January 20, 2023
Donald Trump and his Department of Justice consistently made a mockery of the law throughout his four years in power. And while their laughable reasoning and indefensible positions were struck down at a historic rate, many cases were still waiting for Biden. The new administration tossed out a handful immediately but an alarming number remain, either in some form of pause or advancing forward with the Biden administration adopting Trump’s position.
January 20, 2023
Two Years into Biden Administration, the Government Maintains Trump-Era Legal Positions in Dozens of Cases
Midway through Biden’s term, the Biden administration continues to advance Trump-era legal positions in court, according to an update released today to the Revolving Door Project’s long-running litigation tracker.
August 31, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
The hyper-politicization of the Senate’s confirmation process, and the manipulation of the procedures by which it is governed, has led us to a dire moment in which Republican Senators have effectively given themselves the power to deny President Biden and the public a fully-staffed federal government. This iniquitous procedural politicking has stalled crucial agencies while denying Democrats rightful majorities at several independent agencies and the long-sought regulatory policies those majorities would bring.
August 24, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
“They keep thinking like lawyers without applying commonsense notions of right and wrong or trust and accountability,” POGO’s Walter Shaub commented Friday. “This administration is strong on the law and weak on commitment to the underlying aims of an ethics program.”
August 08, 2022 | Washington Monthly
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.
June 15, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
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 01, 2022
“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.”
May 16, 2022
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.
April 25, 2022
Nearly halfway through President Biden’s second year in office, with midterms on the horizon and senior staff either burning out or eager to sell out, “Transition 2.0” — the rapid departure of said senior staff with an influx of new personnel — is growing closer. One position we’re keeping a close eye on is Biden’s next Chief of Staff. Currently filled by Ron Klain, this is Biden’s de facto power broker. He helps the president make decisions and acts as a gatekeeper for the many, MANY forces, good and bad, who’d like to influence the president.
April 06, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Measured in positions still awaiting permanent appointments, the first presidential transition is still far from over. Of the 799 positions that the Partnership for Public Service included in its political appointee tracker, 117 still lack a nominee. An additional 161 are empty or being filled in an acting capacity as the nominees for them work their way through an ever more dysfunctional Senate confirmation process.
January 31, 2022 | The American Prospect
One former employee of the Office of Legal Counsel, upon quitting her job during the Trump presidency, described the OLC’s work to The Washington Post succinctly: “using the law to legitimize lies.” Three years later, and a year after Trump left office, most of those legitimized lies remain intact.
January 25, 2022 | Talking Points Memo
If you search for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Google, you’ll find an overwhelming majority of search results are for the Civil Rights Division. That’s unsurprising — the average person is typically more aware of the Civil Rights Division’s work. And it makes sense: As the “crown jewel” of the DOJ, the division performs the crucial work of enforcing the laws that prohibit discrimination.
January 20, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
It has now literally been a year since President Biden officially took office, yet Donald Trump’s legacy lives on across the federal landscape. Trump’s threat to governmental stability and Democratic policy priorities particularly endure in the bad-actor figures his administration installed in termed positions and within the federal bureaucracy.
December 08, 2021 | Talking Points Memo
Progressives, prison workers and prisoners are in agreement: the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Michael Carvajal, should be fired. The Bureau of Prisons is in a crisis several layers deep, and new leadership will be key to its reformation.
December 01, 2021 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
The end of Biden’s first year in office is fast approaching and the optimism that characterized its start is long gone. Supply chain problems, stalled legislation, a new COVID-19 variant, and nomination woes (both self-imposed and external) are all weighing on the collective national mood. Some are even starting to conclude that, regardless of what steps the administration takes in the coming year, Democrats are doomed to lose both houses of Congress next fall.