30 congressional retirements so far this cycle

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Friday, December 6, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Two Representatives announce they aren’t running for re-election in 2020
  2. Supreme Court schedules oral argument in three cases related to the administrative state
  3. What’s the Tea (and cookies)?

Two congressmen announce they aren’t running for re-election in 2020

Two years ago, Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) announced during the week after Thanksgiving that they would not seek re-election in 2018. This week, two House members announced they would not run for re-election in 2020. 

Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) announced Wednesday—Dec. 4—that he would not seek a sixth term. Heck was first elected from the state’s 10th Congressional District in 2012.  He defeated Joseph Brumbles (R), 61.5% to 38.5%, in 2018. The 2018 Cook Partisan Voter Index for the district was D+5, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were 5 percentage points more Democratic than the national average.

Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) announced on Dec. 5 he would not run for re-election next year. Graves was first elected to the House in 2010, winning a special election in Georgia’s 9th Congressional District. After redistricting, Graves was elected from the newly created 14th Congressional District in 2012. He defeated Steven Foster (D)—76.5% to 23.5%—to win re-election in 2018. The 2018 Cook Partisan Voter Index for the district was R+27, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were 27 percentage points more Republican than the national average.

Thirty members of the U.S. House—nine Democrats and 21 Republicans—have announced they will not run for re-election in 2020. In the 2018 election cycle, 52 members of the U.S. House—18 Democrats and 34 Republicans—did not seek re-election.

The current partisan composition of the House is 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one independent, and four vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election next November.  

The chart below compares the number of Democrats and Republicans in Congress who did not seek re-election between 2012 and 2018.

Retirements


Supreme Court schedules oral argument in three cases related to the administrative state 

Thursday’s Brew updated readers on the Supreme Court’s 2019-20 term, highlighting cases scheduled for oral argument during December, January, and February. Three cases the court will hear in the first week of March are of particular interest to those who study the administrative state. 

I asked our team for a brief summary. After all, these are complicated court cases. You can see their reply below, with links for more details and background.

Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam

This case—scheduled for March 2—asks whether asylum seekers may challenge in court procedures immigration officials used to deny their asylum applications.  

Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

This case, along with Liu v. Securities and Exchange Commission, is scheduled for oral argument March 3. It concerns whether Congress’ decision to give substantial executive authority to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—an agency led by a single, Senate-confirmed director the president may not remove at-will—violates separation of powers principles.  

Liu v. Securities and Exchange Commission 

At issue in this case is whether the Supreme Court might limit how the Securities and Exchange Commission and other administrative agencies can penalize people who violate regulations.

Our monthly newsletter on the administrative state—The Checks and Balances Letter—covers cases like these, as well as laws and administrative decisions affecting regulatory activity at both the federal and state level. Click the link below to subscribe or explore past issues!

What's the tea

Tea and cookies, it’s a natural partnership. 

Especially around the holidays.

And whether it’s recollections of baking with a loved one, or just the sights and smells of fresh-baked items, many folks have wonderful memories of cookies this time of year. Making sure we have time to bake is one of the first things our family puts on the calendar when we plan our December every year.

Next week, we’re gearing up for a big holiday cookie event at Ballotpedia. I’m excited to tell you more about it on Monday. 

In the meantime, perhaps you can settle the debate we were having at Ballotpedia just yesterday. Peanut butter balls—also known as Buckeyes—have a peanut butter filling inside a chocolate coating.

Do you classify them as cookies?

Peanut butter balls





About the author

Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a project director at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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