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An HDR photo of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, a case challenging the constitutionality of a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The cornerstone provision is known as Section 5, which requires some states and localities to get federal clearance before making any changes to their voting laws. Read more» 1

U.S. gun policy is set by both state and federal law. We previously published an explainer on the ways states have eased gun restrictions. But federal policy, too, has become more gun friendly in recent years — and we're not just talking about the 2008 Supreme Court ruling that struck down the handgun ban in Washington, D.C. Read more»

Arlington, Vir., voter ID information.

Voter ID laws were one of the most contentious issues of the past election season. The impact of the laws on this past election isn't clear. But one thing is clear: There are still pushes for the laws in many states. Read more» 1

More than half of the 11 deadliest shootings in U.S. history took place in the last five years. During the same period, many states have relaxed their gun laws, making it easier for individuals to obtain guns, extending the places where concealed guns are permitted, or giving gun owners more robust protections. Read more» 1

For the second time in four years, the Supreme Court will consider a challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Last month, the Supreme Court said it will consider the constitutionality of a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the hallmark legislation from the Civil Rights era that has come under increased challenge. Read more» 2

It’s been two weeks since Election Day, but it’s not all over in Arizona. Thousands of early and provisional ballots remain uncounted. These votes aren’t actually expected to impact any more races – just one state legislative race is too close to call – but the prolonged vote count has drawn national attention. Read more» 1

Citizens vote on November 6, 2012 in Parkside, New York, NY

Experts agree that much-assailed voter ID laws were less an issue in this election than limited early voting hours, lengthy ballots and precincts shuttered after Hurricane Sandy. These issues contributed to long wait times, prompting some to simply throw up their hands and give up on voting. Read more»

When voters finally get to the polls tomorrow, they may run into more than a big crowd. Voters in many states will be facing a slew of confusing measures and often overly long ballots. Read more»

Voters line up in Virginia on Tuesday morning.

Get ready. Here are all the things that could go wrong (or already have) as Americans head to the polls. Read more»

Voter IDs laws have become a political flashpoint in what's gearing up to be another close election year. We've taken a step back to look at the facts behind the laws and break down the issues at the heart of the debate. Read more»

Akin clings to Senate nomination, as his party scrambles to limit damage. Read more»

The Supreme Court has banned mandatory life without parole sentences for minors convicted of murder. But states are moving to keep many of them behind bars. Read more»

Voter IDs laws have become a political flashpoint: Supporters say the laws — which 30 states have now enacted — are needed to combat voter fraud, while critics see them as a tactic to disenfranchise voters. Read more» 1

Obama speaks at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa., on July 6.

How many immigrants have benefited from 12 months of broader discretion in the prosecution of illegal immigrants? Very few. Read more»

An illustration of an immigration detention center by the Applied Research Center, a racial justice think tank.

The detention business goes beyond just criminal prisoners; nearly half of all immigrant detainees are now held in privately run detention facilities. Here's a look at the billion-dollar and wide-ranging for-profit detention industry—and the two companies that dominate the market: Read more»

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