The Infrastructure Bill: What It Includes and What Remains To Be Done
November 22, 2021
On November 15th, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The bill represents the culmination of months of negotiations between House Democrats and Republicans as well as within the two parties. The goal of the bill is to significantly revitalize and modernize American infrastructure – the various systems, equipment, and structures that […]Read More >
Should Facebook Be Regulated?
October 12, 2021
Last week, whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former project manager for Facebook’s Civic Integrity team, testified before Congress and criticized the social media company as a dangerous, unchecked force that was “buying its profits with our safety.”1 Haugen faulted the senior leadership at Facebook for identifying safety risks yet refusing to make the necessary changes to […]Read More >
Supreme Court Preview: The 2021-2022 Term
October 05, 2021
The Supreme Court begins its new term on the first Monday in October, a tradition that dates back to 1917.1 This year, that meant yesterday, Monday, October 4. In the term ahead, the Court is set to take up many key constitutional and legal issues. To explore those issues, Close Up is offering a free […]Read More >
Deliberating About Pressing Issues
September 22, 2021
Classroom discussion of current issues is one of the most powerful tools available to help young people develop the skills and knowledge required for democratic citizenship.1 There are many forms that such discussion can take, including short reactions to news articles, debates, and semester-long legislative simulations. While all of these forms have their place, one […]Read More >
The House Passes the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
August 31, 2021
On Tuesday, August 24, the House of Representatives passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act by a vote of 219-212.1 The bill is an attempt to reestablish some voting protections that the Supreme Court struck down as outdated and unconstitutional in its 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder.2 The bill faces a steep […]Read More >
The House Passes a $3.5 Trillion Budget Framework
August 25, 2021
On August 24, the House of Representatives passed a $3.5 trillion spending bill, committed to passing an infrastructure bill, and moved forward with significant voting rights legislation.1 It was an important step in enacting such a large spending plan, but it was not the final step. Republicans and a number of conservative and moderate Democrats […]Read More >
The Georgia Election Law—Election Security or Voter Suppression?
April 23, 2021
On April 3, 2021, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Election Integrity Act of 2021. This new voting law enacts sweeping changes to Georgia’s election system which could have significant implications for the outcome of future elections. Republicans in Georgia and across the United States have hailed the law as a vital and necessary reform […]Read More >
Time to Reform the Filibuster?
April 06, 2021
The Senate is again considering changing its rules regarding the filibuster, a parliamentary procedure that gives individual senators the power to shape—and even block—legislation. The filibuster is “a loosely defined term for action designed to prolong debate and delay or prevent a vote on a bill, resolution, amendment, or other debatable question.”1 The filibuster is […]Read More >
How Can We Overcome Vaccine Skepticism?
March 16, 2021
There’s been a lot of good news in the fight against COVID-19. The United States has authorized three vaccines for emergency use and drastically ramped up the distribution to states while increasing the administration of doses.1 More than 107 million shots have already been given, with an average of 2.3 million per day.2 President Joe […]Read More >
Restoring Confidence or Destroying Democracy? The Fight Over Access to the Ballot
March 08, 2021
The past several election cycles have seen high-stakes fights over access to the ballot and the rules that govern elections. In 2013, the Supreme Court invalidated provisions of the Voting Rights Act, thus making it easier for states to change their voting laws.1 In the years since, conservatives in Congress and in state legislatures have […]Read More >