Government & Politics

After allegations of sexual assault have arisen against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, his path to approval has gotten murky.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP FILE

The recent confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been controversial. And now the Senate Judiciary Committee — of which Sen. Patrick Leahy is the seniormost member — is trying to decide how to review allegations of sexual assualt that have been brought against Kavanaugh by professor Christine Blasey Ford.

When people are crossing a U.S. border, they expect to be asked about their citizenship. But not when they're driving up the East Coast.

U.S. Border Patrol agents are boarding buses from private lines like Greyhound and Concord Coach within 100 miles of a U.S. border, asking passengers if they're American citizens. It turns out agents are empowered to do this through a little-known law called the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. There are more and more reports of officers stopping cars and buses.

AP Photo/Warren Winterbottom, File

Maybe it’s the toxic quality of politics today, or a general sense of unease about the future, but my thoughts – and the thoughts of many others - have been returning to another time of anger and division - and the ways that history affects us.

An AR-15 rifle pictured with a 30-round magazine and a 10-round magazine. Vermont law now prohibits the sale and purchase of magazines with more than 10 rounds. The high-capacity magazine ban is the focus of one of two lawsuits in Vermont courts.
Charles Krupa / AP

Episode 4 of VPR's five-part podcast series, JOLTED, explores how Republican Gov. Phil Scott, a gun rights advocate, declared that Vermont needed more gun control laws. Within months, Senate Bill 55 was passed, putting several restrictions on gun and ammunition purchases.

Jared Carter, an associate professor at Vermont Law School and VPR commentator, joined Vermont Edition to discuss two lawsuits challenging the new law.

Progressive/Democrat David Zuckerman is running for re-election as Vermont's Lieutenant Governor.
Ric Cengeri / VPR FILE

As the Nov. 6 election starts to come into view, we're hearing from major-party candidates seeking statewide offices. Incumbent Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman joins us to share his legislative priorities.

People stand in front of a "mock nuclear waste cask" and hold up a yellow sign that says Don't Nuke The Climate.
Amy Shollenberger, courtesy

If you’re on the road in Vermont this week and happen upon a giant nuclear waste cask being towed by a white pickup truck, don’t panic — the cask itself is a fake. The people behind the spectacle, however, say the threat posed by nuclear waste is very real, and they’re sounding the alarm over plans for radioactive waste being stored at Vermont Yankee.

Looking down a wing of closed doors at Camp Hill prison in Pennsylvania
Marc Levy / Associated Press file

Vermont will send more than 200 inmates currently housed at a state-run prison in Pennsylvania to a privately-owned and operated facility in Mississippi.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says GOP leaders are blocking the release of key information concerning allegations of sexual assault brought against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh
Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

Sen. Patrick Leahy is accusing Senate Republican leaders of trying to block an investigation into the facts around allegations of sexual assault that have been brought against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Alex Brandon / AP

For the most part, the formal Kavanaugh hearings were a poor example of our democracy at work.

A row of three empty chairs set up at a table with microphones for a panel.
onurdongel / iStock

Vermont branches of the NAACP will hold their first-ever candidate forums in Rutland and Brattleboro this weekend, but most of the major-party nominees invited to participate have chosen not to attend.

John Vogel

In preparation for my high school reunion, I’ve been thinking about 1968, the year I graduated. The parallels with today are striking.

A bump stock next to a disassembled .22-caliber rifle, shown in 2013. While the House passed a ban on bump stocks Friday, the Senate version of S.55 did not include such a provision.
Allen Breed / Associated Press File

On Oct. 1, it will be illegal in Vermont to possess bump stocks — a device that attaches to a semi-automatic weapon to speed up the rate it fires.

And starting Monday, Sept. 17, the Vermont State Police will accept bump stocks from residents who voluntarily turn them over.

A screen shot of the BHS "Register" on Thursday, Sept. 13, shows the school paper's article removed and a headline alleging censorship by the administration.
screen shot

Burlington High School’s director of guidance, Mario Macias, faces six charges of unprofessional conduct from the Agency of Education. The school paper, the BHS Register, broke the story last week, but for a time you couldn't read it there. That's because within 24 hours of publication, the story had disappeared from the paper's website, replaced with a mostly blank page with the words: “This article has been censored by Burlington High School administration.” 

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the ACLU considers panhandling free speech – because in a healthy society, free speech should promote dialogue. Whether upsetting or repellant, it should provoke people to think … and eventually answer.

A profile headshot of Brett Kavanaugh on a black background.
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

All three members of Vermont's congressional delegation are calling for a full investigation into a sexual assault allegation brought against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the U.S. Senate votes on his nomination.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks with arms outstretched in front of a bright blue screen at a podium at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

At the urging of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Democratic National Committee has taken steps to reduce the influence of so-called "superdelegates" in the party's presidential nomination process.

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan stands before a microphone.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has taken over an investigation into allegations of racial harassment against a sitting state lawmaker in Bennington, amid criticism from racial justice advocates over local law enforcement’s handling of the case.

Monday evening, a citizen group called Don't Undermine Memphremagog's Purity (DUMP) held a panel discussion about a proposed expansion of the Coventry landfill. The panelists sit along a table in front of a brick wall while one speaks.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Most of the trash generated in Vermont is trucked to the state’s only permitted landfill in the Northeast Kingdom. The landfill's owner has plans to expand it, and this week residents from both sides of the U.S.-Canada border pushed back on those plans.

Jonathan Capehart standing outdoors.
Billy Graves

Because of the high interest in this year's mid-term elections, VPR will carry two short-run programs that delve into top-of-mind political topics. These new shows will run through the mid-term elections on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Beginning Sept. 17, tune in Monday through Thursday evenings at 9 p.m. for a new program from WNYC called America On The Line with award-winning journalist, Jonathan Capeheart.

And on Saturdays at noon, VPR will carry The Politics Show from NPR. The program will feature reporters who cover politics from a number of different perspectives.

House Minority Leader Don Turner (R-Milton) is seeking the office of Lieutenant Governor in Vermont's Nov. 6 general election.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Republican Don Turner represents Milton in the Vermont legislature, and now the House Minority Leader is running for Lieutenant Governor in the Nov. 6 general election. We're talking to the candidate about why he's seeking the state's second-highest office.

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