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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same-sex marriage
11:11 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 12:47 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?

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
9:12 am
Sun June 23, 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 8:19 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.

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Gun control
9:36 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 11:37 am

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.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
2:46 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 3:17 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.

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It's All Politics
12:45 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Gay Marriage Arguments: Cellphones, The Internet And Fertility Over 55

This artist rendering shows attorney Charles J. Cooper, who was defending California's voter-passed ban on gay marriage, addressing the Supreme Court on Tuesday. From left, the justices are Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, (Chief Justice) John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 1:25 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard lively arguments Tuesday in a challenge to California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages.

And, as many learned painfully after last year's court decision to uphold Obamacare, it is risky business to predict how justices will rule later based on questions raised in arguments.

So we won't.

Instead, here are five areas of discussion we found interesting, even if they may not prove predictive of the outcome.

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It's All Politics
8:39 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Obama's Win Powered By Organization, If Not Ideas

Martha Nunez, 53, of the Bronx, reacts to President Obama's victory Tuesday.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 8:54 pm

The euphoria of Barack Obama's supporters on election night four years ago was replaced Tuesday by relief, as the incumbent president won a second term over Republican Mitt Romney in an effort powered more by organization than by ideas.

To retain the White House, Obama managed to overcome the handicap of an economy just finding its footing after a devastating recession, and an unemployment rate higher than it's been under any president seeking re-election since Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression.

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It's All Politics
5:46 am
Tue November 6, 2012

GOP Eyes Gains As Voters In 11 States Pick Governors

New Hampshire gubernatorial candidates Democrat Maggie Hassan and Republican Ovide Lamontagne talk before their Oct. 4 debate in Henniker, N.H.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 6:03 pm

Voters in 11 states will pick their governors tonight, and Republicans appear on track to increase their numbers by at least one, with the potential to extend their hold to more than two-thirds of the nation's top state offices.

Eight of the gubernatorial seats up for grabs are now held by Democrats; three are in Republican hands. Republicans currently hold 29 governorships, Democrats have 20, and Rhode Island's Gov. Lincoln Chafee is an Independent.

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2012 Elections
11:35 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Potential Election Day Firsts: Races To Watch

On Tuesday, Mia Love could become the first black Republican woman elected to Congress. Here, she speaks at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 28.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 9:59 am

Election Day is promising many firsts — and not just the obvious ones.

Yes, the country could get its first Mormon president if Republican Mitt Romney is elected. And of course, it could get its first two-term African-American commander in chief if President Obama is re-elected.

But Tuesday offers a smorgasbord of other potential "first" opportunities across the nation — from New Hampshire, which could end up with the nation's first all-female congressional delegation, to Arizona, which could elect its first Hispanic U.S. senator.

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2012 elections
8:00 am
Tue October 30, 2012

How To Read The Post-Sandy Polls

Air Force One arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Monday. President Obama returned from campaigning to monitor the storm.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:58 am

Hurricane Sandy's on-the-ground devastation has yet to be cataloged, and how the violent storm may affect the presidential campaign with just a week to Election Day is equally uncertain.

Will President Obama's response to the disaster help or hurt his re-election prospects? Or will the campaign's new trajectory — canceled appearances, postponed early voting — ultimately benefit Republican Mitt Romney?

Not really thinking much about that, are you?

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2012 elections
10:04 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Swing State Debate Watchers Give First Round To Romney, And Lehrer The Loss

Kim Deal (left) and Connie Moser, at Deal's house in Occoquan, Va.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 10:09 pm

We headed to Virginia's Prince William County, a swing county in a swing state, to watch Wednesday night's presidential debate with four undecided voters — three of whom voted for Barack Obama in 2008, one who voted for Republican John McCain.

They gathered in the Occoquan home of Kim Deal and Jim Drakes, and were joined by Connie Moser of Dale City and Al Alborn of Manassas.

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2012 elections
7:44 am
Thu September 27, 2012

2012 Gender Gap Could Be Historic, But Maybe Not For The Reason You'd Think

Supporters of Planned Parenthood wave banners during a rally for President Obama in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 4, ahead of the opening of the Democratic National Convention.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 10:26 am

A slew of new presidential polls released this week not only confirm a long-established gender gap among voters, but also suggest that the male-female preference divide in this year's presidential contest could hit historic levels.

It may surprise that that divide appears not driven by social issues and arguments over reproductive care or choices, analysts say, but largely by the national conversation over the size of government.

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2012 elections
9:54 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Obama: 'Times Have Changed ... So Have I'

President Obama speaks Thursday at the Democratic National Convention.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 9:44 pm

Framing the coming election as a choice between fundamentally different visions, President Obama offered himself to the country Thursday as a fire-tested leader ready to finish the job he started.

"Our problems can be solved," Obama said. "Our challenges can be met."

It was an older, battle-scarred nominee who faced his party in Charlotte, N.C. This message of hope was tempered and longer-view — a good distance if not a full turn from the vision he offered four years ago when he accepted the nomination in a thundering Denver stadium.

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2012 elections
10:45 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Wonky Clinton Wows Convention In Muscular Obama Sales Pitch

Former President Bill Clinton speaks Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 10:52 pm

President Obama still has a case to make for a second term, and specific people to whom he needs to make it.

But while it's two months too early to call former President Bill Clinton Obama's closer, he came about as close as it gets Wednesday night at the Democratic convention with a bravura defense of the current White House occupant.

"We are here to nominate a president," Clinton said after strolling onto the stage to tumultuous applause, "and I've got one in mind."

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It's All Politics
7:17 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Mormon Democrats Battling Romney — And What Would Be Church History

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., attends a practice session at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. On Tuesday, Reid also attended a gathering with other Mormon Democrats.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 10:53 am

They billed the gathering in a Charlotte, N.C., Holiday Inn conference room Tuesday as the first national meeting of Mormon Democrats.

Don't laugh. Crystal Young-Otterstrom says she figures there are 1 million of them out there, and she's determined to find them.

"It's like a missionary effort," Young-Otterstrom said in a room packed with the curious, the media and a cadre of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints making the argument that the Democratic Party best represents their personal and religious values.

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2012 elections
5:16 am
Fri August 31, 2012

A Fine Night For Romney, But No Game Change

Mitt Romney accepts the Republican nomination for president at the party's convention Thursday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 10:17 pm

It's been the political world's obsession for weeks leading into the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Would nominee Mitt Romney manage what would be miraculous for any candidate, and in a handful of days and one big speech wash away the problems of a modern candidacy?

Turns out Romney's moment Thursday night was a fine one, if not a great one.

His speech continued the campaign's concerted effort to reach out to skeptical female voters, reminding the audience that his strong mother ran for Senate.

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