Lauren Bell

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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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    The difficulties over Michael Boggs’ confirmation in the Senate have been made worse by the Democrats’ filibuster reform.

The difficulties over Michael Boggs’ confirmation in the Senate have been made worse by the Democrats’ filibuster reform.

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Last year Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, forced the removal of the filibuster for judicial nominations except to the Supreme Court. This move may now be a headache for Reid and the Democratic Party, as the Senate considers President Obama’s nomination of Michael Boggs for the Georgia judiciary. Lauren C. Bell writes that Boggs’ nomination, vehemently opposed by many […]

The real danger of Harry Reid’s “nuclear” rules change in the U.S. Senate may be the fallout.

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On Thursday, Democratic Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, invoked the long-awaited ‘nuclear option’ to effectively eliminate the threat of filibusters on most presidential nominations. Lauren C. Bell looks at the history of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate, finding that its occurrence greatly increased after the last change to Senate rules in 1975. She argues that despite the appearance that […]

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