Sam Gringlas

Sam Gringlas is a producer for NPR's All Things Considered and is helping cover the 2020 election for the Washington Desk. He's produced and reported with NPR from all over the country, as well as China and the U.S.-Mexico border. He started as an intern at All Things Considered after graduating with a public policy degree from the University of Michigan, where he was news editor at The Michigan Daily. He's a native Michigander.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says that if elected, he will convene a national commission to study the court system, his latest answer to questions about whether he would seek to add justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In an interview with 60 Minutes scheduled to air Sunday on CBS, the former vice president said he envisions a bipartisan group of constitutional scholars who would, after 180 days, make recommendations to reform the court system, which Biden called "out of whack."

Editor's Note: Iranian influence specialists are behind threatening emails sent to voters in Alaska and Florida, U.S. officials said on Wednesday evening.


Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET

Voters in Alaska and Florida reported receiving emails on Tuesday that threatened "vote for Trump or else!" — messages that have prompted investigations in both states.

Ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day in Michigan cannot be counted, an appeals court ruled on Friday — a reminder that election rules in many states remain in flux just over two weeks before the election.

A lower court had previously ruled that ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 and received within 14 days of Election Day, the deadline for certifying election results, could be counted.

It is not clear whether this latest decision will be appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court.

The state of California appears to be backing off legal threats against the California Republican Party over its use of unauthorized ballot drop boxes.

On Monday, California's secretary of state and attorney general sent a cease-and-desist order to the California GOP and several county party offices, ordering they remove unauthorized boxes to collect ballots, some of which were labeled "official."

Updated at 11:27 p.m. ET

In a unique political split screen, President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden appeared in competing town halls at the same time on Thursday night.

Among their notable answers, Trump declined to denounce the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, while Biden said he would offer a more concrete answer on "court packing" before Election Day.

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, pumped $75 million into a pro-Trump super PAC in the final stretch of the presidential campaign, providing a late cash infusion for President Trump's faltering reelection effort as his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, raked in record-breaking sums.

A federal court has extended Virginia's voter registration deadline after an accidentally clipped fiber optic cable took down the Department of Elections website on Tuesday for hours on the final day of voter registration.

Voters in Virginia will now be able to register until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, in person or online.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday

President Trump is hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as he faces COVID-19.

Trump announced early Friday morning that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus, and he was taken to Walter Reed Friday evening.

The rest of the timeline, as laid out by White House officials and Trump's physician, Sean Conley, has at times been unclear. Here's what we know about what happened when:

Updated at 4:39 p.m. ET

Conflicting reports emerged Saturday about President Trump's health and the timeline of when he was first tested positive for the coronavirus.

Trump is "doing very well," his physician told reporters on Saturday morning, but a source familiar with the president's health later told White House pool reporters, that "the president's vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning." The Associated Press identified that information as coming from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Updated on Sunday at 9:28 a.m. ET

A week ago, more than 100 people gathered in the White House Rose Garden to celebrate President Trump's third nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Guests mingled, hugged and kissed on the cheek, most without wearing masks. An indoor reception followed the outdoor ceremony.

Updated at 3:23 p.m. ET

After two negative coronavirus tests this morning, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden proceeded with a campaign stop in Grand Rapids, Mich. Biden's wife, Jill Biden, also tested negative today.

Michigan's attorney general filed felony charges Thursday against two far-right activists who allegedly coordinated a series of racist robocalls that discouraged voters in Detroit and other cities from participating in the November election.

Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl are each being charged with four felony counts, including intimidating voters and conspiracy to commit an election law violation.

Two days after The New York Times published reporting on several years of President Trump's recent tax returns, Democratic nominee Joe Biden released his 2019 return and financial disclosures.

President Trump has yet to formally name his Supreme Court nominee, but clues are piling up that he will pick Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

A source with knowledge of the process told NPR on Friday that Trump will nominate Barrett, with the caveat that the president is known to change his mind. The source was not authorized to confirm the selection before Trump does.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

President Trump says he will nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court, spurring what's likely to be a bitter confirmation fight just weeks before the presidential election.

If confirmed by the Senate, the 48-year-old judge will solidify the court's conservative majority, shaping the trajectory of health care law, abortion rights and many corners of American life for generations to come.

Republicans expect President Trump to name Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the next nominee to the Supreme Court, according to a source with knowledge of the process, but the source cautioned that Trump could change his mind.

The source declined to be named, because the individual was not authorized to confirm the selection before the president announced it.

The White House declined comment.

Updated at 4:49 p.m. ET

Democratic nominee Joe Biden called President Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful of transfer of power if he loses the election "a typical Trump distraction."

"I'm confident that [despite] all of the irresponsible, outrageous attacks on voting, we'll have an election in this country as we always have had," Biden said in an interview Friday with MSNBC. "And he'll leave."

Updated at 1:37 p.m. ET

Amid criticism from Democrats that politics may be guiding decisions at the nation's top health agencies, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration told Congress on Wednesday that a coronavirus vaccine would not be approved until it met "vigorous expectations" for safety and effectiveness.

In the musical Hamilton, there's an entire song about the election of 1800 — the contest between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson that marked the first peaceful transfer of power between opposing political factions in U.S. history.

America now is on the cusp of the election of 2020 — and cast members of the hit Broadway show have repurposed some of the show's soundtrack with new lyrics to promote voting.

The night of Nov. 7, 2000, was cold and wet in Austin, Texas.

"Nobody cared," remembers Republican lawyer Ben Ginsberg, who worked for Texas Gov. George W. Bush's presidential campaign. "We had just won the presidency of the United States."

That excitement quickly evaporated. As the night stretched on, the race between Bush and Democratic nominee Al Gore tightened in Florida. The television networks revised their projections for Bush, deeming the contest too close to call. Before the election night was over, Gore withdrew his concession phone call.

The first Jewish woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died Friday night as millions of American Jews were getting ready to celebrate the first night of Rosh Hashanah — the Jewish new year.

Justice Stephen Breyer learned midway through the traditional Mourner's Kaddish that his colleague had died. When word of Ginsburg's death spread, many Jews were in services, praying from their homes as congregations broadcast over livestream.

A day after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, chants of "Fill that seat! Fill that seat!" broke out during President Trump's campaign rally in Fayetteville, N.C., on Saturday.

"That's what we're going to do. We're going to fill that seat!" Trump said, saying his supporters should print "Fill that seat!" on T-shirts.

President Trump says that he expects to announce a nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death "next week" and that the pick will likely be a woman.

"A choice of a woman would certainly be appropriate," he told reporters at the White House on Saturday before leaving for a campaign rally in North Carolina.

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When President Trump learned Friday night that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died, he told reporters she was an "amazing woman." Later, in an official statement, he called her a "titan of the law." And while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wrote in a statement that he would bring a vote for a new justice to the floor, Trump did not weigh in.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down several voting-related decisions Thursday that are likely to help Democrats this fall.

The court extended the deadline for accepting mail ballots, will allow voters to submit their ballots through drop boxes, and removed the Green Party's candidate for president from the ballot.

The decisions come less than two months before Election Day and as a flurry of election-related lawsuits continue to pile up around the country.

Distributing a vaccine or vaccines for the coronavirus will be one of the biggest challenges the next president faces, Democratic nominee Joe Biden said Wednesday.

"The development of a vaccine is only part of the battle. Distributing a vaccine to the entire population is as complex and challenging as one of the most sensitive military operations," he said in prepared remarks in Wilmington, Del., after he received a briefing from a panel of vaccine experts.

Hours before the final night of the Republican National Convention, President Trump visited FEMA headquarters in Washington for a briefing on Tropical Storm Laura.

Updated at 2:45 p.m.

Top White House officials are brushing off the significance of NBA protests this week over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.

President Trump also weighed in, lamenting Thursday that the NBA has become "like a political organization," but saying he didn't know much about the protests.

"I know their ratings have been very bad because I think people are a little tired of the NBA, frankly, but I don't know too much about the protests," Trump said during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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