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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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** FILE ** Sens. John McCain (left), Arizona Republican, and Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, two of the authors of the immigration reform bill crafted by the Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Eight," shake hands on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, June 27, 2013, before the final vote. (Associated Press)

Immigration bill clears Senate, faces uncertain future in House; historic day for immigrants

Vowing that they have learned the lessons from the 1986 amnesty, the Senate on Thursday approved the biggest changes to the immigration system in a generation, promising this version will prevent another wave of illegal immigrants while granting a pathway to citizenship to most of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country. Published June 27, 2013

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, updates reporters on the pace of the immigration reform bill following a Democratic strategy session at the Capitol in Washington on June 25, 2013. (Associated Press)

Immigration bill clears final filibuster

Senators beat back a final filibuster of the immigration bill Thursday afternoon, clearing the way for the measure to pass in a final vote at 4 p.m. — intact and almost exactly as the Gang of Eight wrote it. Published June 27, 2013

People wait under a tree after they were detained by Border Patrol agents Tuesday, June 25, 2013, at a field in Edinburg, Texas. Agents took into custody 69 people suspected of entering the country illegally. (AP Photo/The Monitor, Gabe Hernandez)

Senate speeds toward immigration bill passage

The Senate is headed for its final immigration votes, with the last filibuster test slated for noon Thursday — a vote all sides expect will signal easy passage by the end of the week — and lawmakers are facing furious last-minute lobbying from both sides. Published June 27, 2013

** FILE ** J. Russell George is the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration. (Associated Press)

IRS auditor reaffirms that conservatives, not liberals, were targeted

The IRS inspector general said this week that while some liberal groups were given extra scrutiny by the tax agency, they were not subjected to the same invasive queries as tea party groups — a finding that seems to confirm a political bias was at play. Published June 27, 2013

**FILE** People wait under a tree after they were detained by Border Patrol agents on June 25, 2013, at a field in Edinburg, Texas. Agents took into custody 69 people suspected of entering the country illegally. (Associated Press/The Monitor)

Immigration bill survives filibuster, speeds toward passage

The immigration bill survived a major filibuster test Wednesday in a 67-31 vote that signals the measure is on a speedy path out of the Senate this week while underscoring just how far the bill has come since the last debate in 2007. Published June 26, 2013

Supporters of gay marriage embrace outside the Supreme Court in Washington on June 26, 2013, after the court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by holding that defenders of California's gay marriage ban did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings striking down the ban. (Associated Press)

Gay couples can immigrate under DOMA ruling

The Supreme Court's ruling that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional should immediately open up immigration benefits to same-sex partners in states where their unions are recognized as marriages. Published June 26, 2013

"We're working on this, we can still do it. We have to  make sure everyone's going to give a little," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Tuesday afternoon of progress on the immigration bill.

Slow-going on immigration in Senate

With the immigration bill's passage in the Senate now a forgone conclusion, the only question is whether the lawmakers will get the chance to vote on any other amendments before signing off and sending the measure to an uncertain future in the House. Published June 25, 2013

"We have made some technical fixes and clarifying edits to the legislative language, but that's it. This is a routine step."

As Democrats call on Congress to fix Voting Rights Act, GOP goes quiet

The Supreme Court didn't overturn the entire Voting Rights Act in its Tuesday ruling, but it did say that if lawmakers want to keep using it, Congress will have to update it for the 21st century. But that throws the problem over to a legislature that has had trouble passing the most basic spending bills to keep the government open. Published June 25, 2013

**FILE** The Supreme Court in Washington is seen June 27, 2012. (Associated Press)

Supreme Court says Voting Rights Act of 1965 is no longer relevant

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that states no longer can be judged by voting discrimination that went on decades ago, a decision that argues the country has fundamentally changed since the racially motivated laws of the civil rights era. Published June 25, 2013

Immigration bill advances in Senate; border 'surge' amendment exposes GOP rift

Senators voted Monday to add 20,000 more Border Patrol agents to the southwestern border and require a total of 700 miles of fencing within a decade, clearing the way for the broad immigration bill to pass the chamber this week — but opening deep divisions within the Republican Party. Published June 24, 2013

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Republican, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 4, 2013, following a Democratic strategy session. (Associated Press)

Reid moves to end immigration debate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moved Monday to end the debate on the immigration bill, filing a motion to set up final filibuster votes for Wednesday. Published June 24, 2013

**FILE** This photo shows the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court in a group portrait at the Supreme Court Building in Washington on Oct. 8, 2010. Seated from left to right are: Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Standing, from left are: Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. (Associated Press)

Supreme Court sends affirmative action case back to lower courts

The Supreme Court on Monday sent a major affirmative action case back to the lower courts to be reheard, ducking the chance to rewrite discrimination laws and instead affirming the current state of law for racial preferences, saying they can be used for admissions but only if there is a compelling need and no other remedy works. Published June 24, 2013

** FILE ** Visitors walk past the Supreme Court in Washington on Saturday, March 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Supreme Court to rule on Obama recess appointments

The Supreme Court said Monday that it will referee a simmering constitutional crisis between Congress and President Obama, with the justices taking a case on whether the chief executive can use his recess appointment powers to do an end run around a recalcitrant Senate. Published June 24, 2013

**FILE** U.S. Border Patrol agent Jerry Conlin looks to the north on June 13, 2013, near where the border wall ends as is separates Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego. (Associated Press)

Border fence is in the eye of the beholder

The border security deal senators struck this week does not call for 700 miles of new fencing, but rather for 700 miles in total — a figure the Homeland Security Department already claims it's near to completing. Published June 24, 2013

Senate border deal may clear way for bill, wave of illegal immigrants

The border security deal senators struck last week has cleared the way for the immigration bill to pass with the support of at least 11 Republicans who say the additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents and potentially 350 miles of new fencing make the bill palatable. Published June 23, 2013

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Democrats say they didn't concede on immigration bill

Democrats who wrote the immigration bill insisted they didn't give up any core principles in agreeing to more fencing and adding 20,000 Border Patrol agents to the Southwest border, telling Univision that illegal immigrants will still get legal status well before the new security kicks in. Published June 23, 2013

** FILE ** President Barack Obama, left, walks away from the podium after talking about the Oklahoma tornado and severe weather, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. At right is Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Border security proposal gives Napolitano new waivers

Analysts looking through the new border security deal in the Senate say it includes waivers that would let Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refuse to build any new fencing or install the new technology the plan lays out in close detail. Published June 22, 2013

**FILE** Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, accompanied by Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (right), Texas Republican, and Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 18, 2013. (Associated Press)

McConnell: Obama a free-speech 'bully'

A year after he warned that President Obama was pursuing a broad government overreach that threatened free speech, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the recent scandal with the IRS shows how far the White House has gone in a "coordinated effort to stifle speech." Published June 21, 2013