February 16, 2016
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With Justice Antonin Scalia's sudden, unexpected death, the Supreme Court has one Hispanic female, two other female justices, one black male, and four white men — which counts as pretty diverse for a Supreme Court in many ways. Scalia obviously can't give his opinion about who should replace him now, but in a dissent to last June's ruling affirming the right to same-sex marriage, the late justice left some clues, Adam Liptak notes at The New York Times. And what Scalia wanted was more diversity — just not in the way that President Obama might think about the word.

The Supreme Court (until Scalia's death) "consists of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers who studied at Harvard or Yale Law School," Scalia wrote. Since Justice John Paul Stevens, a Protestant, retired in 2010, the court includes "not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans), or even a Protestant of any denomination," he added. (Scalia was Catholic, along with five other justices; the other three are Jewish.) Also, he noted, "four of the nine are natives of New York City," including himself, two were born in California, and only one — Indiana native Chief Justice John Roberts — is not from the East or West Coast.

Liptak adds that all but one of the justices served on a U.S. federal court of appeals — until the mid-1900s, most justices weren't sitting judges when elevated to the high court — and none had every run for public office or served on a state court. "Obama will consider many factors in deciding on the next nominee," Liptak writes. "He will no doubt nominate someone to the left of Justice Scalia. But he may want to listen to the departed justice's plea to broaden the court's profile." You can read Liptak's analysis at The New York Times. Peter Weber

2:06 a.m. ET
Rami al-Sayed/AFP/Getty Images

The Nusra Front, a branch of al Qaeda in Syria, announced Thursday it is leaving the group.

Nusra Front's leader, Mohamad al-Golani, said they will reorganize under a new name, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, "with no ties with any foreign party." He said the move is being made "to remove the excuse used by the international community — spearheaded by America and Russia — to bombard and displace Muslims in the Levant: That they are targeting the Nusra Front, which is associated with al Qaeda."

Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden's successor as the leader of al Qaeda, gave the Nusra Front permission to break away, Reuters reports. When asked about the news, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said, "We're gonna have to wait and see. We judge a group by what they do, not by what they call themselves." Catherine Garcia

1:39 a.m. ET

In 2008, when Barack Obama became the first African-American presidential nominee, his opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), released an ad congratulating him on making history.

"Sen. Obama, this is truly a good day for America," McCain said. "Too often, the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed, so I wanted to stop and say congratulations. How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow we'll be back at it, but tonight, Senator, job well done."

On Thursday, when Hillary Clinton became the first woman to ever become the presidential nominee of a major party, that didn't happen — but this did. Catherine Garcia

12:59 a.m. ET

So many balloons fell from the ceiling at the end of her speech at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night that Hillary Clinton seemingly didn't know what to do with them all.

She pointed at some:

Grabbed others:

Stared in awe at a few:

Looked at some like they were Donald Trump:

Walked gingerly through a sea of many:

And finally just disappeared for awhile:

Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton was playing it cool.

Catherine Garcia

12:28 a.m. ET
Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Donald Trump seemed to hardly know where to begin after Hillary Clinton's Democratic National Convention speech Thursday night. So, as the Republican presidential nominee's Twitter feed shows, he just chucked every single criticism he could think of at her, in no particular order. Behold, the result:

Bad "judgement" indeed. Becca Stanek

12:18 a.m. ET
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Hillary Clinton went deep into the archives, quoting another former first lady to try to prove her point that Donald Trump doesn't have the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief.

"I can't put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis," Clinton said. "She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started — not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men — the ones moved by fear and pride." Clinton quoted Kennedy on what would have been her 87th birthday. Catherine Garcia

July 28, 2016
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

President Obama thought Hillary Clinton nailed it. Shortly after Clinton wrapped up her speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, Obama fired off this tweet lauding Clinton's leadership qualities and predicting the future of his current Twitter handle, @POTUS:

First Lady Michelle Obama followed up with some praise of her own, too:

The only question is, would former President Bill Clinton inherit @FLOTUS? Becca Stanek

July 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton wants gun owners to know that she has everyone's safety in mind when it comes to gun control.

"I'm not here to repeal the Second Amendment," she said during her speech at the Democratic National Convention. "I'm not here to take away your guns. I just don't want you to be shot by someone who shouldn't have a gun in the first place." If the nation is "serious about keeping our country safe," she added, " we also can't afford to have a president who's in the pocket of the gun lobby." Catherine Garcia

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