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December 07, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Pipeline Permits, Border Walls, and the Nightmare at Red Hill
Simply put, we would ask for more rigor from the wonks who would like a say in how we redesign America’s energy systems. The challenge is massive, yes: to better serve more people with more efficient, less wasteful, less toxic energy infrastructure, while restraining the human footprint on the planet, so that other forms of life can also thrive. But it is also an energizing challenge, and eminently worthy of human effort. Any theory of climate change mitigation that is inflexible and unimaginative enough to involve bulldozing those who stand in its way is just another partial paradise, a green veil thrown over the same extractive relationships that got us here.
October 31, 2022
Congressional OversightDepartment of Homeland SecurityDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government
A Crisis Of (Un)Accountability: Amidst Profound Political Cruelty, Ethics Matter More Than Ever
The news was flooded in September with images, reports, and increasingly abhorrent context for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ trafficking of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard as a political stunt. DeSantis’ actions, and those of his aides, are of course potentially illegal, as was asserted by a Texas sheriff who opened a criminal investigation into the spectacle. This latest sadistic political posturing came at the cost of real people fleeing real persecution, but there is also a crucial piece of this awful puzzle that hasn’t been fully explored. Why did Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents, funded by federal dollars, allegedly forge documents for migrants knowing (even if the migrants themselves didn’t) that their flights were not destined for the locales DHS agents made their immigration proceedings beholden to?
September 28, 2022
Big Business Sues For Their Right To Be Bigots
“This lawsuit is simply about big business’ personal fear of and resentment toward Rohit Chopra.”
August 25, 2022 | Democracy Journal
Eleanor Eagan Hannah Story Brown
Department of JusticeEthics in GovernmentFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies
Enforcement: The Untapped Resource
Chronic underfunding means that the agencies with the most laudable missions—the ones seeking to protect ordinary Americans from profit-driven exploitation—often struggle to go up against powerful corporate interests. Strengthening funding for enforcement to protect Americans from environmental, health, consumer, and labor standards violations is an existing, easily justifiable tool for changing that balance of power.
August 19, 2022 | InsideSources
Open Letter to President Biden on Executive Gun Control Actions
Dear President Biden:
Since the horrific mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, nationwide calls for stronger gun control have intensified. On May 30, you told reporters that popular legislative proposals like an assault weapons ban and stricter background checks are up to Congress, saying, “I can’t dictate this stuff.”
August 08, 2022 | Washington Monthly
Why Is Merrick Garland Sticking with Donald Trump on Climate Lawsuits?
It started with Boulder in early February. Then came Baltimore and San Mateo in April. Now Honolulu and Maui are the latest municipalities to overcome a crucial legal hurdle in their fight to make fossil fuel companies pay for their role in climate change. After years of obstruction, it looks like state courts will hear arguments from these cities—as well as several states—that big energy companies knowingly concealed and misrepresented the harms of their products, contributing to climate damages these regions face. Five federal appeals courts have green-lit suing the fossil fuel giants in state court, where these state and local governments have a better chance of prevailing. The stakes are massive: requiring fossil fuel companies to foot the bill for climate change–related damages to U.S. cities and states could easily run into the tens of billions.
July 13, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Confirmation CrisisCorporate CrackdownDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government
Only Through Change Can We Save Our Institutions Now
So the rollercoaster ride continues, deep into the summer. Thankfully, while Congress is in session—and these next three weeks of negotiation are expected to be deeply consequential for the future of the clean energy transition—the Supreme Court is not. (Well, let’s hope they don’t abuse the “Shadow Docket” [pdf]). We shouldn’t have to hear from them again until the first Monday of October. But of course, after months of waiting with heightened anxiety for Dobbs v. Jackson, West Virginia v. EPA, and many other rulings to drop, the Supreme Court had to leave us with something new to worry over as they headed out the door for summer vacation: Moore v. Harper.
June 29, 2022
Biden Must Take On Refineries To Lower Gas Prices
Rising gas prices may not be a problem of the Biden administration’s making, but they are a problem it cannot afford to ignore. People across the country are feeling their effects, with some groups like gig workers and those in the trucking industry – which has seen an increase in layoffs as gas prices have risen – suffering more acutely. In the face of these difficult conditions, it is essential that the Biden administration take decisive action to ease the pain people are feeling right now and, in the medium-term, address the structural factors that created this crisis.
June 28, 2022
RELEASE: New Report Finds Extensive Revolving Door To Corporate Interests Undermines Robust Anti-Monopoly Enforcement
The Revolving Door Project published a new white paper, “The Revolving Door In Federal Antitrust Enforcement,” which presents new evidence of the extent and impact of the revolving door at both the leadership and staff levels between the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission and corporate-aligned entities.
June 15, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Justice Is Blind, and So Is Merrick Garland
Punch for punch, the debasement of Attorney General Merrick Garland is without historical correlate. The self-defeating adherence to ideological centrism (often indistinguishable from passivity in the face of elite resistance), paired with his masochistic devotion to the status quo, represents the kind of Blue Dog/New Dem totem that could have only emerged from a lab. Corporatist Democrats believed during the Obama years, as they do now, that through the ritual sacrifice of their Democratic ideals, they could resurrect the corpse of a forgotten age when left and right joined hands to strangle the everyday citizen. That union never happened after the GOP realized they could simply steamroll Democrats like Garland who refuse to open their eyes to the Conservative onslaught, even when it was punching them in the face.
June 14, 2022
DOJ Leaders With Actual Conflicts (Unlike Jonathan Kanter) Refuse to Recuse
The attempt to force Assistant Attorney General Kanter’s recusal has nothing to do with ethics and everything to do with the profit margins of Silicon Valley titans.
June 01, 2022
2020 Election/TransitionDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentIndependent Agencies
With Jan. 6 Public Hearings on the Horizon, Garland Must Deliver Actual Accountability
“From Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon, to George H.W. Bush’s pardons of the Iran-Contra scandal’s architects, to Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer’s acquiescence to the financial fraudsters who generated the Great Recession, America has seen a precipitous decline in equality under the law.”
June 01, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Biden's War Against Himself
If the unchecked blood letting, billowing inflation, foreign conflict, and typhoon of domestic Covid infection wasn’t enough to set Americans on edge the past week, a persistent high pitched whine–not unlike the kind projected outside 7/11s to deter listless teenage delinquents from Sacramento to Scranton–descended on the nation. It emanated not from a thoughtfully angled speaker system, but out of the oval office and into the pages of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News studios. Nonetheless, It has had a similar effect in driving young people away.
May 16, 2022
2020 Election/TransitionAdministrative LawDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government
Biden DOJ Is Still Advancing Trump Positions, New Data Shows
Well over a year after President Biden’s inauguration, his administration continues to defend and advance Trump-era legal positions, according to an updated analysis released by the Revolving Door Project today. RDP’s long-running litigation tracker, documenting court cases in which the Biden administration has inherited and chosen to advance Trump-era legal positions, has been brought up-to-date to include new instances where the legal advocacy of Merrick Garland’s Justice Department on environmental, immigration, education, and other issues runs counter to the administration’s commitments.
May 16, 2022
Coalition Urges DOJ to Grant Jonathan Kanter a Waiver to Lead on Google Cases
We write to you as a coalition of organizations committed to holding anti-competitive behavior accountable. As a decorated antitrust lawyer committed to the public interest, Jonathan S. Kanter has the background needed to be a strong Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ). We are thus alarmed that Mr. Kanter was barred from participating in DOJ scrutiny of Google while the DOJ determines whether to ask for his recusal at the behest of the embattled company. Accordingly, we urge the DOJ to provide Mr. Kanter with a waiver to allow him to participate in DOJ scrutiny of Google’s anti-competitive behavior.