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Univ. of Texas professors sue for right to ban guns from their classrooms

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Three University of Texas professors asked a U.S. judge on Thursday to give them the option of barring students from bringing guns into their classroom after the state gave some students that right under a law then went into effect this week.

The professors said academic freedom could be chilled under the so-called campus carry law backed by the state’s Republican political leaders that allows concealed handgun license holders 21 and over to bring handguns into classrooms and other university facilities.

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“They don’t fear, they know that the presence of guns in their classrooms… would squelch (academic) discussions,” Renea Hicks, a lawyer for the professors told U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel.

The lawsuit is seeking a preliminary injunction to halt guns in the classrooms of professors Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter ahead of the start of classes later this month.

Anna Mackin, an attorney for the university, told the judge that if the professors banned guns in their classroom, they would be violating state law, and could be disciplined or terminated.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican and a defendant in the suit, filed papers to halt the injunction, calling the professors’ case a “frivolous lawsuit.”

“There is no legal justification to deny licensed, law-abiding citizens on campus the same measure of personal protection they are entitled to elsewhere in Texas,” Paxton said in a statement this week.

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Lawyers for the professors said they expect a decision before Aug. 24.

The professors argue they discus emotionally laden subjects such as reproductive rights, and it would be inevitable for them to alter their classroom presentations because of potential gun violence.

The law took effect on Aug. 1 as the University of Texas held a memorial to mark the 50th anniversary of one of the deadliest U.S. gun incidents on a college campus.

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On Aug. 1 1966, student Charles Whitman killed 16 people in a rampage, firing from a perch atop the clock tower at the University of Texas at Austin, the state’s flagship public university.

Republican lawmakers said campus carry could help prevent a mass shooting.

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University of Texas professors lobbied unsuccessfully to prevent the campus carry law, arguing the combination of youth, firearms and college life could make for a deadly situation.

Eight states have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Watch Devin Nunes freak out and eject reporters when asked about phone calls with Lev Parnas

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Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) lost it over the weekend when he was asked about his phone calls with Rudy Giuliani's associate Lev Parnas, who was recently indicted.

Nunes was at a Republican Party fundraiser in New York City when two Intercept reporters asked about the impeachment probe. Recent phone records subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee revealed that Nunes had multiple conversations with Giuliani and with Parnas.

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Trump supporters lose their minds when church shows Nativity scene in immigrant cages

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MAGA supporters are losing their minds after a photo of the Nativity scene at Claremont United Methodist Church was posted to Facebook.

The scene depicts Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus separated and put in their own cages, a reference to the families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. Inside the church, the family is shown as reunited.

Senior minister Karen Clark Ristine shared the image on Facebook with the message hoping that everyone in the United States could see the photo and read the story for Christmas.

"The theological statement posted with the nativity: In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world," she wrote. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the Holy Family. Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant. They feared persecution and death."

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Columnist nails Republicans for only caring about Hunter Biden now that his father is running for president

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One of the critical questions that must be answered by Republicans, according to one Washington Post columnist, is why they didn't care about Hunter Biden's position at Burisma for so many years.

In a Sunday piece, James Downie asked why Republicans didn't do anything about Hunter Biden five years ago when it was first revealed that vice president's son was on the board of a Ukraine energy company. The House and the Senate were being run by Republicans until this year. They haven't had problems with other partisan investigations against high-profile leaders. There were ten investigations into the Benghazi attacks, three hearings, 29 witnesses, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified for 11 hours. Yet, it was only after Joe Biden announced he was running against President Donald Trump that Republicans discovered an issue.

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