The date was shortly after last November’s presidential election. Mr. Meadows, then President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, was replying to a member of Congress who had asked whether the White House was urging GOP state lawmakers to send alternate pro-Trump electors to Washington.
“The White House was not simply a bystander in the activities at the Capitol building. They were central in coordinating and fomenting it,” says Cornell Clayton, a professor of government at Washington State University and director of the Thomas Foley Institute of Public Policy.
In Arizona, Republican legislators passed a law that takes authority over election lawsuits away from the secretary of state, who’s currently a Democrat, and hands it to the governor, who’s a Republican. In Georgia, Republican lawmakers have weakened the powers of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who refused Mr. Trump’s entreaties to change his state’s results. A candidate endorsed by the former president is running to replace Mr. Raffensperger in 2022.
The Supreme Court is more conservative than it’s been in almost a century. Its new term begins today (Oct. 4), and by next June, when the term ends, Americans might finally understand what that means. Public opinion of the court is already at a record low after the court allowed a strict abortion law to go into effect in Texas in early September. Now, the justices are preparing to hear the court’s first major gun rights case since 2010 as well as a case on the future of abortion in the U.S. Both cases could result in decisions that are far more extreme than most Americans want.
“In the past, even if the court was trending conservative overall, it wasn’t like the conservatives always won and the liberals always lost,” said Michael Salamone, a political science professor at Washington State University who studies the Supreme Court and public opinion. “Now it’s looking like conservative victories are going to be a lot more consistent and a lot more far-reaching.”
In that sense, this new term might be a turning point — and not just because of the importance of the cases or the risk of a backlash to an individual decision. The next few months might be the beginning of a new era in which the conservative justices move sharply away from where most Americans stand on major issues, and dare politicians to do something about it.
Research explains when political financing works — and when it doesn’t
By Ragnhild Muriaas and WSU political science professors Amy G. Mazur and Season Hoard
Early voting is opening in Virginia and Democrats are determined to retain control of the legislature. In the first state elections since President Biden took office and Texas adopted the most restrictive abortion law in the nation, 50 of 97 Democratic nominees are women.
Many female nominees are backed by seed money from political organizations dedicated to fight for more diversity in elected office. Such programs have helped female candidates winning seats before. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), before she became a member of Congress, was recruited by Justice Democrats, an organization that offered her training, a platform and some campaign funding.
But that’s unusual. In the United States and across the globe, political power is heavily skewed toward the rich. Structural barriers make it almost impossible for women from working-class backgrounds — like Ocasio-Cortez — to win public office.
Helping to bridge divides of understanding within communities is at the heart of four free, public presentations by Washington State University professors to be hosted online in October.
Sociologist Jennifer Sherman will present “Diamonds in the Rough: The Gentrification of Rural Washington” on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. and on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at noon. Philosopher Michael Goldsby will present “Why Deny Science” on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 5:30 p.m. and on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 6:30 p.m.
In addition to Sherman and Goldsby, WSU professors Bill Kabasenche in philosophy, Matthew A. Sutton in history and Steven Stehr in political science are members of the Humanities Washington (HW) Speakers Bureau for 2021–23.
The non-partisan Foley Institute seeks to broaden the educational experience of WSU students and the surrounding community by engaging prominent speakers who encourage thought-provoking discussions and by supporting student internships in public service and scholarly research into public policy and political institutions.
Eight professors from across the country will present research related to inequality in a lecture series hosted online by Washington State University this fall.
The Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service hosts the distinguished lectures to “broaden the educational experience of WSU students and the surrounding community by bringing engaging and influential opinion leaders to campus in encourage thought-provoking discussions and ideas.”
While The Foley Institute looks to host a diverse set of lecturers, Jennifer Sherman is taking a local look at systemic inequality. Sherman is a current WSU associate professor of sociology and will present her lecture, “The gentrification of Washington,” on Oct. 12 at noon.
“A lot of us have gone a year and half without seeing people in our departments and additional committees,” Sherman said. “To be around people who share the same interest and passion as you around the campuses is really exciting.”