corporations

Kavanaugh Confirmation Fight Promises to Be Intense — and Expensive
Outside advocacy groups on both sides are already coming out swinging

President Donald Trump nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy at an announcement ceremony in the White House on Monday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Outside advocacy groups began making hefty down payments overnight in the multimillion-dollar fight over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, but the cash is unlikely to determine the fate of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The fierce fundraising appeals and grass-roots mobilization from both sides, including advertising buys in pivotal states, show the high stakes as senators prepare to weigh the potential successor to retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Analysis: Big Flashpoints in the Judicial Confirmation Wars
Filibusters, blockades and recriminations set stage for SCOTUS skirmishes

The refusal of Senate Republicans to consider Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland was one of the biggest flashpoints in the judicial confirmation wars. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Like any long war, the one over Supreme Court nominees can be defined by its bloodiest battles.

As Congress braces for a bruising high court confirmation fight, a few recent congressional episodes have provided ammunition for both sides in the contentious process of staffing the judicial branch of government. 

Josh Hawley Highlights Supreme Court in First TV Ad
Missouri Republican launches ad same day Trump will announce high court pick

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, left, here with Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., in Springfield in November 2016, is hoping to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., this fall. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images file photo)

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is focusing on the Supreme Court in the first television ad of his Senate campaign, a sign the upcoming confirmation debate will be central to the Republican’s bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill

Hawley’s ad will hit the airwaves Monday, the same day President Donald Trump will announce his pick to replace Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who announced his retirement last month. 

Opinion: Small Businesses Win Big With New Health Care Options
As premiums skyrocket, association health plans help level the playing field

The new rule expanding the use of association health plans is a simple solution to a big problem, Blunt write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For Kalena Bruce, a fifth-generation cattle farmer in Stockton, Missouri, finding affordable health coverage under Obamacare hasn’t been easy. She’s a young mom and business owner paying $700 a month in premiums alone, not to mention deductibles and copays.

That’s why she’s become an advocate for allowing more small businesses like hers to bring down their health care costs by pooling together. It’s an idea that’s worked for Missouri businesses for more than 15 years and will now be available nationwide thanks to the Trump administration’s new rule expanding access to association health plans, or AHPs.

Hawley Launches Website on McCaskill’s Supreme Court Votes
Missouri Republican is challenging McCaskill for Senate

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is running for re-election in a state President Donald Trump carried by 19 points. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Senate hopeful Josh Hawley is launching a new digital campaign to highlight Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s previous positions on Supreme Court nominees, as the latest high court vacancy shakes up competitive Senate races across the country.

new website by the Hawley campaign is highlighting McCaskill’s support for former President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees, with less than a week before President Donald Trump is expected to name a replacement for the retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. While Kennedy has often sided with the court’s conservative wing, he’s also been a pivotal swing vote on issues relating to abortion and same-sex marriage. 

Public Sector Union Clout May Suffer After Janus Case
As fee requirement falls, unions’ political influence could follow

Illinois state employee Mark Janus stands outside the Supreme Court after hearing the decision in Janus v. AFSCME. The court ruled in his favor, throwing doubt on the future of public sector unions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Public sector unions, a backbone of organized labor’s political and policy influence, likely will face serious belt-tightening that could ultimately diminish their staffing and clout after one of the most consequential decisions of the Supreme Court’s term held that unions can no longer impose fees on nonmembers.

Representatives for unions and their conservative foes alike say they plan to take up new publicity campaigns in the aftermath of the court’s decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Unions will promote the benefits of union membership while their opponents will highlight to workers that they need not pay the collective-bargaining fees any longer.

Crowley’s Defeat Spotlights Rising Anti-Corporate Money Message
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of dozens of Democratic candidates rejecting corporate PAC money

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley lost his primary in New York’s 14th District on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made rejecting corporate donations a centerpiece of her winning campaign to unseat a top House Democrat. But the message isn’t just resonating in liberal areas like New York City — it also worked for Conor Lamb

The Pennsylvania Democrat highlighted his pledge to reject corporate PAC money in his first television ad in the special election earlier this year, where he pulled off an upset in a district President Donald Trump carried by 20 points in 2016.

Opinion: The Numbers Tell the Story — Tax Cuts Work
Recent economic data run counter to the media and Democrats‘ narrative

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, here with Republican lawmakers unveiling the GOP tax plan last September, says Americans have gone from asking “Where are the jobs?” to asking “Where are more workers?” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last October, not long before passage of the Republican tax cuts, Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” argued over taxes with his guest, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

“There has been no study that has been able to somehow reinforce this idea that tax cuts do translate to economic growth,” the NBC host said.

Opinion: A New Climate of Realism Emerges in Energy Debate
Progressives and conservatives must embrace ideas and partners they’ve shunned before

The North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Virginia. Non-carbon sources of energy, including nuclear, must be fully embraced if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change, Grumet writes. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

Two mainstay and false arguments of the climate debate — “It’s all a hoax” and “Renewable energy alone can save us” — are beginning to lose steam.

In place of the scientific, engineering and economic denial that has marred the last two decades of debate, a new coalition that acknowledges the growing risks of climate change and embraces a broader set of solutions is emerging. Whether the motivation here is the slow drip of evidence, the destabilizing effect of careening federal policy, or simply exhaustion, a new climate of realism is gaining adherents in industry, among advocates, and on Capitol Hill. For this movement to take hold, progressives and conservatives must both embrace ideas and partners they’ve doubted or shunned in the past.

Wall Street Regulator Coddles Big Banks but Clobbers Small Firms
Lenient treatment from the SEC leaves misconduct unchecked

Protesters call for higher taxes on big banks in 2012. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images file photo)

JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest financial services firm, has paid $28 billion to settle cases brought by federal agencies in the past 10 years, most of them related to the 2008 financial crisis.

Yet the massive fines extracted from banks like JPMorgan for their role in the Wall Street meltdown have done little to deter other types of misconduct in the decade since, and one reason is lenient treatment from the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to our analysis of SEC enforcement records with a Georgetown University law professor.