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The Health-Care Fight Republicans Can’t Afford

There’s a reason Donald Trump has never produced a health-care plan that protects consumers with preexisting medical conditions: Ending protections for the sick is the central mechanism that all GOP health-care proposals use to try to lower costs for the healthy. Every alternative to the…

The Children Who Desegregated America’s Schools

In 1954, the Supreme Court decided that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional—but it was thousands of children who actually desegregated America’s classrooms. The task that fell to them was a brutal one. In the years following Brown v. Board of Education, vicious legal and…

The Persistence of Segregation in South Carolina

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth story in The Firsts, a five-part series about the children who desegregated America’s schools. Millicent Brown could only be honest. It was the summer of 1960, and she was standing in front of the school board in Charleston County,…

Judiciary Reform Is Not Revenge

Following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Democrats, not surprisingly, are outraged at Republicans’ course reversal on filling a vacancy during an election year. Two proposals are gaining momentum among commentators and progressive activists: expanding the number of justices and instituting term limits. These ideas almost…

Large-Scale Political Unrest Is Unlikely, But Not Impossible

When a reporter recently asked Donald Trump if he would accept a peaceful transition of power, the president wouldn’t commit. “We’ll see what happens,” he said. In an apparent reference to mail-in ballots, he went on, “We’ll want to have—get rid of the ballots and…

What the Supreme Court Fight Means for the Senate Majority

The struggle over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement on the Supreme Court could help propel Democrats to the brink of a Senate majority in November’s election. But whether it lifts them over that threshold could turn on the terms of the confirmation fight. Given the nature…

Reddit Squashed QAnon by Accident

Two years ago, most Americans knew nothing about QAnon, the ever-growing, diffuse, and violent movement devoted to a loosely connected set of conspiracy theories, most of which tie back to the idea that Donald Trump is leading a holy war against a high-powered cabal of…

The Election Is Already Under Way in America’s Courts

Although the election is not technically until November 3, election season is already well under way—most significantly in the dozens of election-litigation cases that are determining how people can vote, whether they can vote, and whether their votes will be counted. In the many cases…

Is This Really the End of Abortion?

Friday was a perfect early-autumn evening in Washington, D.C., less than 50 days away from the election. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List, arguably the most powerful anti-abortion group in Washington, had wrapped up her day on Capitol Hill. She and…

Trump Is a Feudal Lord

The Trump administration named New York City, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon, “anarchist jurisdictions” on Sunday, threatening to slash federal funding due to protests against police brutality and property damage. The announcement built on an earlier order that accused several cities of “permitting anarchy, violence, and…

RBG’s Greatest Insight

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s time on the Court was often characterized as a pitched battle between the principles of equality and individual liberty. Conservative majorities have tended to elevate individual autonomy rights over equal treatment and equal opportunity in our politics, our workplaces, and our…

A Dangerous Moment for the Court

The Supreme Court seems strangely immune to the bitterness that plagues our politics. Even now, when Americans can no longer agree on basic facts, the Court’s relative popularity has endured. Following Donald Trump’s 2016 election, the Court has what may be its most conservative majority…

Don’t Make the Election About the Court

I know that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s empty Supreme Court seat has provoked an epic, long-awaited clash between Democrats and Republicans, that the very principle of judicial independence hangs dangerously in the balance. I realize that the social-media wave cannot be stopped, that the talking heads…

Senate Republicans’ Last Chance to Stand Up to Trump

Nearly every reporter in Washington has experienced it: A Republican member of Congress says, “Off the record,” shifts into a quieter voice, and expresses how much he or she doesn’t like President Donald Trump. Soon after, you watch this same elected official speak up in…

Four Reasons to Doubt Mitch McConnell’s Power

To use power, you must have it. On the night of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that a Trump nominee to replace Ginsburg would receive a vote on the floor of the Senate. That announcement promised a use of…

Howie Hawkins Is No Kanye West

Howie Hawkins may be the Green Party’s presidential nominee, but he isn’t Jill Stein—or at least, he can’t be, because he’s not on the ballot in as many swing states as Stein was in 2016. Courts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania decided this week to keep…

What Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Means for America

A furious battle over a Supreme Court vacancy is arguably the last thing the United States needed right now. The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg today represents a devastating loss for feminists who held up the 87-year-old as an icon of women’s rights, and…

How Jimi Hendrix’s London Years Changed Music

“It’s so lovely now,” Jimi Hendrix said in his muzzy mumble, his topplingly elegant, close-to-gibberish, discreetly space-traveling undertone, onstage one night in 1967 at the Bag O’Nails in London. “I kissed the fairest soul brother of England, Eric Clapton—kissed him right on the lips.” This…

The American Government Gave Up on Reality

Alexander Hamilton and his colleagues wrote 85 separate essays to make their case that Americans should take a risk and ratify the 1787 Constitution. Three sentences into the very first of those Federalist Papers, Hamilton made clear that he knew full well the stakes of…

The Great British Humbling

“The cretinous stupidity of it!” snaps the tragic hero in Joseph Roth’s The Radetzky March as he faces up to his likely death in a duel over his wife’s honor. He did not want the fight and no longer loves his wife anyway, but the…

Alexander Vindman: Trump Is Putin’s ‘Useful Idiot’

Shortly after midnight on June 17, 1972, an unusually attentive security guard named Frank Wills discovered an unlocked door in the garage of the Watergate office complex. A piece of tape had been placed over the latch. Wills removed the tape and continued on his…

The Coming Crisis of Legitimacy

In normal times, it would seem outlandish to worry that an American president might refuse to concede defeat upon losing his bid for reelection. This year it is not. Even though he won in 2016, Donald Trump falsely claimed that he was the victim of…

Who’s to Blame When a Sperm Donor Lies?

To the mothers, he was just Donor 9623. They did not know his name, but from his glowing sperm-donor profile, they knew he had an IQ of 160, spoke four languages, was pursuing a doctorate in neuroscience engineering, and looked like Tom Cruise. But Donor…

Donald Is No Dove

One of Donald Trump’s more remarkable qualities is his ability to convince people to give him credit for things he hasn’t done. He has, for example convinced many Americans that he is an effective businessman, despite his massive inherited wealth and legacy of failure; an…

This Republican Party Is Not Worth Saving

I was a Republican for most of my adult life. I came of political age in 1980, and although I grew up in a working-class Democratic stronghold in Massachusetts, I found a home in Ronald Reagan’s GOP. Back then, the Republicans were a confident “party…

The Deadline That Could Hand Trump the Election

Many Americans know that counting all of the votes in this November’s presidential election is going to take extra time. Few people realize there’s a specific deadline by which states must finish. The 1887 Electoral Count Act seems like an obscure piece of political trivia.…

I Accidentally Pandemic-Prepped My House

My obsession with ventilation began long before the pandemic. Five years ago, when I moved from central Tokyo to the coast of Japan, a blanket of humidity seemed to levitate out from the sea and the surrounding mountains, wrapping everything I owned in a moist…

The Terrifying Inadequacy of American Election Law

Merely voting and counting the votes in this year’s election will be an extraordinary challenge. The country faces the worst public-health crisis in a century, a potentially severe shortage of poll workers, mail-in voting on an unprecedented scale, mounting functional problems at the U.S. Postal…

Trump’s True Relationship With Russia Has Never Been Revealed

Getty / Arsh Raziuddin / The Atlantic Fate offered Peter Strzok a place in history that he never sought. The son of an Army officer, Strzok also served in the United States military before joining the FBI’s counterintelligence operation in 1996. He excelled at his…

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