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Texas attorney general says college dormitory gun ban would break law

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Public universities in Texas would be breaking a new state law if they ban guns from student dormitories because such a prohibition would violate the rights of people with licenses to carry concealed handguns, the state’s attorney general said.

Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton issued his nonbinding legal opinion late on Monday after an advisory panel convened by the University of Texas system, one of the nation’s largest with more than 214,000 students, recommended on Dec. 10 largely banning guns from dormitories.

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A series of mass shootings at U.S. colleges including one that left 10 people dead, including the student gunman, at an Oregon community college in October has heightened concerns about firearms on campus.

“If a public institution of higher education placed a prohibition on handguns in the institution’s campus residential facilities, it would effectively prohibit license holders in those facilities from carrying concealed handguns on campus, in violation of the express terms of (the law),” Paxton said in his legal opinion provided to a Republican state senator.

Paxton was referring to the so-called campus-carry law, due to take effect on Aug. 1, 2016, that requires public universities in Texas to allow people age 21 and above who have concealed handgun permits to carry firearms into university facilities such as classrooms.

Paxton and other Texas Republican leaders who support the campus-carry law contend it will increase safety and prevent mass shootings on campuses.

The University of Texas advisory panel concluded that guns could not be prohibited from classrooms under the law despite opposition to the measure from faculty and students.

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The law is due to take effect on the 50th anniversary of one of the deadliest U.S. gun incidents on a U.S. college campus when student named Charles Whitman killed 16 people by firing from a perch atop the clock tower at the University of Texas at Austin, the state’s flagship public university.

University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven, a retired Navy admiral who formerly led the U.S. Special Operations Command and organized the raid that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, has called the campus-carry law detrimental to student safety.

Private universities were allowed to opt out of the law’s provisions and many have done so, labeling the measure as counter to their ideals.

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Paxton pleaded not guilty in August to three felony charges of securities fraud in a case that threatens his political career.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Will Dunham)

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2020 Election

‘Absolute immunity:’ Kayleigh McEnany claims Trump has monarch-like powers despite Supreme Court ruling

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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday said that President Donald Trump continues to believe that he has "absolute immunity" from prosecution despite a Supreme Court ruling that said otherwise.

At a White House briefing, McEnany argued that a high court ruling which gives prosecutors the right to subpoena Trump's financial records is actually a "win for the president."

"The president was making general point about deference and on the principal of absolute immunity," she explained. "He believes there should have been more deference [to him by the court]."

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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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