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Ohio: Federal judge overturns Cleveland’s restrictions on RNC protests | Cleveland Plain Dealer

A federal judge on Thursday scrapped the city of Cleveland’s plans for a heightened-security zone that would have encompassed most of downtown during the Republican National Convention, saying that the restrictions are burdensome to people who want to express their free-speech rights. U.S. District Judge James Gwin’s ruling comes 25 days before Republican delegates and leaders will descend upon Cleveland and forces the city to redraw the boundaries to the so-called “event zone,” which would have encompassed a 3.5-square-mile area at the heart of the city.

Full Article: Federal judge overturns Cleveland's restrictions on RNC protests | cleveland.com.

National: G.O.P. Chief Discourages Rule Changes That Seem to Block Donald Trump | The New York Times

The chairman of the Republican National Committee has privately urged members of the party’s rules committee not to make changes to the guidelines governing the presidential nominating process, an effort to avoid the appearance that the party is seeking to block Donald J. Trump from becoming its nominee. The chairman, Reince Priebus, whom associates describe as increasingly frustrated by Mr. Trump’s criticism of the delegate-selection process, sent a text message last week to multiple rules committee members strongly suggesting that they not alter the convention rules when the party convenes next week for its spring meeting in Florida, according to two who received the message. Separately, a group of influential rules committee members held a conference call Thursday to prepare for the meeting and reached a consensus that they would derail any attempt at the gathering to make changes to the how the convention is conducted, according to a committee member on the call. “We’re not going to do anything with the rules next week,” said Rob Gleason, chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party and a longtime member of the rules committee. “There’s no point because new rules will be written at the convention.”

Full Article: G.O.P. Chief Discourages Rule Changes That Seem to Block Donald Trump - The New York Times.

National: Corporations Grow Nervous About Participating in Republican Convention | The New York Times

Some of the country’s best-known corporations are nervously grappling with what role they should play at the Republican National Convention, given the likely nomination of Donald J. Trump, whose divisive candidacy has alienated many women, blacks and Hispanics. An array of activist groups is organizing a campaign to pressure the companies to refuse to sponsor the gathering, which many of the corporations have done for the Republican and the Democratic Parties for decades. The pressure is emerging as some businesses and trade groups are privately debating whether to scale back their participation, according to interviews with more than a dozen lobbyists, consultants and fund-raisers directly involved in the conversations. Apple, Google and Walmart are among the companies assessing their plans for the convention, which will be held July 18 to 21 in Cleveland.

Full Article: Corporations Grow Nervous About Participating in Republican Convention - The New York Times.

National: How an obscure committee could decide the GOP nomination | Politico

The four GOP presidential campaigns are quietly preparing for a battle over an obscure rule-making committee that could control the balance of power in a contested Republican National Convention in July. The convention’s 112-member Rules Committee wields enormous power to influence the outcome of the party’s nomination fight, including the authority to undo policies requiring most of the 2,472 convention delegates to abide by the will of the voters — freeing them to vote according to personal preference — or to erect all kinds of obstacles to Donald Trump’s nomination. “By majority rule, they can do anything that they want,” said Barry Bennett, an adviser to Donald Trump who’s coordinating the mogul’s convention strategy. “They can throw out the chairman. You can throw out the RNC members. You can do anything.”

Full Article: How an obscure committee could decide the GOP nomination - POLITICO.