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.

Pages

7:13pm

Wed July 10, 2013
It's All Politics

House GOP: We Won't Consider Senate Immigration Bill

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 8:21 pm

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio meets with reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The prospects for an immigration overhaul effort that could reshape the contours of American society appeared grim Wednesday after a closed door meeting of House Republicans.

A majority of the fractious House Republican Conference lined up in opposition to (barely) bipartisan legislation already approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate, despite the urging of leaders to do something on the issue.

Read more

1:32pm

Wed July 10, 2013
It's All Politics

Once A Rising GOP Star, Virginia's Governor Hits The Skids

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 4:00 pm

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell won one of two governorships that the GOP picked up in 2009.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Just last year, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was a hot Republican prospect, ranked among the nation's most respected state leaders, and was touted as prime vice presidential material.

Those heady days are long gone.

After a seemingly endless series of reports about alleged ethical lapses by the buttoned-down, fiscally conservative governor, no one talks about his political promise anymore.

Instead, the rumor mill generates talk of his impending resignation, with the governor's spokesman denying via Twitter a weekend blog report that he would step down from office.

Read more

6:06pm

Mon July 8, 2013
It's All Politics

With An Eye Toward 2016, Rick Perry Reboots

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 6:37 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announces he will not seek re-election as governor, Monday in San Antonio.
Eric Gay AP

Picture the next 18 months of Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry's road to national relevance.

Appearances on the late-night comedy shows, where he'll banter with Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jay Leno, maybe even Jimmy Fallon.

A rolling, cross-country road show during which he'll tout the Texas economy and charm grassroots voters and deep-pocketed donors.

Mixing it up back home in Austin with intensifying battles to limit legal abortion and push back against "Washington policies."

Read more

2:50am

Sun July 7, 2013
The Two-Way

The New World Of Firefighting: Politics, Climate And Humans

An aerial tanker drops fire retardant on a wildfire threatening homes near Yarnell, Ariz., on July 1. An elite crew of firefighters was overtaken by the out-of-control blaze on June 30, killing 19 members as they tried to protect themselves from the flames under fire-resistant shields.
Chris Carlson AP

Writer and photojournalist Michael Kodas has been documenting firefighting and firefighters for more than a decade. His current book project, Megafire, an examination of the new world faced by firefighters, will be released in 2014. Kodas, also the author of High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed, lives in Boulder, Colo.

Read more

5:10pm

Tue July 2, 2013
It's All Politics

Gov. Rick Perry Will Keep Texas Guessing. Until Monday

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:36 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry addresses the Conservative Political Action Committee in February 2012.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Will he or won't he?

The Texas political class has been abuzz this week about more than just Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' abortion bill filibuster-heard-round-the-nation.

The other occupying parlor game: Whether three-term Republican Gov. Rick Perry intends to seek an unprecedented fourth full term.

CNN and other news organizations reported Tuesday afternoon that Perry, a failed 2012 GOP presidential candidate, plans an announcement Monday about his "exciting future plans."

Read more

5:08am

Sun June 30, 2013
Texas 2020

In Houston, Diversity You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 2:25 pm

Chef Anita Jaisinghani owns Pondicheri, a casual spot serving up her take on the street foods of her native India.
Liz Halloran NPR

Stephen Klineberg polishes off a spicy lamb mint burger, mops his brow and recalls the Houston he moved to as a young professor in the 1970s.

"It was a deeply racist, deeply segregated Southern city," he says; an oil boomtown of black and white Americans.

There were no restaurants like Pondicheri, where Houston chef Anita Jaisinghani's hip take on Indian street food — and the air conditioning's battle with 100-degree heat — conspire to make the Rice University professor sweat.

Read more

2:41pm

Fri June 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Explaining Justice Kennedy: The Dignity Factor

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 7:04 am

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has now written two landmark gay rights decisions.
Damian Dovarganes Associated Press

Read Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion closely enough and you'll find an idea that shines like a beacon in guiding him to his destination in the Defense of Marriage Act case: dignity.

Read more

4:06pm

Wed June 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Justice Kennedy At Center Of Gay Rights Decisions For A Decade

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has now written two landmark gay rights decisions.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Ten years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law that criminalized some sexual acts.

Today, on the anniversary of that decision, the high court overturned a federal law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

Read more

1:08pm

Wed June 26, 2013
The Two-Way

After DOMA: What's Next For Gay Married Couples

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 3:47 pm

Edith Windsor is mobbed by journalists and supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court on March 27, when the court heard oral arguments in the case that challenged the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Wednesday to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act is a monumental victory for advocates of same-sex marriage.

But what happens now that the 1996 federal law that confines marriage to a man and a woman has been declared unconstitutional?

Will federal benefits flow only to same-sex married couples living in states that recognize their unions?

Read more

3:13pm

Tue June 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Rules For Adoptive Family In Dispute

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 4:02 pm

This October 2011 photo provided by Melanie Capobianco shows her adoptive daughter, Veronica, trick-or-treating in Charleston, S.C. The Supreme Court handed down a decision Tuesday in favor of the Capobiancos, who sued after Veronica was returned to her biological father under the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Courtesy of Melanie Capobianco AP

In a complex and heart-wrenching case, a divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the parental rights of a Native American father may be terminated if he has failed to establish a history of "continued custody" of his biological child.

The decision in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, however, is viewed as narrow and leaves intact the the 1978 federal law known as the Indian Child Welfare Act. The law was designed to stop the historically brutal and improper removal of Native American children from their families for adoption or foster care by white parents.

Read more

6:00pm

Sun June 9, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

Same-Sex Couple Seeks Immigration Relief From High Court

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 11:19 am

Kelly Costello, 31, (left) and her wife, Fabiola Morales, 39, walk their 4-year-old dog, Blue Elizabeth, around their neighborhood in Potomac, Md. The two have been married since 2012.
Gabriella Demczuk NPR

The Sunday morning party in suburban Washington, D.C., had all the trappings of anticipation.

A lace-trimmed bassinet, a jumble of gifts tied with pink and blue ribbons, a "diaper cake" on the table. And chatter about babies, diets, new spring outfits and the coming end of the school year.

But for Sue Costello, the grandmother-in-waiting, the happy cacophony of the baby shower masked an abiding anxiety about the future of her daughter's family and the twins — a boy and a girl — who are due before June's end.

Read more

6:01pm

Tue June 4, 2013
It's All Politics

4 Big Players Emerge In Military Sexual Assault Debate

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 7:09 pm

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey (center) takes a drink of water as he and other members of the military testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
Susan Walsh AP

The nation's top military leaders came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday primed to defend their ability to handle, in their chain of command, the sexual assault scandal that has engulfed the armed services.

But the dramatic faceoff with the Senate Armed Services Committee — in particular two of its female members — appeared to only deepen the chasm between the four-star brass and those who want significant change in a system that has failed victims for decades.

Read more

2:09pm

Mon June 3, 2013
It's All Politics

Lautenberg's Death Sets Off New Jersey Senate Scramble

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., died Monday at age 89. He had announced in February that he would not seek re-election in 2014.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

The traditionally collegial U.S. Senate was never a natural fit for Frank Lautenberg, the wealthy New Jersey businessman whose headstrong, CEO style could rankle.

But the five-term senator, who died early Monday at age 89, managed to serve as a passionate and able advocate for a tight collection of causes, from gun control and public health to Israel and mass transit.

Read more

3:45pm

Sat June 1, 2013
Law

Court Prepares To Write New Chapters In Civil Rights History

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 4:42 pm

The Supreme Court is set to deliver opinions in cases involving affirmative action, the voting rights law and same-sex marriage.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

It's not unusual for the Supreme Court to find itself at the center of roiling national debates.

But this month, justices are poised to deliver blockbuster opinions involving three of the most divisive issues in the public arena. And in doing so, they will write new and potentially groundbreaking chapters in America's civil rights story.

Affirmative action. Voting rights law. Same-sex marriage.

By June's end, Americans will know if and how public colleges and universities may administer programs designed to enroll more minority students.

Read more

5:58pm

Wed May 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Bachmann's Legacy: A Trailblazer, For Better And For Worse

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 6:55 pm

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks during the Family Research Council Action Values Voter Summit in Washington.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's announcement Wednesday that she won't seek a fifth term unleashed a torrent of tweets and blog posts on the left lampooning the short-lived 2012 presidential candidate.

Yet the response — her retirement effectively dominated the news cycle — provided a glimpse of Bachmann's impact on Washington.

Read more

6:51pm

Tue May 28, 2013
It's All Politics

For Chris Christie, Obama Connection Has Risks, Rewards

President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie walk along the boardwalk in Point Pleasant, N.J., on Tuesday. Obama traveled to New Jersey to join Christie in touring the Jersey Shore and inspecting its recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

President Obama's second trip to New Jersey to meet with Republican Gov. Chris Christie post-Superstorm Sandy was accompanied Tuesday with a familiar flurry of speculation.

The first time, last fall, Christie's gracious welcome of the president raised questions about whether it might affect Obama's re-election just weeks later.

This time, the questions were inverted: How might Christie's own presidential aspirations be affected by his friendly proximity to the president?

Read more

3:50pm

Sat May 25, 2013
U.S.

Stunned By Military Sex Scandals, Advocates Demand Changes

President Obama speaks at the commencement ceremony for the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on Friday. The president urged new graduates to exhibit honor and courage in tackling incidents of sexual assault as they assume leadership positions in the military.
Patrick Semansky AP

West Point alum Donna McAleer was at her Utah home last week when she got a call asking if she'd "seen the latest."

A male Army sergeant, a friend told her, had just been charged with secretly photographing and videotaping at least a dozen female cadets at McAleer's alma mater.

Read more

2:57pm

Tue May 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Oklahoma's GOP Senators Find Themselves In Tornado Aid Bind

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 5:07 pm

An aerial view shows an entire neighborhood destroyed by Monday's tornado in Moore, Okla.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Even as President Obama was declaring that tornado-devastated Oklahoma would get "everything it needs right away," the state's most vociferous critic of federal emergency aid vowed that he, too, would push for assistance "without delay."

Read more

12:51am

Sun May 19, 2013
Business

Tesla Rides High, But Faces Formidable Foe: Car Dealers

The Tesla Model S, Motor Trend Car of the Year, is introduced at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, in Detroit in January. Tesla's attempts to sell its cars without going through dealerships is meeting resistance.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Tesla Motors, the American maker of luxury electric cars, has been riding a wave of good publicity.

Its Model S sedan (base priced at $62,400, after federal tax credits) was just named Motor Trend Car of the Year. Reviewers at Consumer Reports gave the lithium-ion battery powered vehicle a rave.

And the company, headed by billionaire innovator Elon Musk, 41, posted a profit for the first time in its 10-year history — powered in part by zero-emission environmental credits.

Read more

3:59pm

Wed May 15, 2013
News

When The Missing Return, Recovery Is Long, Too

A missing poster is left on a tree outside Amanda Berry's home in Cleveland last week.
Chris Langer Barcroft Media/Landov

They call themselves "Rooters," and they convene in a private online place they call the "RooterHood."

There, they can talk freely and frankly about what it was like to be kidnapped, to be stripped of identity, often sexually abused by their captors, separated from family, friends.

And also about the struggle to recover their uprooted lives, to trust and hope again.

Read more

6:28pm

Fri May 10, 2013
It's All Politics

On Military Sexual Assault Issue, A New Era for An Old Committee

A Pentagon survey released this week estimated that 26,000 people in the military were sexually assaulted last year. Women on the Senate and House Armed Services committees are leveraging their clout in response to the problem.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Other bipartisan efforts on Capitol Hill may be collapsing around them, but a cadre of Democratic and Republican women serving on the Senate and House Armed Services committees are leveraging their historic clout to respond together to the sexual assault crisis engulfing the U.S. military.

Read more

12:34pm

Wed May 8, 2013
It's All Politics

Poll: Obama Approval Up, Effectiveness Down; GOP In Doldrums

President Obama's job approval has inched up in recent weeks, but the percentage of Americans who say they believe he is effective has taken a hit, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday.

And while the image of Republican leadership remains "deeply negative," and continues bearing the brunt of the blame for Washington gridlock, the survey found that the GOP runs even with Democrats on the key issues of the economy, immigration and guns.

Read more

4:43pm

Tue May 7, 2013
Around the Nation

Joy, And New Hope, For All Families Of The Missing

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 5:14 pm

Balloons are placed Tuesday in front of the home of Gina DeJesus in Cleveland. DeJesus was found Monday, along with Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight, after disappearing nine years ago.
Marvin Fong The Plain Dealer/Landov

Parents in a networking group for missing children were at a strategy dinner Monday night, discussing the terrors of Internet exploitation and the need for better communication with law enforcement, when news out of Cleveland hit somebody's smartphone and reverberated through the hotel conference room.

"All of a sudden someone said, 'Oh my God,' and started reading the report," said Mika Moulton, president of the Surviving Parents Coalition.

Read more

6:02am

Sat May 4, 2013
Children's Health

Bulletproof Whiteboards And The Marketing Of School Safety

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 8:58 pm

This type of bulletproof whiteboard, produced by the Maryland company Hardwire, has been purchased by a Minnesota school district.
Hardwire, LLC

A recent news item out of Minnesota caught our eye: "Bulletproof Whiteboards Unveiled at Rocori Schools."

Bulletproof what? Where?

That would be whiteboards, at the small central Minnesota Rocori School District, which will spend upward of $25,000 for the protective devices produced by a company better known for its military armor products.

Read more

12:03pm

Wed May 1, 2013
It's All Politics

Personality Or Party? Mass. Senate Race Shows Value Of Both

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 1:29 pm

Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez speaks last month in South Boston, Mass. On Tuesday, Gomez won the GOP nomination and will face Democratic Rep. Ed Markey in a June 25 special election.
Elise Amendola AP

When Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was tapped to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, his state — and national — party bosses were wringing their hands.

Why? The prospect of Republican Scott Brown launching another campaign to return to the Senate, where he served after winning a special election in 2010 to complete the term of the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy. Brown lost to Democrat Elizabeth Warren last November in a race for a full Senate term.

Read more

4:22pm

Thu April 25, 2013
It's All Politics

Max Baucus Says He Was Montana's 'Hired Hand' On Gun Vote

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is trailed by reporters Monday on Capitol Hill after announcing that he'll retire in 2014.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana announced this week that he would not seek re-election next year, ending four decades in Congress and leaving as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.

NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Baucus Thursday about his recent vote against expanded gun background checks, his role in negotiations over President Obama's health care legislation, efforts to remake tax policy, and the legions of his former staffers now populating lobbying shops.

Background Checks

Read more

6:18pm

Wed April 24, 2013
It's All Politics

The Meaning Of Boston: Depends On Your Angle, Literally

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 7:31 pm

Signatures and messages adorn a Boston Marathon poster on Tuesday near the site of the April 15 bombings.
Mario Tama Getty Images

The opportunistic political sentiment of never letting a crisis go to waste (see: Rahm Emanuel, among others) has been reframed since the Boston bombings by those seizing on the attack as certain evidence of their positions.

Read more

1:16pm

Tue April 23, 2013
It's All Politics

Bush Sees Approval Hike, But Trumanesque Recovery? Unlikely

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 12:45 pm

Former President George W. Bush gives a tribute for Van Cliburn at his March 3 funeral in Fort Worth, Texas. This week, Bush's presidential library will open in Dallas.
Joyce Marshall AP

A poll released days before the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas is serving as fodder for some sequestered GOP nostalgia about his two terms in the White House.

Read more

11:18am

Mon April 22, 2013
It's All Politics

A Rand Paul White House Path Complicated By Dad's Legacy

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:11 pm

Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky, on stage at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2011. At the time, the elder Paul was seeking the Republican nomination for president. He's now retired from Congress, and the younger Paul says he's "considering" his own 2016 bid.
Charles Dharapak AP

Freshman Sen. Rand Paul insists that he won't decide until next year whether a 2016 presidential run is in his future.

But comments the Kentucky Tea Party Republican made this week at a newsmaker breakfast about a run — "we're considering it" — as well as upcoming speaking engagements in early caucus and primary states Iowa and New Hampshire suggest serious consideration.

Read more

12:02pm

Sun April 21, 2013
Explosions At Boston Marathon

Tragedy In Real Time: Living A Terrible Week, Vicariously

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 8:54 am

In Texas, veteran Bill Warren lowers a flag to half-staff in memory of victims from the West Fertilizer Co. explosion last week. The nation has absorbed the past six days of nonstop tragedy and relief in a firsthand-once-removed way that now defines our communal experiences.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

We have imagined ourselves searching like Kelly Manning for loved ones after the explosions on Boylston Street.

We have pictured ourselves huddling in the basement like Beth and Paul Robinson and their four children as bullets and bombs fly on our own city street.

Read more

Pages