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May 11, 2021

Ella Fanger

Blog Post

Department of JusticeImmigration

Garland's DOJ Needs To Prioritize Fixing Our Broken Immigration Court System

Two recent pieces from The Hill and the New York Times have called much-needed attention to the dismal state of immigration courts in this country. Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice (DOJ), which oversees the immigration court system, has thus far failed to root out white supremacy and adequately staff the system, leaving hundreds of thousands of migrants in precarious legal–and physical–positions.

May 07, 2021

Henry Burke

Blog Post

Criminal JusticeDepartment of JusticeGovernment Capacity

The DOJ's Civil Rights Division is Perilously Unstaffed, Slowing Biden Goals on Police Oversight and Reform

Throughout the 2020 campaign, in the wake of nationwide protests over the murder of George Floyd and other unarmed black people by police officers, Joe Biden committed himself to reforming law enforcement and combating police violence. But significant challenges loom in Biden’s quest for police reform. The federal government’s role in state and local law enforcement agencies is limited, and Biden’s ability to shepherd police reform legislation through Congress will be hampered by Republican opposition and disinclined moderate Democrats. Despite these obstacles, however, Biden is not powerless to make strides towards his campaign goals. Through his Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, he holds a significant power over local policing.

May 07, 2021

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Independent Agencies

100 Days in Independent Agency Nominations

Biden has accomplished a great deal in his first 100 days in office. Millions have been vaccinated, relief measures have been passed to address ongoing economic pain, and important portions of Trump’s agenda have been reversed. Yet, despite the scale of these accomplishments, the Biden administration is still far from having maximized its potential impact, particularly when it comes to executive branch power.

May 05, 2021

Max Moran

Blog Post

Executive BranchFinancial RegulationRevolving Door

Bust Up Corruption And Protect The Public: Clean House At The PCAOB

When there actually are odious, greedy bad guys stuffed away in a back-room scheming, it’s pretty good politics to bust it up and take credit for doing so. Just such a racket is happening right now in an obscure corner of the executive branch, and all it would take to end it is some muscle from the President and one of his most-praised appointees.

April 28, 2021

Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionClimateFinancial Regulation

Revolver Spotlight: Alex Oh

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 28, 2021

Dorothy Slater

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionClimateFinancial Regulation

SEC's New Enforcement Director, Alex Oh, Is Bad News For Climate

Progressives and climate activists were initially heartened by the prospect of Gary Gensler at the helm of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the regulatory powerhouse responsible for regulating coordinating stock trading. And some of Gensler’s initial staffing decisions also inspired plaudits. However, we were shocked when SEC Chairman Gensler announced last week he would appoint veteran Wall Street defense lawyer Alex Oh to lead the SEC’s powerful enforcement division. This appointment is an absolute rejection of progressive values, not to mention climate reality.

April 27, 2021

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionCriminal JusticeDepartment of Justice

Questions for Joe Biden and Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice

Amid a transition season of bruising battles between progressives and the old guard over Biden’s Cabinet picks, Merrick Garland for Attorney General was one choice that sparked relatively little controversy. Three months into Biden’s presidency, however, Garland is quickly shaping up to be the most consequentially bad Cabinet pick. On any number of important metrics — sweeping out holdovers from the Trump administration and reversing its positions, preventing corporate capture, and acting aggressively to advance the public interest — Garland is failing.

April 27, 2021

Timi Iwayemi

Blog Post

Financial RegulationFintech

The Longer Trump’s Acting Comptroller Stays, The More Damage He’ll Do

Under Otting and Brooks’ leadership, the OCC rolled out rules contrary to its responsibility to maintain a federal banking system that is safe against systemic risks and provides aid to all customers. Now they’re all out of power — but Acting Comptroller, Blake Paulson, whose ascent was ensured by Brooks and Mnuchin, has demonstrated no desire to change course from the path set by Trump’s lackeys. That is why Biden needs to act quickly and appoint a Comptroller who recognizes the dangerous precedent set by the Trump administration.