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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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) bashed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for suggesting affirmative action was sending Africans Americans to schools too advanced for them. Reid called the comments -- made during Wednesday's oral arguments for a major affirmative action case -- "stunning," "deeply disturbing" and "racist."

"It is deeply disturbing to hear a Supreme Court justice endorse racist ideas from the bench on the nation's highest court," Reid said from the Senate floor Thursday. "His endorsement of racist theories has frightening ramifications, not least of which is to undermine the academic achievements of Americans, African Americans especially."

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At least some of the conservatives on the Supreme Court seemed ready to kill affirmative action in public universities during Wednesday's arguments on the University of Texas at Austin's program, which already has been upheld three times in lower courts.

The conservative justices used the case to cast doubt on affirmative action policies in general, ranging from the suggestion that ​African-Americans were being hurt by being sent to schools with classes "too fast for them,"​ to questioning the benefit of having a ​minority​ in one's physics class.

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Democratic 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton used an extended blog post to bash Donald Trump's proposal to halt Muslim immigration and to also tie other Republicans to the proposal for their previous rhetoric.

"Now some of the same Republican candidates are saying that Donald Trump’s latest comments have gone too far. But the truth is, many GOP candidates have also said extreme things about Muslims," she wrote on her campaign website Tuesday. "Their language may be more veiled than Mr. Trump’s, but their ideas aren’t so different."

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush responded to a poll promoted by Donald Trump -- which showed the billionaire holding on to 68 percent of his supporters if he ran as an independent -- by floating the theory that the GOP frontrunner's candidacy might be a false flag operation planted by Hillary Clinton.

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At Supreme Court oral arguments in a case that could change the fundamental meaning of “one person, one vote,” the justices tiptoed around the racial and immigration issues that could explain why the case was at the high court in the first place.

The case, Evenwel v. Abbott, comes from Texas, a red state where Latinos are growing in political power. The challengers want the population of eligible voters, rather than total population, to be used to draw roughly equal districts under "one, person, one vote." Civil rights advocates argue that the challenge was brought in order to undermine the government’s ability to draw minority-majority districts and that using eligible voter population would give right-leaning white rural areas -- which have higher rates of eligible voters -- more political power.

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Donald Trump's call to halt all Muslims from entering the United States was, in typical Trump style, a ratcheting up of xenophobia fervor simmering just beneath the surface. Two of his rivals, Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), had already called for a moratorium on refugees from Middle East countries with an Islamic State presence.

But it also was the fulfillment of a long-held fever dream of an anti-Muslim think tank with ties among the hard-right Republicans. In his statement Monday, Trump cited a poll by the Center for Security Policy to argue that "the hatred is beyond comprehension" and that "until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad."

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In a letter to officials in the Obama administration, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) suggested the administration was stalling on providing information the senators previously demanded about people identified as terrorists. They are now calling for the immigration history of the woman suspected in the San Bernardino shooting and of the family of the other suspect, a man believed to be her husband, who was reportedly born in the United States.

The letter -- first reported on by Washington Examiner -- references an August request by the two Republicans for background information on 72 individuals believed to be terrorists.

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