July 23, 2014

The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Libertarian Party to contest New Hampshire's HB 1542, a new state law that restricts the time candidates have to get their names on the ballot. The law stipulates that third-party candidates who want to get their name on the ballot must wait until January 1 of the election year to start collecting the necessary signatures. Because so many signatures are required — about 21,000, which is equivalent to 3 percent of the vote total from the previous election — third-party officials see the timeline as too squeezed.

Gilles Bissonnette, a staff attorney for the Civil Liberties Union, said his organization aims to have the law declared a violation of the state constitution, arguing that it disadvantages smaller parties that do not have the resources to collect enough signatures during the election year alone.

A similar law in Rhode Island was successfully challenged in 2009, with U.S. District Judge William Smith ruling, "The state has come forward with no legitimate regulatory interest whatsoever that would necessitate placing this enormous speed bump on the path to party recognition." Bonnie Kristian

1:03 p.m. ET

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer indicated that the Trump administration will revisit health care following the bruising failure of the Republican replacement bill last week.

Trump "talked about repealing and replacing," Spicer explained. "It's a commitment he made. He'd like to get it done."

Spicer dismissed Trump's comments about the ease of replacing Affordable Care Act as being "a lighthearted moment" and added that health care is an "ongoing discussion" for the White House. Either way, Republican health-care efforts will likely be temporarily abandoned as the party turns its attention to the budget and tax reforms. Jeva Lange

12:55 p.m. ET

In response to the outrage surrounding Bill O'Reilly's racist and sexist joke Tuesday — in which the Fox News host referred to Rep. Maxine Waters' (D-Calif.) hair as a "James Brown wig" — former Trump campaign adviser and congressman Jack Kingston took to CNN on Wednesday morning to defend O'Reilly. While speaking to host Chris Cuomo, Kingston claimed Washington politicians have "earned" the right to "humor and silliness."

"People make fun of Donald Trump all the time. They call him 'carrot top.' They say his whole skin is orange. They accuse him of all kinds of things," Kingston said to Cuomo during a debate with Jennifer Psaki, a former spokesman for former President Barack Obama. "It seems to me there is a double standard when somebody from the right is being criticized."

Continuing his defense, Kingston said, "What I don't like is the left always runs and clutches, 'Oh I'm a woman, don't say anything bad about me.' Or, 'I belong to a certain race.' It seems like it's always that card that's played."

On Tuesday, Waters herself responded to O'Reilly's comments, saying: "I'm a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated." Psaki also fired back in the debate with Kingston, saying, "I don't think sexism is a partisan thing." Watch the segment below. Sarah Weldon

12:31 p.m. ET

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer called on reporter April Ryan for his first question Wednesday, following a widely criticized exchange Tuesday in which Spicer scolded Ryan for shaking her head at him. If Spicer's gesture was an attempt to make nice, it didn't exactly work:

Many people slammed Spicer for the way he spoke to Ryan on Tuesday, including Hillary Clinton. "Too many women, especially women of color, have had a lifetime of practice taking precisely these kinds of indignities in stride," Clinton said Tuesday while speaking at the Professional Business Women of California annual conference. Jeva Lange

12:26 p.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8, its flagship smartphone and the company's first major product reveal since it was forced to recall the Note 7 last year because of its tendency to catch fire. The Galaxy S8 boasts a new "infinity display," which spans virtually the entire front of the device and curves around the edge. The new screen is possible in part because the physical home button has been eliminated from the front of the device; the phone can be unlocked via facial recognition software, while the finger scanner has been moved to the back, right next to a 12-megapixel camera. Other new features include Bixby, Samsung's version of Siri; system-wide voice control; and the option of turning the phone into a desktop computer with the purchase of a docking station.

Samsung is releasing two versions of the device — the S8 and the S8+, which has a bigger screen — which will be available for preorder beginning March 30, starting at $720. The official release date is April 21. Becca Stanek

12:16 p.m. ET

Officials have found the body of a 25-year-old farmer in the belly of a 23-foot-long python in Indonesia, French news agency AFP reports. The snake was described as "bloated and slithering awkwardly," which tipped off the villagers of Salubiro after Akbar (who, like many Indonesians, does not use a surname) went missing nearby.

"We were immediately suspicious that the snake had swallowed Akbar because around the site we found palm fruit, his harvesting tool, and a boot," said a senior village official. The official also noted that Akbar was swallowed whole by the snake, making him the only recorded death of the sort in the region.

Pythons do not normally attempt to eat people, although a security guard in Bali was strangled to death by a large snake in 2013. Jeva Lange

11:16 a.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump has tapped New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) to head up the White House's new commission to battle drug addiction. The commission, aimed at raising awareness and crafting new policies, is expected to be announced Wednesday, when Trump and Christie lead a listening session at the White House with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, other Cabinet members, and drug policy experts.

Though Christie was a devoted Trump surrogate and once even a contender for vice president, Christie insisted he has "no interest in having a permanent role" in the administration and is happy with the volunteer role he's been offered. "[Trump] asked me to help with this and I'm going to," Christie said. "It's an issue that I care about a lot in New Jersey and for the country, and so the president asked me to do this and I was happy to."

During his tenure as New Jersey governor and during his run in the Republican presidential primary, Christie has put fighting the nation's opioid epidemic and rising prescription drug abuse at the forefront. Christie's commission is part of the new White House Office of American Innovation, chaired by Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner, who reportedly had a hand in ousting Christie as Trump's transition chair. Becca Stanek

10:24 a.m. ET
Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images

Things did not look good for Donald Trump's presidential campaign in October of last year, when a 2005 Access Hollywood tape of Trump bragging about forcing himself on women was leaked. "When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything," said Trump shortly after he had married his current wife, Melania. "Grab them by the p----y. You can do anything."

Trump's comments disturbed Democrats and Republicans alike, with House Speaker Paul Ryan calling them indefensible. But today, Trump "laughs" at the reaction of his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, The Associated Press reports:

For laughs, Trump will sometimes recount a tense exchange with Priebus at one of the campaign's lowest moments: the release of a video in which Trump is heard making predatory comments about women. During an emergency campaign meeting, Priebus told Trump he should either drop out of the race or risk dragging down Republican candidates across the country. [The Associated Press]

Senior adviser Steve Bannon claims that it isn't Preibus' prediction that Trump finds funny, but the fact that he showed up to talk to Trump at all. "Reince had the courage to get on a train in Washington, D.C., go to Penn Station, go to Trump Tower and come to the meeting," Bannon told the AP. "That's courage." Jeva Lange

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