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Florida Muslims fight back after mosque removed as polling place

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The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says it will likely file a lawsuit against Palm Beach County’s elections department after the agency removed an Islamic community center as a voting site for the general election in November.

The Guardian reports that earlier this month, the county’s elections department head, Susan Butcher, decided to take the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR) off of a list of approved polling places after the department was inundated with anonymous calls from voters who said they were “uncomfortable” voting at the center.

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Butcher’s decision caused mosque leaders to accuse the county’s elections department of anti-Muslim discrimination, The Guardian writes.

Wilfredo Ruiz, a civil rights attorney and communications director for CAIR’s Florida chapter, told The Guardian on Wednesday that the group will likely seek legal action after Butcher visited the center’s leadership and general community, but chose not to reevaluate her decision.

“That’s why the legal process and our legal team are still very active, and why we’re exploring all the avenues,”  Ruiz explained. “We have been approached by other human rights organizations who are interested in joining the effort. The next step is most probably going to be a legal step.”

The Guardian notes that Palm Beach County has assigned about 80 Christian churches and five synagogues as voting sites, but Ruiz said he was not aware if any other mosques in the state of Florida had been designated as polling places.

Butcher emailed a statement to the Palm Beach Post last week, claiming that she decided to deny the ICBR as a polling place after some of the anonymous calls her department received included vows to sabotage any voting at the center.

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“When we received a call that indicated individuals planned to impede voting and maybe even call in a bomb threat to have the location evacuated on election day (no name was given during the call), we located the Spanish River library which is two miles away from the center as an alternative voting location,” Butcher wrote.

Butcher claimed her office got complaints from “50 or so anonymous callers” and several emails expressing opposition to voting at the center.

The Guardian notes that this week, Butcher’s office released documents indicating that the barrage of calls and emails started when some of the precinct’s 2,500 voters began receiving registration cards in the mail indicating that the Islamic center was their new polling place.

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According to the Palm Beach Post, Boca Raton’s two Congress members, Reps. Lois Frankel and Ted Deutch supported the use of the Islamic center as a voting site, releasing statement opposing religious discrimination.

“The right to religious freedom and the right to vote are both fundamental to our democracy,” Frankel wrote in his statement.  “All polling places should be safe, without discrimination against any religion.”

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BUSTED: National Archives caught doctoring exhibit to remove criticism of President Trump from women

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The National Archives were caught editing an artifact from the Trump administration to remove criticism of the president, according to a bombshell new report in The Washington Post.

The newspaper reported on a "large color photograph" at the National Archives exhibit marking the centennial of women's suffrage.

"The 49-by-69-inch photograph is a powerful display. Viewed from one perspective, it shows the 2017 march. Viewed from another angle, it shifts to show a 1913 black-and-white image of a women’s suffrage march also on Pennsylvania Avenue. The display links momentous demonstrations for women’s rights more than a century apart on the same stretch of pavement. But a closer look reveals a different story," the newspaper noted.

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Dershowitz is running a ‘bizarro defense’ of Trump: Harvard Law colleague says ‘Alan is just completely wacko’

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Two of the most famous names associated with Harvard Law School had competing appearances on MSNBC on Friday.

It began when Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus, was interviewed MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber about his new role officially representing President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.

Dershowitz claimed that neither abuse of power nor obstruction of Congress count as "high crimes" under the constitution.

Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has also been associated with Harvard Law for five decades, was asked about Dershowitz's argument during an interview with Chris Hayes.

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Why was Lev Parnas wearing a ‘Presidential Service Badge’ awarded to troops who serve in the White House?

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Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman posted a fascinating update about a photo of impeachment figure Lev Parnas.

The photo shows Igor Fruman -- who, like Parnas, is under federal indictment -- sitting closely next to Rudy Giuliani and Parnas.

Haber said a source informed her that in the picture, Parnas can be seen wearing a "Presidential Service Badge," linking to the Wikipedia entry on the pin.

"The Presidential Service Badge (PSB) is an identification badge of the United States Armed Forces which is awarded to members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard as well as other members of the Uniformed Services, such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time military staff to the President of the United States," Wikipedia explained.

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