Protests at a Los Angeles City Council Meeting

L.A. Backstory: The History Behind the City Council’s Racist Tirades

Where did the behind-closed-doors racist garbage from some leading Los Angeles elected officials come from?
illustration of a hand with a shredded ballot

John Roberts’s Long Game

Is this the end of the Voting Rights Act?
Black and white photograph of Harold Washington, 1980s.

A 1980s Blueprint on How to Be a Leader

A new film shows how Harold Washington, Chicago’s first Black mayor, stood up to a majority-white city council to push through infrastructure improvements for all.

Gerrymandering's Surprising History and Uncertain Future

Both parties play the redistricting game, redrawing electoral boundaries to lock down power.

Where Did the Term 'Gerrymander' Come From?

Elbridge Gerry was a powerful voice in the founding of the nation, but today he's best known for the political practice with an amphibious origin.

The New Racism

A glimpse inside the Alabama State House suggests that the civil rights movement may have reached its end.

Re-mapping American Politics

The redistricting revolution, fifty years later.
Above view of residential areas in Richmond, Virginia.

How the Former Confederate Capital Slashed Black Voting Power, Overnight

Did Richmond violate the Voting Rights Act by adding thousands of White residents? The historic Supreme Court case foreshadowed today’s gerrymandering fights.
Portraits of white men.

How 155 Angry White Men Chained Alabama to Its Confederate Past

Their plan required not only a social and legal division along racial lines but a political one, too — a separation that persists today.
Brooklyn Bridge with the city skyline in the background.

When Panama Came to Brooklyn

“For those Afro-Caribbean Panamanian who had lived through Panama’s Canal Zone apartheid, Brooklyn segregation probably came as no surprise.”
Graphic design of a red, fractured United States on a yellow background

There Is Absolutely Nothing to Support the ‘Independent State Legislature’ Theory

Such a doctrine would be antithetical to the Framers’ intent, and to the text, fundamental design, and architecture of the Constitution.
Drawing of a voting booth on top of a gerrymandered district with a saw cutting the floor out from under it.

American Democracy Was Never Designed to Be Democratic

The partisan redistricting tactics of cracking and packing aren’t merely flaws in the system—they are the system.
Census taker's bag from 1980

Immigration Hard-Liner Files Reveal 40-Year Bid Behind Trump's Census Obsession

The Trump administration tried and failed to accomplish a count of unauthorized immigrants to reshape Congress, the Electoral College and public policy.

America Needs a Bigger House

To better represent the country, Congress must add many more seats.

Fighting to Vote

Voting rights are often associated with the Civil Rights Movement, but this fight extends throughout American history.

The Data Proves That School Segregation Is Getting Worse

This is ultimately a disagreement over how we talk about school segregation.

History Frowns on Partisan Gerrymandering

On the eve of a major redistricting case at the Supreme Court, a look back at what the nation's founders would have thought.

Ahead of a Major Supreme Court Case on Gerrymandering, Here Are the Term's Origins

The word is two centuries old.
Scale, with pile of U.S. states weighing down one end, and the U.S. on the other.

How a Fringe Legal Theory Became a Threat to Democracy

Lawyers tried to use the independent-state-legislature theory to sway the outcomes of the 2000 and 2020 elections. What if it were to become the law of the land?
Voter registration at the Brookfield Conference Center in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield on Nov. 8.

Suburbs Have Moved Leftward — Except Around Milwaukee

A far right politics that developed in the middle of the 20th century has prevented Democrats from gaining as they have in suburbs elsewhere.