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Nine legislators, their staff and 200 activists packed the hearing room of the US House Judiciary Committee to standing room only recently to demand an end to mass voter suppression and the manipulation of U elections.

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Here's when you know something momentous has happened to our struggle over the Supreme Court's role: When Republicans largely give up talking about "judicial activism," when liberals speak of the importance of democracy and deference to elected officials, and when judges are no longer seen as baseball umpires.

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Since Karl Rove skipped out on his subpoena to appear before the House Judiciary Committee last month, the whereabouts of Bush's longtime political strategist have emerged -- Rove was in Crimea, Ukraine, for the fifth annual Yalta European Strategy summit. Also in attendance: former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

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Karl Rove had been subpoenaed to testify Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee about the partisan politics that allegedly played a role in the U.S. attorney firing scandals that shook up the Justice Department during Rove's time as a key White House adviser -- but he didn't show. Whoops!

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Bush lackey Scott Jennings gives Sen Pat Leahy the broken-record treatment, which has become so familiar Witness Leahy's frustration break as Jennings refuses even to describe his duties: "Let's not be too contemptuous of this committee You work at the White House You're paid for by taxpayers You work for the American people I'm just asking you what kind of work you do".

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It's way past bedtime for Gonzo. At this point, every day Alberto Gonzales continues as attorney general means more dishonor for the office and the nation -- and higher blood pressure for Senate Judiciary Committee members trying desperately to get a straight answer out of the man.

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The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold former White House counsel Harriet Miers and former White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten (pictured above) in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify on the firing of U.S. attorneys. The measure will now move to the full House.

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Monica Goodling, who had refused to testify before the House Judiciary Committee until she was granted court-approved immunity, had plenty to say to the committee Wednesday. The former Justice Department liaison with the White House criticized Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, who she said was "not fully candid" with Congress. Goodling also admitted unintentionally breaking federal law by assessing prosecutor candidates on the basis of political allegiance.

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