Author Archive

Vann R. Newkirk II

Vann R. Newkirk II is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics and policy.

Virginia Is for Second Chances

Under Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia embarked on a campaign to grant clemency more often, and to restore the civil rights of convicted felons.

Health & Human Services

Wisconsin's Welfare Overhaul Is Almost Complete

The Trump administration could soon approve a proposal from Governor Scott Walker to drug test food-stamp recipients.


How Alabama's Election Laws Keep Moore on the Ballot

After multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment of minors against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, a complicated set of elections laws and rules is being used to keep his hat in the ring.

Health & Human Services

Puerto Rico's Dire Health-Care Crisis

Over a month after Hurricane Maria, citizens are still facing limited access to medical help and the increasing threat of illness.


The Trump Voter-Fraud Commission's Data Problem

During its second meeting on Tuesday, the Kris Kobach-led group heard presentations that sometimes followed a circular logic.


How to Build Hurricane-Proof Cities

In the age of climate change, the only way to protect the American coastal metropolis is to rethink it entirely.


What's the Real Goal of Trump's Voter-Fraud Commission?

A conversation with Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, one of three Democrats advising the president on “election integrity.”

Health & Human Services

The Senate's Health Bill Is Still Unaffordable for Poor People

The Congressional Budget Office finds that while the upper chamber’s plan is more generous and stable than the AHCA, it leaves about as many low-income people without coverage.

Health & Human Services

The New AHCA Cuts Medicaid Funding More Deeply

A draft version of the Senate bill released Thursday shows even deeper cuts to the program than the House version.

Health & Human Services

Five Involuntary Manslaughter Charges in the Flint Water Crisis

Michigan Health Director Nick Lyon and four other officials are accused of failing to act on a Legionnaires' disease outbreak associated with the city’s lead-poisoning problems.


North Carolina's Voter ID Law Is Defeated, For Now

The Supreme Court declined to review the law that lower courts found to be discriminatory, but made no judgment on the merits of the policy.

Health & Human Services

How to Stop Medicaid Expansion

The Trump administration is leveraging a new tool to try to keep states from embracing Obamacare.

Health & Human Services

The Historical Exclusion Behind the Puerto Rico Bankruptcy Crisis

Congress could help the territory by simply funding its Medicaid system the way they fund the states.

Health & Human Services

The Trouble With Medicaid Work Requirements

The new Republican provision to allow states to deny health assistance for lacking employment will only make the program worse.


How Voter ID Laws Discriminate

A new comprehensive study finds evidence that strict voting laws do suppress the ballot along racial lines.


In the Battle Over Voting Rights, What Happens Next?

Court challenges to redistricting in North Carolina and Wisconsin could bring national changes in elections.


California Extends the Ballot to Jails

Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to allow some incarcerated people with felonies to vote reflects a growing national challenge to felony disenfranchisement.


The American Zika Outbreak

The virus’s prevalence in Puerto Rico threatens disaster if Congress cannot pursue long-term action.


America's Cities Fight Trump

Liberal mayors see the Republican nominee’s rhetoric as a threat to their diversity and inclusivity.


Puerto Rico’s Dream, Denied

Two Supreme Court decisions Monday made it clear that U.S. territories have no claim to self-determination.