A Virginia lawyer is on his way to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the right of a man to grow a beard. Seven states will be watching that case closely.
Gregory Holt is serving a life sentence for burglary and domestic battery in Arkansas – one of seven states that bar prisoners from growing a beard. His lawyer says that’s a problem, because Holt is a Muslim.
Douglas Laycock, a professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Virginia. He says Holt got all the way to the Supreme Court without the help of a lawyer:
A Capitol Hill reporter has just launched a new project that aims to get lawmakers away from their usual scripts. It all starts with a cold craft beer and a little distance from the hallowed halls of Congress.
Reporter Matt Laslo covers Congress for more than 40 NPR affiliate stations, including this one. His new Bills and Brews online political show pairs politicians, craft beers, and conversation.
While Virginia's former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife fight a host of charges that they contend broke no ethics laws, Virginia lawmakers have advanced a series of bills that give elected officials and lobbyists a clearer picture of what's legal and what isn't.
State lawmakers sought to close some loopholes in existing law, while not making the requirements so burdensome that honest mistakes would be severely punished.
Senate Bill 51 sounded like a no brainer – a way to help farmers and promote agritourism, but it turns out that measure and a similar one approved by the House could make life miserable for people who live near farms that invite people to pick their own fruit, wander through corn mazes or take part in pumpkin carving competitions.
Senate Bill 51 prevents counties from regulating the noise and traffic generated by such events.