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John Gramlich


John Gramlich covers legal affairs for CQ Roll Call. He previously covered justice policy as a staff writer with Stateline, the daily news service of the Pew Center on the States, and worked as a news producer with The Baltimore Sun. His work has been published in The Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Houston Chronicle and other outlets.

A dual citizen of Germany and the United States, John is from Easton, Pennsylvania, and attended Penn State University and American University.

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Stories by John Gramlich:

Lawmakers Seek Criminal Drug Sentencing Overhaul

May 16, 2014

Even as medical marijuana supporters gear up for a vote this summer, a bipartisan group of senators is pushing separate legislation that would overhaul criminal sentencing laws with an eye toward reducing some drug-related penalties.

Permanent Policy Riders Represent 'New Twist' in Annual Spending Debates

May 7, 2014

A pair of firearms provisions buried deep within the chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2015 Commerce-Justice-Science funding bill highlight an emerging strategy in the annual debate over spending: Policy language that seeks to make permanent changes in the law.

Fear of GOP Senate Takeover Spurs Liberal Calls for Ginsburg Retirement

April 28, 2014

With the Supreme Court’s term winding down and Republicans’ midterm election prospects on the rise, some liberal legal advocates want Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire this summer. That way, President Barack Obama can appoint a like-minded successor while the Senate is still under Democratic control.

Obama Has Supported Three Anti-Trolling Bills

April 2, 2014

To the casual observer, the Obama administration’s approach to the congressional debate over patent trolls may seem erratic.

Big Businesses Vie for Favored Provisions as Senators Finalize 'Patent Troll' Bill

April 2, 2014

Four months after the House passed a far-reaching bill to prevent abusive patent infringement lawsuits, senators are close to striking a deal on their own legislation, according to aides in both parties.

Holder Sees Constitutional Basis for Obama's Executive Actions

Jan. 30, 2014

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. rebutted Republican accusations that President Barack Obama’s use of executive power is unconstitutional during a lengthy Senate oversight hearing Wednesday that touched on policy areas ranging from government surveillance to the dangers of marijuana.

POTUS Crashed My Leisurely Lunch

Jan. 10, 2014

One minute you’re stuffing your face with a burrito, and the next the Secret Service is snooping through your bags and subjecting you to a full body scan.

'Stand Your Ground' Hearing Meant to Spark Debate, Not Federal Legislation

Oct. 29, 2013

A Senate hearing Tuesday on state “stand your ground” laws is likely to feature emotional testimony from the mother of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, but is not intended to lay the groundwork for federal legislation addressing such statutes, according to a Democratic aide.

ATF Nominee Faces Trouble as Background Check Funding Prospects Uncertain

July 12, 2013

Gun control supporters made progress in both chambers this week, as a Senate committee advanced a nominee to become the first permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in seven years and a House panel approved a significant funding increase to improve background checks on gun sales.

Obama's D.C. Circuit Picks Likely to Prompt GOP Outcry

June 3, 2013

President Barack Obama Tuesday nominated a slate of judges to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, an aggressive move that is likely to spark swift resistance from Senate Republicans who say the court is underworked and does not need additional judges.

Old Objections Hang Over New Push for Media Shield Law

May 22, 2013

Bipartisan momentum is building for legislation that would give reporters new legal protections from government authorities who want them to reveal their confidential sources. But it’s far from clear whether the effort can overcome the objections that derailed similar bills in the Senate in 2007 and 2009.

In AP Case, Little Evidence DOJ Broke the Law

May 20, 2013

Did the Justice Department break the law when it secretly reviewed the phone records of more than 20 Associated Press reporters and editors? Many legal experts aren’t ready to go that far.

ATF Nominee Faces Retaliation Inquiry

April 23, 2013

An independent government watchdog is probing allegations that President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, B. Todd Jones, improperly retaliated against a whistle-blower while working in his current job as a federal prosecutor in Minnesota.

Gun Legislation Fate Rests With Few

April 15, 2013

Advocates are frantically lobbying a small and rapidly shrinking list of undecided senators from both parties who control the fate of the most ambitious gun control legislation to reach the floor in nearly 20 years.

Five Gun Amendments to Watch

April 11, 2013

With the Senate voting comfortably Thursday to take up its most ambitious gun control legislation in nearly two decades, all eyes turn to the “open amendment process” that Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised.

Manchin, Toomey Prepare to Unveil Gun Deal

April 9, 2013

A bipartisan group of Senate negotiators signaled Tuesday night that it has reached a deal in principle on expanding background checks to include more gun sales, in what was widely seen as the major sticking point on the biggest gun control legislation to reach the floor since 1994.

Reid Kicks Off Gun Debate With Emotional Swipe at Republicans

April 8, 2013

Majority Leader Harry Reid issued an emotional plea as he launched debate Monday on the most sweeping gun control legislation to reach the Senate floor in nearly two decades. But fundamental questions remain, including what the bill’s final language will be and whether Republicans can block the debate from proceeding.

Graham Finds Obama Budget Plans 'Somewhat Encouraging'

April 7, 2013

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that President Barack Obama is “showing a little bit of leg” by proposing a budget that includes cuts to entitlement programs, a concession that Republicans have long demanded.

GOP Guns Filibuster Faces Bipartisan Opposition

April 7, 2013

White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer on Sunday said a group of Senate Republicans would go back on their word to the families of Newtown, Conn., if they choose to filibuster gun control legislation that is set to come to the floor this week.

Immigration Bill 'On Track' for End of Week, Schumer Says

April 7, 2013

Sen. Charles E. Schumer said Sunday that a bipartisan group of eight senators is “on track” to introduce comprehensive immigration legislation by the end of this week, despite recent “kerfuffles” in its negotiations and competing items on the congressional agenda.

Majority of Justices Question Defense of Marriage Law

March 27, 2013

A majority of the Supreme Court may be willing to strike down the controversial 1996 federal law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but perhaps not on the grounds being sought by the Obama administration and supporters of gay marriage.

12 Best Gay Marriage Moments at the Supreme Court

March 26, 2013

Supreme Court justices jousted with lawyers over California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage, weighing whether marriage should be a national fundamental right, left up to the states or somewhere in between. Of the 80 minutes of legal questioning, here are the 12 best moments.

Senate Support for Gun Rights Shown in Budget Vote

March 26, 2013

A little-noticed Senate vote just before 4 in the morning on March 23 — amid the chamber’s 13-hour vote-a-rama on a fiscal 2014 budget resolution — suggests trouble for President Barack Obama’s gun control agenda.

Supreme Court Seems Unwilling to Issue Sweeping Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

March 26, 2013

Tuesday’s historic arguments before the Supreme Court left the strong impression that a majority of the nine justices is not yet willing to establish a nationwide, constitutional right to marry for all same-sex couples, even if the court allows such marriages to occur in California or a subset of states.

Left Grows Frustrated With D.C. Circuit Vacancies

March 25, 2013

Advocates on the left expressed frustration Monday that President Barack Obama has not pushed harder to seat judges on the powerful federal appeals court in Washington.

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