Eliza Newlin Carney

Eliza Newlin Carney is a weekly columnist at The American Prospect. Her email is ecarney@prospect.org.


Recent Articles

Time for an ACLU Shift on Campaign Finance?

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
rules-logo-109_2.jpg Now that Georgetown constitutional law professor David Cole has been named the American Civil Liberties Union’s next national legal director, his April article in The Atlantic on “How to Reverse Citizens United ” delivers a second punch. Cole’s article gives campaign-finance reform advocates a blueprint for how to overturn the Supreme Court’s controversial 2010 ruling to deregulate campaign spending, which has ushered in a flood of secret big money unseen since Watergate, and has fueled mounting public anger over political corruption. Yet Cole’s new employer sided squarely with the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC , arguing as it has in a string of cases going all the way back to Buckley v. Valeo in 1976 that limits on political spending trample on the First Amendment. So what gives? Is the ACLU suddenly changing its campaign-finance position? Or has Cole had a change of heart? Neither, says Cole, who told The American...

The Election is Rigged After All -- Against African Americans

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
rules-logo-109.jpeg In the face of Donald Trump’s declarations that this election is “rigged” and his requests to his backers to watch the polls in “certain areas,” voting rights advocates have labored to set the record straight that voter fraud is a myth and that “ballot security” often adds up to intimidation . But as early voting gets under way in states around the country, the election is starting to look rigged after all—against voters of color. From Georgia to Texas and Wisconsin, election officials are asking voters for IDs where none are required, failing to process thousands of voter registrations, and limiting early voting so drastically that voters are standing in line for hours. Invariably, the voters affected are African Americans or Latinos, who tend to be more likely to cast their ballots in favor of Democrats. It’s exactly what voting and civil rights advocates predicted three years ago, when more than a half-dozen...

Is 2016 Another “Year of the Woman?”

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
rules-logo-109.jpeg Twenty-five years ago this month, a young lawyer and federal worker named Anita Hill publicly accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Hill’s allegations during Thomas’s televised confirmation hearings transfixed the nation, not only because they were graphic and controversial, but also because the Senate Judiciary Committee’s all-white, all-male composition hit female viewers like a lightning bolt. Back then, the Democratic women’s PAC EMILY’s List was a fledgling shop with about 1,200 members and a 1990 campaign budget of just $3 million, money the group had both donated to and raised on behalf of women candidates. By the time Election Day 1992 rolled around, membership had exploded to 24,000, candidate fundraising had hit $10 million, and EMILY’s List—along with several other women’s organizations suddenly flush with cash and volunteers—helped elect five new women to the Senate...

Could Clinton Tame Congress?

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images
This article appears in the Fall 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . When the market research firm YouGov asked Donald Trump supporters in August what they thought of Hillary Clinton, 93 percent said she was “corrupt,” 92 percent called her “dangerous,” and a striking 84 percent branded her downright “evil.” Such visceral GOP hostility spells gridlock on Capitol Hill should Clinton win the White House. Republicans are almost certain to retain control of the House—which may well tilt even further right, as moderate Republicans retire or struggle to retain their seats. Predicts David Wasserman, House editor of The Cook Political Report : “Calls to impeach Hillary Clinton will begin well before she takes office.” This gloomy scenario bodes poorly for the ambitious policy agenda Clinton has pledged to enact with Republican help, including infrastructure investments, immigration changes, and an overhaul of...

Big Money May Not Save GOP Senators

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
rules-logo-109.jpeg Senate Republicans have built a seemingly impenetrable wall of money to insulate themselves from the threat of a Democratic takeover, but they are starting to discover—not for the first time—that deep pockets aren’t everything. It’s too early to say how badly the tape scandal that’s triggered open warfare between Donald Trump and GOP leaders will damage Republicans struggling to hold onto their Senate majority, or whether it may even put the House in play. But the massive GOP spending advantage that until now has insulated many Republicans from the radioactive Trump suddenly looks less foolproof. “I think there are cycles when parties develop problems that money can’t fix,” notes Nathan Gonzales, editor of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report , pointing to 2006 and 2010 as examples. In 2006, congressional Republicans outspent Democrats but still lost the House and the Senate in an election that became a...