Justice and Domestic Affairs

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    This year has seen a massive surge in gun purchases in both Republican and Democratic states

This year has seen a massive surge in gun purchases in both Republican and Democratic states

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Past research has shown that when Republicans are afraid for their safety, or when they are concerned about gun laws being tightened, they buy more guns. In new research which uses background checks as a stand-in for gun sales, Matthew Lang determines that there have been eight million ‘extra’ gun sales in both Republican and Democratic states in 2020 […]

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    What the reaction to Jacob Blake’s shooting tells us about political polarization in America

What the reaction to Jacob Blake’s shooting tells us about political polarization in America

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Jacob Blake’s shooting by police in August in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the subsequent local and national protests in response have generally been covered by the national media along partisan lines, especially in light of the 2020 presidential election. Aubri McDonald writes that by examining how events such as these are understood, or framed, we can start to better understand […]

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    How Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination could dominate the presidential election.

How Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination could dominate the presidential election.

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This past weekend, President Trump announced that US circuit court judge, Amy Coney Barrett, would be his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court. In this Q&A Julie Norman writes that Coney Barrett’s stances on most issues would shift the Court into a solid conservative majority, which would likely have serious implications for the Affordable […]

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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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    Black Americans are pessimistic about the state of racial affairs in the US. But so are young whites. 

Black Americans are pessimistic about the state of racial affairs in the US. But so are young whites. 

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Fifty years ago the Kerner Commission found that many Blacks felt powerless in the face of unfair racial treatment and categorized twelve areas of grievance that fed into these feelings.  In new research, Theodore J. Davis, Jr. finds that Blacks (especially older Blacks) remain more pessimistic than Whites about the state of racial affairs in the US today. He writes that race still matters today, but it matters in ways that are very different from when the Kerner Commission report was released.
The 1968 Kerner Commission Report
Between […]

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    The US faces significant health, political, and economic challenges in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.

The US faces significant health, political, and economic challenges in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.

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Millions of coronavirus infections and thousands of COVID-19 related deaths and an economic recession threaten US political stability. Elizabeth Freund Larus assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, economic difficulties and the uncertainty of the 2020 elections on US political stability.

With more than 5 million confirmed infections and over 166,000 deaths, the United States leads the world in COVID-19 […]

Why Federal intervention in Portland shouldn’t be a shock

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For several months, protests have been ongoing in Portland, Oregon, following the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Aaron Roussell and Gisela Rodriguez Fernandez examine the intentional misconceptions which have developed to delegitimize the protests in Portland and elsewhere, writing that despite sentiments that such tactics are ‘not American’, the use of police violence and federal agents […]

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    Trump’s use of federal forces in US cities not only politicises crime, it’s also a missed opportunity.

Trump’s use of federal forces in US cities not only politicises crime, it’s also a missed opportunity.

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In recent weeks the Trump administration has deployed federal law enforcement agents to US cities which have experienced protests and unrest in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police in May. Julie Norman writes that in sending these federal forces, Trump has not only politicised crime prevention, but has also missed an opportunity to address crime […]

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    How the US states have learned from each other to create more comprehensive medical cannabis policies.

How the US states have learned from each other to create more comprehensive medical cannabis policies.

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Medical cannabis was first legalized in California in 1996 – since then, 32 more states have done the same, and 11 have made the drug legal for recreational use. A. Lee Hannah and Daniel J. Mallinson take a close look at how the US states have learned from each other on how to regulate cannabis in the face of a […]

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    Racist policing is making Black and White Americans question police authority

Racist policing is making Black and White Americans question police authority

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In new research based on a nationwide survey of 1,500 Americans, Jonathan Jackson and co-authors find that years of racially targeted policing is leading people to question the fairness and legitimacy of the police, such that 40 percent believe that the police should be defunded. Regardless of respondents’ race, they find that concerns about the under-protection and over-regulation […]

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