Ian MacDougall

Contributing Reporter

Photo of Ian MacDougall

A lawyer as well as a journalist, he has written about crime, criminal justice and legal affairs for Harper’s, The Atlantic, Slate, The Guardian and n+1. Prior to attending law school, he was an Associated Press reporter, with stints in the Oslo, Norway, and Providence, Rhode Island, bureaus.

Supreme Risk

Most rights are based in statute, but dozens — such as rights to same-sex marriage, search warrants and Miranda warnings — are based on judicial rulings that the Supreme Court can overturn and that current justices have questioned some aspect of.

Congress Passes Bill to Rein in Conflicts of Interest for Consultants Such as McKinsey

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the legislation, whose Senate sponsors cited ProPublica’s reporting on McKinsey’s conflicts in working for both the FDA and opioid makers like Purdue Pharma.

What’s Really at Stake in a Politically Charged Supreme Court Case on Elections

Moore v. Harper could transform the law — but not in the way that many pundits, or even politicians, anticipate.

The Supreme Court Is Back in Session. Here’s What to Expect.

After overturning abortion rights and weakening gun controls, an overwhelmingly conservative court is set to consider vital matters involving elections, the environment and possibly the first prosecution of a U.S. president.

Citing ProPublica’s Reporting on McKinsey, Senators Propose Bill Addressing Contractors’ Conflicts of Interest

McKinsey consulted for the FDA without informing the agency of its work for opioid makers. Now lawmakers have introduced a bill to ensure federal contractors disclose conflicts of interest arising from private-sector work.

McKinsey Never Told the FDA It Was Working for Opioid Makers While Also Working for the Agency

The consulting giant was helping Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson fend off FDA regulations even as it helped shape FDA drug policy.

Police Say Seizing Property Without Trial Helps Keep Crime Down. A New Study Shows They’re Wrong.

Civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow police to seize property without trial, are frequently justified as tools to seize millions from kingpins. A new study reveals the median amount taken is as low as $369 in some states.

The Long Odds Facing Trump’s Attempts to Get State Legislatures to Override Election Results

State representatives in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia could do the president’s bidding. But the political and legal obstacles are formidable.

La campaña de Trump no logra encontrar un juez que ignore los hechos, pero no se da por vencida

La estrategia legal de Trump se ha reducido a esto: incluso cuando los jueces desestiman sus demandas por infundadas, presenta otras casi idénticas en nuevos tribunales, con la esperanza de encontrar jueces más favorables. El fracaso no lo ha frenado.

The Trump Campaign Can’t Find a Judge Who Will Ignore Facts — but It’s Trying

The Trump campaign’s legal strategy has come down to this: Even as judges dismiss lawsuits as baseless, it files nearly identical ones in new courts, hoping for more favorable judges. Failure has not slowed it down.

Esto es lo que pasará si Trump intenta lograr una victoria electoral mediante demandas

Es bastante fácil para la campaña de Trump demandar por irregularidades, pero es mucho más difícil presentar pruebas de irregularidades o un argumento jurídico convincente. Esto es lo que debe saber conforme comienzan a acumularse los litigios relacionados con las elecciones.

If Trump Tries to Sue His Way to Election Victory, Here’s What Happens

It’s easy enough for the Trump campaign to file a lawsuit claiming improprieties, but a lot harder to provide evidence of wrongdoing or a convincing legal argument. Here’s what you need to know as the election lawsuits start to mount.

Guía de ProPublica sobre las leyes y demandas electorales de 2020

Independientemente de quién gane la presidencia, las batallas en los tribunales parecen inevitables. A continuación, ofrecemos un panorama general de los estados y las leyes que pueden determinar el resultado.

ProPublica’s Guide to 2020 Election Laws and Lawsuits

Regardless of who wins the presidency, courtroom battles seem almost certain. Here’s a layperson’s look at the states and laws that may determine the outcome.

La importancia del caso Bush vs. Gore en la elección de 2020

La decisión de la Corte Suprema que otorgó la elección de 2000 a George W. Bush no se considera en general un precedente, pero desde entonces ha sido citada en cientos de casos federales y estatales. Y también podría influir en las elecciones de este año.

Why Bush v. Gore Still Matters in 2020

The Supreme Court decision that handed the 2000 election to George W. Bush is widely believed not to be a precedent, yet it’s been cited in hundreds of federal and state cases since. It could play a role in this year’s election, too.

“Cover Up”: House Democrats Subpoena Documents That NLRB Refused to Share in Ethics Investigation

A committee chair is ratcheting up a fight over an investigation into potential conflicts of interests in the NLRB’s repeated efforts to undo an Obama-era rule that expanded liability for corporations like McDonald’s.

How McKinsey Is Making $100 Million (and Counting) Advising on the Government’s Bumbling Coronavirus Response

For the world’s best-known corporate-management consultants, helping tackle the pandemic has been a bonanza. It’s not clear what the government has gotten in return.

Bill Barr Promised to Release Prisoners Threatened by Coronavirus — Even as the Feds Secretly Made It Harder for Them to Get Out

Celebrity prisoners like former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort have been granted home detention, but a secret Bureau of Prisons policy has kept all but 1.8% of federal inmates behind bars, where the virus rages.

“I Do Not Want to Die in Here”: Letters From the Houston Jail

A series of letters from detainees in one of America’s largest jails reveals the mounting dread and uncertainty as the coronavirus spreads inside the 7,500-inmate facility.

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