Welcome to the Thursday, July 14, Brew.
By: David Luchs
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Preview week day 4 – state legislative elections
- Supreme Court of the United States enters summer recess
- Six candidates seek Republican nomination for governor of Michigan
Preview week day 4 – state legislative elections
Eighty-eight of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers are holding regularly-scheduled elections on Nov. 8, representing 6,166—84%—of the country’s 7,383 state legislative seats.
As of July 1, Republicans controlled 54% of all state legislative seats nationwide, including those not up for election in 2022, while Democrats held 44%.
Republicans hold majorities in 55 chambers holding elections this year, while Democrats control 32. One chamber—the Alaska House—is controlled by a multipartisan power-sharing coalition.
Based on information from 34 states analyzed to date, there are more open state legislative seats this year than at any point in the past decade. Roughly 24% of all state legislative seats up for election—1,048—are open, meaning no incumbents filed and guaranteeing those seats to newcomers.
Additionally, based on filing deadline data, 44% of state legislative seats are effectively guaranteed to one of the two major parties. This is because 1,948 seats lack major party competition, meaning either no Democrats or no Republicans filed to run.
By party, 14% of seats are guaranteed to Democrats, and 30% are guaranteed to Republicans, with the remaining 57% of seats contested by both major parties across the 34 states where Ballotpedia has gathered data.
The most recent chambers to switch party control among those holding elections this year are New Hampshire’s Senate and House, both of which switched from Democratic to Republican control in 2020. These were the only chambers to switch party control during that election.
In 2018, the most recent midterm election, Democrats won control of six chambers, and the Alaska House switched to a multipartisan power-sharing agreement.
The table below shows the 15 chambers holding elections this year that switched party control twice or more between 2010 and 2020.
The 2022 election cycle is the first midterm election during Joe Biden’s (D) presidency. Historically, the president’s party loses state legislative seats during the first midterm. Since 1922, only two presidents—Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) in 1934 and George W. Bush (R) in 2002—saw their parties gain seats during the first midterm election.
On average, under Democratic presidencies, the party loses an average of 388 state legislative seats during the first midterm. Under Republican presidencies, the party loses an average of 345 seats.
Supreme Court of the United States enters summer recess
The Supreme Court of the United States went on summer recess on June 30, 2022, following the release of its final two opinions in argued cases for the term.
Overall, the court agreed to hear arguments in 68 cases during its 2021-2022 term and issued rulings in 66 cases. Three cases were decided without argument. Four cases were dismissed, and one case was removed from the argument calendar.
The 2021-2022 term also marked Associate Justice Stephen Breyer’s final term as an active justice. Breyer assumed senior status on June 30. His successor, Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, was commissioned to the court on April 8, 2022, and was sworn in on June 30.
Opinions breakdown in brief
During the 2021-2022 term, the court issued 10 total 5-4 opinions and 11 total 8-1 opinions. The court reversed lower court rulings in 43 cases. One case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson (2022), was affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded back to the lower court for further proceedings. Twelve cases were reversed, and 30 cases were reversed and remanded.
- 2020-2021 term:
- 5-4 opinions: 8
- 8-1 opinions: 4 (7-1), 6
- Reversals: Collins v. Yellen (Consolidated with Yellen v. Collins) (2021) affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded; seven reversed; 24 reversed and remanded
- 2019-2020 term:
- 5-4 opinions: 14 (including USAID v. Alliance for Open Society International, which was decided in a 5-3 ruling)
- 8-1 opinions: 6
- Reversals: 6 reversed, 15 reversed and remanded
- 2018-2019 term:
- 5-4 opinions: 21 (including Gundy v. United States and Madison v. Alabama, which were decided in 5-3 rulings)
- 8-1 opinions: 2
- Reversals: Department of Commerce v. New York (2019) affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded; Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck (2019) and Rimini Street Inc. v. Oracle USA Inc. (2019) reversed in part and remanded; 23 reversed and remanded
- 2017-2018 term:
- Chief Justice Roberts’ first term as Chief Justice (2005-2006):
- 5-4 opinions: 11
Between 2007 and 2020, SCOTUS released opinions in 1,062 cases, averaging between 70 and 90 cases per year. Be sure to check back in August when updates to Ballotpedia’s end-of-term statistics are published.
Six candidates seek Republican nomination for governor of Michigan
Earlier this week, we looked at the 36 states holding elections for governor this year, including 12 states where we identified the general election for governor as a battleground race. Today, we’re taking a look at a primary in one of those states.
Six candidates are running in the Republican primary for governor of Michigan. Four candidates—Tudor Dixon, Ryan Kelley, Kevin Rinke, and Garrett Soldano—lead in fundraising and polling. The winner of the primary will face incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the November general election.
Dixon is a former news anchor for America’s Voice News. Dixon called herself “the visionary and clear policy leader in the Republican field,” saying she would “rebuild and grow the economy, stop the indoctrination of our school children, … [and] apply common-sense reforms to Michigan’s elections.”
Kelley owns a real estate investment firm. Kelley said, “We have God-given rights, not government granted privileges,” adding that he would “protect and defend those rights from an overreaching federal government,” and referring to Whitmer as a “radical left wing dictator.”
Rinke owned and operated a group of car dealerships in the Detroit area. Rinke highlighted his business experience, saying he would “get the government out of the way, eliminate regulations, lower costs and let businesses do what they do best: create good paying jobs for our communities.”
Soldano is a chiropractor and co-founder of Stand Up Michigan, a group opposed to the state’s coronavirus policies. Soldano said he was standing up for Michigan and “running to be your voice and return our government to We the People,” listing integrity, transparency, and freedom as three key points of his campaign.
Ralph Rebandt is also running in the primary.
Five candidates did not qualify for the Republican primary ballot following a May 23 report from the state Bureau of Elections that found 36 petition circulators had forged an estimated 68,000 signatures across multiple campaigns’ sets of nominating petitions, including those of the affected gubernatorial candidates. One of those candidates—former Detroit Police Chief James Craig—is running as a write-in in the primary.
Whitmer was first elected in 2018, defeating then-state Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) 53% to 47%. The race was open as incumbent Rick Snyder (R) was term-limited. Whitmer faced two other candidates in the Democratic primary, winning with 52% of the vote. Schuette faced three other candidates in the Republican primary, winning with 51% of the vote. None of the four Republicans who ran for governor in 2018 are running again this year.