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This is it: Supreme Court agrees to decide same-sex marriage question

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether states can ban gay marriage, delving into a contentious social issue in what will be one of the most anticipated rulings of the year.

The court, in a brief order, said it would hear cases concerning marriage restrictions in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. The ruling, due by the end of June, will determine whether 14 remaining state bans will be struck down.

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The court said it will decide two questions: Whether states must allows same-sex couples to marry and whether states must recognize same-sex marriages that take place out-of-state. The court will hear an extended two and a half hours of oral arguments.

There has already been a legal sea change on the issue, thanks in large part to the Supreme Court’s prompting. It began in earnest in June 2013 when the court struck down a federal law that restricted, for the purpose of federal benefits, the definition of marriage to heterosexual couples.

Judges around the country later seized on the language in the decision, written by swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy, to strike down a series of state bans.

At the time of the 2013 ruling, only 12 states had authorized gay marriage. It is now legal in 36 of the 50 states.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

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‘Trump was caught’: Every major GOP excuse for president’s conduct destroyed by ex-prosecutor

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Former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade said Thursday's marathon impeachment hearing left her "shouting" at her television, so she gathered her thoughts and blew up Republican defenses one by one.

McQuade, an MSNBC legal analyst and former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, exposed the weaknesses in each of the GOP's sometimes contradictory defenses of President Donald Trump against impeachment by the House of Representatives.

Here are the GOP defenses I have heard so far to articles of impeachment, along with the knee-jerk responses I have been shouting at my television.

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‘Selfie-seeking frat boy’ Matt Gaetz scorched in brutal takedown after House committee blow-up

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In a brutally blunt look at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), the New Republic's Jacob Bacharach paints a portrait of a publicity-seeking Washington newcomer storming the nation's capital with an eye on mirroring the actions and rhetoric of the blustery president that he slavishly defends.

Following Gaetz's "drama queen" performances while serving on the House Judiciary Committee, Bacharach recalls, "On October 23, a gaggle of House Republicans, led by Matt Gaetz of Florida, stormed the Capitol’s Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility. Gaetz had hoped to expose the supposedly secretive nature of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. “Stormed” was his own overly dramatic word (though Gaetz soon topped it by comparing his crew to the 300 glorious, nearly naked Spartans who, as you may recall, lost to a numerically superior force during the Battle of Thermopylae). A more accurate description would be to say they barged into a committee room like a bunch of entitled fussbudgets, argued with the committee chairman, took selfies, and then trundled off to hold a press conference."

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2020 Election

How the ‘liberal’ media put Trump in the White House

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The American mainstream news media made many mistakes in its coverage of the 2016 presidential election.

It treated Donald Trump as a harmless curiosity because he was a reality TV show star and professional (alleged) billionaire.

Hillary Clinton’s shortcomings — both real and perceived — were amplified. Trump’s were downplayed if not largely ignored.

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