First up: An Obama-appointed federal District Court judge in D.C. hands down his ruling (PDF) denying a preliminary injunction that would have blocked construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, as sought on Standing Rock Sioux sacred lands near their tribal reservation in North Dakota. Moments later, the U.S. Departments of Justice, Army and Interior issue a remarkable joint statement calling for a halt of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-approved construction at one federally controlled waterway and for a voluntary halt by the Dallas-based pipeline company on private lands within 20 miles.
We break down both the court's legal opinion and the federal government's encouraging directive, explaining the reasons behind both, as protests by thousands of native Americans continue to grow each day near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers in the southern part of ND. Then, new polls find Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump shrinking or disappearing fairly dramatically in four different key swing states. And the parties challenging the state of Texas' unlawful Photo ID voting restriction seek emergency court relief after state officials (including its indicted Attorney General) attempt to undermine a court-ordered agreement that is supposed to allow registered voters to vote, even without the strict Photo ID mandated by the illegal statute enacted by state Republicans.
In the meantime, a new study reveals, yet again, that the only type of fraud that could possibly be prevented by Photo ID laws remains virtually nonexistent in the U.S., while another major new study offers empirical historical evidence documenting how such laws drastically and disproportionately reduce minority and Democratic-leaning voter turnout. Finally: Minnesota Democrats file suit at the state Supreme Court to have Donald Trump removed from the Presidential ballot, charging that Republicans failed to follow state law in their nomination process.
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