Justin Miller

Justin Miller is the politics reporter for the Observer. He previously covered politics and policy for The American Prospect in Washington, D.C., and has also written for The Intercept, The New Republic and In These Times. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

By Justin Miller:

UNITED STATES - JUNE 24: Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks during the Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing for Peter Michael Thomson, nominee to be inspector general of the Central Intelligence Agency, in Russell Building on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
Texas Politics

What Will A Texas-Sized Turnout Mean for Trump and Cornyn?

With record voter turnout in early voting, Texas is a presidential toss-up. John Cornyn is getting worried.

The last time U.S. Senator John Cornyn was up for reelection in 2014, he skated to a third term with 62 percent of the vote—outperforming every other statewide GOP candidate on the ballot who had a contested election in Texas. … Read More

Texas Politics

Voting Begins in a Month. Here’s What Is at Stake in Texas.

In an election that will chart the state’s political future for a generation, Democrats are waging an unprecedented offensive against embattled Republicans.

In late November 2018, just weeks after U.S. Senator Ted Cruz eked out a win against Democratic phenom Beto O’Rourke, Texas’ senior U.S. Senator John Cornyn went on the radio with a warning: “Texas is no longer, I believe, a … Read More


Five Months Later, the State’s Unemployment System is Still Broken for Many Texans

The state’s unemployment insurance system was woefully unprepared when the COVID-fueled economic crisis hit in March. Months later, unemployed Texans are still struggling to get—and keep—their benefits.

In March, after losing her job with Rolfson Oil, Laura Orozco filed for unemployment. Her claim was denied. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), which administers the state’s unemployment insurance system, said that based on the agency’s formula, she hadn’t earned … Read More

UNITED STATES - JULY 1: Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, looks on, as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., makes a statement during the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing titled "The End of One Country, Two Systems?: Implications of Beijing's National Security Law in Hong Kong," Rayburn Building on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
Texas Politics

Joaquin Castro Says He’ll Champion Progressive Foreign Policy

The representative from San Antonio is vying to become the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

San Antonio U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro is vying to become chair of one of the most powerful committees in Washington: the House Foreign Affairs Committee. But to do so, he’ll have to overcome the centrist and pro-military forces in the … Read More

An illustration of COVID molecules and a field of oil rigs.

From Boom to Bloodbath

The Permian Basin’s shale revolution is over and renewable energy is surging. What does that mean for Texas’ future?

From Boom to Bloodbath The Permian Basin’s shale revolution is over and renewable energy is surging. What does that mean for Texas’ future? By Justin Miller July 27, 2020  For the past three years, Josh Thomas labored away on … Read More

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate MJ Hegar speaks to supporters during her election night party in Austin, Texas, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Legislature

Historic Runoff Turnout Sets Stage for Texas Democrats in 2020’s ‘Biggest Battleground’

MJ Hegar won a contested Senate runoff and Democrats broke their record for runoff turnout as nearly 1 million voters cast ballots.

The Texas primaries in March feel like a lifetime ago. Soon after Super Tuesday, the coronavirus pandemic spread across the country and ground political campaigns to a halt. Governor Greg Abbott delayed the runoff elections by two months while state … Read More

State Senator Royce West responds to questions during a broadcast interview after announcing his bid to run for the US Senate during a rally in Dallas, Monday, July 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Texas Politics

Amid a National Reckoning Over Racial Injustice, Royce West Seeks to Upset MJ Hegar—and the DSCC

Texas’ Democratic Senate runoff to face John Cornyn has taken on new political significance as a Black state senator vies to defeat the national party’s favored candidate.

Texas Democratic Senate candidate Royce West was fed up. In the final days of early voting for the runoff election, frontrunner MJ Hegar put out a new ad in which she says that Texans will “stand together against the systemic … Read More