Census Bureau Announces States in the South, Northwest Pick up Congressional Seats

Texas and Florida are slated to gain congressional seats during the decennial redistricting process, while California and New York are set to each lose one, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday.

The U.S. Census Bureau released the decennial state population and congressional apportionment totals Monday, outlining how many districts each state will have for the next decade. The data also determines how many Electoral College votes each state will have through 2032, and allocates how federal money is distributed to each state for schools, roads and other public projects.

The release was originally scheduled for December, but faced delays due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Trump administration’s unsuccessful effort to exclude non-citizens from the count.

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13 States Sue Biden Administration, Demand Ability to Cut Taxes

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Thirteen states sued President Joe Biden’s administration over an American Rescue Plan provision prohibiting states from cutting taxes after accepting coronavirus relief funds.

The 13-state coalition argued that the provision included in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package preventing states from cutting taxes if they accept relief from the federal government is unconstitutional. The coalition, led by Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday evening in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

“Never before has the federal government attempted such a complete takeover of state finances,” Morrisey said in a Wednesday statement. “We cannot stand for such overreach.”

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Arizona and Montana Sue Biden Administration for Limiting Illegal Immigrant Arrests and Deportations

Arizona and Montana filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s administration Monday in an effort to block the limits on deportations, Fox News reported.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona, joined by Attorney General Austin Knudsen of Montana, filed a lawsuit in response to the 100-day deportation moratorium arguing that it will negatively impact their states. Brnovich said the immigration rules will cause a “humanitarian crisis,” Fox News reported.

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Commentary: The Keystone Cancellation and Biden’s Climate Cronyism

Among many executive actions signed on Inauguration Day to sweep Trump policies out the door along with the man himself, President Biden rescinded approval for the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Keystone XL, according to Biden’s top climate policy adviser Gina McCarthy, “was not consistent with addressing the climate crisis to the depth and scope that we are planning to address it.”

Keystone XL has now played the role of political football for a full decade, and Americans can be forgiven for having forgotten the project’s details.

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‘Nothing Left in the Bucket’: Wildfire Resources Run Thin

Justin Silvera came off the fire lines in Northern California after a grueling 36 straight days battling wildfires and evacuating residents ahead of the flames. Before that, he and his crew had worked for 20 days, followed by a three-day break.

Silvera, a 43-year-old battalion chief with Cal Fire, California’s state firefighting agency, said he’s lost track of the blazes he’s fought this year. He and his crew have sometimes been on duty for 64 hours at a stretch, their only rest coming in 20-minute catnaps.

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Conservatives Praise Supreme Court for Ruling States Can’t Discriminate Against Religious Schools

The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that states can’t cut religious schools out of programs that send public money to private education in a 5-4 ruling. 

Hailed as a victory for religious freedom, the justices upheld a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling in which almost all the recipients attend religious schools.

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SCOTUS to Hear Montana Case on School Choice, Religious Liberty

by Derek Draplin   The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a wide-reaching Montana case dealing with school choice and the First Amendment. The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will take up the case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which is being litigated by the Institute for Justice, a…

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Joe Robertson Was Imprisoned for Digging Ponds on His Montana Land, and Now His Widow Continues the Fight

by Kevin Mooney   The name of a Navy veteran may be cleared after he was convicted, fined, and imprisoned for digging ponds in a wooded area near his Montana home, to supply water in case of fire. The Supreme Court has vacated a lower court ruling against Joe Robertson,…

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Montana Governor Steve Bullock Announces 2020 Presidential Run

by Evie Fordham   Montana’s Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock announced Tuesday he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 and will kick off his campaign later in the day at his former high school in Helena, Montana. “I’m running for President and with your help, we will take…

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Obama-Era Judge Slams the Brakes on Trump Order to Open Fed Lands to Coal Mining

by Tim Pearce   A federal judge in Montana delayed a Trump administration attempt to open up more federal lands to coal mining Friday, The New York Times reported. U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ruled that the Trump administration illegally overturned a moratorium placed on coal mining on federal lands by former President…

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Trump Nominations Begin to Remake the Liberal 9th Circuit

by Fred Lucas   President Donald Trump is moving to make over the liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has delivered some of the most stinging judicial setbacks to his agenda. Trump announced three nominations this week to the San Francisco-based appeals court, which covers California, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana,…

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Ranchers and Native Americans Battle at Supreme Court Over Hunting Rights

by Tim Pearce   A coalition of agricultural interests is backing the state of Wyoming in a Supreme Court Case over the hunting rights of Crow tribal members from a 150-year-old treaty. Eight agricultural groups filed a motion in support of Wyoming on Tuesday for arresting a tribal member, Clayvin Herrera, after…

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Wisconsin and New Jersey are Among the States Looking To Copy Minnesota Model Of Using Federal Funds To Lower Insurance Premiums

Minnesota capitol

by Evie Fordham   Several states including Wisconsin and New Jersey are seeking to copy Minnesota’s model of federal reinsurance program funding that contributed to a 13-percent drop in premium rates in the state from 2017 to 2018. The Minnesota legislature adopted the program, which uses mostly federal funds to…

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