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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10:13am

Wed April 23, 2014
It's All Politics

A Path Out Of Prison For Low-Level, Nonviolent Drug Offenders

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 1:44 pm

The new guidelines are part of the Obama administration's effort to address long mandatory minimum sentences. Antwain Black (left) was released early after sentencing laws were first eased in 2010.
Seth Perlman AP

Thousands of nonviolent drug offenders serving time in federal prison could be eligible to apply for early release under new clemency guidelines announced Wednesday by the Justice Department.

Details of the initiative, which would give President Obama more options under which he could grant clemency to drug offenders serving long prison sentences, were announced by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

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10:35am

Mon April 21, 2014
It's All Politics

Rand Paul Bids To Loosen Democratic Hold On African-American Vote

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 12:37 pm

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky testified last year in favor of revamping the nation's mandatory federal minimum sentencing laws.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

For more than a year, GOP Sen. Rand Paul has been staking out positions on issues that resonate in the black community, including school choice and prison sentencing reform. And he's been showing up in some unexpected — for a Republican — venues, including historically black colleges.

It's stirred an unusual degree of curiosity about the freshman Kentucky senator — and 2016 GOP presidential prospect — among the Democratic Party's most reliable voting bloc.

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10:20am

Mon April 21, 2014
It's All Politics

Obama Seeks Wider Authority To Release Drug Offenders

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 2:17 pm

President Obama signs the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010, as Attorney General Eric Holder and a bipartisan group of senators look on.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Obama administration is formulating new rules that would give it, and the president, far more latitude to pardon or reduce the sentences of thousands of drug offenders serving long federal prison sentences.

The move comes amid a broad national reconsideration of mandatory minimum sentences approved by Congress in 1986, when America's big cities were in the grip of a crack cocaine-fueled crime wave.

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3:49pm

Wed April 16, 2014
It's All Politics

Bloomberg Seeks To Alter Gun Debate With $50 Million, And Moms

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:54 pm

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that he plans to spend $50 million this year on field operations to support candidates in favor of gun safety laws.
Seth Wenig AP

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg's plan to invest $50 million in what he describes as a mom-driven grass-roots effort to support pro-gun-safety candidates grabbed headlines Wednesday, and energized gun control activists.

The commitment, the former New York City mayor says, aims to beat back the profound political influence of the National Rifle Association in 15 targeted states — to "make them afraid of us," he told NBC's Today show.

"This is what the American public wants," Bloomberg said, referring to his group's intended focus on gun-purchase background checks.

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8:06am

Tue April 15, 2014
It's All Politics

Backlash Over State Party's Progressive Agenda May Hobble Udall

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 9:35 am

Colorado Republican Congressman Cory Gardner after he announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in March. He's challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.
Chris Schneider AP

Colorado Democrat Mark Udall's bid for a second term has become the most unexpectedly competitive U.S. Senate race in the nation this year — and for unexpected reasons.

Yes, Udall, 63, like other vulnerable Democrats, is already being pummeled by big-money conservative groups for his support of President Obama's health care legislation.

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