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SCOTUS back for arguments

Ballotpedia's Bold Justice
Welcome to the February 24 edition of Bold Justice, Ballotpedia’s newsletter about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and other judicial happenings around the U.S. We’re getting ready for Mardi Gras on February 25. Stay up-to-date on the latest news while you’re enjoying the carnival! Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to the Daily Brew.

We #SCOTUS so you don't have toArguments

The Supreme Court will hear four hours of arguments this week.  Click here to read more about SCOTUS’ current term.

In its October 2018 term, SCOTUS heard arguments in 69 cases. Click here to read more about SCOTUS’ previous term.

Click the links below to read more about the specific cases SCOTUS will hear this week:

  • February 24
    • In U.S. Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, the U.S. Forest Service issued a permit in 2018 allowing Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC to construct a natural gas pipeline that would cross under the Appalachian Trail. Cowpasture River Preservation Association challenged the record of decision and the special use permit in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 4th Circuit vacated the permit, ruling the Forest Service didn’t have the legal authority to grant right-of-way—strips of land in which natural gas pipelines are installed—on the Appalachian Trail land.

      The Forest Service and Atlantic Coast Pipeline petitioned to the Supreme Court, arguing the 4th Circuit was wrong to vacate the permit.

      The case is consolidated with Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association.

      The issue: Whether the Forest Service has authority to grant rights-of-way under the Mineral Leasing Act through lands traversed by the Appalachian Trail within national forests.

    • In Opati v. Republic of Sudan, from 1991 to 1996, the terrorist group al Qaeda maintained an operations base in Sudan, from which it launched terrorist cells in Kenya and Tanzania. Al Qaeda bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, killing more than 200 people and injuring thousands. In 2001 and in following years, various plaintiffs, including the Opati plaintiffs, sued Sudan, arguing the bombings were “extrajudicial killings” under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). Sudan denied the allegations.

      In 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued final judgments awarding more than $10.2 billion in punitive damages against Sudan. Sudan appealed the cases. On appeal, the D.C. Circuit Court vacated the damages awarded.

      The Opati plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to clarify whether “the FSIA may be applied retroactively to impose punitive damages on a state sponsor of terrorism.”

      The issue: Whether the FSIA applies retroactively. If so, does it allow foreign nations to be sued for punitive damages for terrorist activities committed before the FSIA’s passage.

  • February 25
    • In United States v. Sineneng-Smith, Evelyn Sineneng-Smith was convicted on two counts of encouraging or inducing illegal immigration for financial gain, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) and 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(B)(i). The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California sentenced Sineneng-Smith to one and a half years in prison and three years of supervised release.

      The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed the convictions, vacated the sentence, and remanded the case for resentencing. The 9th Circuit panel ruled 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) was “unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the First Amendment.”

      The government petitioned SCOTUS for review, arguing the 9th Circuit “invalidated an Act of Congress on its face.”

      The issue: Whether the federal criminal prohibition against encouraging or inducing illegal immigration for commercial advantage or private financial gain is unconstitutional.

  • February 26
    • In Lomax v. Ortiz-Marquez, Arthur James Lomax, a prisoner at the Limon Correctional Facility in Colorado, filed a complaint against five Centennial Correctional Facility employees and a member of the Central Classification Committee at Offender Services. The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado rejected the complaint under the three-strikes provision.

      The three-strikes provision (28 U.S.C. 1915(g)) states a prisoner may not bring a civil action if a court has previously dismissed, at least three times, an action “on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim,” except if the prisoner “is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.”

      On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision and denied Lomax’s motion.

      The issue: Whether a dismissal of a civil action without prejudice for failure to state a claim is a strike under the three-strikes provision.

Upcoming SCOTUS dates

Here are the court’s upcoming dates of interest:

  • February 24: 
    • SCOTUS will release orders.
    • SCOTUS will hear arguments in two cases.
  • February 25: SCOTUS will hear arguments in one case.
  • February 26: SCOTUS will hear arguments in one case.
  • February 28: SCOTUS will conference.

SCOTUS trivia

Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Which president nominated Marshall to the seat?

Federal Court action

Confirmations

The Senate confirmed five new nominees since our February 10 issue.

Since January 2017, the Senate has confirmed 192 of President Trump’s judicial nominees—137 district court judges, 51 appeals court judges, two Court of International Trade judges, and two Supreme Court justices.

Nominations

President Trump has announced two new Article III nominees since our February 10 edition.

The president has announced 245 Article III judicial nominations since taking office January 20, 2017. The president named 69 judicial nominees in 2017, 92 in 2018, and 77 in 2019. For more information on the president’s judicial nominees, click here.

Vacancies

The federal judiciary currently has 79 vacancies. As of publication, there were 37 pending nominations.

According to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, an additional eight judges have announced their intention to leave active judicial status during Trump’s first term.

For more information on judicial vacancies during Trump’s first term, click here.

Committee action

The Senate Judiciary Committee has not reported any new nominees out of committee since our February 10 edition.

Do you love judicial nomination, confirmation, and vacancy information? We figured you might. Our monthly Federal Vacancy Count, published at the start of each month, monitors all the faces and places moving in, moving out, and moving on in the federal judiciary. Click here for our most current count.

Need a daily fix of judicial nomination, confirmation, and vacancy information? Click here for continuing updates on the status of all federal judicial nominees.

Or, if you prefer, we also maintain a list of individuals President Trump has nominated.

Looking ahead

We’ll be back March 2 with a new edition of Bold Justice. 

Click here to learn more.



Sanders wins Nevada Democratic caucuses, Biden comes in second

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
February 24, 2020: Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucuses on Saturday. Tom Steyer will return to the debate stage after qualifying for the South Carolina debate.


How many candidates were running for president at this point in the 2016 election?

Notable Quote of the Day

“One of the major question marks for Sanders coming into Nevada was whether he could win with more than just his core base, which fueled his winning a quarter of the vote in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Well, on Saturday, he did that.

Sanders won not only with voters under 30 and people who identify as very liberal, but also with men, women, Hispanics (overwhelmingly), voters 45 to 64 and people with and without college degrees, according to polls conducted as voters entered caucus sites. He also did well among black voters and moderates, finishing a close second to Joe Biden with both groups, which are supposed to be the former vice president’s base.”

– Domenico Montanaro, NPR

Nevada Results

Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucuses on Saturday afternoon. With 88% of precincts reporting, he had 47% of the county convention delegates used to determine the number of pledged delegates allocated to each candidate. Joe Biden followed with 21% of the county convention delegates. Pete Buttigieg came in third with 14%.

The final pledged delegate count is pending, but Sanders is projected to win at least 13 of Nevada’s 36 delegates, giving him the overall delegate lead.

On the Republican side, the Nevada Republican Party bound the state’s 25 delegates to Donald Trump on Saturday at its winter meeting. The party voted on September 7, 2019, to cancel its caucus.



Democrats

  • Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are appearing in CNN town halls on Monday in Charleston, South Carolina. Michael Bloomberg was scheduled to participate but postponed his appearance until Wednesday to allow for more debate preparation.

  • ButtigiegAmy KlobucharTom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren are scheduled to speak at the South Carolina Democratic Party’s First in the South Dinner on Monday.

  • House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (S.C.) is expected to endorse Joe Biden on Wednesday. Biden issued a $640 billion housing plan, proposing changes to mortgage standards, eviction protections, and anti-discrimination policies.

  • Toni Atkins, the California Senate president pro tem, endorsed Buttigieg on Friday. The Buttigieg campaign requested the Nevada Democratic Party release additional caucus data and recalculate results in select precincts.

  • Tulsi Gabbard is holding a town hall in Virginia Beach on Tuesday.

  • Former 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson endorsed Sanders at his rally in Austin, Texas, on Sunday. Sanders began airing a new ad in South Carolina focused on criminal justice.

  • Steyer qualified for Tuesday night’s debate in Charleston after placing over 12 percent in in his second South Carolina poll.

  • Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump endorsed Warren on Friday.

Republicans


Flashback: February 24, 2016

Donald Trump received his first congressional endorsements from Reps. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.). blank

Click here to learn more.



Policy under review: donor disclosure requirements for non-PAC groups making independent expenditures

Last month, we explored state donor disclosure requirements for groups that sponsor electioneering communications. This week, let’s take a closer look at donor disclosure requirements for non-PAC groups making independent expenditures.

An independent expenditure is any money spent on political advertising supporting or opposing a particular candidate for elective office. An independent expenditure originates outside of a candidate’s own election organization and is not coordinated with that candidate’s campaign, authorized candidate committee, or political party committee.

Individuals, political action committees (PACs), super PACs, select nonprofits (such as 501(c)(4) groups), corporations, and labor unions can make independent expenditures. States cannot limit the dollar amounts of independent expenditures. States can, however, impose disclosure requirements on groups making these expenditures.

A total of 33 states require non-PACs making independent expenditures to disclose identifying donor information in required reports. Of these states, 22 require groups to disclose all donors meeting certain contribution amount thresholds, regardless of whether their contributors were earmarked for political spending. These states are shaded in dark green on the map below. The remaining 11 require disclosure only of those donors whose contributions were earmarked for political spending. These states are shaded in light green on the map below.

  • Political context: Of these 33 states, 10 are Democratic trifectas, 14 are Republican trifectas, and nine are divided governments.
    • Of the 11 states that require disclosure only of those donors whose contributions were earmarked for political spending, one is a Democratic trifectas, six are Republican trifectas, and four are divided governments.
    • Of the 22 states that require groups to disclose all donors meeting certain contribution amount thresholds, regardless of whether their contributors were earmarked for political spending, nine are Democratic trifectas, eight are Republican trifectas, and five are divided governments.

Remember]: This discussion deals only with disclosures required as part of regular campaign finance reporting. Disclosures made directly on advertisements, known as disclaimers, are a separate matter.

15gKG-donor-disclosure-requirements-for-non-pac-groups-making-independent-expenditures.png

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state: We’re currently tracking 41 pieces of legislation dealing with donor disclosure. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking.

Disclosure Digest map February 24, 2020.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Disclosure Digest status chart February 24, 2020.png

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s)

Disclosure Digest partisan chart February 24, 2020.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of legislative actions taken on relevant bills since our last issue. Bills are listed in alphabetical order, first by state then by bill number.

  • New Hampshire HB1525: This bill would alter the definition of a political advocacy organization for the purposes of campaign finance reporting.
    • House Election Law Committee work session scheduled Feb. 18.
    • Bipartisan sponsorship.
  • Oklahoma SB1491: This bill would prohibit public agencies from requiring 501(c) entities to furnish them with personal information about donors.
    • Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee Feb. 19.
    • Republican sponsorship.
  • Virginia HB849: This bill would subject political campaign communications made via online platforms to the same disclosure requirements currently applied to print media, television, and radio advertisements.
    • Senate approved substitute Feb. 21. House approved its own version of the bill Jan. 30.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
  • Virginia SB979: This bill extends the applicability of the state’s campaign finance disclosure act to candidates for directors or soil and water conservation districts.
    • House Campaign Finance Subcommittee hearing scheduled Feb. 20.
    • Republican sponsorship.


McNamara appointed Massachusetts Comptroller

On February 11, 2020, Governor Charlie Baker appointed Bill McNamara Comptroller of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, effective Friday, February 21.

McNamara’s appointment comes after Comptroller Andrew Maylor announced that he was resigning to accept a position as Vice President and Chief Business Officer of Merrimack College. Before his appointment, McNamara most recently served as Assistant Secretary for the Executive Office for Administration and Finance.

In a press release from the governor’s office, Gov. Baker said, “Bill has a depth of experience in several senior leadership roles in the public and private sector that qualify him for this important new post to oversee the Commonwealth’s fiscal policies and operations…His commitment to transparency and reliable governance will be a great benefit to Massachusetts, and I look forward to working with him to ensure continued fiscal accountability and discipline across state government.”

In Massachusetts, the Comptroller of the Commonwealth is a nonpartisan, governor-appointed position responsible for independent oversight of the state’s finances.

The Comptroller of the Commonwealth serves a term coterminous with the governor.

Additional reading:
Bill McNamara
Massachusetts Comptroller of the Commonwealth
Charles D. Baker
Andrew Maylor
Governor of Massachusetts



Governor Ducey appoints Corieri to Arizona Director of Insurance

On February 14, 2020, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) appointed Christina Corieri (R) to serve as the Interim Director of Arizona’s Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions. Corieri filled the vacancy created by Keith Schraad’s (R) resignation on February 12, 2020.

Schraad resigned from the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions to take a job in the private sector. Schraad served as the Department of Insurance’s director for two years before his resignation.

The director oversees the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions, the agency charged with enforcing state insurance regulations. The department licenses insurance companies to operate within the state and collects various financial filings and reports from them. It makes specific rules based on regulations passed by the state legislature and, with the cooperation of the attorney general, enforces them. The department also interacts with consumers through its education and outreach initiatives.

Before her appointment to lead the Department of Insurance, Corieri served as a senior policy advisor for Gov. Ducey. She has also served as the health and human services policy advisor for Gov. Ducey, chief of staff for Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, and as a health and policy analyst for the Goldwater Institute.

Click here to learn more.

Additional Reading:
Keith Schraad
Arizona Director of Insurance



Ostlie appointed to fill vacancy in North Dakota House of Representatives

Photo creditAcroterion

On February 19, 2020, Mitch Ostlie (R) was appointed by the North Dakota District 12 Republican Executive Committee to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former State Rep. Jim Grueneich (R). Ostlie will serve for the remainder of Grueneich’s term, set to end at the end of the year.

Grueneich resigned from the North Dakota House on February 11, 2020, after he moved outside of the district. Grueneich is running to represent North Dakota House of Representatives District 28—the district that encompasses his new home—in 2020. Grueneich was first elected tot he North Dakota House of Representatives in 2016.

Oslie’s appointment to the North Dakota House filled the Assembly’s only vacancy. Ostlie has said he will run in the district’s regular elections in 2020. The primary for that race is June 9 and the general election will take place Nov. 3.

Click here to learn more.

Additional Reading:
North Dakota House of Representatives District 12
North Dakota House of Representatives
North Dakota elections, 2020



FLRA set to allow federal workers to stop paying union dues after first year of membership

On Feb. 14, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), which administers the laws governing federal labor relations, issued a 2-1 decision that will, upon implementation of supporting regulations, permit federal workers to stop paying union dues at any time after their first year of dues-paying membership. Prior to this, federal workers have only been permitted to rescind their union-dues assignments at one-year intervals. (For more information about the FLRA, see below.)

What is at issue? Section 7115(a) of the Federal Service Labor‑Management Relations Statute states, “[If] an agency has received from an employee in an appropriate unit a written assignment which authorizes the agency to deduct from the pay of the employee amounts for the payment of regular and periodic dues of the exclusive representative of the unit, the agency shall honor the assignment and make an appropriate allotment pursuant to the assignment.” The statute states that “any such assignment may not be revoked for a period of [one] year.”

In the past, the FLRA has interpreted the latter portion of the law to mean that dues deduction authorizations can only be revoked in one-year intervals. After the Supreme Court issued its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, ruling that public-sector unions could not compel non-members to pay fees, the Office of Personnel Management petitioned the FLRA for guidance on Janus’ applicability to § 7115(a).

How did the FLRA rule? Colleen Duffy Kiko, the FLRA’s chairwoman, wrote the 2-1 decision (James T. Abbott wrote a separate concurring opinion). Kiko rejected earlier FLRA interpretations of § 7115(a): “Although the Authority has stated that the wording in § 7115(a) ‘must be interpreted’ to mean that dues assignments may be revoked only at one‑year intervals following the first year, in fact, the Authority made a policy judgment to impose annual revocation periods after the first year of an assignment. In other words, notwithstanding previous assertions otherwise, § 7115(a) neither compels, nor even supports, the existing policy on annual revocation windows. Because it remains our privilege and responsibility to interpret the Statute in a manner that is consistent with an efficient and effective government, we cannot allow our decisions or statements of policy to merely rubber-stamp what was said in the past.”

Kiko said the FLRA would begin developing regulations to support this reading of the statute: “In our view, it would assure employees the fullest freedom in the exercise of their rights under the Statute if, after the expiration of the initial one‑year period during which an assignment may not be revoked under § 7115(a), an employee had the right to initiate the revocation of a previously authorized dues assignment at any time that the employee chooses. Therefore, in the near future, the Authority intends to commence notice‑and‑comment rulemaking concerning § 7115(a), with the aim of adopting an implementing regulation that hews more closely to the Statute’s text.”

In his dissent, Ernest DuBester wrote, “The majority’s decision today constitutes the sort of judicial activism that is squarely inconsistent with the Authority’s decision-making responsibilities under our Statute. The request for a policy statement ostensibly giving rise to the majority’s decision relies upon a Supreme Court decision that – by its own terms – has nothing to do with federal-sector labor relations. Nevertheless, the majority seizes this fabricated opportunity to reverse the Authority’s well-reasoned precedent concerning § 7115(a) with barely a passing nod to the comments the Authority solicited on this matter.”

How are unions reacting?

  • Everett Kelley, national secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Government Employees, criticized the decision: “The Authority’s decision is just another step toward the administration’s goal of busting unions and making it even harder for rank-and-file federal employees to speak up, defend their rights, and serve the American people. This meritless decision flies in the face of decades of settled and well-reasoned legal precedent in an activist effort to divide federal employees from their unions.”
  • Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), said, “NTEU remains committed to upholding federal labor law and that is why we are challenging this decision in court.”

More about the Federal Labor Relations Authority: The Federal Labor Relations Authority administers the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, which permits certain non-postal federal employees to unionize and bargain collectively. The FLRA has three full-time members, each of whom is a presidential appointee. Members serve five-year terms.

Kiko and Abbot were both appointed by President Donald Trump (R) in 2017. DuBester was first appointed by President Barack Obama (D) in 2009. DuBester was subsequently re-appointed to second and third terms by Obama and Trump, respectively.

What we’ve been reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 85 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking.

Union Station map February 21, 2020.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart February 21, 2020.png

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s)

Union Station partisan chart February 21, 2020.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of relevant legislative actions taken since our last issue. Bills are listed in alphabetical order, first by state then by bill number.

  • Colorado HB1169: This bill would bar employers from requiring union membership or payment of union dues as a condition of employment.
    • House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee hearing scheduled Feb. 18.
    • Republican sponsorship.
  • Connecticut HB05270: This bill would grant union representatives access to new employee orientations and employee personal/contact information. It would also authorize payroll deductions for dues, vesting unions with the authority to maintain authorization records.
    • Introduced and referred to Joint Labor and Public Employees Committee Feb. 20.
    • Committee sponsorship.
  • Connecticut SB00228: This bill would grant union representatives access to new employee orientations and employee personal/contact information. It would also authorize payroll deductions for dues, vesting unions with the authority to maintain authorization records.
    • Introduced and referred to Joint Labor and Public Employees Committee Feb. 20.
    • Committee sponsorship.
  • Maryland SB388: This bill would grant collective bargaining rights to certain employees of the circuit courts and the District Court of Maryland.
    • Senate Finance Committee hearing scheduled Feb. 20.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
  • Maryland SB658: This bill would grant collective bargaining rights to graduate assistants in the University of Maryland system, Morgan State University, and St. Mary’s College.
    • Senate Finance Committee hearing scheduled Feb. 21.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
  • New Mexico SB110: This bill would make various amendments to the state’s public-sector labor relations laws.
    • Referred to Senate Finance Committee Feb. 15.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
  • Oklahoma SB1724: This bill would require written authorization for school employees to deduct union dues and political contributions from their paychecks.
    • Referred to Senate Education Committee Feb. 19.
    • Republican sponsorship.
  • Vermont S0254: This bill would require public employers to provide unions with employee contact information. It would provide for the automatic deduction of union dues from members’ paychecks, and it would permit unions to meet with new employees to provide them with information regarding union membership.
    • Senate Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs Committee hearing scheduled Feb. 18.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
  • Virginia HB582: This bill would repeal the existing prohibition against collective bargaining by public employees.
    • Senate Commerce and Labor Committee hearing scheduled Feb. 17.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
  • Virginia SB939: This bill would permit local governments to recognize unions as bargaining agents for public-sector workers.
    • Referred to House Labor and Commerce Committee Feb. 18.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
  • Washington HB2017: This bill would establish collective bargaining rights for administrative law judges.
    • Senate Labor and Commerce Committee hearing scheduled Feb. 20.
    • Democratic sponsorship.


Eleven presidential candidates raised a combined $390 million in January

Michael Bloomberg (D) led presidential candidates in fundraising for January 2020, according to financial reports filed with the Federal Election Commission Thursday. Bloomberg raised $263.8 million in January, including $263.7 million in self-funding. He was followed by Tom Steyer (D), who raised $65.3 million, including $64.7 million in self-funding. Bernie Sanders ($25.2 million) and Elizabeth Warren ($11.0 million) were the only other candidates to raise more than $10 million

As of the January 31, 2020, reporting cutoff, President Donald Trump (R) had $92.6 million in cash on hand, the most of all presidential candidates. Bloomberg followed with $55.1 million, then Steyer with $17.9 million. Sanders had $16.8 million, and no other candidates had more than $10 million on hand.

President Trump’s $217.7 million raised to date is 27.0% more than the inflation-adjusted $166.0 million President Barack Obama (D) had raised at this point in his 2012 re-election campaign. According to Republican National Committee (RNC) finance reports filed Thursday, Trump and the RNC have raised a combined $810.9 million. At this point in the 2012 campaign cycle, Obama and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had raised a combined inflation-adjusted $563.9 million.

The eight remaining noteworthy Democratic candidates have collectively raised $1.164 billion this cycle, while the three noteworthy Republicans have collectively raised $233.5 million. The eight Democrats had a combined $110.7 million in cash on hand to the three Republicans’ combined $97.5 million.

Since the start of the election cycle, the top five Democratic fundraisers are Bloomberg ($464.1 million), Steyer ($271.6 million), Sanders ($134.3 million), Warren ($93.0 million), and Pete Buttigieg ($83.0 million). The 11 noteworthy Democratic and Republican candidates have raised a combined $1.398 billion since the start of the election cycle.

Click here to learn more about 2020 Presidential election campaign finance.

Additional reading:
Presidential election, 2020
Presidential candidates, 2020
Democratic presidential nomination, 2020
Republican presidential nomination, 2020



House Republicans’ campaign arm outraises Democrats for the first time this cycle, RNC outraises DNC for ninth consecutive month

The Republican National Committee (RNC) outraised its Democratic counterpart by more than two-to-one for a ninth consecutive month, according to February 2020 campaign finance reports filed with the FEC Thursday. Republican House and Senate committees also outraised their Democratic counterparts.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $10.1 million and spent $4.8 million last month, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $8.5 million and spent $7.5 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the NRSC has raised 8.4% more than the DSCC ($77.7 million to $71.5 million). The NRSC’s 8.4% fundraising advantage is up from 7.3% in January but down from 8.7% in December.

On the House side, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $12.7 million and spent $7.5 million last month, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $12.1 million and spent $7.0 million. This is the first time the NRCC has outraised the DCCC during the 2020 campaign cycle. So far in the cycle, the DCCC has raised 33.4% more than the NRCC ($137.0 million to $97.8 million). The DCCC’s 33.4% fundraising advantage is down from 37.8% in January and 35.5% in December.

At this point in the 2018 campaign cycle, Democrats led in both Senate and House fundraising, although their advantage in the House was smaller than in this cycle. The DSCC had raised 25.2% more than the NRSC ($59.8 million to $46.4 million), while the DCCC had raised 18.7% more than the NRCC ($114.8 million to $95.1 million).

Republicans continue to lead in national committee fundraising, with the Republican National Committee (RNC) raising $27.2 million and spending $23.2 million while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised $10.8 million and spent $11.0 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC has raised 89.8% more than the DNC ($268.3 million to $102.0 million). The RNC’s 89.8% fundraising advantage is down from 90.2% in January but up from 88.9% in December.

At this point in the 2016 campaign cycle (the most recent presidential cycle), the RNC had a smaller 48.2% fundraising advantage over the DNC ($114.8 million to $70.2 million).

So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC have raised 35.3% more than the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC ($443.9 million to $310.5 million). The Republican fundraising advantage is up from 34.1% in January and 34.6% in December.

Click here to learn more about party committee fundraising 2019-2020

Additional reading:
Democratic National Committee
Republican National Committee
Fundraising in Congressional elections, 2018



2,577 major party candidates filed for 2020 Congress elections, no new retirements last week

As of February 24, 2020, 2,577 major party candidates have filed to run for the Senate and House of Representatives in 2020.

So far, 367 candidates are filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to run for U.S. Senate in 2020. Of those, 312—164 Democrats and 148 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 527 candidates filed with the FEC to run for U.S. Senate, including 137 Democrats and 240 Republicans.

For U.S. House, 2,492 candidates are filed with the FEC to run in 2020. Of those, 2,265—1,077 Democrats and 1,188 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 3,244 candidates filed with the FEC, including 1,566 Democrats and 1,155 Republicans.

Thirty-six representatives are not seeking re-election. Of those, 27 are Republican and nine are Democratic. Four senators (three Republicans and one Democrat) are not running for re-election. In 2018, 55 total members of Congress—18 Democrats and 37 Republicans—did not seek re-election.

On November 3, 2020, 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for election. Of those Senate seats, 33 are regularly scheduled elections, while the other two are special elections in Arizona and Georgia. Twelve are Democratic-held seats and 23 are Republican-held seats. In the House, Democrats currently hold a majority with 232 seats.

Additional reading
United States Senate elections, 2020
United States House of Representatives elections, 2020
List of U.S. Congress incumbents who are not running for re-election in 2020



Bitnami