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1995
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Supreme Court Cases

United States v. Lopez

Congress has often used the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to justify regulating the activities of states and their citizens.

1963
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Supreme Court Cases

Gideon v. Wainwright

If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you. Paramount to that case was Gideon v. Wainwright, establishing the right to counsel.

2010
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Supreme Court Cases

Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission

Distortion refers to powerful voices having more sway in public discourse than average citizens. However, one man’s “distortion” is another man's reality.

1973
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Supreme Court Cases

Roe v. Wade

In this landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment implicitly grants a right to an abortion.

2010
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Supreme Court Cases

McDonald v. Chicago

In one of the most significant Second Amendment cases in decades, the Supreme Court took up McDonald v. Chicago to determine if the Amendment applied to states.

1993
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Supreme Court Cases

Shaw v. Reno

In its landmark 1993 decision in Shaw v. Reno, the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of racial gerrymandering.

2018-2019
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Immigration

2019 Government Shutdown

In December 2018, amid a stalemate about border wall funding, Congress failed to enact a new budget, leading to the longest government shutdown in history.

2009-2011
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Immigration

ATF Gun-Running Scandal

Between 2009 and 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) ran a series of controversial sting operations over the southern border.

2002
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Immigration

Enhanced Border Entry and Visa Entry Reform Act

In 2002, President Bush signed the Enhanced Border Entry and Visa Entry Reform Act, increasing the United States’ ability to enforce immigration laws.

1997
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Immigration

Flores Settlement Agreement

President Clinton signed the Flores Settlement Agreement in 1997 to reform legal procedures surrounding immigrant minors.

1953-1954
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Immigration

Operation Wetback

Concerns around immigration and a lack of job opportunities prompted Operation Wetback, which saw up to one million Mexican immigrants deported.

1942-1964
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Immigration

Bracero Program

The Bracero Program matched seasonal agricultural workers from Mexico with approved American employers to fill labor shortages.

2016
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Elections

Trump-Clinton Presidential Election

The polls’ relative inaccuracy in predicting the winner of the 2016 presidential election has fueled significant skepticism regarding political polling.

1936
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Elections

FDR-Landon Presidential Election

The 1936 election between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Alf Landon presented the first instance of polling used to predict the election outcome.

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Elections

Statistical Random Sampling

Statistical Random Sampling is a method pollsters often use to evaluate the public’s perception of an issue or candidate.

2004
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Elections

Vieth v. Jubelirer

In recent years, beginning with Vieth v. Jubelirer, the Supreme Court has ruled that it cannot address partisan gerrymandering.

1812
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Elections

Elbridge Gerry

The term “gerrymandering” emerged in 1812 after Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry approved a redistricting plan heavily favoring his party.

1791
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Gun Control

Ratification & the Founder’s Vision for the Second Amendment

The Founding Fathers ratified the Second Amendment in 1791, ensuring citizens could protect themselves against a potentially tyrannical government.

2020
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Elections

Dominion Voting

Following the 2020 elections, Dominion Voting, a company helping run elections in 28 states, was the target of some fraud allegations, prompting legal actions.

2020
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Elections

2020 Election Turnout

The 2020 presidential election saw one of the highest voter turnouts in modern American history, with roughly 2/3 of eligible voters casting a ballot.

1993
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Elections

National Voter Registration Act

In 1993, President Clinton signed the National Voter Registration Act, making voter registration more accessible and widespread.

1960
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Elections

Kennedy-Nixon Presidential Election

Since the presidential election of 1960, numerous allegations of widespread voter fraud in Illinois and Texas have emerged about the contest.

2017
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Gun Control

Sutherland Springs Church Shooting

In 2017, a gunman killed 26 people near a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, sparking a debate around guns and the efficacy of existing gun laws.

2012
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Gun Control

Sandy Hook Elementary School

In 2012, a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, further fueling the national debate around gun control.

1999
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Gun Control

Columbine High School

In 1999, two students killed 13 people and injured 20 others at Columbine High School. At that time, it was the deadliest school shooting in history.

1994
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Gun Control

Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act

In 1994, President Clinton signed the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, also known as the Assault Weapons Ban.

2008
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Gun Control

District of Columbia v. Heller

In 2008, the Supreme Court significantly expanded its understanding of the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller.

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Gun Control

National Rifle Association

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is one of the most well-known lobbying groups in politics, contributing millions each year to influence gun policy.

2020
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Policing

Kenosha Unrest

Following the shooting of Jacob Blake, Kenosha erupted into unrest, with daylight peaceful protests turning violent at night.

2020
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Policing

Shooting of Jacob Blake

In August 2020, a police officer shot Jacob Blake while responding to a reported domestic abuse incident, sparking unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

1993
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Gun Control

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act

In 1993, President Clinton singed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, the most significant federal gun law reform in decades.

1968
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Gun Control

Gun Control Act

Following several high-profile assassinations, Congress enacted the Gun Control Act of 1968. However, it later rolled back some of these restrictions in 1986.

1938
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Gun Control

Federal Firearms Act

The Federal Firearms Act (FFA) created a federal licensing system for the manufacture, import, and sale of firearms.

1934
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Gun Control

National Firearms Act

In response to rampant gun violence throughout the Prohibition era, Congress passed the National Firearms Act, imposing stricter gun regulations.

2003
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Immigration

ICE Foundation and Early Statistics

In 2003, the Department of Homeland Security expanded to include Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a powerful federal agency.

2002
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Terrorism

Homeland Security Act

Following the 9/11 attacks, with a heightened focus on protecting Americans from terrorism, President Bush signed the Homeland Security Act in 2002.

2017
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Immigration

Kate’s Law and No Sanctuary for Criminals Act

In June 2017, the Republican-controlled House passed two immigration laws with President Trump’s support: Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.

2017
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Immigration

Executive Order 13769

As one of his first acts in office, President Trump signed Executive Order 13769, barring entry and visas from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

1965
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Immigration

Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965

In 1965, President Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act, overhauling decades of restrictive immigration laws.

1924
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Immigration

Immigration Act of 1924

The Immigration Act of 1924 imposed a strict cap on immigration and completely barred Asian immigrants.

1921
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Immigration

Emergency Quota Act of 1921

In 1921, Congress enacted the first numerical cap on how many immigrants could enter the United States.

1917
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Immigration

Immigration Act of 1917

In 1917, Congress passed a restrictive Act limiting immigration from the Middle East and Southeast Asia and imposing literacy tests for migrants.

1907-1911
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Immigration

Dillingham Commission

Congress formed the Dillingham Commission in 1907, leading to a series of restrictive immigration laws over the next few decades.

1993
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Housing

Richard Florida

Over the past several decades, the New Urbanism movement — dedicated to reducing urban sprawl — has grown in popularity.

1926
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Housing

Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Company

Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Company (1926) was a landmark Supreme Court case that greatly expanded localities’ powers regarding zoning.

1950-1973
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Economy

Post-WWII Growth

After WWII, the United States entered a “Golden Age,” as the economy grew substantially and Americans experienced unprecedented prosperity.

2020
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Climate Change

2020 Western American Wildfires: California, Oregon, Colorado

Throughout the second half of 2020, wildfires ripped across the American West, specifically California, Oregon, and Colorado.

2021
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Climate Change

Hurricane Ida

Sixteen years after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc in the state, Hurricane Ida landed in Louisiana, killing dozens and costing billions in damages.

2017
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Climate Change

2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season: Harvey, Irma, Maria, Nate

Fall 2017 saw a series of four destructive hurricanes, bringing catastrophic winds and record flooding.

2005
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Climate Change

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was one of the most destructive hurricanes in American history, especially in New Orleans and the surrounding areas.

1900
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Climate Change

Great Galveston Hurricane

In 1900, the Great Galveston Hurricane made landfall in Texas. To date, it remains the deadliest natural disaster in American history.

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Climate Change

Cap-and-Trade

Many lawmakers and climate activists have urged governments to enact cap-and-trade policies, limiting industries’ greenhouse gas emissions.

2009
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Climate Change

American Clean Energy and Securities Act

In 2009, the House passed an ambitious Obama-backed bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the bill ultimately failed to gain traction in the Senate.

2007
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Climate Change

Origins of the Phrase “Green New Deal”

In a 2007 opinion piece calling on the United States to enact sweeping climate legislation, Thomas Friedman was the first to call for a “Green New Deal.”

2012
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Immigration

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

In 2012, President Obama enacted DACA to prevent law enforcement from deporting undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as minors.

1986
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Immigration

Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)

In 1986, President Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, a bipartisan agreement to address illegal immigration.

1790
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Immigration

The Naturalization Act

As one of its earliest acts, Congress enacted the Naturalization Act of 1790, determining who could receive U.S. citizenship.

2014
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Immigration

Priority Enforcement Program

In 2014, President Obama enacted the Priority Enforcement Program to focus ICE’s efforts on undocumented immigrants that posed a threat to public safety.

2008
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Immigration

Secure Communities Program (S-COMM)

The Secure Communities Program expanded Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s ability to detain suspected undocumented immigrants.

1986
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Gun Control

The Firearm Owners Protection Act

In 1986, President Reagan signed the Firearm Owners Protection Act, loosening federal gun regulations.

2013
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Social Media

Patreon

Patreon, founded in 2013, allows content creators to establish and manage paid subscriptions. The platform has become controversial among some on the Right.

2019
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Social Media

Vox Adpocalypse

In 2019, YouTube further updated its Terms of Service to prohibit “content that makes hurtful and negative personal comments/videos about another person.”

2017
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Social Media

Adpocalypse 2.0

In 2017, YouTube amended its Terms of Service to prevent the monetization of extremist content and remove it.

2016
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Social Media

YouTube Pewdiepie Adpocalypse

After a controversy surrounding YouTube creator PewDiePie, the platform changed its Terms of Service to prevent monetization of non-child-friendly content.

2005
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Social Media

YouTube

YouTube, launched in 2005, has grown to become one of the largest social media platforms in the world.

2019
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Social Media

Facebook Buys WhatsApp

In 2014, Facebook further solidified its position as the leader in the social media market by acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion.

2012
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Social Media

Facebook Buys Instagram

In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in one of the most significant social media deals in history.

1996
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Social Media

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the key provision governing the liability of online service providers in the United States.

2021
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Climate Change

2021 IPCC Report

In 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a comprehensive report on climate change, calling it a “code red for humanity.”

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Climate Change

Paris Climate Accords

The Paris Accords, sometimes called the Paris Agreement, is an international treaty on climate change.

2007
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Supreme Court

Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency

This 2007 case laid the groundwork for future lawsuits forcing the EPA to enact stronger regulations.

1970
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Climate Change

Federal Clean Air Act

In 1970, President Nixon signed the Clean Air Act, significantly expanding the federal government’s role in combating air pollution.

1970
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Transportation

Amtrak

Amtrak is a government subsidized passenger railroad service and one of the largest public transportation systems in the United States.

2016
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Energy

Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act

In 2016, President Obama signed a bipartisan law further expanding federal regulations of pipelines.

2004
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Energy

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

In 2004, Congress established the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to regulate pipelines and protect people and the environment.

1979
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Energy

Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act

In 1979, Congress expanded federal regulation of pipelines, particularly regarding the transportation of hazardous materials.

1978
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Energy

Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA)

The Natural Gas Policy Act broadened federal oversight of natural gas production, attempting to ensure a stable market.

1968
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Energy

Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act

The Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act marks the beginning of federal regulations of the pipelines and has generated some controversy.

2018
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Economy

Agriculture Improvement Act

In 2018, President Trump signed the bipartisan Agriculture Improvement Act, generating praise and backlash from both sides of the aisle.

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Economy

Farm Subsidies

Farm subsidies are payments and other forms of support extended by the U.S. federal government to certain farmers and agribusinesses.

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Economy

Estate Tax

In the modern political debate, perhaps no tax provision has generated as much controversy as the estate tax.

2013-2017
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Congress

Nuclear Option and 2017 Filibuster Change

In recent years, the Senate has carved out exceptions to its filibuster rule, including for presidential appointments requiring Senate confirmation.

2021
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Court Case

Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee

Brnovich v. DNC is one of the Supreme Court’s most significant — and divisive — voting rights cases in recent years.

2013
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Court Case

Shelby County v. Holder

In the 2013 case Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision drastically changing the way states changed their election laws.

1965
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Voting

Voting Rights Act of 1965

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act. This legislation sought to protect millions of minority Americans from discrimination.

1789
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Congress

The Filibuster

In the modern political debate, the Senate filibuster rule has come under intense national scrutiny. But how did it gain so much prominence?

1962
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Supreme Court Cases

Baker v. Carr

Baker v. Carr is one of the most significant Supreme Court cases on redistricting, leading to a new era of legal challenges to legislative maps.

1969
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Supreme Court Cases

Tinker v. Des Moines

Students wore black armbands to demonstrate their support for the peaceful resolution in Vietnam. Can speech be curbed for the health of a school community?

1803
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Supreme Court Cases

Marbury v. Madison

It wasn’t until the landmark case, Marbury v. Madison, that the Supreme Court gained the authority to judge the constitutionality of laws.

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