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

The Two-Way
10:12 am
Wed June 26, 2013

After DOMA: What's Next For Gay Married Couples

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

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 1:47 pm

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
The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Supreme Court Rules For Adoptive Family In Dispute

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
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
3:48 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Same-Sex Couple Seeks Immigration Relief From High Court

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

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 9:19 am

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
It's All Politics
4:45 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

4 Big Players Emerge In Military Sexual Assault Debate

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

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 5:09 pm

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
It's All Politics
12:05 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

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

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 12:09 pm

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
Law
1:45 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Court Prepares To Write New Chapters In Civil Rights History

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

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 2:42 pm

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
It's All Politics
4:07 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 4:55 pm

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
It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

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

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 4:51 pm

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
U.S.
1:50 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

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
The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Oklahoma's GOP Senators Find Themselves In Tornado Aid Bind

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

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:07 pm

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
Business
10:51 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

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
News
1:59 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

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
It's All Politics
4:28 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

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
It's All Politics
10:34 am
Wed May 8, 2013

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
Around the Nation
2:34 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 3:14 pm

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
Children's Health
4:02 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Bulletproof Whiteboards And The Marketing Of School Safety

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

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 6:58 pm

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
It's All Politics
10:03 am
Wed May 1, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 11:29 am

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
It's All Politics
3:57 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

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
It's All Politics
4:18 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

The Meaning Of Boston: Depends On Your Angle, Literally

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

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:31 pm

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
It's All Politics
11:16 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Bush Sees Approval Hike, But Trumanesque Recovery? Unlikely

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

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 10:45 am

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
It's All Politics
9:18 am
Mon April 22, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 4:11 pm

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
Explosions At Boston Marathon
1:09 pm
Sun April 21, 2013

Tragedy In Real Time: Living A Terrible Week, Vicariously

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

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 6:54 am

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
The Two-Way
11:55 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Boston Bombing Suspects Are Brothers Living In U.S. For Years

This combination of undated photos shows Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:23 am

Updated 1:50 p.m. ET: (Correcting that brothers shared an apartment in Cambridge, not Watertown.)

The suspects in Monday's deadly Boston Marathon explosions and the Thursday night murder of a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are two brothers from a former Soviet republic who were in the United States legally for years, and lived together in a Cambridge, Mass., apartment.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:47 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Bipartisan Senate Gang Prepares To Sell Immigration Plan

The "Gang of Eight" senators hold a news conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday to discuss their immigration overhaul bill. The senators, from left, are Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Richard Durbin, D-Ill., John McCain, R-Ariz., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 3:59 pm

Bipartisan bonhomie broke out Thursday afternoon when four Democratic and four Republican senators made a case for their comprehensive immigration overhaul proposal.

The scene at the Dirksen Senate Office Building stood in marked contrast to the ugly end Wednesday of a smaller cross-party effort to fashion gun legislation that would have expanded background checks and banned assault-style weapons.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Security Expert: Investigators Seek Bomber's 'Signature'

Boston firefighters talk with FBI agents and a crime scene photographer Tuesday at the scene of the Boston Marathon explosions.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:03 am

As investigators combed through evidence in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, seeking both motive and perpetrator, we turned Tuesday to a security expert for guidance on how the investigation may be unfolding.

Bryan Cunningham, a former CIA officer, assistant U.S. attorney and deputy legal adviser for the National Security Council, served in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He is now a senior adviser at the consulting firm the Chertoff Group, co-founded by former Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:03 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Howard Students Question Rand Paul's Vision Of GOP

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., shown Tuesday on Capitol Hill, told students at historically black Howard University on Wednesday that the GOP has worked to protect civil rights.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:26 pm

Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to school students on who founded the NAACP?

Priceless.

Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to make a case for his Republican Party as a historic and continuing defender of the civil rights of African-Americans?

Not boring.

And, judging from the reaction the Kentucky senator received Wednesday at Washington's Howard University, less than persuasive.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:56 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Immigration Overhaul 'Feels Unstoppable Now,' Backers Say

Protesters march last week in Miami, in support of immigration overhaul legislation. The marchers were calling for a new immigration system with a path to citizenship for 11 million people currently in the country illegally.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:22 pm

Thousands of supporters will descend on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to call for legislation that creates a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.

Sound familiar?

But this time, unlike in 2007 and 2010 when immigration legislation died in Congress after similar demonstrations, proponents of an overhaul say politics has swung inexorably toward their side.

"I've been working on this issue for more than a decade, and it feels unstoppable now," says Ana Avendano, director of immigration and community action at the AFL-CIO.

Read more
It's All Politics
9:45 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Gun Control Prospects Recede As Politics Swamp Momentum

Assault weapons and handguns for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Ill., on Jan. 16. Congress has yet to vote on legislative efforts to enact new gun control laws, nearly four months after the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 12:37 pm

President Obama's campaign for new federal gun control laws takes him to Colorado on Wednesday, and next week back to Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre renewed the nation's fraught conversation about guns.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Expert: Recent Attacks On Justice Community 'Really Unprecedented'

The home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland is surrounded by police tape in Forney, Texas, on Monday. Authorities launched a massive investigation into the weekend killings of McLelland and his wife.
Tim Sharp Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 1:32 pm

Two county prosecutors fatally shot in Texas. Colorado's top prison official gunned down. And a dozen more members of the U.S. justice community — ranging from police to judges — victims of targeted killings since the beginning of the decade.

What's going on?

Read more
It's All Politics
2:23 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Skim Milk, States' Rights And Political Clout: The High Court And DOMA

This artist rendering shows Roberta Kaplan, attorney for plaintiff Edith Windsor, addressing the Supreme Court during arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:17 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between "one man and one woman as husband and wife."

It was the court's second and final day of hearing appeals involving same-sex marriage laws. And it served up some memorable observations from the high court denizens.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg characterized same-sex unions under DOMA, which limits federal spousal benefits to heterosexual couples, as the equivalent of "skim milk" marriages.

Read more

Pages