The Policy Analysts Have Assumed the World…

(Image by NBC News)  by Kevin Seney Public policy analysis is a sort of Frankenstein’s monster of a field, cobbled together as it is from pieces of civics, law, and economics. The ideal analyst reads Foreign Policy in the morning, creates econometric models in the afternoon, and dispassionately holds forth on the pros and cons of changes to the earned income tax credit after dinner. … Continue reading The Policy Analysts Have Assumed the World…

Trump’s Travel Ban: Unpacking the Policy

(image by Doug Turetsky)  Since January 27th, headline after headline has raged over the “travel ban” from President Trump and how several courts have stopped its execution. But there are so many questions including: what exactly is the travel ban, how has it progressed through the courts, what is its impact, and how does the second version differ from the first? As all other executive … Continue reading Trump’s Travel Ban: Unpacking the Policy

The Debate Over Mail-In Voting Continues

(image by Robert Couse-Baker)  As of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, three states—Oregon, Washington, and Colorado—had adopted statewide vote-by-mail policies. In this system, the state or jurisdiction mails ballots and informational pamphlets to voters weeks before the election, voters mark their ballots at their leisure, and then return them either through the postal service or else in ballot boxes scattered around the state. This all-mail system … Continue reading The Debate Over Mail-In Voting Continues

Voter Restriction Laws: Necessary, Unconstitutional, or Both?

(image by Cx2) Growing up in public school in my, red, white, and blue hometown, I was instilled with a belief in the grand ideals of American democracy like freedom, equality, and self-determination. The right to vote was perceived as the embodiment of those basic ideals. Likewise, I thought, that by 2017, the right to vote was truly a universal and unlimited Constitutional right – … Continue reading Voter Restriction Laws: Necessary, Unconstitutional, or Both?

Divining a “Trump mandate”

(image by Jenna Ndjon)  As a new presidential administration begins its tenure, much doubt and rancor permeates our politics.  A general principle of democratic governance is that electoral victory translates into a mandate to govern.  A mandate refers to the bestowal of legitimacy and authority, as well as to the message and preferences expressed by the public.  During the interim, from election night to inauguration, … Continue reading Divining a “Trump mandate”

Local Legislators Get to Work in the Trump-era

(Image by Bill Dickinson) The air of change was evident during the Pre-General Assembly Town Hall at McIntosh Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, on the evening of January 5th. After the death of State Senator John Miller last year, former State Delegate Monty Mason was able to successfully take over his seat, making way for newcomer Mike Mullin to take Mason’s former position. Both … Continue reading Local Legislators Get to Work in the Trump-era

A Secular State: Why the Trinity Case Matters.

(Image by Mitchell Shapiro)  One of the most interesting cases awaiting the Supreme Court on this year’s docket is Trinity Lutheran V Pauly. Trinity Church is contesting an amendment to the Constitution of Missouri that prohibits state aid directly or indirectly benefiting religious organizations. Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia was denied government assistance to purchase rubberized material for their preschool playground. This case will test … Continue reading A Secular State: Why the Trinity Case Matters.