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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5:53pm

Wed March 13, 2013
The Papal Succession

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

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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3:14pm

Tue February 26, 2013
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 3:47 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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9:04am

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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2:02pm

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 2:46 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

4:28pm

Mon February 11, 2013
News

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

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 5:58 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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3:46pm

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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12:40pm

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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12:21pm

Tue January 22, 2013
It's All Politics

Stonewall? Explaining Obama's Historic Gay-Rights Reference

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 11:13 am

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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1:08pm

Mon January 21, 2013
Inauguration 2013

Resolute Rhetoric: Obama's Confident Case For Government

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 7:01 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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2:23pm

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 2:31 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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10:36am

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 2:46 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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10:34am

Sun January 13, 2013
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 5:15 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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2:54pm

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 8:14 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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1:24pm

Wed January 2, 2013
It's All Politics

Bidding Adieu To Congressional Trailblazers

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 8:15 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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3:32pm

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 4:28 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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3:17pm

Wed December 12, 2012
It's All Politics

In Midwest Union Fights, Michigan Shows 2010 Election Still Trumps 2012

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 10:54 am

Silent protesters Wednesday in Lansing, Mich., wear tape with messages that signify wages they say they could lose because of the state's new right-to-work law.
Paul Sancya AP

No one can argue the setback to organized labor served up by Michigan's new law, which bars unions from requiring workers to pay dues even if they don't join their workplace bargaining unit.

Tuesday's passage of "right to work" legislation in a state dominated by the auto industry and the historically powerful United Auto Workers was a surprising "smack in the face" to unions, says labor expert Lee Adler, especially given President Obama's nearly 10-point win in the state last month.

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1:53am

Sun December 9, 2012
It's All Politics

Add This Group To Obama's Winning Coalition: 'Religiously Unaffiliated'

President Obama walks with his daughters Sasha, foreground, and Malia as they leave St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, on Oct. 28. An analysis of exit polls shows that those who claim no specific religious affiliation were a key Obama voting bloc in the presidential race.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

The big demographic story out of the 2012 presidential election may have been President Obama's domination of the Hispanic vote, and rightfully so.

But as we close the book on the election, it bears noting that another less obvious bloc of key swing state voters helped the president win a second term.

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12:42pm

Fri December 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Who's Behind The Fiscal Cliff Lobbying Effort?

As the White House and Congress continue to wrangle over a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" and its billions in automatic spending cuts and tax increases, we wanted to take a look at who is spending big to influence the debate behind the scenes.

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1:10pm

Tue December 4, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama And Boehner Call It Negotiation; The Rest Of Us Are Permitted To Laugh

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 11:29 am

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner meet in the White House on July 23, 2011. At that time, they were discussing how to avert a debt default. The talks ultimately led to the deal that now brings us aspects of the so-called fiscal cliff.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

If you're tempted to throw back your head and guffaw when you hear the word "negotiation" linked with "Congress" and "fiscal cliff," please, don't hesitate.

Because what you're seeing play out publicly between congressional Republicans and Democrats and the White House bears little resemblance to negotiation.

"The game that's being played is the same game that's been played over the past few years — brinksmanship, and hard positional bargaining," says William Ury, who knows negotiation when he sees it.

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1:13pm

Wed November 28, 2012
It's All Politics

Roughing Up Rice: GOP Senators Play The Personal And Political

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:30 pm

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice leaves a meeting with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Evan Vucci AP

The GOP's roughing up of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, thought to be President Obama's top pick for his second-term secretary of state, brings to mind the last time the Senate rejected a commander in chief's choice for that most crucial position.

It was some six decades ago, and after bitter and tumultuous hearings — think allegations of communism and homosexuality, as well as a high-profile suicide — that senators dumped the president's nominee by a vote of 74-24.

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