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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.

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.

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

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GOP leaders in open warfare with Trump’s White House as another government shutdown looms

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According to a report in the Washington Post, GOP leaders are at an impasse with the White House on future budget concerns as President Donald Trump's chief of staff -- which is leading to fears of another government shutdown.

The report states, "GOP leaders have spent months cajoling President Trump in favor of a bipartisan budget deal that would fund the government and raise the limit on federal borrowing this fall, but their efforts have yet to produce a deal."

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Trump Twitter-snarls at ‘Impeachment Day’ protesters as the product of ‘Radical Left Democrats’

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President Donald Trump lashed out at Impeachment Day protesters on Twitter on Sunday morning, downplaying their efforts after seeing a report on Fox News.

Taking to Twitter the president wrote, "Yesterday was the Radical Left Democrats big Impeachment day. They worked so hard to make it something really big and special but had one problem - almost nobody showed up. “The Media admits low turnout for anti-Trump rallies ...saying enough. Democrat voters want to hear the politicians talking about issues. This is a huge distraction and will only help Donald Trump get elected. 'Greatest President since Ronald Reagan' said a counter-protester. LehighValleyLive."

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Trump’s first term: hits and misses

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"Promises made, promises kept," goes one of President Donald Trump's main 2020 reelection slogans. Is that true?

Here are some of the key policy hits and misses -- comparing his accomplishments to his promises -- from a tumultuous first term.

- HITS -

Economy:

The economy will be Trump's major selling point.

GDP grew 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 and the last recession was a decade ago. Unemployment is at a 50-year low of 3.6 percent.

Trump's frequent claim that the economy is probably "the best" in US history is an exaggeration, though.

Economists see growing dangers, including exploding government debt and growing backlash from Trump's aggressive trade policies, especially with China.

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