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Ted Cruz submits bill to block federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples in red states

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Tea Party darling Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced an anti-same-sex marriage bill that would strip federal marriage benefits from same-sex couples living in states where only mixed-gender marriages are recognized.

According to David Badash at the New Civil Rights Movement, Cruz’s State Marriage Defense Act will also give anti-same-sex marriage states the right to nullify the marriages of same-sex couples living within their borders, should the Supreme Court find that such couples ultimately do not have the same right to marry as other U.S. citizens.

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Cruz has framed the bill as a “states’ rights” issue, insisting that the federal government has no say in determining whose marriages a state will recognize and whose it will not.

Currently, couples living in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage can travel to other states to be legally married and thereby receive federal benefits on taxes, retirement and other matters.

Cruz hopes to put a stop to that. He is also hoping to reverse the gains made by same-sex marriage advocates on the federal level when the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was overturned in 2013.

DOMA was the 1996 federal law that defined marriage in the U.S. as being between one man and one woman. Cruz’s State Marriage Defense Act would reinstate that definition and make it legal to discriminate against same-sex relationships in conservative states.

The bill states that “the term ‘marriage’ shall not include any relationship which that State, territory, or possession does not recognize as a marriage, and the term ‘spouse’ shall not include an individual who is a party to a relationship that is not recognized as a marriage by that State, territory, or possession.”

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The action comes just as President Barack Obama has urged the Supreme Court to go further than its 2013 decisions with regard to same-sex marriage. In remarks to BuzzFeed News on Tuesday, Obama said that he believes “the Supreme Court is about to make a shift, one that I welcome, which is to recognize that — having hit a critical mass of states that have recognized same-sex marriage — it doesn’t make sense for us to now have this patchwork system.”

Cruz is one of the many Republicans attempting to position themselves for a 2016 run at the presidential nomination. His bill was sponsored by multiple Republicans in the Senate. Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) has concurrently introduced a House version.


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Trump’s is appealing to an electorate that is ‘dissolving before his eyes’: columnist

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Writing in The Atlantic this Thursday, Ronald Brownstein says that Donald Trump is running for reelection for an America that "no longer exists."

"Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly reprised two of Richard Nixon’s most memorable rallying cries, promising to deliver 'law and order' for the 'silent majority,'" Brownstein writes. "But in almost every meaningful way, America today is a radically different country than it was when Nixon rode those arguments to win the presidency in 1968 amid widespread anti-war protests, massive civil unrest following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., white flight from major cities, and rising crime rates. Trump’s attempt to emulate that strategy may only prove how much the country has changed since it succeeded."

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Trump is a friendless ‘psychopath’ who now sees Kavanaugh and Gorsuch as enemies: Art of the Deal ghostwriter

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Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, who were nominated by Donald Trump, voted with the majority on Thursday against the president. Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter behind “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” says that the president now views the two Supreme Court justices as his enemies.

“The psychopathy is why he does what he does,” Schwartz told CNN. “He has no conscience and so breaking the law for him is no big deal.”

The Supreme Court rejected claims by Trump's attorneys that the president enjoyed absolute immunity, but the rulings may still allow him to keep his financial records secret until after the November election.

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‘Trump may well face charges’ after Supreme Court gave prosecutors access to financial records: Legal experts

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President Donald Trump could potentially face charges after the Supreme Court dealt him a loss in Trump v. Vance .

The ruling gives Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. the go-ahead to subpoena Trump’s accounting firm as part of his investigation into possible tax crimes involving hush money payments to his mistresses, according to attorneys Norm Eisen and Bassetti in Just Security.

"Trump has significant state law criminal exposure in connection with his hush money payments (for which his fixer Michael Cohen has already gone to jail on federal charges) — and more," the pair wrote. "Trump cannot pardon himself for state law offenses on his way out the door. And the Justice Department’s position that a sitting president cannot be indicted does not bind New York state authorities."

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