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October 08, 2021
President Biden has failed to live up to his promise to progressives to be a climate president. U.S. emissions continue to rise. Last week, 23 unique plant and animal species were declared extinct. A catastrophic pipeline oil spill in California is actively killing fish, birds, and wetland ecosystems. And in violation of treaty rights that are constitutionally the supreme law of the land, Biden allowed Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline to become operational on October 1, which will add emissions equivalent to 50 new coal-fired power plants and will inevitably spill. Biden is standing in support while water protectors are violently arrested and the Anishinaabe peoples living in the path of the project are terrorized and abused.
August 24, 2021
Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar's Record Inspires No Confidence As She's Nominated To Permanent Role
Earlier this month, Biden nominated Elizabeth Prelogar for the position of Solicitor General. Prelogar, who has served as Acting Solicitor General since January, was an expected choice – her nomination was met with little more than a shrug of acquiescence and lingering questions about why the position had gone unfilled for so long. Despite Prelogar’s long history of working within the Department of Justice, her recent stint at the corporate BigLaw firm Cooley LLP and many of the decisions she made as Acting Solicitor General raise troubling questions about conflicts of interest and her commitment to fighting hard for the public interest.
August 19, 2021
Trump DOJ Official’s Plot To Undermine 2020 Election Sheds New Light On The “Neutrality” Of Corporate BigLaw Attorneys
Here at the Revolving Door Project, we’ve been very loud about the damaging impact of BigLaw on the executive branch and the myth of corporate BigLaw attorneys as neutral arbiters of laws involving their own clients and bottom lines. Recent revelations about former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark and his role in the attempts to undermine the 2020 election have further underscored the absurdity of these arguments, calling into question the continued influence of corporate BigLaw in the Biden Administration.
August 05, 2021 | Talking Points Memo
We have no shortage of information about how historically bad an Attorney General William Barr was. His tenure was marked by attacks on LGBTQ rights, immigrants, and peaceful protestors. His overt politicization of the investigations into Russian interference in the election, the Mueller report, and Roger Stone’s sentencing are well-documented, and in a continuing headache for the Biden Administration’s DOJ, Barr’s Justice Department’s intervened to protect Trump against E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against him just two months before the election. And yet, as we saw this week following revelations that his DOJ declined to prosecute Commerce Department officials for lying about the provenance of the Census citizenship question, what we know merely scratches the surface.
July 16, 2021
Rumors that Delaware Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) has had a hand in nominating the new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director are extremely worrisome given Coons’ coziness with the Big Pharma industry and willingness to vote against his own party to benefit large corporations. Coons has a long record of proposing and passing legislation (often with far-right Republicans) to benefit Big Pharma companies, at the expense of consumers and small businesses. While harmful to the general public, Coons’ legislation has directly benefited his family’s medical device manufacturer, enriching himself. His record and blatant disregard for consumer welfare should exclude him from any conversations about executive branch personnel.
July 14, 2021
The Biden Administration has a historic opportunity to reverse the executive branch’s long-standing war on whistleblowers, and end the all-too-common (and sadly bipartisan) practice of villainizing whistleblowers and leakers to avoid accountability for government wrongdoing revealed by these actors.
July 07, 2021
There is no delicate way to put it: Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has been a striking failure so far. More than 10 percent of the way through this presidential term, Attorney General Merrick Garland has failed to remove Trump holdovers; is treating Trump as a completely typical president and refusing to prosecute his many crimes; is not reversing dangerous Trump-era legal positions; and is freely allowing corporate capture of his department.
Garland’s disappointing tenure is detrimental to progressive plans for many issues — criminal justice, police violence, labor rights, immigration, antitrust, and white collar crime prosecution, among others — but his potential to wreak havoc on necessary climate action is most staggering considering the existential stakes.
July 05, 2021 | The New Republic
Last month, ProPublica published a jaw-dropping look into the IRS data of well-known billionaires, revealing their meager effective tax rates in detail. The disclosures were met with shock and anger. After all, how could Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg, and George Soros go years without paying federal income taxes? And how could this possibly be legal? The article, the first in a series from ProPublica, renewed public cries that billionaires should, in fact, pay their fair share.
May 13, 2021 | The American Prospect
Progressives have generally seen Gary Gensler, the newly confirmed chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as a loyal advocate for the public interest. His tenure at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) was one of the few bright spots in Barack Obama’s financial regulatory regime. But in April, Gensler named Alex Oh to be his director of enforcement, before she resigned a week later amid negative media attention. Before joining the SEC, Oh had directly facilitated an ExxonMobil executive’s obstinate deposition testimony (reportedly read off an attorney-drafted script) in the face of plaintiff objections—and the case itself centered on accusations of torture, rape, and murder by ExxonMobil-hired guards in an Indonesian village.
April 28, 2021
Last week, SEC Commissioner Gary Gensler named corporate BigLaw partner Alex Oh as Director of Enforcement of the SEC. Oh’s nomination, especially in an agency tasked with holding Big Banks accountable, is deeply concerning given her history working for some of the worst corporate influences. Oh, who has served as a partner at the BigLaw firm Paul Weiss since 2004, has taken on clients with direct conflicts of interest including Big Banks, fossil fuel companies, and Big Pharma.
April 23, 2021 | The American Prospect
The Biden administration is divided over whether to waive trade protections for Big Pharma—with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo as a key industry ally.
April 21, 2021
The Education Department controls almost every aspect of regulating for-profits, from certifying the accrediting agencies to the enforcement of student protections like the gainful employment rule and the borrower defense rule.
April 16, 2021
Despite pushback from progressives, Ricchetti has continued to hold a powerful advisory position in the Biden White House. His background in corporate lobbying and strong ties to the pharmaceutical industry are deeply troubling signs as the Biden Administration faces enormously consequential decisions about how to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 23, 2021
Revolver Spotlight: Jonathan Su
His work for Latham & Watkins included representing a high-profile convicted sex offender, a Republican Senator who profitted off the COVID-19 pandemic while deceiving the public, and a pharmaceutical company that created an artificial shortage of life-saving medicine.