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North Carolina GOP overrides veto of their right-wing budget after tricking Democrats with surprise vote

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On Wednesday, Republicans in the North Carolina House of Representatives blindsided Democrats by convening what they said was a pro forma session with no votes — and then voting to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of their budget bill with half of members absent from the chamber at 9/11 remembrance ceremonies.

Democrats howled with rage as GOP Speaker Tim Moore forced through the measure, objecting that he had lied to them about the purpose of the session.

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Cooper vetoed the budget in June, saying that Republicans did not do enough to fund education, and called on the legislature to reach a bipartisan compromise.

The state Senate would also have to override the veto for the GOP budget to become law. Republicans lost their veto-overriding supermajority in the chamber in the 2018 midterm election — but some Democratic senators voted to pass the budget the previous time around, meaning the GOP should have the votes to make it law over Cooper’s objections.

The drama in the general assembly unfolds just as a state court ruled that the legislature was illegally convened through unconstitutionally gerrymandered districts that award extra seats to Republicans, and new districts must be drawn for 2020. The GOP’s efforts to replace their gerrymander with a fair map have not gotten off to a great start, with lawmakers bringing in a lottery machine to try to do the task for them.


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‘Stay out of the way’: Fox News sources say Justice Roberts will let GOPers win tie votes on witnesses

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Chief Justice John Roberts is expected not to weigh in heavily during the question and answer phase of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

As the trial moves to the new phase on Wednesday, Roberts has the option of "inserting himself" into the process to rule on questions or other matters, according to Fox News correspondent Chad Pergram.

But sources told the Fox News reporter that Roberts will follow the model of former Chief Justice William Rehnquist who presided over President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999.

Under the Senate rules, measures that do not receive a majority of votes fail. So if a Senate vote of witnesses was tied 50-50, the measure would not pass. Roberts could choose to break the tie but he is not expected to do so.

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Ex-Trump chief of staff John Kelly: ‘I believe’ John Bolton and the Senate ‘should hear’ from him

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John Kelly, a former chief of staff to President Donald Trump, told a crowd in Sarasota, Florida on Tuesday that he believes former national security adviser John Bolton's claim that Trump directly linked releasing military aid to Ukraine with launching investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Kelly told an audience at a Ringling College Library Association Town Hall lecture that Bolton is a reliable source and should be heard out if reporting about his upcoming book is accurate.

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Law professor who studied under Alan Dershowitz shreds his ‘shockingly wrong’ case against impeaching Trump

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Aya Gruber, a professor at the University of Colorado Law School who studied under Trump impeachment attorney Alan Dershowitz at Harvard, had some uncharitable words to say about her former professor's argument against impeaching the president.

"Dershowitz was my criminal law prof, and he was a good one," Gruber writes on Twitter. "But as a crim law prof myself, I can say his motive argument (Congress shouldn't examine the internal motives of POTUS so long he could have had a good reason for withholding aid) is shockingly wrong."

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