Wade Goodwyn

Abortion rights activists on Monday filed a challenge in federal court to stop Texas' new rules requiring health clinics to bury all fetal remains from abortions and miscarriages.

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Last year, the Texas legislature approved a $350 million cut in Medicaid reimbursement rates to early childhood intervention therapists and providers. The cuts, made to help balance a billion dollars in property tax relief, affect the most vulnerable Texas children — those born extremely prematurely or with Down syndrome or other genetic conditions that put them at risk for developmental delay.

It's called sticking to your guns to the noble and bitter end, and it's almost certainly what the Senate majority is going to do when it comes to refusing to even consider President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland.

Polls show the presidential race in Texas is closer than it's been in decades. Some even show the two candidates within the margin of error.

Does Hillary Clinton actually stand a chance in Texas? It's unlikely, but it could be closer than at any time in the past 20 years. The reason for how competitive the race looks lies in two demographic groups — Republican-leaning suburban women offended by Trump's comments about women, and Latinos, who are fired up to vote against him.

Suburban women cool to Trump

They congregated in VFW halls and sports bars, private homes and the back rooms of restaurants — Americans gathered to watch Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump finally go toe to toe.

Or to see how the Atlanta Falcons fared against the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.

One contest or the other, the seductive glow of large flat panels drew more than the usual contingent of moths to their Monday night flames.

The Clinton crowd

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A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked the Obama administration's public schools directive for transgender students. The guidelines allow students to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

It's been almost a month since Micah Xavier Johnson murdered five Dallas police officers and wounded 11 other people following a protest march. In the days that followed, the city's white mayor, Mike Rawlings, and black police chief, David Brown, appeared together openly grieving, offering words of consolation and praising the bravery of their officers.

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In Texas, Republican leaders are denouncing today's directive from President Obama on transgender students. Here's the state's Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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And now we have a story of when the free market eats its own. The market in question is the one for oil. There is a global surplus. Producers around the world are pumping more than the world consumes.

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Polls are just closing on this Super Tuesday in Georgia, Vermont and Virginia. And NPR's Ron Elving is with us watching results come in. Hi, Ron.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Hello, Ari.

SHAPIRO: What do we know at this early stage?

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"My friends, it's Saturday night, this is an emergency transmission. Associate Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia died earlier today at a ranch outside Big Bend in South Texas. ... The question is, was Anthony Scalia murdered?"

So begins conservative talk show host Alex Jones' Internet video. Jones then quickly answered his dramatic query "Has the Bill of Rights and the Constitution been murdered?" Yes, he says, yes they have.

The day David Daleiden turned himself in at the Harris County courthouse, the throng of media there was a good indication of just how much this indictment means to both sides of the abortion debate.

Daleiden's attorney Jared Woodfill took full opportunity to express his indignation.

For the past five years, the Texas Legislature has done everything in its power to defund Planned Parenthood. But it's not so easy to target that organization without hurting family planning clinics around the state generally.

Of the 82 clinics that have closed, only a third were Planned Parenthood.

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