Welcome to the Wednesday, March 22, Brew.
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Biden issues first veto of his presidency
- Voters in El Paso, Texas, to decide on a charter amendment to require the city to consider climate change
- Robe & Gavel—your one-stop shop for SCOTUS and other judicial news
Biden issues first veto of his presidency
On March 20, President Joe Biden (D) vetoed the first legislation of his presidency, sending a measure back to Congress that would have prohibited retirement account managers from using certain environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors to inform investment decisions.
ESG refers to an approach to investing and corporate decision-making. Organizations and investors apply ESG analysis in different ways, including basing investments on a company’s values and looking at the broader social and economic effects from investment and divestment.
If you’d like to learn more about the political and economic debates around ESG, subscribe to Economy and Society, our weekly newsletter that delivers news and information on the growing intersection of business and politics. In the March 21 edition, we explore the various responses to Biden’s veto from across the political spectrum.
The House of Representatives approved the resolution 216-204 on Feb. 28, 2023, with 215 Republicans and one Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine), voting yes. The Senate approved it 50-46 on March 1, with 48 Republicans and two Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), voting yes.
Congress can override a presidential veto with a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers.
Presidents have issued 2,585 vetoes in American history, and Congress has overridden 112. President Franklin D. Roosevelt vetoed 635 bills, the most of any president. Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Q. Adams, William H. Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, and James A. Garfield did not issue any vetoes.
Dating back to 1981, President Ronald Reagan (R) issued the most vetoes with 87. Biden has issued the fewest, followed by President Donald Trump (R) with nine.
Click below to learn more about Biden’s presidential vetoes.
Voters in El Paso, Texas, to decide on a charter amendment to require the city to consider climate change
On May 6, El Paso voters will vote on Proposition K, a charter amendment that would declare the following goals for the city: “first, to reduce the City’s contribution to climate change; second, to invest in an environmentally sustainable future; and third, to advance the cause of climate justice.”
Among other things, the charter amendment would also:
- Require El Paso to use energy generated by renewable sources (defined as “energy generated without burning carbon or releasing greenhouse gasses”), with a goal of 100% by 2045;
- Prohibit fees and fines “that limit the purchase, use, or generation of renewable energy;”
- Create the appointed position of Climate Director, who would be charged with fulfilling the amendment’s goals, creating an annual Solar Power Generation Plan, producing a climate impact statement for proposals before the El Paso City Council, and leading a new Climate Department;
- Direct the City Manager and Climate Director to collaborate on creating climate jobs, defined as jobs that help meet the amendment’s goals, and creating a Climate Disaster Mitigation and Preparedness Plan
In July 2022, organizers for Sunrise El Paso and Ground Game Texas submitted 36,360 signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. El Paso city officials verified that more than 20,000 valid signatures were submitted on Nov. 11, 2022, and qualified the initiative for the ballot.
Sunrise El Paso said in a statement, “We are working to bring green jobs to El Paso, build solar power, conserve water and protect its quality, address pollution head-on in our communities, fight against environmental racism and inequity, encourage a municipalized electric utility, and so much more through this people-led initiative.”
Opponents to the amendment include the El Paso Chamber of Commerce, El Paso Electric, and Borderplex Alliance.
El Paso Electric said, “While we share the same goals of an environmentally sustainable future for our region, we are embedding and evaluating all possible technology and generation to achieve these goals. We believe the (climate charter) proposition is too limited and does not include the wide array of customer solutions and technology to affordably achieve the agreed upon goals.”
El Paso is the country’s 22nd-largest city by population. Voters will also decide on 10 other charter amendments on May 6. Read more about Proposition K at the link below.
Robe & Gavel—your one-stop shop for SCOTUS and other judicial news
The federal judiciary includes nearly 1,770 judgeships authorized across 209 courts.
Robe & Gavel, our newsletter about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and other judicial happenings around the U.S, just dropped with its most recent issue yesterday. In each edition, we bring you informed analysis about the cases SCOTUS has agreed to hear and the opinions it has issued, as well as news about retirements, nominations, and important rulings coming out of other federal courts.
Here’s some of what we’re covering:
- A new case SCOTUS recently agreed to hear: Great Lakes Insurance SE v. Raiders Retreat Realty Co., LLC concerns federal admiralty law and choice of law clauses in contracts relating to sea vessels. The case originated from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
- The four cases SCOTUS will hear over the next week.
- The five judicial nominees the U.S. Senate has confirmed since March 7.
- Federal judicial vacancy numbers and historical context
Click the link below to subscribe and stay up to date on important federal judicial news. As we like to say, we #SCOTUS and you can, too!