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Confronting the anti-civil rights filibuster

March 24, 2021 - U.S. senators are currently considering whether to eliminate, reform, or protect the filibuster. The parliamentary procedure that gives the minority outsized power has a long history of being used to undermine civil rights legislation — and it now threatens to derail a bold Democratic agenda that includes voting rights and other pro-democracy reforms.

Nikki Haley's troubled economic record in South Carolina

January 12, 2016 - As a young, popular governor and the child of immigrants, it's easy to see why the GOP tapped Gov. Haley to rebut President Obama's final State of the Union address. But back home she's under mounting criticism for an economic development approach that gives millions in incentives to companies for low-paying jobs that trap families in poverty.

INSTITUTE INDEX: President Obama takes on gun lobby with executive actions

January 6, 2016 - By the time President Obama announced a series of executive actions to restrict firearms this week, 147 Americans had already lost their lives to gun violence in the new year, with the first fatal shooting taking place in Florida just 15 minutes into 2016. But the ongoing carnage didn't stop the gun lobby and politicians it backs from threatening to block the plan.

Special interests ramp up outside election spending, but is it working?

December 18, 2015 - Super PACs, "social welfare" nonprofits, and other outside groups are spending record amounts on ads in the 2016 presidential race, more than triple the total at this point compared to four years ago. But are the ads effective? We consider lessons from North Carolina, a key swing state that in recent elections has attracted record amounts of outside money.