Lauren Bell

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    Primary Primers: Why the Senate Filibuster is so important in this presidential election

Primary Primers: Why the Senate Filibuster is so important in this presidential election

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US Senators can use the filibuster to delay and block legislation. Lauren C. Bell writes that should Joe Biden win the White House and then wish to increase the size of the Supreme Court through legislation, then the already diminished Senate filibuster would need to be eliminated completely – something that the former Vice President appears reluctant to do.

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    Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death casts a shadow on the 2020 election—but nowhere more than on the Supreme Court itself

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death casts a shadow on the 2020 election—but nowhere more than on the Supreme Court itself

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last week, with the public narrative quickly shifting away from a remembrance of her legacy to how the political battle over her replacement would affect the presidential election. Lauren C. Bell reflects on the important legacy of an ‘unlikely icon’, and how Ginsburg’s death has placed the US Supreme Court at […]

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    Despite past Congressional action on insider trading, Senators’ stock trades are still business as usual  

Despite past Congressional action on insider trading, Senators’ stock trades are still business as usual  

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In recent weeks, a number of US Senators have been criticized for selling stocks just before most had been able to realize the seriousness of the threat posed by Covid-19. Lauren C. Bell writes that US politicians have a long history of stock trading in ethically murky circumstances, and that Congress’ recent efforts to address this problem with legislation […]

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    Why things may be looking up for Virginia’s Democrats as the General Assembly elections approach

Why things may be looking up for Virginia’s Democrats as the General Assembly elections approach

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While much national attention is focusing on the 2020 presidential primary race, it’s also election season now in some states. On November 5th voters will head to the polls in Virginia’s General Assembly elections. Lauren C. Bell writes that greater candidate recruitment, including of more women, and the growing distaste for President Trump in the Old Dominion State, mean […]

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    Why Virginia’s scandal-struck Democratic executives are likely to remain in power.

Why Virginia’s scandal-struck Democratic executives are likely to remain in power.

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The past two weeks have seen an upheaval in the politics of the Old Dominion State. What began as a disagreement over a late-term abortion bill in the state House of Delegates developed into a scandal for the state’s Democratic Governor, Ralph Northam, after a 1980s yearbook linking him to racist imagery emerged. This has been followed by further […]

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    Justice Kennedy’s retirement politicizes the Supreme Court and complicates the congressional midterms

Justice Kennedy’s retirement politicizes the Supreme Court and complicates the congressional midterms

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Last week Supreme Court Associate Justice, Anthony Kennedy announced that he would be retiring following more than 30 years on the bench. Lauren C. Bell writes that, while Kennedy has been a moderate voice on the Supreme Court for nearly 15 years, he has now chosen to be replaced by a Republican President and a Republican-controlled Senate. Whoever follows Kennedy, […]

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    Trump is casting a long shadow over the narrow race for Virginia governor

Trump is casting a long shadow over the narrow race for Virginia governor

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Voters in the Old Dominion State will go to the polls on November 7th to choose their next Governor. Lauren C. Bell writes that in the age of Trump, the race between Democrat Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie is not a typical off-year election. With Gillespie tacking to the right, both national parties are watching Virginia’s election to see […]

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    Why blocking Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination may be damaging for Democrats in the long term.

Why blocking Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination may be damaging for Democrats in the long term.

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This week President Trump announced the nomination of Court of Appeals judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacant Supreme Court seat – a seat which has been vacant for nearly a year due to Senate Republicans’ refusal to approve President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. Lauren C. Bell writes that while the Democrats’ voter base may be calling for […]

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    The stakes are high in the looming fight to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court.

The stakes are high in the looming fight to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court.

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The death late last week of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has further complicated the 2016 presidential race and threatened to bring even more gridlock to Washington DC with Republican Senate leaders pledging not to confirm any nominee sent to them by President Obama to replace Scalia. Lauren Bell looks at the battle that Obama administration now faces in […]

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    Nuclear fallout: limiting the filibuster has led to more delays

Nuclear fallout: limiting the filibuster has led to more delays

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This week is the two-year anniversary of the introduction of the ‘nuclear option’ into the US Senate by the then Majority Leader, Harry Reid.  John D. Rackey and Lauren C. Bell reflect on the elimination of the filibuster for federal judicial nominations, writing that divided partisan control of the Senate and White House has made the former less efficient. […]

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