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US judge rejects Texas professors’ bid to halt student gun carry

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A U.S. judge rejected efforts by three University of Texas professors to ban students from bringing guns to their classrooms after the state granted them that right last year, court documents showed on Friday.

Professors Jennifer Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter had argued in a federal district court in Austin that academic freedom and classroom debate could be chilled under the so-called “campus carry” law backed by the state’s Republican political leaders.

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The law allows concealed handgun license holders aged 21 and older to bring handguns into classrooms and other university facilities, including the University of Texas system, one of the nation’s largest with more than 221,000 students.

“Plaintiffs present no concrete evidence to substantiate their fear,” U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote in his decision dismissing the professors’ complaint. Defendants included Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, University President Gregory Fenves and the university’s Board of Regents.

Paxton, who backed the law, praised the decision.

“The fact that a small group of professors dislike a law and speculate about a ‘chilling effect’ is hardly a valid basis to set the law aside,” he said in a statement.

University of Texas professors had lobbied unsuccessfully to prevent the law, arguing the combination of youth, firearms and college life could make for a deadly situation. Fenves reluctantly allowed campus carry, saying last year he was compelled to do so under state law.

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

A lawyer for the professors said the ruling was narrow and did not address the plaintiffs’ constitutional concerns.

“The order accompanying the dismissal doesn’t reach the merits of either the professors’ substantive First Amendment claims or any aspect of their Second Amendment and Equal Protection claims,” attorney Renea Hicks said in an email.

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As of the start of May, 10 states had provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public college campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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‘Stop tweeting about Joe Scarborough’: GOP’s Liz Cheney goes off on Trump after being asked about masks

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Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Wednesday broke ranks with President Donald Trump and said he should stop promoting baseless conspiracy theories about MSNBC's Joe Scarborough murdering a staffer 20 years ago.

As reported by Politico's Jake Sherman, Cheney brought up the president's murder conspiracy theories unprompted during an interview with reporters who had originally asked her about wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I do think the president should stop tweeting about Joe Scarborough," she said. "We’re in the middle of a pandemic. He’s the commander in chief of this nation. And it’s causing great pain to the family of the young woman who died."

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BUSTED: Trump flack Kayleigh McEnany has voted by mail 11 times in the last 10 years

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Trump White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany this week echoed President Donald Trump's statements that allowing everyone to vote by mail would result in an unprecedented surge in "voter fraud."

However, a review conducted by the Tampa Bay Times has found that McEnany herself has voted by mail a total of 11 times in the past decade alone.

"In fact, the Tampa native has voted by mail in every Florida election she has participated in since 2010," the Tampa Bay Times has found. "Most recently, she voted by mail in the state’s March 2020 presidential primary, just as Trump did after he made Florida his new permanent home."

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Kentucky militant’s wife plays victim after militia leader fired for hanging governor in effigy

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A right-wing militant was fired for hanging Kentucky's governor in effigy during a lockdown protest -- and his wife is furious.

Terry Bush, president of the Kentucky 3 Percenters militia group, lost his job Tuesday with Neil Huffman Auto Group after he was photographed and recorded hanging Gov. Andy Beshear in effigy before demonstrators gathered outside the governor's mansion and demanded that he come outside, reported the Courier-Journal.

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