga -- to settle their “beef.” Their wager? The loser would have his head shaved. If only the stakes of the 2016 debates were so high.

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Wheaton College has taken its battle over Obamacare's birth control mandate from the courtroom to its campus.

The evangelical college in Illinois told its students last week that it would be ending the health insurance plans it had been offering them due to its case against Obama administration, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The school terminated its plan not due to the fact that it was being forced to pay for contraceptive coverage -- it is not -- but that it is in a legal battle over whether it should even have to notify the government that it is seeking a religious exemption to providing contraceptive coverage. The current policy for religious non-profits gives them an exemption, at which point the government directs insurers to provide birth control coverage through a separate policy not paid for by the non-profit.

Wheaton contends that even the act of notifying the government of its religious opposition to birth control coverage makes it complicit in providing birth control. A federal appeals court has rejected Wheaton's contention, so rather than comply with the requirement that it notify the feds, Wheaton is ending all health coverage for students.

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Since the implementation of Obamacare picked up in the fall of 2013, Americans are reporting better health and easier access to doctors, a new study found. But minority Americans as well as lower-income Americans reported even greater gains.

“The reduction in the uninsured rate among Latino adults was greater than the reduction among white adults,” the study noted, with Latinos reporting a reduction at 11.9 percent compared to 6.1 percent reduction among non-Latino whites. Likewise, non-Latino blacks saw a greater drop in the uninsured rate than whites, reporting a 10.9 percent reduction. In the areas of access to doctors and medicine, Latinos and blacks also made greater gains than their white counterparts.

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Sen. Ted Cruz may be trailing Donald Trump in the 2016 polls. But at least on Capitol Hill the firebrand from Texas is top contender for Republican troll-in-chief. Cruz’s scorching floor speech Friday calling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a liar and the Sunday Senate shenanigans that followed are the only latest chapter in a series of public beefs with Republican leadership the Texas senator has had since taking office in 2013. Here’s a look back at the previous times the conservative troublemaker has ruffled the feathers of his fellow GOPers:

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Planned Parenthood confirmed Monday that its internal systems were the target of a cyber attack, hours after reports that hackers had gained access to the organization's internal databases and employee records. Planned Parenthood said that it was targeted by abortion "extremists" and had asked federal law enforcement to investigate the breach.

"Today Planned Parenthood has notified the Department of Justice and separately the FBI that extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood's mission and services have launched an attack on our information systems, and have called on the world's most sophisticated hackers to assist them in breaching our systems and threatening the privacy and safety of our staff members," Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. "We are working with top leaders in this field to manage these attacks. We treat matters of safety and security with the utmost importance, and are taking every measure possible to mitigate these criminal efforts to undermine our mission and services."

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