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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4:14pm

Tue February 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Has The U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act?

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:47 pm

A supporter of the Voting Rights Act attends a rally Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

The nation has twice elected an African-American president.

Black voters have been turning out for general elections in rates that for the first time in U.S. history rival those of whites.

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10:04am

Tue February 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Force Behind Race-Law Rollback Efforts Talks Voting Rights Case

Edward Blum, director of the Project on Fair Representation, at his home in South Thomaston, Maine, on Nov. 9.
Joel Page Reuters /Landov

Edward Blum isn't a lawyer, and he doesn't play one on TV.

But he has been the driving force behind two race-related cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this term, including one that justices will hear Wednesday that seeks to roll back a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The other, Fisher v. University of Texas, which challenges the use of race and ethnicity in public college and university admissions policies, was heard by the court in October and awaits its decision.

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3:02pm

Wed February 13, 2013
It's All Politics

How Rubio Spins The Bottle Could Matter Most. Just Ask Bill Clinton

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:46 pm

In this frame grab from video, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio takes a sip of water during his Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
AP

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's off-script, thirst-quenching moment during his rebuttal to President Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday night was the gulp heard 'round the world.

Or at least in Twitter World, the place where the trivial goes not to die, but to flourish.

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5:28pm

Mon February 11, 2013
News

Pope's Resignation Redefines Papacy, Spurs Talk Of 'Global South' Successor

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 6:58 pm

A child prays with his rosary at a Catholic church in Lagos, Nigeria, on Monday. In Africa, where the Catholic Church continues to grow, worshippers and clergy greeted Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he planned to resign with hopes that the continent would see one of its own rise to lead the faithful.
Sunday Alamba AP

A worldwide Catholic conversation that many church-watchers say effectively stopped when Benedict XVI was elected pope eight years ago has been rekindled by his announced plan to resign at month's end.

Celibacy. Women's roles. Same-sex marriage. Clergy sexual abuse revelations.

And, perhaps most significantly, the spectacular growth of the church in the more religiously conservative "global south" — Latin America, Africa and Asia — while its fortunes continue to decline in the increasingly secular West.

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4:46pm

Wed January 30, 2013
It's All Politics

LaPierre Fights To Stop The 'Nightmare' Of Background Checks

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association, testifies while NRA President David Keene listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence Wednesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The halting testimony of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, gravely injured in a mass shooting two years ago, may have provided the most gripping moments of the Senate's first gun control hearing this session.

But the star witness on Capitol Hill on Wednesday was Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's top lobbyist.

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1:40pm

Wed January 30, 2013
It's All Politics

Lifting Boy Scout Ban On Gays: One Legal Perspective

A statue of a Boy Scout stands in front of the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas.
LM Otero AP

The Boy Scouts of America as early as next week may drop its ban against openly gay members and leaders, just a dozen years after it successfully took its fight to maintain the policy all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It would mark a seismic shift for the organization, which counts more than 3.3 million youth members who participate in troops largely sponsored by civic and church groups.

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5:24pm

Mon January 28, 2013
It's All Politics

On Climate Change, Americans May Trust Politics Above Preachers

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:27 pm

Pope Benedict XVI leads prayers on Nov. 27, 2011, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. The leader of the world's Roman Catholic Church called for a "responsible, credible and united response" to the problem of climate change. But in the U.S. at least, studies show the view even of religious Americans on climate change is much more likely to be shaped by their politics than their faith.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

When President Obama during his inauguration speech made a case for tackling human-driven climate change, it felt like deja vu for many in the environmental community — including members of religious groups who have long looked to him for action.

After all, Obama made a similar pledge during his first inauguration address in 2009, and left-leaning and progressive faith-based organizations were among activist groups that pushed for quick congressional action on major climate legislation.

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12:55pm

Tue January 22, 2013
It's All Politics

Stonewall? Explaining Obama's Historic Gay Rights Reference

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 12:13 pm

The crowd faces off with police at the Stonewall Inn nightclub raid in the summer of 1969 in New York City.
New York Daily News Archive NY Daily News via Getty Images

President Obama made history in his inaugural address when he mentioned Stonewall in the same breath as Selma, the Alabama town considered the birthplace of the black-rights movement, and Seneca Falls, the upstate New York site of the first women's-rights convention.

But Obama's reference was very likely lost on many in the generations that have come of age long after gay men resisted police harassment at the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York City.

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1:37pm

Mon January 21, 2013
Inauguration 2013

Resolute Rhetoric: Obama's Confident Case For Government

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 pm

President Obama delivers his second inaugural address Monday in Washington.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Hussein Obama, sobered but resolute after four years as the nation's first African-American head of state, began his second term Monday with an ardent defense of government as essential to the nation's economic and moral fiber, and a call to citizens to accept their obligation to shape the national debate.

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2:52pm

Wed January 16, 2013
It's All Politics

Even Post-Sandy Hook, Politics Suggest Prospects Dim For Obama's Gun Plan

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 3:31 pm

President Obama and Vice President Biden announce the administration's new gun control proposals Wednesday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

President Obama's historic plunge Wednesday into the politics and realities of gun control in America has mobilized advocates on both sides of the issue.

But though his major proposals, from banning assault rifles to more stringent background checks and ammunition limits, are being rolled out in the shadow of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., their Capitol Hill prospects remain highly uncertain given long-standing resistance to such efforts.

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11:36am

Tue January 15, 2013
Around the Nation

The Reselling Of Lance: A Job Too Big Even For Oprah

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 3:46 pm

Lance Armstrong speaks with Oprah Winfrey during taping for the show Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive in Austin, Texas, on Monday. The interview airs Thursday and Friday on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
George Burns AP

You may have heard that banned-for-life pro cyclist Lance Armstrong, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, has admitted to doping.

You may have heard that he apologized (tearfully, reportedly) to employees at Livestrong, the foundation he started in 1997 after surviving testicular cancer.

You may have heard that he reached out to make nice with people in the cycling world whom just months ago he was branding as liars and worse, and that he may pay back some bike team sponsor money.

Feel manipulated yet?

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11:34am

Sun January 13, 2013
It's All Politics

Enmity And Ennui: Va. Governor's Race Inspiring Both

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 6:15 pm

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli talks about the Supreme Court decision on the national health care law on June 28, 2012 in Richmond, Va.
Steve Helber AP

Most Virginians say they approve of the job that first-term GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell is doing, suggesting he'd have a good shot at re-election when his term expires at the end of this year.

But it's one-and-out for governors in Virginia, the only state that doesn't allow its chief executive to serve consecutive terms.

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3:40pm

Fri January 4, 2013
It's All Politics

Liberals In A Dither Over Whether Obama Blew It, Or Nailed It

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 9:14 am

President Obama leaves the Oval Office early Wednesday after the House passed legislation to retain tax breaks for most Americans, let tax rates rise for the wealthiest, and delay action on mandatory spending cuts.
Getty Images

Fiscal cliff week has mercifully ended with a deal done, hurricane relief approved, President Obama vacationing, and both parties bickering internally over what was won — and lost — in the early hours of the new year.

What we have found most intriguing is the vigorous post-facto wrestling within the liberal community over what the fiscal cliff negotiations say about President Obama.

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2:24pm

Wed January 2, 2013
It's All Politics

Bidding Adieu To Congressional Trailblazers

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 9:15 am

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the nation's most prominent gay politician, speaks in Washington last month about his imminent retirement.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The drama over the fiscal cliff and the familiar up-against-a-deadline dysfunction of Congress have largely overshadowed the leave-taking of some Capitol Hill originals.

So we wanted to remember a few true congressional trailblazers whose long Washington careers are ending. They include the first openly gay member of Congress, a leader of the libertarian movement, the first Jewish candidate to run on a major party presidential ticket, and the most fervent supporter of a U.S. Department of Peace.

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4:32pm

Sat December 29, 2012
News

'Light Doesn't Die': A Sister's Poem For Slain Sandy Hook Teacher

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:28 pm

Lauren Rousseau was killed on Dec. 14 when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn., killing 26 children and adults at the school.
Courtesy of Rousseau Family AP

The subject line on the email my old friend Bill sent me two days before Christmas said, simply: "here is a poem emily wrote for her murdered sister lauren."

Emily is Bill's daughter. Lauren, his stepdaughter, is one of the teachers gunned down during the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

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