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Supreme Court refuses to take up challenge against New York public gun law

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The Supreme Court declined on Monday to discuss a challenge to a New York state law requiring prospective gun owners to demonstrate they need to defend themselves before getting a concealed-carry license for a handgun.

The New York Times reported that the court’s decision effectively backs a ruling by the federal Court of Appeals for New York upholding the law.

New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman filed a brief to the high court arguing that the New York law, similar to measures in at least seven other states, operated in accordance with the Second Amendment by allowing for private firearm possession while fulfiling state requirements for public safety.

In December 2012, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an Illinois law barring gun owners from carrying their weapons in public. State lawmakers were given 180 days to modify the law.

“The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside,” the appeals court said in its decision. “The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense. Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden.”

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BUSTED: CNN’s panel of women defending Trump’s racism were literally the ‘Trumpettes’

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CNN aired a panel that featured “Republican women” defending President Trump’s racist tweets, but failed to mention that they were actually part of a pro-Trump group whose members the network had interviewed in the past.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s faulty human shield against accusations of racism

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Ben Carson is back in the news — after another long absence — because Donald Trump has once again been accused of racism.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the only African-American member of the president’s Cabinet, and is often trotted out to clean up after Trump makes a mess too obviously problematic for the media to ignore. While Trump has tried to spin his recent racist attacks on four progressive freshman congresswomen as a strategic maneuver meant to manipulate Democratic infighting to his advantage, Carson's re-emergence from his stupor should be a clear indication that the president’s team recognizes the damage that can be caused by his unforced errors.

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An illegal trend could be emerging after Trump let Kellyanne Conway off the hook for breaking federal law

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Federal workplaces are supposed to be free of politics, but a Trump administration appointee used a government forum Wednesday to express support for the president’s reelection.

At a conference on religious freedom hosted by the State Department, an official told the crowd of several hundred people that “hopefully he will be reelected,” referring to President Donald Trump.

It’s illegal for federal employees to engage in political activities while they are on the job.

“It’s a violation of the Hatch Act for a federal official, to say in her official capacity, to hope that the president will be reelected,” said Kathleen Clark, an expert on legal ethics at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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