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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12:43pm

Wed December 11, 2013
Law

No Cake For You: Saying 'I Don't' To Same-Sex Marriage

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 4:15 pm

A Colorado judge recently ordered Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to serve gay couples, after he refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.
Lindsay Pierce Denver Post via Getty Images

There were a few snickers when a Colorado state judge ruled that a baker has to produce wedding cakes for gay couples even though he opposes same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

A cake? What's the big deal?

But the decision, handed down late last week, is just the latest slice in a debate that has gone front burner with gay marriage now legalized in 16 states, and counting.

Can individual businesspeople like Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver be compelled to provide wedding (or commitment ceremony) goods and services to gay couples?

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2:06pm

Sun December 8, 2013
It's All Politics

Debate On Wage And Wealth Gap Heats Up; Solutions Elusive

Protesters in Boston march in the parking lot of a Burger King as part of a nation-wide protest supporting higher wages for workers in the fast-food industry.
Stephan Savoia AP

The national debate about income equality and low-wage labor ramped up this week as fast-food workers across the country rallied for better pay and President Obama assailed the nation's growing income gap as the "defining challenge of our time."

Meanwhile, an $11.50 minimum wage bill was approved in the nation's capital, and giant discount retailer Wal-Mart opened its first Washington stores — accompanied by a flurry of ads defending the company's often-criticized pay and benefits practices.

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6:20am

Thu December 5, 2013
It's All Politics

GOP Family Feud: 'Showboat' DeMint Takes on 'Tyrant' McConnell

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 1:26 pm

Former GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation, at a news conference earlier this year.
Evan Vucci AP

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell is more than a little aggravated with the Senate Conservatives Fund, and who can blame him.

The youngish but well-financed Tea Party organization has targeted McConnell, a five-termer from Kentucky and highest-ranking Senate Republican, by helping to bankroll a primary challenger and using the race as an intraparty, us vs. them proxy.

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4:37pm

Tue November 26, 2013
It's All Politics

You Can Vote, You Can Enlist — But Can You Buy A Cigarette?

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 5:22 pm

Cigarette packs are displayed at a convenience store in New York City, which has raised the age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21.
Mark Lennihan AP

So, a uniformed Marine walks into a convenience store, and says to the clerk, "Pack of Marlboro Reds, in a box — and some matches."

The clerk gives the Marine the once over and says, "Sorry, son, but you look a bit young to be buying smokes. You 21?"

That potential scenario, in a nutshell, is the most common argument against a small but nascent movement to increase the minimum age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21.

You can fight in a war at age 18, and vote in elections, but you can't buy cigarettes until your 21st birthday?

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7:07am

Fri November 22, 2013
It's All Politics

Wal-Mart Food Drive Unwittingly Fuels Talk Of Minimum Wage Hike

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 10:51 am

Dozens of people protest for better wages outside a Los Angeles Wal-Mart store on Nov. 7.
Lucy Nicholson Reuters/Landov

Wal-Mart's pay practices have long been targeted by advocates of America's working poor.

So it was no surprise that it became national news when the discount retailer, the nation's biggest employer, asked workers at an Ohio store to contribute to a holiday food drive — for fellow workers.

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3:51pm

Thu November 21, 2013
It's All Politics

GOP Enraged After Filibuster Vote, But Does It Change Much?

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 4:48 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) speaks to the media on Thursday after passing the so-called nuclear option, which changes the Senate rules to eliminate the use of the filibuster on presidential nominees except those to the Supreme Court.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

The political class was aflame Thursday with outrage (Republicans) and triumph (Democrats) as Senate Democrats voted to hem in the minority party's ability to filibuster most presidential nominees.

By a 52-48 vote, the Democratic-controlled Senate carried out the so-called nuclear option. The leadership will now allow a simple majority of senators to override filibusters on nominations, with the exception of those to the Supreme Court.

Previous precedent, in place since the 1970s, required a 60-vote "supermajority" to end a filibuster.

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11:36am

Tue November 19, 2013
It's All Politics

States Renew Battle To Require That Voters Prove Citizenship

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:38 pm

The conservative-driven movement to expand voter restrictions in the name of reducing polling booth fraud has often been described as a solution in search of a problem.

Despite evidence suggesting voter fraud is rare, it's a crusade that has proved so durable in GOP-dominated states like Arizona and Kansas that its leading proponents are undeterred — even by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Get a high court decision that bars you from requiring residents to produce documentary proof of citizenship like a passport or birth certificate when registering to vote?

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9:37am

Fri November 15, 2013
It's All Politics

Friday Political Mix: Obama's Health Care Fallout Writ Large

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 12:07 pm

Good morning.

Or, bad morning, if you're President Obama and absorbing the profound political reality of the botched health care law rollout, and your attempt at a fix.

We'll let the headlines tell the story:

Wall Street Journal: "Obama Retreats on Health Care Rules"

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9:51am

Thu November 14, 2013
It's All Politics

Obamacare Fallout Hits Senate Democrats, But Not Equally

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 2:18 pm

Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The Republicans have dubbed them the "Obamacare Dozen," the 12 Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, all of whom voted for the president's health care and insurance overhaul law.

In GOP world, each one of those senators managed to provide the "deciding vote" for the Affordable Care Act.

And each one, in the wake of the law's online rollout debacle, is in a "panic" — the GOP buzzword of the week — over its political implications.

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9:23am

Tue November 12, 2013
It's All Politics

Tuesday Political Mix: Treasury, Tribes, and Christie 2016

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 10:15 am

Good morning.

Before we get to the president's Treasury appointment, continuing Obamacare problems, and a presidential poll du jour, let's turn our thoughts to the people of the typhoon-devastated Philippines.

My colleague, Mark Memmott, provides an update here, which includes a description of the hard-hit city of Tacloban as looking as if a "50-mile tornado" flattened everything.

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