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Trump administration poised to side with employers in Supreme Court case: source

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The Trump administration is poised to side with employers in a Supreme Court case over the rights of workers to bring class action lawsuits against companies, according to a court document and a source familiar with the litigation.

Signaling the reversal of a position staked out earlier by the Obama administration, which backed employees, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an independent agency in the federal government, said in letter to the court on Thursday that its own lawyer will represent the board in the employees’ class action rights case.

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It will take over from the Justice Department, which had previously handled the case.

It is unusual for the government to change positions in a case already pending at the Supreme Court, and a source familiar with the litigation said the change of lawyers indicated the department was likely to file court papers in support of the employers.

That would mark a sharp break from the administration of former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, which had originally pursued the case on behalf of the NLRB.

The legal dispute is over whether employment agreements requiring workers to waive their rights to bring class action claims are invalid, as the labor board has found.

The NLRB currently has a Democratic majority, isolating it politically from the Republican Trump administration.

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In January the Supreme Court agreed to review three lower court rulings, including one involving global professional services firm Ernst & Young, over the legality of the waivers. Employers have increasingly compelled workers to sign them as part of their arbitration agreements to guard against the rising tide of worker lawsuits seeking unpaid wages.

Companies say the waivers allow for speedier and more cost-effective resolution of workplace disputes. Class action litigation, on the other hand, is harder to fight and can lead to large damages awards.

Workers argue that pursuing their cases individually is prohibitively expensive and, without the prospect of large damages awards that class action litigation can lead to, lawyers will be deterred from taking their cases.

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The nine Supreme Court justices are expected to issue a ruling on the issue in the court’s next term, which starts in October and ends in June 2018.

(Reporting by Alison Frankel, Robert Iafolla, Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Tom Brown)

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GOP senator flops hard when CNN’s Tapper asks him to name one case where Trump cared about foreign corruption

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Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) on Friday furiously tried to deflect when CNN's Jake Tapper asked him to name one instance other than Ukraine where President Donald Trump held up foreign aid to a country because he was concerned it was not fighting corruption.

During an interview, Tapper asked Lankford if he agreed that Trump's primary concern in holding up military assistance to Ukraine was because he sincerely wanted to root out corruption in the country rather than urge it to investigate his political opponents.

"Yes, I do actually think he's concerned about corruption and the people of Ukraine," the senator replied.

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Fox & Friends audience revolts after Geraldo Rivera hammers ‘diminished’ Rudy Giuliani

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"Fox & Friends" hosts were shocked by Geraldo Rivera's blunt assessment of Rudy Giuliani -- who had appeared on the show a short time earlier.

President Donald Trump's attorney spun wild claims about Joe Biden's dealings in Ukraine, as the Senate considers impeachment charges involving Giuliani's own actions there and the president's pressure scheme against its government, and Rivera expressed shock and alarm.

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New report blows the lid off a shadowy Christian nationalist group’s effort to re-write the law

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Bills that that are popping up in Tennessee and other states which seek to discriminate against LGBTQ people and bring religion into the public sphere are no coincidence; they're the result of a coordinate effort by Project Blitz -- a consortium of three Christian nationalist groups: the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, the National Legal Foundation, and the Wallbuilders.

Washington Monthly spoke to Fred Clarkson, who's been studying the Christian right for decades, and he says that these bills "reflect the theocratic vision that’s animated a meaningful portion of the Christian Right for some time." According to Clarkson, Project Blitz's strategy is to divide their "model legislation" into three categories, depending on how much opposition each bill is expected to receive:

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