Latest stories

President Trump to nominate Eugene Scalia to lead U.S. Department of Labor

President Trump announced on July 18, 2019, that he would pick lawyer Eugene Scalia to replace Alexander Acosta as secretary of labor. Scalia is son of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and was responsible for all Labor Department litigation and legal advice on rulemakings and administrative law during George W. Bush’s presidency.
 
According to his law firm biography, Eugene Scalia also served as special assistant to U.S. Attorney General William Barr from 1992 to 1993 and has written over 20 articles and papers on labor and employment law and constitutional law.
 


Gillibrand calls for excise and carbon taxes to address climate change

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

July 25, 2019: Kirsten Gillibrand introduced a $10 trillion climate change proposal. Five Democrats will speak at a presidential forum hosted by the National Urban League.        

Daily Presidential News Briefing - Poll One (July 9 - 18)

Daily Presidential News Briefing - Poll Two (July 9 - 18)

Notable Quote of the Day

“Self-funded candidates have had mixed track records. Political scientist Jennifer Steen look at success rates of self-funders in congressional races in her 2006 book, Self-Financed Candidates in Congressional Elections.

She found that, on average, candidates’ odds of winning actually decreased as they spent more on their campaigns, even among candidates who had political experience.

A prominent counterexample, of course, is President Donald Trump, who gave $66 million to his 2016 campaign, though he also raised an additional $130 million from individual donors.
But in 2018, 41 candidates ultimately self-funded to the tune of at least $1 million. Only nine of them won.

Many of the candidates who rely on self-funding are, like Trump, wealthy political outsiders. For them, personal money is a useful buoy until donors begin to take their campaign seriously. Candidates who self-fund typically list their personal contributions as loans to their campaign, though many never raise enough from donors to pay themselves back. Given their poor electoral chances, self-funders also run the risk of losing big in more ways than one.”

– Jessica Piper, Center for Responsive Politics

Democrats

  • Joe BidenCory BookerJohn DelaneyAmy Klobuchar, and Tim Ryan will speak at a presidential forum Thursday hosted by the National Urban League in Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Bill de Blasio said he supported forming a commission to examine reparations for black Americans affected by slavery.
  • Booker and Beto O’Rourke held campaign events in Flint, Michigan, following appearances at the NAACP national convention.
  • Steve Bullock wrote an op-ed in Sioux City Journal on Social Security, Medicare, and pharmaceutical costs.
  • Pete Buttigieg discussed his military service in the final episode of the Reclaiming Patriotism podcast. He also attended at least two fundraisers in the Bay Area in California Wednesday.
  • Julián Castro spoke about decertifying police officers involved in shootings of unarmed civilians and Ben Carson’s performance as secretary of housing and urban development in an interview on The Clay Cane Show.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand introduced a $10 trillion climate change proposal Thursday. Gillibrand called for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, an excise tax on fossil fuel production, and a $52 per metric ton carbon tax, among other policies.  
  • Michael Kempner, who helped raise more than $3 million for Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign as a bundler, will host a fundraiser for Kamala Harris in August.
  • John Hickenlooper will campaign Thursday in Sigourney, Iowa. 
  • Seth Moulton introduced the Automatic Listening and Exploitation Act, which would allow the FTC to penalize companies whose smart devices record user conversations without prompting.
  • In a newly released plan on racial inequality in educationO’Rourke called for increasing diversity among educators, ending disparities in disciplinary actions, and offering student debt relief for teachers.
  • Bernie Sanders released a plan to increase the number of black healthcare professionals, which includes expanding the National Health Service Corps and related programs in underserved areas; increasing the number of nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants; and canceling student debt.
  • Joe Sestak will meet with the Des Moines Register editorial board Thursday.
  • Tom Steyer posted a digital ad calling on Nancy Pelosi to cancel the upcoming congressional recess and conduct oversight of Trump.
  • Marianne Williamson tweeted she opposed the Mauna Kea telescope project in Hawaii.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump vetoed three joint resolutions that would have prohibited certain arms sales in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Italy.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: July 25, 2015

The New York Times profiled Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and ground game in Iowa.



The Daily Brew: Checking in on the PredictIt presidential race market

Today’s Brew highlights the prices for the presidential nominees on PredictIt as of yesterday + summarizes mid-year fundraising by each party’s campaign committees  
The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Thursday, July 25, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Trump (R), Harris (D) lead PredictIt markets for their respective party’s presidential nomination
  2. Republican and Democratic national party committees have raised over $300 million through June
  3. Know students interested in interning with us? Let’s connect!

Trump (R), Harris (D) lead PredictIt markets for their respective party’s presidential nomination

Kamala Harris led the Democratic primary for president as of yesterday afternoon according to PredictIt, an online political futures market in which users purchase shares relating to the outcome of political events using real money. Last election cycle we partnered with PredictIt to share their information with our readers. Throughout the 2020 cycle, we’re bringing Ballotpedia readers periodic updates on what we’re learning from PredictIt.

Ballotpedia is tracking PredictIt markets relating to the 2020 presidential election, including the general election and Democratic and Republican primaries. Here’s a crash course in how PredictIt’s market works:

  • PredictIt has established markets that correspond to real-world events, such as elections.

  • Investors can buy shares in those markets reflecting a particular outcome, such as whether a candidate will win an election. 

  • The price of a share in each contract rises and falls based on market demand.

  • An investor makes money if more and more people also believe that the same outcome will occur, causing the price of the shares he or she owns to increase. 

  • In election markets, the higher the current price of the contract that corresponds to a particular candidate, the more likely the market believes that candidate will win.

Services such as PredictIt are also being used to gain insight into trends over the lifetime of an election and the event’s probable outcome. 

In the Democratic primary market, only five candidates were priced at 10 cents or more as of July 24—Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Biden, Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg. As of the same time, Donald Trump was priced at 89 cents per contract. Here is a screenshot of the pricing for the Democratic presidential nominee market as of yesterday afternoon:

Predict It Widget 

PredictIt has also created markets to allow people to invest in which candidate will win the Democratic caucus or primary in four early presidential contests—Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. As of yesterday afternoon, Bernie Sanders was the favorite to win the New Hampshire primary and Joe Biden was the leading candidate in the other three states.

Click the link below for an overview of the PredictIt markets relating to the 2020 presidential election, including the general election, Democratic primary, and Republican primary.

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Checks and Balances


Republican and Democratic national party committees have raised over $300 million through June  

The Republican National Committee (RNC) outraised the Democratic National Committee (DNC) by more than 2-to-1 for the third straight month, according to July filings with the Federal Election Commission. Republicans led in national and Senatorial committee fundraising while Democrats led in House committee fundraising.

Democrats and Republicans each have three major party committees—a national committee, one dedicated to U.S. Senate elections, and one dedicated to U.S. House elections. National party committees plan their presidential nominating conventions, promote the party’s platform, and raise funds to support candidates for all offices. Each party’s Senate and House campaign committees are dedicated to electing members to their respective bodies through recruiting candidates and providing campaign and financial support.  

The table below shows each committee’s receipts, disbursements, cash on hand, and debts owed through the end of June 2019: 

Party fundraising 

These six committees have raised a combined $310.1 million from January 1 to June 30 for the 2020 election cycle. The three Republican committees raised $176.3 million and the Democratic ones have raised $133.8 million.

Know students interested in interning with us? Let’s connect!

Are you a college or university professor with undergraduate or graduate students passionate about politics, communications, or technology? If so, we want to connect with them for our Fall 2019 internship program.

Our interns assist in a variety of duties on our Editorial, Communications, Tech, or Outreach teams. They’ll learn how to publish content on Ballotpedia, learn about all we do to prevent and detect bias in our resources, and work alongside current staff members.

All interns are paid and work remotely and Ballotpedia is also happy to facilitate credit for internship experience. Our Fall 2019 internship program will run from Monday, August 26 through Friday, December 13. Interns will work approximately 20 hours per week depending on their availability.  

Help spread the word about Ballotpedia’s Fall Internship Program! Students can apply and find more information at the link below.

 

 



Trump to collect citizenship information through executive order instead of 2020 census

The Checks and Balances Letter delivers news and information from Ballotpedia’s Administrative State Project, including pivotal actions at the federal and state levels related to the separation of powers, due process and the rule of law.

This edition:

In this edition, we review President Donald Trump’s (R) move to acquire citizenship information after federal judges blocked administration efforts to add citizenship status to the 2020 census; an upcoming United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) case challenging the Trump administration’s efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; and a recent SCOTUS ruling that both upheld and limited Auerdeference.

At the state level, we highlight a new Indiana law that moves the state’s administrative law judges (ALJs) from agency control to a centralized panel, as well as a ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court upholding the state’s regulatory reform. We also present The Wall Street Journal’s interview with Judge Andrew Oldham of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on his forthcoming paper examining the Anti-Federalists’ prescience on the rise of the administrative state.

As always, we wrap up with our Regulatory Tally, which features information about the 174 proposed rules and 262 final rules added to the Federal Register in June and OIRA’s regulatory review activity.

The Checks and Balances Letter

Key readings.jpg

In Washington

Trump to collect citizenship information through executive order instead of 2020 census

What’s the story? President Trump announced on July 11, 2019, that his administration would cease efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. census and instead direct federal agencies through executive order to provide the information to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross approved the citizenship question for the 2020 U.S. census as necessary to improve enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The proposed question would have asked, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?”
The citizenship question was blocked by three federal district court judges on grounds that it violated the Constitution’s Enumeration Clause and the Census Act, and that the administration failed to follow proper procedure.
By a vote of 5-4, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the legality of a citizenship question on the census but effectively barred the administration from including it by remanding the case, Department of Commerce v. New York, to the agency for review.
The ruling invoked precedent from Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe (1971) to evaluate agency decisions beyond the scope of the administrative record.
The dissenting justices argued that the exception opens a new legal avenue for challengers to contest administrative actions based solely on alleged pretextual reasoning by agency decision-makers outside of the administrative record.
Want to go deeper?

SCOTUS agrees to decide whether administrative procedures must be followed to eliminate improperly issued rules

What’s the story? The United States Supreme Court will determine whether the Trump administration can end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program through a memorandum rather than rulemaking procedures after it granted certiorari on June 28 in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California.
The case could clarify whether federal agencies must follow the Administrative Procedure Act’s (APA) rulemaking procedures to end programs that were created without following APA procedures. Oral argument is scheduled for November 12, 2019.
The Obama administration created DACA in 2012 to prevent the deportation of young people who were unlawfully brought into the country as children. The program was established through a memorandum rather than APA rulemaking procedures.
The Trump administration on September 5, 2017, rescinded DACA, arguing that the program was unlawful because the Obama administration failed to follow APA rulemaking procedures.
Regents of the University of California sued the administration for failing to follow the APA in rescinding the program.
DHS argued, in part, that the decision to end DACA was exempt from APA rulemaking because it was improperly created.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California barred the administration from rescinding DACA. The administration appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
Want to go deeper?

SCOTUS upholds and limits Auer deference

What’s the story? The United States Supreme Court on June 26 unanimously (with concurring opinions) upheld Auerdeference—the practice of federal courts deferring to administrative agencies’ interpretations of ambiguous regulations. However, the ruling also limited application of the principle.
The opinion written by Justice Kagan set the following parameters for Auer deference:
  • 1. Auer deference applies only when a regulation is ambiguous. Courts must first consider the text, structure, history, and purpose of a regulation before deferring to an agency’s reasonable interpretation.
  • 2. Whether the reasonable agency interpretation of a regulation is an authoritative or official position of the agency.
  • 3. Auer deference is only appropriate for regulatory matters that fall within agency expertise.
  • 4. An agency’s interpretation must be a “fair and considered judgment” that does not create unfair surprise for those subject to the regulation. Moreover, courts should not defer to agency interpretations that were only adopted in order to assist the agency in a lawsuit.
Justice Gorsuch authored a concurring opinion, joined by Justices Thomas, Alito, and Kavanaugh, that criticized the court for not invalidating Auer altogether, noting the court’s responsibility “to say what the law is and afford the people the neutral forum for their disputes that they expect and deserve.”
The case Kisor v. Wilkie involved a marine veteran who challenged a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) interpretation of a regulation that determined the effective date of retroactive disability benefits. The United States Supreme Court unanimously vacated and remanded the judgment of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which had failed to consider whether the VA’s regulation had more than one reasonable meaning. The court instructed the Federal Circuit to reconsider its application of Auer deference in the case.
Want to go deeper?

In the States

Indiana moves ALJ supervision to centralized panel

What’s the story? A new Indiana law shifted oversight of the state’s administrative law judges (ALJs) from state agency supervision to the Office of Administrative Law Proceedings (OALP), housed under the State Personnel Office.
Proponents of Senate Enrolled Act 1223 say that the change protects the independence of ALJs by removing them from agency control.
The OALP has the authority to hire and train ALJs, assign them to cases, and create and enforce a judicial code of conduct.
Eleven agencies have ALJ systems that are governed by separate statutes and, therefore, are exempt from the change.
Want to go deeper?

Wisconsin Supreme Court affirms state REINS Act

What’s the story? The Wisconsin Supreme Court on June 25 ruled 4-2 in Koschkee v. Taylor to affirm that the state’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI) must submit new rules to the governor for approval before they take effect.
Wisconsin’s Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, the first state-level REINS Act signed into law in August 2017 by Governor Scott Walker (R), requires state agencies to obtain gubernatorial approval for proposed regulations.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) sued former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers (D) and the DPI in November 2017 for allegedly violating the state REINS Act by failing to submit statements of scope for proposed rules to the State Department of Administration for approval.
Evers and DPI argued that the state superintendent is a constitutional office not subject to gubernatorial control under the REINS Act.
Koschkee v. Taylor affirmed that DPI exercises delegated legislative power when it promulgates rules and, therefore, its rulemaking activities are subject to control by the state legislature. By passing the REINS Act, the state legislature required DPI to obtain gubernatorial approval prior to promulgating new rules.
Want to go deeper?

How the Anti-Federalists foretold the rise of the administrative state

Judge Andrew Oldham of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit spoke to The Wall Street Journal for a July 3 article examining the Anti-Federalists’ views on the evolution of executive power. The Anti-Federalists, Oldham explained, were uneasy about far-reaching executive power. Oldham argues that, in many ways, the Anti-Federalists foresaw the development of the administrative state:

“Judge Oldham is impressed by the prescience of Anti-Federalist concerns ‘about the way executive power would evolve over time.’ In a forthcoming paper for the New York University Journal of Law & Liberty, he quotes the Anti-Federalist Cato (thought to be future Vice President George Clinton), who wrote that the presidency would ‘create a numerous train of dependents’ in the executive branch, so that the president would end up ‘surrounded by expectants and courtiers’—an aristocracy, which might be compared to today’s Washington elite.
“No one in the 18th century could predict the form the federal bureaucracy would take in the 20th century. Yet the Anti-Federalists’ concerns are telling. They worried about ‘the capaciousness of executive power,’ Judge Oldham says, comparing it to ‘the abuses of the past that they’d seen in England.’ The Federalists countered that the separation of powers would prevent any part of the new federal government from becoming too powerful. The legislative, executive and judicial branches were coequal and would check and balance one another.
“Yet in recent decades, as Christopher DeMuth has written, ‘Congress has delegated its lawmaking powers: voting by lopsided margins for goals such as clean air and equality of the sexes, while leaving the hard choices—the real legislating—to specialized executive-branch agencies.’ These administrative agencies not only make rules but enforce and adjudicate them—carrying out the functions of all three governmental branches with nary a check.”

Click here to read the full article.


Regulatory Tally

Federal Register

  • The Federal Register in June reached 31,170 pages. The number of pages at the end of each June during the Obama administration (2009-2016) averaged 37,979 pages.
  • The Federal Register included 174 proposed rules and 262 final rules during June 2019. The regulations included new car title loan regulations, restrictions on flights to Cuba, and updated international mail prices, among other rules.
Want to go deeper?

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)

OIRA’s June regulatory review activity included:
  • Review of 37 significant regulatory actions. Between 2009-2016, the Obama administration reviewed an average of 47 significant regulatory actions each June.
  • Recommended changes to 36 proposed rules.
  • Agencies withdrew one rule from the review process.
  • As of July 1, 2019, the OIRA website listed 125 regulatory actions under review.
Want to go deeper?


RNC raises twice as much as DNC for the third straight month

The Republican National Committee outraised the Democratic National Committee by more than 2-to-1 for the third straight month, according to July filings with the Federal Election Commission. Republicans led in national and Senatorial committee fundraising while Democrats led in House committee fundraising.
 
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $5.5 million and spent $3.8 million in July, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $5.7 million and spent $4.4 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the NRSC has raised 20.7% more than the DSCC ($34.6 million to $28.1 million).
 
On the House side, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $12.5 million and spent $4.2 million in July, while the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $9.0 million and spent $4.0 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the DCCC has raised 32.4% more than the NRCC ($61.7 million to $44.5 million).
 
The fundraising gap also widened among the two national committees. In July, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised $8.5 million and spent $7.5 million while the Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $20.8 million and spent $14.3 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC has raised 77.4% more than the DNC ($97.1 million to $42.9 million).
 
So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC have raised 28.2% more than the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC ($176.3 million to $132.7 million).
 


31 candidates file to run in New Hampshire’s largest school district

In New Hampshire, 31 candidates have filed to run for 14 seats on the Manchester School District school board. A primary is scheduled for September 17, and the general election is on November 5. The filing deadline for this election passed on July 19. The elections are nonpartisan.
 
Nine of 14 incumbents are running for re-election in 2019; in comparison, all 14 incumbents filed in 2017. Here’s who filed to run for each seat:
 
  • At-large: Carlos Gonzalez, Jason Hodgdon, Joseph Lachance, Gene Martin, James O’Connell, and Lara Quiroga are competing for the two at-large seats being vacated by incumbents Richard Girard and Patrick Long.
  • Ward 1: Amber Jodoin and James Porter are competing for the seat being vacated by incumbent Sarah Ambrogi.
  • Ward 2: Incumbent Kathleen Kelley Arnold is facing Sean Parr.
  • Ward 3: Incumbent Mary Ngwanda Georges is facing Karen Soule.
  • Ward 4: Incumbent Leslie Want is facing Mark Flanders.
  • Ward 5: Incumbent Lisa Freeman is facing Jeremy Dobson.
  • Ward 6: Incumbent Dan Bergeron is facing William Bergquist and Jon DiPietro.
  • Ward 7: Christopher Potter and William Shea are competing for the seat being vacated by incumbent Ross Terrio.
  • Ward 8: Incumbent Jimmy Lehoux is facing Peter Perich.
  • Ward 9: Incumbent Arthur Beaudry is facing Candace Moulton.
  • Ward 10: Incumbent John Avard is facing state Rep. Jane Beaulieu.
  • Ward 11: Brittany LeClear-Ping and Nicole Leapley are competing for the seat being vacated by incumbent Katie Desrochers.
  • Ward 12: Incumbent Kelley Anne Thomas is facing Andrew Toland.
 
The Manchester School District served 14,219 students during the 2016-2017 school year.
 


Nashville Metro Council elections draw 100 candidates

In Tennessee, the city of Nashville is holding nonpartisan general elections for mayor and all 41 metro council seats on August 1. The candidate filing deadline passed on May 16, and a runoff election is scheduled for September 12, if necessary. The runoff will only be held if an election occurs where no single candidate receives a majority of the vote.
 
The Nashville Metro Council’s 41 seats include 35 members elected by district and six members elected at large. One of the at-large members is the city’s vice-mayor, who is elected separately from the other at-large members.
 
The vice-mayoral election drew two candidates, incumbent Jim Shulman and challenger Robert Sawyers. The other 40 council races feature a total of 98 candidates, which includes 26 incumbents. Fourteen of the 35 district seats are open elections without an incumbent in the race, while all five at-large incumbents filed for re-election. In 2015, the Nashville Metro Council elections drew 113 candidates. This included 15 incumbents.
 
Nashville is the second-largest city in Tennessee and the 24th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 


De Blasio unveils first major policy proposal of presidential campaign

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

July 24, 2019: Bill de Blasio introduced the first major policy proposal of his campaign on workforce issues. Roughly half of the Democratic field will speak at the NAACP presidential forum in Detroit.


 Facebook Ad Spending (July 15-21)

Notable Quote of the Day

“No southerners are [on the debate stage], unless you count Texans Castro and O’Rourke or border state candidates Biden and Delaney, which I don’t.

So what?

Democrats are abandoning their most successful strategy for winning recent presidential elections: putting a southerner on the ticket. From 1964 until 2008, every victorious Democratic presidential candidate had a southern accent: Lyndon Johnson in 1964, Jimmy Carter in 1974, Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 and Al Gore, who won the popular vote in 2000.

Arguably, it happened again in 2016 when Hillary Clinton, with her deep Arkansas and southern connections, won the popular vote.”

– D.G. Martin, North Carolina Bookwatch host

Democrats

  • Joe BidenCory BookerPete ButtigiegJulián CastroJohn DelaneyKamala HarrisAmy KlobucharBeto O’RourkeBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warrenwill speak at the NAACP’s 2020 Presidential Candidates Forum in Detroit, Michigan, on Wednesday.

  • Michael Bennet appeared on an episode of Hacks on Tap with David Axelrod and Mike Murphy to discuss the state of the Democratic Party.

  • Biden campaigned in New Orleans, Louisiana, with stops at the Youth Empowerment Project and a fundraiser.

  • Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan endorsed Biden.

  • In an op-ed in BuzzFeed NewsBill de Blasio introduced the first major policy proposal of his campaign on workforce issues. He called for two weeks of paid time off for all workers, a national minimum wage of $15, and replacing at-will employment with a “just cause” termination policy.

  • Steve Bullock participated in a 2020 forum series hosted by women’s coworking space company The Riveter in Seattle, Washington.

  • In an interview on Outkick the Coverage with Clay TravisTulsi Gabbarddiscussed sports, the military, and the foreign policy credentials of other candidates.

  • John Hickenlooper wrote an op-ed in Fortune about entrepreneurship and tariffs. 

  • Jay Inslee talked about climate change solutions in an episode of Why Is This Happening with Chris Hayes.

  • O’Rourke discussed his cross-party appeal and Trump’s North Carolina rally in an interview on The View. His wife, Amy O’Rourke, also joined the interview, marking her first national appearance.

  • Tim Ryan talked sports and politics in an episode of Fired Up with Brad Jenkins.

  • Joe Sestak continued to campaign in Iowa, speaking with the Poweshiek County Democrats Tuesday night.

  • Warren introduced the Student Loan Debt Relief Act of 2019 with Rep. James E. Clyburn, which would cancel up to $50,000 of student debt for individuals with a household income of less than $100,000. Partial debt relief would be available for households earning more than $100,000 on a sliding scale.

  • Marianne Williamson spoke about criminal sentencing disparities, white-collar crime, and voter suppression at the NAACP national convention in Detroit, Michigan, on Tuesday.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump spoke at the Turning Point Teen Student Action Summit for conservative high school students.

  • Bill Weld will speak at the NAACP’s 2020 Presidential Candidates Forum in Detroit, Michigan, on Wednesday.

Flashback: July 24, 2015

The New York Times reported that government investigators found classified information on Hillary Clinton’s private email server. The Clinton campaign responded that any classified information found on the server would have been labeled classified after the fact.



Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: The longest-running trifecta

Today’s Brew identifies those states that have rarely seen recent changes in their trifecta status + announces our newest Learning Journey  
The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Wednesday, July 24, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. One state—Utah—has been a GOP trifecta since 1985
  2. Introducing our newest Learning Journey on deference
  3. Today! Our briefing on the Supreme Court and the administrative state

Utah has had 34 straight years of trifecta control – the longest active streak in the nation

As I’ve talked about often in the Brew, a state government trifecta describes when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both state legislative chambers. While most states have seen at least one change in their trifecta status within the last 20 years, five states—Nebraska, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah—have not had a trifecta change since at least 1999. In Utah, Republicans have controlled the governor’s office, House, and Senate since 1985.

Three more fast facts about trifectas:

  • Four states—Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, and New Hampshire— have seen their trifecta status change twice since 2014. Colorado and Illinois both went from having a Democratic trifecta to divided government in 2014 and back to a Democratic trifecta in 2018. Nevada went from a Republican trifecta to divided government in 2016 and to a Democratic trifecta in 2018. New Hampshire went from divided government to a Republican trifecta in 2016 and back to divided government in 2018.

  • Heading into the 2010 elections, there were 25 total trifectas—16 Democratic and nine Republican—in the United States.

  • There have been 62 trifecta changes since 2010.

In 2019, elections could determine the trifecta status of five states—Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia. Kentucky and Mississippi are Republican trifectas while New Jersey is a Democratic one. Louisiana and Virginia have a divided government, and in both states, Republicans control the legislature and Democrats the governorship.

There are currently 36 state government trifectas—14 Democratic and 22 Republican—and 14 states with divided government. The 14 states that are governed by Democratic trifectas include 34.4% of the U.S. population, and 41.9% of the U.S. population lives in the 22 states governed by Republican trifectas.

Trifectas

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Briefing: SCOTUS 2018-2019 term and the administrative state
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has issued rulings in the 69 cases the court heard this term, let’s look back on the rulings impacting the administrative state. 


Introducing our newest Learning Journey on deference 

We’re excited to debut our eighth Learning Journey. As a refresher, our Learning Journeys give you a series of daily emails with information, examples, and exercises to help you broaden your knowledge of U.S. government and politics and help you understand each aspect of a particular concept.

Our most recent journey is on judicial deference. In the context of administrative law, deference applies when a federal court yields to an agency’s interpretation of either a statute that Congress instructed the agency to administer or a regulation promulgated by the agency.

Our Learning Journey here is a 4-day overview of deference in the context of the administrative state. We cover the most commonly applied federal deference doctrines—including Chevron deference, Auer deference, and Skidmore deference—and examine the different approaches to deference in the states. Our journey also features leading support and opposition arguments from administrative law scholars, a look at the future of deference, and various reform proposals. Auer deference—which requires courts to accept an agency’s interpretation of its own ambiguous regulation—was the key principle considered in the Supreme Court’s review of Kisor v. Wilkie this past term.

Last week, we introduced a Learning Journey on judicial review, which refers to the power of courts to interpret the law and overturn any legislative or executive actions that are inconsistent with the law. The concept of judicial review dates back to the Supreme Court’s decision in Marbury v. Madison in 1803, which held that “a legislative act contrary to the constitution is not law.” Judicial review is a key concept in administrative law and deference is a principle of judicial review.

If you want to learn more about these principles, taking one of our Learning Journeys is a smart—and free—way to do so. Just click the link below to get started.

Our briefing on the Supreme Court and the administrative state is today

Later this morning I will be hosting a free Ballotpedia briefing looking back on the Supreme Court’s most recent term. We’ll provide an overview of the term just ended and look ahead to some of the cases and issues that are already on the docket for the 2019-20 term. And we’ll focus in particular on the Court’s rulings from last term that affect the administrative state, involving principles such as deference, judicial review, and the nondelegation doctrine.

We’ve just about wrapped up our preparations for today’s webinar, and I have to admit, I’m genuinely excited about the topics we’ll be discussing. These administrative law principles affect how our three branches of government—executive, judicial, and legislative—interact to shape public policy, and the discussion of these Supreme Court cases provide real-life examples of those principles in action.

The briefing starts at 11 am CST. I hope you can join us in a few hours for this very informative and interesting session. There are still spaces available—click the link below to reserve your spot. And if you cannot make it—signup and you’ll receive an email with the recording.

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One state has been under the same party’s trifecta control since 1985

A state government trifecta occurs when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both state legislative chambers. While most states have seen at least one change in their trifecta status within the last 20 years, five states—Nebraska, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah—have not had a trifecta change since at least 1999. In Utah, Republicans have controlled the governor’s office, House, and Senate since 1985.
 
There are currently 36 state government trifectas and 14 divided state governments. The 14 states that are governed by Democratic trifectas include 34.4% of the U.S. population, and 41.9% of the U.S. population lives in the 22 states governed by Republican trifectas.
 
In 2019, elections could determine the trifecta status of five states: Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia.
As of July 2019, we’ve ranked the trifecta vulnerability for each of these states as follows:
  • Kentucky: Somewhat vulnerable Republican trifecta
  • Louisiana: Slight possibility of a Republican trifecta forming, low possibility of a Democratic trifecta forming
  • Mississippi: Moderately vulnerable Republican trifecta
  • New Jersey: Non-vulnerable Democratic trifecta
  • Virginia: Moderate possibility of a Democratic trifecta forming, moderate possibility of remaining under divided government
Additional reading: