2014 has been a year of disruption and division, public protests and congressional sparring, notable deaths and departures, and an insistent warning light of more conflict ahead.

Discord culminated in the wake of a ­federal grand jury’s decision not to indict a white policeman for the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. launched a federal civil rights investigation — one that U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch will inherit if Congress confirms her nomination for Holder’s job. And that’s an if, since it’s unclear how a feisty new Republican Congress will handle President Barack Obama’s remaining judicial and administrative appointments.

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