(CNN) - Arkansas became the latest state to have its ban on same-sex marriage overturned, after a state judge Friday declared the voter-approved measure to be unconstitutional.
Twenty-one gay and lesbian couples were part of a group of plaintiffs challenging Amendment 83 to the Arkansas constitution, saying it violated their federal and state rights of equal protection and privacy.
Memphis, Tennessee (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul sharply criticized Hillary Clinton for her handling of Benghazi, which he argued should disqualify her to serve as U.S. president, in remarks Friday to members of the Republican National Committee.
He charged that when Clinton served as Secretary of State, the agency was spending money on items that were not needed instead of boosting security for the U.S. diplomats serving in Libya.
CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 9, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BENGHAZI PANEL CREATED, DEMS STILL WEIGHING OPTIONS … Will it be a boycott or a chaperone? House Democrats remained undecided Friday on whether they would join a select committee created by majority Republicans to investigate the Benghazi terror attack. The chamber's Democratic leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, described a split in her caucus over the matter in remarks to reporters that lambasted Republicans for what she called a "political stunt," "subterfuge" and a "diversionary tactic."
Boehner, meanwhile, named the seven Republicans to serve on the new panel chaired by GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, a former prosecutor. Joining Gowdy will be Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Susan Brooks of Indiana, Mike Pompeo of Kansas, Martha Roby of Alabama, Peter Roskam of Illinois and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia.
In a letter sent to Speaker Boehner later Friday afternoon, Pelosi stated that her caucus is still reviewing Boehner’s proposal, saying it “does not prevent unacceptable abuses by Chairman Issa in any meaningful way.” – Dana Bash, Deirdre Walsh and Tom Cohen
FUN FACT: Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia is the only lawmaker of the seven GOP members named to the select committee that is not an attorney. (h/t Virginia Nicolaidis)
(CNN) - First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver Saturday's weekly address for Mother's Day weekend, the White House announced Friday.
The White House said her remarks will focus on the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria by an Islamist militant group and, more broadly, about education around the world.
Washington (CNN) – In Washington, Republican Rep. Todd Young helps write the nation’s tax laws, but back home in Indiana he violated state tax law, claiming a property tax deduction for a house he didn’t live in.
In 2012, Young, a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, claimed a house in Bloomington was his primary residence and deducted more than $200,000 from his property taxes - saving himself almost $5,000. Turns out, Young was renting the property, not living in it, according to documents obtained by CNN.
(CNN) – Gov. Bobby Jindal will strike a familiar refrain in a commencement address on Saturday, warning of an increasingly secular culture driven by a government that stifles religious liberty.
According to advance excerpts of his speech at Liberty University, the Louisiana Republican and potential 2016 White House hopeful will point to legal controversies of late, blaming the Obama administration, Democrats and the entertainment industry for an infringement on religious freedoms.
(CNN) - Vitriolic insults hurled by North Korea's state-run media are so frequent that they're usually not news.
But recent KCNA articles use such racially-charged rhetoric that they have drawn criticism from the White House's National Security Council, which called them "particularly ugly and disrespectful."
Memphis, Tennessee (CNN) – The Republican National Committee overwhelmingly approved a measure Friday that will punish candidates seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination if they participate in debates that are not sanctioned by the national party.
The penalty is meant to give the RNC more control over the presidential nominating process after party leaders watched a nasty, drawn-out primary in 2012 that included 20 major debates. Only seven RNC members opposed the new “rule,” while 152 supported it. The RNC also created a new committee that will oversee the GOP primary debate process including the timing, location and media partners for the debates.
Updated 2:17 p.m. ET, 5/9/2014
(CNN) - A leading pro-Democratic outside group is up with a new television commercial that attacks the GOP's new Senate nominee in North Carolina.
But the most interesting part of the ad by Senate Majority PAC is that the woman narrating the spot infiltrated Tuesday's victory celebration for the candidate, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis.
Washington (CNN) – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made his support for Hillary Clinton official on Friday, announcing through a pro-Clinton super PAC that he supports the former secretary of state for president, if she runs.
The former political adviser to Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama said he has seen Clinton's work firsthand and encouraged her to seek the office.