Defend democracy in the South.

trump administration

INSTITUTE INDEX: Rick Perry's oily plans for an authoritarian America

January 6, 2022 - A text sent to the Trump White House the day after the 2020 election outlining a strategy to have the Supreme Court decide the outcome of the presidential race reportedly came from the phone of former Energy Secretary and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Championing the election's overthrow didn't dim Perry's job prospects, though: He resigned his Trump administration post that December and the following month became a director for the general partner of Energy Transfer, the Dallas-based pipeline company led by billionaire Trump backer and longtime Perry associate Kelcy Warren, whose interests Perry profitably championed in Washington.

INSTITUTE INDEX: An opening for change at the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service

November 19, 2021 - The term of Ron Bloom, chair of the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors, ends on Dec. 8, and hundreds of public-interest organizations are urging President Biden to replace him. They object to his support for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee embroiled in numerous controversies over service cuts, financial conflicts of interest, wage theft, and a pattern of questionable campaign contributions at his former North Carolina-based logistics company.

VOICES: Prison violence like Alabama's demands a national reckoning

June 18, 2021 - Despite lawsuits instituting reforms, state prisons across the U.S. continue to be places of physical and sexual violence, especially against incarcerated people of color. Conditions got so bad in Alabama's prisons that the federal government recently sued the state for violating the Constitution. Robert T. Chase, a historian of prisons, says they need the same kind of scrutiny now faced by police.

Far-right accelerationists hope to spark the next U.S. civil war

February 3, 2021 - Right-wing extremists who believe the fall of American society has begun and should be hastened through racial polarization and violence played a key role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Documents filed as part of recent criminal prosecutions of accelerationists, many active in the South, reveal disturbing trends, including ties to foreign intelligence services and penetration of the U.S. military.

INSTITUTE INDEX: The disaster-stricken South looks to Biden for climate justice

January 29, 2021 - Tied for the hottest year on record globally, 2020 also brought the most $1 billion disasters ever in the U.S., and they took a disproportionate toll on the South's most vulnerable communities. With most states in the region controlled by a party whose platform downplays climate change, environmental advocates are looking to the new president for help. Here's what the Biden administration has done so far.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Confronting the GOP's poll watcher threats

October 2, 2020 - This presidential election will be the first in 40 years to take place without a consent decree in place requiring the Republican National Committee to refrain from voter intimidation under the guise of ballot security. With President Trump urging his supporters to go to the polls and "watch very carefully," we look at what the law says about such activity and how voting rights advocates are responding.