Law + Policy

Farmers Find Rotten Apples in Trump’s Ag Policy Barrel

President Trump’s positions on immigration and trade are causing some queasiness among people who largely supported him during the campaign: farmers. The reasons are straightforward enough. Oft-repeated protectionist sentiments raise the possibility of a trade war that could throttle U.S. food exports, and Trump’s fixation on building a “beautiful wall” on the nation’s southern border threatens the agricultural labor force. Read more about Farmers Find Rotten Apples in Trump's Ag Policy Barrel »

Cowboy Neil: How Western is Gorsuch and Does It Matter?

Most of the discussion surrounding the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court has, quite properly, centered around the jurist’s judicial philosophy and political leanings, and the opinions he has issued from the bench. (In case you’re just tuning in, court watchers place Trump’s nominee on the right of the spectrum, more conservative than Samuel Alito and on one side or the other of the late Antonin Scalia depending on the issue. Read more about Cowboy Neil: How Western is Gorsuch and Does It Matter? »

Shane Bauer Puts the Teeth Back Into Undercover Reporting

Seven hours before Shane Bauer was to start his 6 a.m. shift at the Winn Correctional Center in Winnfield, Louisiana, his wife shook him awake. “Something’s wrong,” she said. His colleague from the magazine Mother Jones, James West, hadn’t returned from shooting nighttime footage of the private prison where Bauer worked. Had officials there discovered that Bauer wasn’t just a regular guard, but an investigative reporter from San Francisco? Read more about Shane Bauer Puts the Teeth Back Into Undercover Reporting »

From the Spring 2017 Virtue and Vice issue of California.

Will Trump Roll Out the Big Guns on Second Amendment Issues?

Avowed Second Amendment enthusiast Donald Trump drew plenty of scorn and outrage recently when he signed a bill overturning an Obama era restriction on handgun sales to certain mentally disturbed citizens. But the action was significant more as a political statement than functional policy, says UC Berkeley Law Professor and Center for Studies in Criminal Justice Director Franklin Zimring, an authority on Second Amendment issues. Read more about Will Trump Roll Out the Big Guns on Second Amendment Issues? »

Is Right-Wing News Entering the Mainstream?

While progressives are scandalized by Breitbart’s nativist tone, it’s deeply appealing to millions of disenfranchised and largely white citizens. Indeed, it helped energize them to the point that they actually got out and voted in numbers sufficient to elect Donald Trump, much to the horror of the droves of Democrats who couldn’t be bothered going to the polls and the prestigious mainstream news outlets that predicted an easy Hillary electoral victory. Read more about Is Right-Wing News Entering the Mainstream? »

Barriers Abound to Trump’s Border Wall

The rapid fire train wreck-a-day strategy of the Trump administration has left some people breathless and others queasy. Flogging a travel ban designed to exclude Muslims, provoking China, insulting Australia, staring down Iran, comparing Russia to the United States, and locally, floating a question of pulling federal funding from Cal due to inadequate “free speech protections” for far-right pundit Milo Yiannopoulos—whew. It’s enough to leave you wondering who or what’s on first. Read more about Barriers Abound to Trump's Border Wall »

Are We Living in a Post-Poll World?

They wrong. They’re rigged. They’re partisan. They’re worthless.

Polls took as vicious a drubbing as civility and real news in the latest election. And they’re still drawing withering abuse from Donald Trump and his supporters, who maintain that surveys showing that he is highly unpopular are lies, perfidious lies. Trump, in fact, continues to promote a narrative that we are living in a post-poll world, that polls are not only inaccurate but passé; nobody cares about them. Read more about Are We Living in a Post-Poll World? »

Uncovered California: ACA Repeal’s Full Cost

No state did Obamacare quite like California.

Here, we built our own state-insurance market. Here, we got a jumpstart on shifting low-income residents onto Medi-Cal (the state’s Medicaid program) as early as 2010. Here, insurance policies were standardized, consumer protections were tightened, and multi-lingual, statewide PR campaigns were kicked into overdrive. While other, redder states dragged their institutional heels, California took to the Affordable Care Act with gusto. Read more about Uncovered California: ACA Repeal's Full Cost »


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