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
1:05 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Howard Students Question Rand Paul's Vision Of GOP

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., shown Tuesday on Capitol Hill, told students at historically black Howard University on Wednesday that the GOP has worked to protect civil rights.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 1:26 pm

Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to school students on who founded the NAACP?

Priceless.

Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to make a case for his Republican Party as a historic and continuing defender of the civil rights of African-Americans?

Not boring.

And, judging from the reaction the Kentucky senator received Wednesday at Washington's Howard University, less than persuasive.

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It's All Politics
11:56 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Immigration Overhaul 'Feels Unstoppable Now,' Backers Say

Protesters march last week in Miami, in support of immigration overhaul legislation. The marchers were calling for a new immigration system with a path to citizenship for 11 million people currently in the country illegally.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 1:22 pm

Thousands of supporters will descend on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to call for legislation that creates a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.

Sound familiar?

But this time, unlike in 2007 and 2010 when immigration legislation died in Congress after similar demonstrations, proponents of an overhaul say politics has swung inexorably toward their side.

"I've been working on this issue for more than a decade, and it feels unstoppable now," says Ana Avendano, director of immigration and community action at the AFL-CIO.

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It's All Politics
9:18 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Gun Control Prospects Recede As Politics Swamp Momentum

Assault weapons and handguns for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Ill., on Jan. 16. Congress has yet to vote on legislative efforts to enact new gun control laws, nearly four months after the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 11:37 am

President Obama's campaign for new federal gun control laws takes him to Colorado on Wednesday, and next week back to Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre renewed the nation's fraught conversation about guns.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Expert: Recent Attacks On Justice Community 'Really Unprecedented'

The home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland is surrounded by police tape in Forney, Texas, on Monday. Authorities launched a massive investigation into the weekend killings of McLelland and his wife.
Tim Sharp Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 12:32 pm

Two county prosecutors fatally shot in Texas. Colorado's top prison official gunned down. And a dozen more members of the U.S. justice community — ranging from police to judges — victims of targeted killings since the beginning of the decade.

What's going on?

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It's All Politics
1:23 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Skim Milk, States' Rights And Political Clout: The High Court And DOMA

This artist rendering shows Roberta Kaplan, attorney for plaintiff Edith Windsor, addressing the Supreme Court during arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:17 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between "one man and one woman as husband and wife."

It was the court's second and final day of hearing appeals involving same-sex marriage laws. And it served up some memorable observations from the high court denizens.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg characterized same-sex unions under DOMA, which limits federal spousal benefits to heterosexual couples, as the equivalent of "skim milk" marriages.

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It's All Politics
11:29 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Gay Marriage Arguments: Cellphones, The Internet And Fertility Over 55

This artist rendering shows attorney Charles J. Cooper, who was defending California's voter-passed ban on gay marriage, addressing the Supreme Court on Tuesday. From left, the justices are Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, (Chief Justice) John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 1:25 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard lively arguments Tuesday in a challenge to California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages.

And, as many learned painfully after last year's court decision to uphold Obamacare, it is risky business to predict how justices will rule later based on questions raised in arguments.

So we won't.

Instead, here are five areas of discussion we found interesting, even if they may not prove predictive of the outcome.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
12:27 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

How Vermont's 'Civil' War Fueled The Gay Marriage Movement

Demonstrators protest outside the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt., in April 2000, the month the nation's first law recognizing same-sex civil unions was signed by the governor.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 6:55 pm

It wasn't so long ago that a handful of Vermont legislators in a shabby Statehouse committee room struggled over what to call their proposal to give marriage-like rights to the state's gay and lesbian residents.

Democrat Howard Dean, governor at the time, had already made clear he'd veto any legislation labeled "marriage." Suggestions like "domestic partner relationship" were too clunky; "civil accord," they decided, evoked a car model.

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It's All Politics
9:41 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Rand Paul Reaffirms Support For Path To Citizenship

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks Tuesday to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:02 am

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky doubled down Tuesday on a previous call for a path to citizenship, telling a major Hispanic business group that his message to the nation's illegal immigrants is: "If you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you."

Conservatives, he told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, must "become part of the solution" to immigration, including dealing with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now living in the U.S. In his Washington speech, Paul said:

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It's All Politics
1:59 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Analyst: Portman's Gay Marriage Shift May Be 'Tip Of The Spear' In GOP

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 29, 2012.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 7:42 pm

It is a theme that has become increasingly familiar during the rapid evolution of American political attitudes toward same-sex marriage: People who learn that a friend or loved one is gay are far more likely to support same-sex marriage, even if they were once adamantly opposed.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who became the first Republican in the U.S. Senate to openly endorse same-sex marriage, is simply the latest.

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Religion
4:29 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

New Pope 'A Fresh Start,' But Old Problems Are Waiting

Crowds at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican celebrate Wednesday after seeing white smoke billow from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, indicating the election of a new pope. The new pontiff, Francis, is the first from Latin America, a reflection that the Catholic Church is now strongest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:53 pm

Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church made history twice Wednesday, electing the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere and the first Jesuit.

In choosing 76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio of Argentina, now Pope Francis, the College of Cardinals signaled the growing importance of Latin America, Africa and Asia in the church's fortunes.

But they also affirmed their commitment to traditional church doctrine.

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It's All Politics
2:35 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 2:47 pm

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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It's All Politics
8:04 am
Tue February 26, 2013

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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It's All Politics
1:02 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:46 pm

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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News
3:28 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 4:58 pm

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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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

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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It's All Politics
11:40 am
Wed January 30, 2013

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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It's All Politics
10:55 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Stonewall? Explaining Obama's Historic Gay Rights Reference

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

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 10:13 am

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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Inauguration 2013
11:37 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Resolute Rhetoric: Obama's Confident Case For Government

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

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 6:01 pm

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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It's All Politics
12:52 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 1:31 pm

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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Around the Nation
9:36 am
Tue January 15, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 1:46 pm

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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