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Trump jests about Scalia widow at Medal of Freedom event for having 9 kids

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By Adam Edelman

It wasn’t just Antonin Scalia’s conservative jurisprudence that impressed President Donald Trump.

At a Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House on Friday, the commander in chief lauded the Supreme Court justice — and his wife, Maureen, who accepted the medal posthumously for her husband — for their proficiency in procreating.

Trump, in his introduction of Maureen Scalia, pointed out that the couple had nine children together.

“You were very busy,” Trump said. “Wow. Wow.”

“I always knew I liked him,” he added, to laughter from those in attendance at the ceremony.

The Medal of Freedom is the highest national honor a president can bestow on a civilian.

Antonin Scalia, who had been the bench’s longtime ideological conservative, died in February 2016 at the age of 79.

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California sues Trump administration over $1 billion in canceled high-speed rail money

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By Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California has sued to block the administration of President Donald Trump from cancelling nearly $1 billion for the state’s high-speed rail project.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday comes after the administration revoked the funding last week.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has called the move illegal and says it’s political retribution for California’s resistance to Trump’s immigration policies.

The state also plans to file for a temporary restraining order blocking the administration from awarding the money to another project.

The $929 million comes with the requirement that California complete a 119-mile segment of track in the state’s Central Valley agricultural heartland and environmental work on the entire line by 2022.

The Federal Railroad Administration says California can’t meet that deadline.

The state ultimately hopes to link Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Trump wants immigrants to take a ‘civics exam.’ They once had to solve a wooden puzzle.

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By Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — President Donald Trump announced last week a wide-ranging immigration plan that would change how certain immigrants would be allowed in the U.S. His proposal includes a civics test for entrance that some critics say could exclude many high-skilled immigrants. Other critics called the idea of a civics exam bizarre and charged that some U.S. citizens even might fail such a test.

If adopted, this would not be the first time the U.S. has embraced a physical or mental exam for immigrants seeking just to get into the country outside of becoming a citizen. Here’s a look at how the U.S. used entrance exams on aspiring immigrants throughout history:

ELLIS ISLAND

Millions of immigrants from Europe would come through Ellis Island in New York Harbor before entering the U.S. in the early 20th Century and U.S. officials would subject them to all sorts of physical and mental exams.

To determine the “mental fitness” of new arrivals, an examiner administered an exam involving a wooden 10-piece puzzle known as the Feature Profile Test. According to the Smithsonian , officials said the exam would help keep out “feeble-minded” immigrants.

Howard A. Knox, a physician who developed the test, said it would sort out immigrants “who may, because of their mental make-up, become a burden to the State or who may produce offspring that will require care in prisons, asylums, or other institutions.”

The puzzle test was used until 1916.

Other exams involved asking children to speak to check for hearing and forcing toddlers to walk to check for physical abilities.

FORCED FUMIGATION

During the Mexican Revolution from 1910-20, the U.S. began adopting policies to halt refugees seeking to escape the violence. Some white people complained that Mexican migrants carried diseases and lice and demanded federal officials delouse migrants.

To enter the U.S. migrants were forced to strip and were sprayed with pesticides. Officials then threw their clothes in a steam dryer. It was later discovered that health workers had been photographing images of naked women and posted the photographs at a nearby cantina.

The practice of fumigating Mexican migrants continued until the 1950s.

Historian David Dorado Romo told NPR in 2006 in researching his book “Ringside Seat to a Revolution” he discovered that U.S. officials at the Santa Fe Bridge in El Paso, Texas, continued to delouse and spray the clothes of Mexicans crossing into the U.S. with Zyklon B — a cyanide-based pesticide invented in Germany in the 1920s.

Romo said the Nazis later used the same chemical as a fumigation agent at German border crossings and at gas chambers in concentration camps to kill millions of people.

THE MARIELITOS

In 1980, Cuban President Fidel Castro announced that anyone who wanted to leave Cuba was free to do so from the port of Mariel. As a result, nearly 125,000 Cubans jumped on watercrafts and headed to Florida.

U.S. officials soon discovered that Castro also was sending refugees from Cuban jails and mental health institutions.

The U.S. government soon took over the processing of refugees known as “marielitos” and placed them at detention centers. There, officials with the agency then-known as U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services, screened and interviewed the refugees. The refugees had to answer a series of questions about their past, any connections to organized crime and their mental health in order to be released.

Federal immigration officials refused to admit round 2,000 marielitos based on mental illness and criminal records.

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin fends off tough primary opponent

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin cleared his first hurdle toward a second term but had to fend off a strong primary challenge Tuesday, setting up a long-anticipated showdown with his arch-nemesis — Democrat Andy Beshear — that will settle the feud they’ve fought in courtrooms over education and pension policies.

While Bevin claimed the nomination in GOP-leaning Kentucky, an upstart challenger — state Rep. Robert Goforth — attracted nearly 40 percent of the vote in a sign the combative incumbent has fence mending to do with his political base after his high-profile feuds with public school teachers.

Bevin got a last-minute boost from President Donald Trump, a key ally who looms as a huge asset as the governor tries to overcome self-inflicted damage in what will be a grudge match against Beshear. National political experts will be looking to see whether a Republican incumbent closely aligned with the president might be more vulnerable than expected.

Beshear, the state’s attorney general, defeated two prominent rivals — Rocky Adkins and Adam Edelen — in the four-candidate Democratic primary. He’ll try to restore the governorship for Democrats and carry on a family tradition. His father, Steve, was a popular governor whose two terms preceded Bevin’s tenure.

Now he’s on to the main event to be settled in November — Bevin vs. Beshear.

Bevin immediately tried to frame the matchup Tuesday night, saying: “It’s going to be a remarkably stark contrast between the two tickets — conservative vs. liberal, black and white, night and day.”

Beshear ripped into Bevin’s policies on health care, pensions and education in his own preview of the fall campaign.

“It is not about what’s going on in Washington, D.C.,” Beshear said in declaring victory. “And it’s not about right vs. left. Folks, it’s about right vs. wrong.”

Wielding his authority as the state’s top lawyer, Beshear emerged as a Democratic obstacle to Republican dominance of state government. He challenged several of Bevin’s executive actions and sued to block Bevin-backed pension and education initiatives in high-profile lawsuits. Beshear filed the suit that led Kentucky’s Supreme Court to strike down a Bevin-backed pension law on procedural grounds last year. The pension measure sparked massive protests by teachers who converged on the state Capitol.

“Suing me is not beating me,” Bevin said on Tuesday night.

Bevin has the advantage of heading the Republican ticket in a state that has trended overwhelmingly toward the GOP in recent elections. In his low-profile primary campaign, Bevin touted job growth, low unemployment and his alliance with Trump, who overwhelmingly won Kentucky in 2016 and remains a political force in the bluegrass state.

Trump waded into the GOP primary by tweeting his support for Bevin and recording a phone message urging Republican voters to back the governor. Bevin shares a style similar to Trump’s. The Republican businessmen are proudly unconventional conservatives who favor social media and attack critics fiercely.

But Bevin’s most prominent Republican challenger garnered significant support. Goforth put at least $750,000 of his own money into his insurgent campaign, which attacked Bevin for his combative style and his struggles on the pension issue.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Bevin had 136,060 votes, or 52 percent, while Goforth had 101,343 votes, or 39 percent. Two other challengers drew the rest of the votes.

Goforth’s performance shows Bevin has “work to do,” GOP strategist Scott Jennings said, predicting that the Bevin-Beshear showdown will be close.

“I’m sure Trump will help shore up Bevin’s GOP flank,” Jennings said. “And that’s his imperative now: nationalize this race.”

Rep. Fred Keller, R-Snyder, from right, speaks as President Donald Trump looks on during a campaign rally in Montoursville, Pa., on May 20, 2019.Matt Rourke / AP

In a Pennsylvania special election, conservative state lawmaker Fred Keller won the special election for Congress in a heavily Republican district that sprawls across areas of central and northern Pennsylvania that are a stronghold for Trump.

Keller will replace Republican Tom Marino, who resigned in January after he emerged as a strong Trump ally in Congress.

Keller, a fifth-term state representative, beat 13 other candidates seeking the GOP nomination in the heavily Republican district before besting Marc Friedenberg on Tuesday.

Friedenberg, a lawyer and Penn State information technology instructor, was the only Democrat to seek his party’s nomination.

The current term ends in January 2021. The 12th District covers all or parts of 15 counties and is a strong source of support for Trump. Voters there backed the Republican in 2016’s presidential election by better than 2 to 1 over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Before he ran for the Legislature, Keller was a plant manager for a wood cabinet supplier and ran a real estate management business.

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