In the lead up to Tuesday's election, public policy experts worried that redistricting efforts would greatly change the course of races for the House of Representatives. Nate Persily, a professor of law and political science at Columbia University who works closely on redistricting issues, explains how redistricting impacted the 2012 election.
Today the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear a controversial case that's been winding its way through the state's courts throughout the summer. The case will determine the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's voter ID law, but Pennsylvania is in good company: over a dozen state legislatures have enacted voter identification requirements over the past year.
Early Saturday morning, House Republicans, prodded by fervent Tea Party freshmen passed a bill slashing government spending by $61 billion immediately. That vote forces Republicans and Democrats into a political showdown that could boil over into a government shutdown. How could this affect you? We speak with Nate Persily, Charles Beekman Professor of Law and Political Science at Columbia University, and the author of the book "Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy."
On Tuesday, voters will cast their ballots, bringing mid-term election season to a close. Unless, of course, some races are too close to call. Polls show that close Senate and gubernatorial races in Nevada, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin, Alaska, Colorado, Ohio and Florida could require recounts.
It’s an anxiety-inducing thought — and could potentially leave the House and the Senate hanging in the balance while the chads (or the absentee ballots, or the broken machines) get sorted.
All week we’ve been exploring the mechanics of a broken legislative body in our series, “Frustration Nation.” We wrap up the series with a look at the solutions to government gridlock. Can we move away from filibusters? Should we rehaul our election rules? Should we get rid of the Senate altogether?
"Gridlock" is a term that went from engineering jargon to everyday lingo during a transit strike in 1980. Now it's used more to describe the situation on Capitol Hill, with partisan rancor holding up major legislation. We find out how stuck Congress really is and look at new ways to break the deadlock.
Today's Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC represents the most significant campaign finance and perhaps First Amendment decision we've seen from the Court in a very long time. The decision struck down the part of the McCain/Feingold campaign finance law (BCRA) that banned corporations and unions from using their treasury funds to run candidate specific ads before a federal election. The decision treats corporations like individuals, focusing on the value of their speech as opposed to the unique identity of the corporation as speaker. Previous decisions, now overruled, had held that corporations presented a unique corruption threat to the political process: "that immense aggregations of wealth [amassed] through the corporate form" posed dangers that individual expenditures did not.
All week long, we've been talking about the importance of the 2010 Census. To wrap up these conversations, we invited Nate Persily, professor of law and politics at Columbia University, and Ken Prewitt, the Director of the 2000 Census, to join the conversation. What's at stake -- and will everyone be counted?
A relatively innocuous (albeit negative) documentary on Hillary Clinton released during the 2008 election season may lead to something bigger than itself. Today, the United States Supreme Court will return from its summer vacation to hear a case instigated by the film. It is, in fact, the second time the case has been brought before the nation's highest court, but this time it comes with greater weight: the potential to overturn campaign finance laws that have existed for the last 100 years. To take us from the film to the court case we are joined by Nate Persily, law professor at Columbia University; and Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent for our partner the New York Times.
For more, read Adam Liptak's article, Supreme Court to Revisit ‘Hillary’ Documentary, in the New York Times.
Check out some of the documentary, Hillary: The Movie or watch part one below:
It is Day Four of the U.S. Senate's confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and The Takeaway is asking: are Senate confirmation hearings a chance to explore the intricacies of U.S. jurisprudence and truly assess the character of the nominee? Or just a chance for senators to impress their constituents and for nominees to tell the Senate what they want to hear? The Takeaway talks to Nate Persily, a professor of law and political science at Columbia University.
Here's Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) taking his turn on the Senatorial stage yesterday: