Marie Griffith

WashU Expert: Papal attack plays on longstanding fears of white Protestants

While it may seem bizarre for an American presidential candidate to describe the comments of a sitting pope as “disgraceful,” Donald Trump’s recent attacks on Pope Francis should come as no surprise from a candidate whose success hinges on playing to the fears of religiously inspired voters, suggests an expert on evangelical politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

Study: Black millennials’ world view shaped by violence

More than half of black youth report that they or someone they know was harassed by or experienced violence from the police, compared with one third of white youth and one quarter of Latino youth, according to a new report on black millennials co-authored by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago.

WashU Expert: Boehner unable to pacify ‘no compromise’ Tea Party

While party politics have put House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in the hot seat in recent months, his hasty resignation from Congress this morning was unexpected, suggests Steven S. Smith, PhD, a nationally recognized expert on congressional politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

WashU Expert: Pope Francis’ push for social justice builds on core Catholic tradition – mercy

While Pope Francis’ whirlwind tour of the United States might seem like a politicized poke-in-the-eye to some conservative American Catholics, his itinerary and social justice talking points closely mirror core Catholic beliefs detailed in church scripture since Matthew wrote his gospel, suggests a historian of Christianity at Washington University in St. Louis.

Wash U Expert: Politics of disaster relief spurred aggressive preparations for East Coast storm

Given past voter backlashes against natural disaster responses that were considered to be inept, it’s no surprise that New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and other politicians took aggressive measures to prepare for the megastorm now lashing the East Coast, suggests Andrew Reeves, PhD, an expert on the politics of disaster relief at Washington University in St. Louis.

Lieberman, Danforth to discuss role of religion in politics Dec. 9

Former U.S. senators John C. Danforth and Joe Lieberman will discuss “The Role of Religion in America’s Broken Politics” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, in Graham Chapel at Washington University in St. Louis. The event is sponsored by the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics as part of the Danforth Distinguished Lecture Series and is free and open to the public.

SCOTUS decision dooms campaign finance regulation as we know it​​​

The U.S. Supreme Court, in the McCutcheon v. FEC decision, removed the cap on the number and amount of donations a person can give during political campaigns. Gregory Magarian, JD, election law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, says that this decision will have a major impact on campaigns – a much bigger impact than the earlier Citizens United campaign finance decision. This decision “marks then end of campaign finance regulation as we know it,” says Magarian.

Former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. to discuss opportunities, challenges ahead for our nation

Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. assesses our nation’s status at the next Assembly Series presentation, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25. in Graham Chapel.  The event is free and open to the public, though seating for the public will be limited due to an anticipated large campus turnout. Visit the Assembly Series website for more information or call 314-935-4620.

New SCOTUS brief argues Hobby Lobby’s request is unconstitutional

​The popular arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby is seeking a religious exemption from covering certain forms of contraception it would be required to provide under the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act. The case is headed to the Supreme Court, with oral arguments set to begin this spring. “Granting the exemption would shift the cost of accommodating Hobby Lobby’s religious exercise to employees who do not share its beliefs,” argues Elizabeth Sepper, JD, associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. “Such cost-shifting violates the Establishment Clause.” Sepper is one of several experts who have authored an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court arguing the unconstitutionality of Hobby Lobby’s request.
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