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Appeals court puts same-sex marriages in Nebraska on hold

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A U.S. appeals court on Thursday put on hold a federal judge’s ruling that would have allowed same-sex couples in Nebraska to marry starting on Monday.

The order came hours after the U.S. Supreme Court said it would hear oral arguments on April 28 on the question of whether states have the right to ban gay marriage, as Nebraska does by a state constitutional amendment.

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U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon on Monday found the Nebraska ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction in the case brought by seven same-sex couples in the state.

Bataillon delayed the order from taking effect until Monday to address state officials’ concerns of possible administrative turmoil. Nebraska officials quickly appealed the ruling to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The three-judge appellate court panel stayed Bataillon’s ruling and scheduled oral arguments in the case for May 12 together with three other same-sex marriage cases pending before the 8th Circuit.

“We are glad the court has granted the stay because it provides current stability in Nebraska’s marriage licensing process,” Attorney General Doug Peterson said in a statement.

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Danielle Conrad, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, which challenged the ban, said: “The discrimination that is enshrined in our constitution hurts our clients and countless other Nebraska families.”

The Nebraska plaintiffs include Sally Waters, who has breast cancer that has spread and wants Nebraska to recognize her 2008 marriage to Susan Waters in California in part to provide financial protections for their children.

The Nebraska case raises the same questions the Supreme Court is expected to decide by the end of June in cases involving Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

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(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Peter Cooney)


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The View explodes in confusion after Meghan McCain makes Trump’s Ukraine debacle all about herself

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Meghan McCain managed to place herself at the center of a debate about a whistleblower complaint filed against President Donald Trump.

"The View" grappled with reports that Trump dangled U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for damaging information against Joe Biden, and co-host Abby Huntsman agreed that was an impeachable offense -- but expressed doubts about the accuracy.

"This is a blown-up story and we have no facts, there's no gray area," Huntsman said. "It's black and white, and that would give Trump all the more ammunition if this isn't even true to say, this is what the media does."

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Dem lawmaker encourages acting-DNI to ignore White House and deliver the whistleblower report directly to Congress

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Appearing on CNN on Friday morning to discuss an alarming whistleblower report on Donald Trump's actions that the president's administration is withholding from Congress, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) encouraged the acting Director of National Intelligence to hand the report over and ignore the administration.

Speaking with CNN host Jim Sciutto, Swalwell made a direct appeal to acting-DNI head Joseph Maguire.

"This is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to unite and say, we don't want this in our democracy," Swalwell explained. "You know, that's why I wrote the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to, you know, have a bipartisan commission look at this."

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‘Young people have had enough’: Global climate strike youth activists on why they are marching today

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Today is the Global Climate Strike, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. As people took to the streets in Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia, we host a roundtable discussion with youth activists organizing marches in the United States — in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis — ahead of next week’s U.N. Climate Action Summit. We are joined by Xiye Bastida, a 17-year-old climate justice activist originally from Mexico who is an organizer with Fridays for Future New York and a student at Beacon High School in New York; Katie Eder, a 19-year-old climate justice activist who founded the Future Coalition, where she is currently the executive director; Juwaria Jama, a 15-year-old and first-generation Somali from Minneapolis, Minnesota, who is with U.S. Youth Climate Strikes and is the co-state lead for the Minnesota Youth Climate Strike; and Isra Hirsi, a high school junior and executive director of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, daughter of Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar.

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