COMMENTARY

By John E. FinnThe Senate’s decision to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial may have been a victory for Trump, but it is a clear sign that democracy in the U.S. is in poor health.As a constitutional scholar, I believe the United States — the...
By Peggy SannerEighteen months ago, Virginia released its Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan, which lays out the steps for achieving a restored Chesapeake Bay and healthy local rivers and streams by 2025. Achieving that goal by the target date will depend on significantly accelerated state investments in the key...
To the Mercury:Midway through 2020, the United Nations announced that in just five short months, the global travel and tourism industry lost more than $320 billion — three times what was lost in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis. As we look to turn a corner in the pandemic,...
By Jacob Ellis and Ishyan VeluppillaiHealth care and health insurance comprise one of the most significant household expenditures for American citizens.Because of its absolute importance and necessity compared to other consumer goods and services, the demand for health care services is considered to be price inelastic, meaning that...
Poultry plants are protecting workers To the Mercury:Your recent article (Bill requiring public reporting of major outbreaks still alive, but Senate nixes emergency enactment) concerning a bill requiring the Virginia Department of Health to report COVID-19 “clusters” at Virginia worksites does not paint a complete picture of the poultry industry’s...
Nearly everyone wants schoolchildren back in classrooms around the commonwealth as soon as possible, since they’ve coped with roughly a year of the pandemic and less-than-perfect teaching substitutes.Note my use of the word, “nearly.” More on that later.Gov. Ralph Northam wants a return to in-person studies, though he has...
Just last week, the General Assembly passed a bill to end the death penalty in Virginia. It’s a historic proposal. Capital punishment has been a fixture in the commonwealth for its entire history. Yet despite that length of time, few Virginians have actually been involved in an execution. It’s something...
By John Crimmins  Lately, Second Amendment extremists who think they have the freedom to own and carry guns wherever they want — including while storming the United States Capitol — have been in the spotlight. Pictures of armed militias are attention-grabbing and frightening, but these individuals don’t speak for the majority of...
“Disenfranchisement is the harshest civil sanction imposed by a democratic society… Such a shadowy form of citizenship must not be imposed lightly.”– McLaughlin v. City of Canton, 947 F. Supp. 954, 971 (S.D. Miss. 1995).  By Jordan G. SiscoJuly 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Virginia’s 1971 constitutional revision.Since...
State Sen. Amanda Chase is a no-win proposition for the Republican Party of Virginia. That was never clearer than late last month when the Senate of Virginia undertook the rare and largely symbolic step of officially censuring her.Her pugnacious antics, incendiary rhetoric, her trading in conspiracy theories and her...