Minding the Metro Education Gap
August 29, 2012

For the first time since World War II, there are fewer jobs three years after the end of a recession than before it began. Our new Brookings report suggests that most of this flat recovery can be attributed to severe losses in housing wealth and jobs in industries such as manufacturing and construction. Yet education--especially the balance between the demand and supply of educated workers--is the most important factor explaining long-run unemployment in metropolitan and national labor markets. First, consider the short-run picture.

Angry at the Arizona Abortion Ruling? Blame Democrats Too.
August 01, 2012

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge James A. Teilborg upheld an Arizona law banning abortions 20 weeks after a woman’s last period. The law, which was signed by Gov.

Confessions of an Ex-Mormon
July 13, 2012

A personal history of America’s most misunderstood religion

States of Confusion
July 13, 2012

The Supreme Court’s decision in the health care case is best understood as an attempt to maximize damage to established legal precedent while minimizing damage to the particular law under consideration. On the one hand, Chief Justice John Roberts wanted to maintain the Supreme Court as a playpen for anti-government sophistry. On the other, Roberts wanted to avoid getting pilloried as a right-wing extremist who doesn’t care whether people get health insurance or not.

New Data on Obama's Massive Demographic Advantage
July 09, 2012

It’s widely acknowledged by political observers that the country’s demographic change in the last four years—particularly the increase in minority voters and decline of white non-college voters—favors President Obama’s re-election bid. What’s less obvious is exactly how much these changes favor Obama—especially in the swing states that loom so large in this coming election. These data can be hard to come by.

What Thursday’s Verdict Will Settle—and What It Won’t
June 27, 2012

The debate over health care reform’s constitutionality will reach its climax on Thursday morning, when the Supreme Court issues its ruling. But the fight over health care will go on, however the justices rule. It’s a fight that progressives should welcome, but one, I suspect, they won’t win if they keep fighting like they have been. Ever since oral arguments, when the conservative justices expressed extreme skepticism of the government’s position, supporters of the Affordable Care Act (including me) have been bracing themselves for the worst.

More On Scalia’s Editorializing
June 26, 2012

We’re still two days away from the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, but luckily there’s still a lot to chew on from yesterday’s important ruling in Arizona v. United States. I’ve covered the main points, but there are a few issues that merit further discussion—in particular, Justice Scalia’s unhinged dissent, which took a strange digression into immigration policy issues that were not before the Court.

Why Monday’s Immigration Decision Should Be a Model For Thursday’s Obamacare Ruling
June 26, 2012

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down most of Arizona’s immigration law is a cause for celebration—not least because it’s a model of how the Court can make decisions based on judicial philosophy rather than partisanship. The bipartisan majority opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the three liberal justices (Elena Kagan was recused) was modest and nuanced in tone and in substance—and consistent with all of the justices’ previous expressions of willingness to allow federal policies to trump state ones in cases where they conflict.

Revisiting Arizona
June 26, 2012

With the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Arizona law and the Obama administration’s recent decision to halt deportations and allow work authorization for certain young undocumented workers likely to gin up enthusiasm among Latino voters, it’s worth revisiting the math in 2012’s stealth battleground: Arizona. Neither campaign is airing advertisements in Arizona, but the Obama campaign has boots on the ground registering voters in an attempt to vault the state into the toss-up column.

The Justices Tackle Immigration, And Scalia Throws A Fit
June 25, 2012

Today’s Supreme Court ruling in Arizona v. United States was mostly good news for foes of S.B. 1070, the hard-line immigration law passed by Arizona in 2010, but decidedly bad news for one person who has come out in vigorous support of it: Justice Antonin Scalia. When we last checked in with Justice Scalia during oral arguments for this case, he was in classic form—bellowing, bullying, and bombastic. Thankfully, the majority was a little more level-headed on the subject today.