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Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at

Articles by Valerie Richardson

"[W]e have a problem here," Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, says at a hearing about the Obama administration's record on energy production. (Associated Press)

GOP challenges administration on oil production

Every time President Obama takes credit for rising U.S. oil and gas production during his administration, Republicans start rolling their eyes and grinding their teeth. Published March 14, 2012

**FILE** In Colorado and Oregon, advocates of gun rights were victorious when courts in both states agreed that universities must defer to state laws allowing permit holders to carry concealed handguns. Here, Virginia Delegate Robert G. Marshall, Prince William Republican, speaks at a gun rally in Richmond, Va., in support of a bill in the state legislature that would allow faculty with concealed carry permits to have firearms on college campuses. (Associated Press)

Colleges find ways to foil pro-gun rulings

Courts are ruling in favor of allowing those with concealed-carry permits to bring their handguns on campus, but universities are figuring out ways to keep the guns out. Published March 8, 2012

** FILE ** Then-U.S. Chief District Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the Northern District of California speaks at a legal conference in Seattle in November 2010. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

California judges asked to say if they are gay

It used to be considered bad form to out gay public figures - but now California judges are being asked to reveal their sexual identities in the name of diversity. Published March 1, 2012

** FILE ** Supporters of gay marriage celebrate outside the James R. Browning United States Courthouse in San Francisco on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, after a federal appeals court declared California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. (AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Lea Suzuki)

Appeals court rules Calif. gay-marriage ban unconstitutional

A federal appeals court on Tuesday declared California's same-sex-marriage ban unconstitutional, paving the way for the legalization of gay marriage in the nation's most populous state and setting the stage for a showdown before the U.S. Supreme Court. Published February 7, 2012

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania signs an autograph after a health care speech Monday in Rochester, Minn. The Republican presidential hopeful is hoping to get back in the win column Tuesday with victories in caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado and in a nonbinding primary in Misssouri. (Associated Press)

Santorum pursues surge in Colorado, Minnesota

The Republican presidential race could be headed for another reshuffle Tuesday as Rick Santorum, who has lagged behind since his surprise Iowa victory, is once again challenging the dominance of front-runner Mitt Romney. Published February 6, 2012

The Susan Komen For The Cure international headquarters in Addison, Texas, are shown Feb. 3, 2012. After three days of controversy, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer charity says it is reversing its decision to cut breast-screening grants to Planned Parenthood. (Associated Press)

Komen backtracks on Planned Parenthood ban

Breast cancer research foundation Susan G. Komen for the Cure reversed on Friday its decision to defund Planned Parenthood after a three-day uproar that saw the foundation come under intense political pressure by pro-choice advocates. Published February 3, 2012

Susan G. Komen defends cutoff of Planned Parenthood

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the women's health foundation under intense criticism for breaking ranks with Planned Parenthood, denied Thursday that political considerations played any role in its decision to cut off funding to the nation's largest abortion provider. Published February 2, 2012


Washington state Senate approves gay marriage

The Washington state Senate approved 28-21 Wednesday a same-sex marriage bill, handing advocates their biggest victory of the 2012 legislative session and all but ensure legalized gay marriage in the Evergreen State. Published February 1, 2012

"The interest of society in the enforcement of employment discrimination statutes is undoubtedly important. But so too is the interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith, and carry out their mission." - Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. (AP photo)

High court ruling landmark for religion

Religious organizations won a landmark victory Wednesday as the Supreme Court held that churches have the right to make employment decisions free from government interference over discrimination laws. Published January 11, 2012

** FILE ** Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar stands in front of a map of the Grand Canyon as he announces a 20-year ban on new mining claims. (Associated Press)

Grand Canyon uranium put off-limits

Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar placed a 20-year moratorium Monday on new uranium mining claims in the Grand Canyon region over the objections of Western Republicans, who insisted the ban would deliver an unnecessary blow to the Northern Arizona economy. Published January 9, 2012

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, talks to reporters about balancing the budget, Wednesday, June 29, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Veteran Hatch gets challenger

For all the talk of Sen. Orrin G. Hatch's political vulnerability, the veteran Utah Republican had managed to deflect all serious challengers until Wednesday, when state Sen. Dan Liljenquist entered the primary race. Published January 4, 2012