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Domenico Montanaro

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's lead political editor. Based in Washington, DC, his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage and is the lead editor for Supreme Court coverage.

Before joining NPR in 2015, Montanaro served as political director and senior producer for politics and law at PBS NewsHour. There, he led domestic political and legal coverage, which included the 2014 midterm elections, the Supreme Court, and the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Prior to PBS NewsHour, Montanaro was deputy political editor at NBC News, where he covered two presidential elections and reported and edited for the network's political blog, "First Read." He has also worked at CBS News, ABC News, The Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, and taught high school English.

Montanaro earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Delaware and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

A native of Queens, NY, Montanaro is a die-hard Mets fan and college basketball junkie.

Updated at 12:08 p.m. ET

In a case with consequences for fans of wine and liquor, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, has struck down a two-year residency requirement for anyone seeking an initial license to operate a liquor store in Tennessee.

There is no doubt that if a state had such a restrictive provision involving the sale of any other product, it would be deemed a violation of the Constitution's ban on erecting barriers to interstate commerce.

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The first Democratic presidential debate begins in Miami tonight. Ten candidates will take the stage. The debate will air on NBC. And here's who's up.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET Tuesday

The U.S. Supreme Court ordered documents unsealed Monday in a death penalty case out of Alabama after a motion was filed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and NPR.

The blacked-out information, a rarity for the Supreme Court, involves the drugs and protocol Alabama uses for executions.

Updated at 8:19 p.m. ET

In a win for advocates of free speech, the Supreme Court has struck down a ban on trademarking words and symbols that are "immoral" or "scandalous." The 6-3 decision is also a victory for those seeking trademark protection for profane and even racist brand names.

The case was brought by clothing designer Erik Brunetti, who sought to trademark the phrase FUCT. The decision paves the way for him to get his brand trademarked.

For millions of Americans, this week's debates will be their introduction to many of the almost two dozen Democrats running for president, vying for the chance to try to unseat President Trump next year.

Twenty of the candidates will debate over two nights — Wednesday and Thursday — in Miami on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. Some lesser-known candidates will be hoping for a boost, and those who are better-known have pressure on them to perform.

Updated at 9:04 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a 40-foot World War I memorial cross can stay on public land at a Maryland intersection.

Legislative districts in Virginia that the Supreme Court previously said were racially gerrymandered have to remain in their redrawn form, the court said Monday, giving Democrats in the state a victory.

The majority decision was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who noted that because the entirety of state government wasn't suing to keep the fight going — the case was brought by the state's GOP-controlled House — then it is throwing the case out.

There is a growing desire for impeachment proceedings to begin against President Trump, but Americans are still split overall on what to do after the release of the Mueller report, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll finds.

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Mexico and the U.S. have made some progress on immigration talks, with Mexico promising to get tougher on border enforcement.

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Three-quarters of Americans say they want to keep in place the landmark Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade, that made abortion legal in the United States, but a strong majority would like to see restrictions on abortion rights, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.

After two years of silence, special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller spoke for 10 minutes Wednesday morning.

By the end, he had resigned and handed his caseload to Congress.

The man who headed the sweeping investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, the Trump campaign's role and the actions of now-President Trump himself took no questions. He said he hoped this was the last he would have to say about it.

The Democratic presidential field is going to look a lot smaller by the fall.

The Democratic National Committee, in announcing debates on Sept. 12 (and Sept. 13 for overflow, if necessary) with ABC News and Univision, released new rules for getting on the stage for those debates.

The new qualification standards will require candidates to double their poll numbers and grassroots fundraising support from what's required for the debates through the summer.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court is leaving in place part of an Indiana law that mandates that aborted fetuses be buried or cremated.

The court did not take up a second part of the law that banned abortions because of fetal abnormality, the fetus's race, sex or ancestry. A lower court struck down that part of the law in addition to the burial provision. The Supreme Court, though, said it will wait for other lower court rulings before weighing in on the fetal characteristics provision.

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are very much on each other's minds.

At his campaign rally in Philadelphia on Saturday, the former vice president went off script — twice — to deride a protester with a whistle.

"That must be Bernie or somebody," Biden apparently said, raising eyebrows and drawing laughs.

(The line is at 8:21 into this video. You can decide for yourself what he said.)

It's decision season at the U.S. Supreme Court, and there are a host of consequential cases the justices are deciding, from a controversial Trump administration proposal to adding a citizenship question to the census to gerrymandering and a question of separation of church and state.

As always, timing of which exact cases will be decided is unknown until the court releases them. The only clues are when the cases were argued, and, sometimes, that's not predictive either.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Native American rights in a 5-4 decision in a case out of Wyoming. Justice Neil Gorsuch, the only Westerner on the court, provided the decisive vote in this case, showing himself again to be sensitive to Native American rights.

It's not a message for everyone — even though that's exactly what it's intended to be.

Many Democrats are angry. They're angry with President Trump's election and what it represents. And they're angry about the direction of the country, and the inequities in American life.

So it would make sense that the person running for the Democratic nomination for president would channel that anger. President Trump did it to win over the Republican base in 2016, saying he gladly carries the "mantle of anger."

Not Joe Biden.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET

President Trump is set to unveil an immigration plan that would vastly change who is allowed into the United States.

Trump will present the plan in a speech from the White House Rose Garden Thursday afternoon.

The new plan would focus on reducing family-based immigration to the U.S. in favor of employment-skill-based immigration.

But overall, the number of green cards issued under this plan would not change, and there would be no reduction in net immigration.

President Trump will hold his first 2020 Florida political rally since the 2018 elections on Wednesday, and he's doing it in the Panhandle, the heart of his base in the state.

But the region is facing setbacks because of a federal funding shortfall after Hurricane Michael last fall that threatens to dampen enthusiasm.

Now that the 2020 Democratic field is pretty much set (barring a last-minute Stacey Abrams or John Kerry bid) with former Vice President Joe Biden getting in Thursday, let's look at what we've learned so far about the field and what to watch for going forward:

1. How far does name identification go? Biden is a huge boulder in the lake, and his entry into the presidential campaign is sending ripples throughout the primary field. So far, he leads the pack. That's largely a product of the fact that people know the former vice president and recognize his name.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Imagine, if you can, a scenario in which Attorney General William Barr declined to put out a four-page letter to Congress describing the Mueller report three weeks ago.

Imagine, too, that he didn't hold a press conference Thursday before the redacted report's release.

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Updated at 7:26 p.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders released 10 years' worth of tax returns Monday. The documents underscore how much money the populist presidential candidate has earned in recent years, as his public profile has risen.

In an interview with the New York Times before the returns were made public, Sanders dismissed the idea that his newfound wealth undercut his billionaire-bashing message.

Congressional Democrats are embroiled in the fight to try to compel the release of President Trump's tax returns, which he continues to decline to do. But with the deadline to file taxes coming Monday, it's Democratic candidates who are in the spotlight.

California Rep. Eric Swalwell is the latest Democrat to jump into the race for president.

"I see a country in quicksand, unable to solve problems and threats from abroad, unable to make life better for people here at home. Nothing gets done," Swalwell said in an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday night.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

What went wrong in the crash of a Boeing 737 Max plane in Ethiopia that killed all 157 people on board? We have some answers this morning.

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