Liz Halloran

Liz Halloran joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News, taking her print journalism career into the online news world.

Halloran came to NPR from US News & World Report, where she followed politics and the 2008 presidential election. Before the political follies, Halloran covered the Supreme Court during its historic transition — from Chief Justice William Rehnquist's death, to the John Roberts and Samuel Alito confirmation battles. She also tracked the media and wrote special reports on topics ranging from the death penalty and illegal immigration, to abortion rights and the aftermath of the Amish schoolgirl murders.

Before joining the magazine, Halloran was a senior reporter in the Hartford Courant's Washington bureau. She followed Sen. Joe Lieberman on his ground-breaking vice presidential run in 2000, as the first Jewish American on a national ticket, wrote about the media and the environment and covered post-9/11 Washington. Previously, Halloran, a Minnesota native, worked for The Courant in Hartford. There, she was a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning team for spot news in 1999, and was honored by the New England Associated Press for her stories on the Kosovo refugee crisis.

She also worked for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury, Conn., and as a cub reporter and paper delivery girl for her hometown weekly, the Jackson County Pilot.

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It's All Politics
5:57 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

One Year After Party 'Autopsy,' GOP Touts Progress

Immigration supporters gather during a rally for citizenship on Capitol Hill last year.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

One year ago, a frank Republican Party assessment of why it came up short in the 2012 presidential election included a stark recommendation.

Embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform, the post-mortem authors urged, or get used to a party whose appeal "will continue to shrink to its core constituents only."

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It's All Politics
7:27 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Hispanic Activists Vow To Keep Pressing White House Over Deportations

Demonstrators protest the Obama administration's deportation policies in Phoenix last year.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 4:52 pm

Five months before his 2012 re-election, President Obama announced that his administration would stop deportations of more than a half-million young adults, often referred to as "Dreamers," brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

Latinos subsequently turned out to vote in record numbers that fall. More than 70 percent marked their ballots for Obama — helping him win the popular vote and triumph in key battleground states.

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It's All Politics
3:32 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

New Climate For Drug Sentencing, Guidelines Expected To Change

In remarks last year to the American Bar Association, Attorney General Eric Holder addressed what he characterized as harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug crimes.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:27 pm

The nation's highest law enforcement official Thursday endorsed the "All Drugs Minus Two" proposal — as it's known by prison sentencing reformers — to change the way drug crime sentences are handed down.

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It's All Politics
2:11 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Obama's Overtime Move Designed To Excite Base, Swing Voters

President Obama speaks about raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour during an event last week in New Britain, Conn. The effort to raise wages is seen as part of his State of the Union promise of a "year of action."
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 10:42 am

President Obama's planned move to expand the pool of the nation's employees covered by overtime pay laws was hailed Wednesday by Democrats as key to their midterm election strategy.

And it was just as predictably criticized by conservatives as an overreach by a president who recently characterized income inequality as the "defining challenge of our time."

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It's All Politics
7:37 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Florida Election Tests Midterm Messaging

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Alex Sink, shown working the phone in Clearwater on Nov. 23, supports the Affordable Care Act but has said she would like to see it improved.
Steve Nesius AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 12:50 pm

There's a congressional election in Florida on Tuesday that's worth watching — even if you don't live in the Tampa Bay-area district where it's taking place.

It's not because the winner of the neck-and-neck special election between Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly will affect the GOP's stranglehold on the U.S. House this cycle. It won't.

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It's All Politics
6:55 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Top Conservative Event Opens With Big Names, Red Meat And Fun

CPAC attendees vote Thursday in the event's annual presidential straw poll.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 8:25 am

Star Wars storm troopers in full regalia protesting "oppressive economic policies."

A smiling, larger-than life Sarah Palin touting her latest cable television show, Amazing America.

Uncle Sam on stilts. Quadrennial pretend presidential candidate Donald Trump. A slew of legitimate White House hopefuls.

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It's All Politics
11:18 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Race To Stop 'Revenge Porn' Raises Free Speech Worries

Annmarie Chiarini, whose ex-boyfriend posted private nude photos of her online, has emerged as a leading voice in the movement to pass legislation that criminalizes "revenge porn."
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 1:42 pm

It's called "revenge porn" — the posting of nude or sexually explicit photos or videos online to degrade or harass someone, usually a former spouse or lover.

And states from Arizona to New York are racing to make it a crime.

It's a development that has heartened privacy advocates but alarmed free speech watchdogs who see constitutional peril in many bills being considered.

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It's All Politics
10:20 am
Tue March 4, 2014

The 'Blue-ing' Of Texas Is Unlikely To Start At The Top

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is expected to easily win his primary Tuesday, and likely keep the office in GOP hands come November.
Ron Jenkins MCT /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 12:06 pm

The process of electing a new governor in Texas begins in earnest Tuesday, when Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis are expected to easily dispatch their primary opponents and move on to the Nov. 4 battle.

As if they hadn't already.

Both Abbott, 56, the state's attorney general and a former state Supreme Court judge, and Davis, 50, a state senator and former Fort Worth City Council member, have been amassing money and press since at least last fall.

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It's All Politics
4:18 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Another Bush Takes Aim At Texas Office And Family Dynasty

George P. Bush passes a portrait of his grandfather George H.W. Bush at the Republican Party of Texas headquarters in Austin. Bush, the son of a governor and the nephew and grandson of two presidents, is running for Texas land commissioner.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 7:41 pm

George Prescott Bush.

Ring a bell?

It should, and if it doesn't, it soon will. George P. Bush, 37, is a great-grandson of a late U.S. senator from Connecticut; a grandson and nephew of former U.S. presidents; and the eldest son of ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who just may run for president himself in 2016.

On Tuesday, George P., referred to by some as the "Hispanic George Bush" because of his mother's Mexican heritage, will take his generation's first crack at the family business when he runs in a statewide Republican primary for Texas land commissioner.

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It's All Politics
6:31 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Debbie Dingell Poised To Keep U.S. House Seat In The Family

Debbie Dingell with Michigan Sen. Carl Levin and then-presidential candidate Barack Obama during a 2008 campaign event in Flint, Mich. Dingell is expected to announce Friday that she will run for her husband's House seat.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 8:22 pm

Debbie Dingell is expected to announce Friday that she will run to succeed her husband, John Jr., for the southeast Michigan congressional seat that's been in the family since John Sr. was elected in 1933.

Though several news outlets reported her intentions, former Michigan state legislator Bill Ballenger of InsideMichiganPolitics.com retained a kernel of skepticism.

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It's All Politics
10:52 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Lobbyists Amp Up Efforts To Sell Washington On E-Cigarettes

Blair Roberts, a 22-year-old sales associate at Colorado E-Smokes, "vapes" with an electronic cigarette in the Aurora, Colo., store. In the absence of federal rules, Colorado is among states that considered its own age requirements for the nicotine-delivery devices.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 5:57 pm

In a scene from the new season of the popular Netflix political drama House of Cards, the elegant Claire Underwood catches her soon-to-be vice president husband puffing an e-cigarette.

"You're cheating," she says, referring to their efforts to quit smoking.

"No, I'm not," Congressman Francis Underwood replies. "It's vapor ... addiction without the consequences."

A Washington-based drama with an implicit endorsement of "vaping" — the practice of partaking in nicotine without burning tobacco?

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It's All Politics
4:43 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Edwin Edwards: Governor, Convict, Reality TV Star — Congressman?

Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards and his new wife, Trina Grimes Scott, after getting married in the French Quarter in New Orleans, La., in July 2011.
CHERYL GERBER AP

Rascally former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards was once so confident about re-election that he declared "the only way I can lose is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy."

That was 30 years ago, when Edwards, 86, was a much younger man. It was long before the Democrat served eight years in prison for racketeering, conspiracy and extortion.

And it was a lifetime – or two — before a recent cringe-inducing reality television show about life with his young wife, her teenage sons and his own grandmother-aged daughters from a previous marriage.

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It's All Politics
4:17 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

House Candidates Outpace Senate Contenders In Money Haul

Demonstrators gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington in October 2013, as the court heard arguments on campaign finance.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:48 pm

With 435 seats up for grabs every two years, House candidates typically raise more money overall than those running for the Senate, where only about one-third of the chamber's 100 seats are contested every two years.

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It's All Politics
6:49 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

As Takeover Hopes Fade, House Democrats Remain Upbeat

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., right, pick up box lunches on Feb. 12 before boarding a bus for a trip to a retreat in Cambridge, Md., where House Democrats will hold strategy meetings for two and a half days.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

House Democrats face a decidedly grim election season.

Their hopes of wresting control from the GOP look increasingly remote. Their legislative agenda is stymied. And some of their biggest liberal standard-bearers – Californians Henry Waxman and George Miller — are retiring.

So, as they hunker down on Maryland's Eastern Shore for their annual "issues conference" Thursday and Friday, why do they seem to be in such good spirits?

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It's All Politics
3:48 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Democrats Clash In Military Sexual Assault Debate

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (center) and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (right) are at odds over the best way to respond to military sexual assaults.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:45 pm

The Capitol Hill crackdown on sexual assaults in the U.S. military has been a rare mission on which Republicans and Democrats have found common ground over the past year.

The effort, spearheaded by Senate women — including an unprecedented seven on the Armed Services Committee — has already resulted in scores of tough new provisions designed to root out sexual predators, improve victims' services, and end commanders' ability to overturn jury convictions.

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It's All Politics
4:12 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Interest Groups Gear Up For Next Supreme Court Vacancy

President Obama hugs Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg prior to delivering his 2011 State of the Union address.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 4:24 pm

It's been nearly four years since activists engaged in a battle over a Supreme Court nomination, and a tepid one it was.

Republicans barely pushed back on President Obama's 2010 nomination of Elena Kagan, his second appointment in as many years. She was confirmed by the Senate, 63-37.

At the time, influential Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona acknowledged the problem inherent in pursuing a high court battle: The GOP had only 41 Senate votes, making it "pretty difficult" to sustain a filibuster against Kagan, or any Obama appointee.

That could change by year's end.

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It's All Politics
12:53 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh To Replace Sen. Max Baucus

Lt. Gov. John Walsh defending himself in Helena, Mont., on Jan. 26 against reports that he was reprimanded by the U.S. Army in 2010 for using his position as Montana adjutant general to solicit National Guard memberships to a private organization.
Matt Volz AP

Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh, a Democrat, was appointed Friday to fill the unexpired term of longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who is leaving the Senate to serve as U.S. ambassador to China.

Walsh, 53, was already an announced candidate for the seat Baucus had planned to vacate at the end of this year. His appointment by Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock gives the former adjutant general of the Montana National Guard a leg up in the November contest to replace the six-term senator.

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It's All Politics
6:32 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Black Openly Gay Judge Would Be Federal Bench's First

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has indicated he won't block the nomination of Judge Darrin Gayles, who would be the first openly gay black man to serve on the federal bench.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:33 pm

Darrin P. Gayles, a Florida state circuit judge, appears to be on track to become the nation's first openly gay black man to serve on the federal bench.

President Obama on Wednesday nominated Gayles, a former assistant U.S. attorney, to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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It's All Politics
3:57 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

White House Creates 'Climate Hubs' To Help Rural Towns, Farmers

Farmers in Iowa are among those around the country who will get help coping with climate change through a new federal program.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 1:00 pm

The White House on Wednesday rolled out a high-profile plan to help farmers and ranchers adjust to climate changes that have already begun to upend growing seasons and threaten livestock.

The "climate hub" initiative was praised by environmentalists, though they were quick to warn President Obama that it would not provide him cover on another environmental issue in the headlines: the Keystone XL pipeline.

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It's All Politics
3:45 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Surgeon General Pick's Tweets Annoy GOP, But Not Enough To Block Him

Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Obama's nominee to be the next U.S. surgeon general, testifies Tuesday on Capitol Hill before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on his nomination.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 11:50 am

Boston physician Vivek Murthy was expected to run into political headwinds Tuesday during his Senate confirmation hearing for the post of the nation's top doc — surgeon general.

Murthy, 36, the founder of a national physicians group that worked to pass the Affordable Care Act, was seen by some as vulnerable to GOP attacks because of his political work, his youth and his less-than-a-lifetime of public health experience — not to mention a few impolitic tweets guaranteed to rile conservatives.

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