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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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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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Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition 2016 candidate forum, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump repeatedly returned to a riff about being a good negotiator like "you folks." He also said the attendees wouldn't support him because "I don't want your money."

Early in his remarks, he bragged about how little money he spent on his campaign thus far, adding, “I think you, as business people, will feel good about this and respect it.”

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), while speaking at a 2016 candidates forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition, acknowledged the "the details of what happened in San Bernardino are still unclear," but he was quick to link the shooting that left 14 dead to Islamic terrorism and his criticism of the Obama administration.

"All of us are deeply concerned that this is yet another manifestation of terrorism, radical Islamic terrorism here at home," Cruz said at the forum Thursday. "Coming on the wake of the terror attack in Paris, this horrific murder underscores that we are at a time of war. Whether or not the current administration realizes it or is willing to acknowledge it, our enemies are at war with us."

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Almost everyone in the voting rights community agrees that the unexpected case challenging long-held assumptions about the concept of “one person, one vote” -- which is being heard by the Supreme Court next week -- could have devastating consequences. But a point of contention among experts is what threat a more incremental decision poses to the already crippled Voting Rights Act.

The case is called Evenwel v. Abbott. It is coming out of Texas, where the challengers are contesting the state legislature’s senate redistricting plan. At issue is whether the use of total population to draw districts -- as Texas and other states have near universally done -- is unconstitutional.

The challengers suggest that some other metric -- perhaps one that counts districts by citizens or by eligible voters -- is preferable. They say their votes have been diluted because they live in a district that has a higher percentage of eligible voters compared to district that is roughly the same size in total population, but has a lower rate of voter eligibility -- in part because of the presence of Latino noncitizens.

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Alabama now faces a federal lawsuit over its voter ID law after closing 30 or so driver's licenses offices, many of them in areas with high African-American populations.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is bringing the suit on behalf of Greater Birmingham Ministries and the Alabama NAACP. It was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Alabama.

"The Photo ID Law was conceived and operates as a purposeful device to further racial discrimination, and results in Alabama’s African-American and Latino (or Hispanic) voters having less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate effectively in the political process and to elect candidates of their choice," the complaint says, alleging the law violates the Voting Rights Act as well as the 14th and 15th Amendments of the Constitution.

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