Department of Justice

August 10, 2023

Jeff Hauser

Press Release Department of JusticeGovernance

RELEASE: Biden Justice Department Self-Sabotages By Embracing Debt Ceiling

All last spring, as the looming threat of default swallowed up all the oxygen on the Hill, every other serious crisis demanding political attention played second fiddle to Republicans’ manufactured disaster. In May, President Biden said his “hope and intention” was to “find a rationale to take it to the courts to see whether or not the 14th Amendment is, in fact, something that would be able to stop it.” A lawsuit brought this May by 75,000 federal employees challenging the constitutionality of the debt limit offers just that opportunity. 

So why is the Justice Department actively fighting to get the case dismissed, likely limiting the federal government’s capacity to govern effectively?

August 02, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Andrea Beaty

Newsletter Anti-MonopolyCongressional OversightDepartment of JusticeFTCGovernment Capacity

Following Failed Hearing, Jim Jordan And Republicans Try New Tacks To Take Down Khan and Kanter

Two weeks ago, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan entered a House Judiciary  Committee hearing with a target on her back. In the leadup to the hearing, Republicans readied their trumped-up attacks against Khan and the agency she leads: a barely relevant memo from a conflicted ethics officer, a list of unfounded grievances from bitter former Commissioner Christine Wilson, and absurd defenses of Elon Musk’s lazy privacy practices at Twitter. But Khan emerged unscathed, and by the end, the Republicans had lost all their fire.

June 14, 2023

KJ Boyle

Newsletter Anti-MonopolyBigLawDepartment of JusticeFTCIndependent AgenciesRevolving Door

Christine Varney Made A Career Out Of An Agency She Now Deems Unconstitutional

Implicit in the worldview of these revolvers is the idea that corporations should be free to operate and acquire competitors with near impunity, therefore antitrust enforcement should be as narrowly tailored as possible. This is obviously problematic — we need regulators that believe in the government’s ability to take on corporations with outsized market influence — but Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s Christine Varney recently took things many steps further in her representation of the biotech company Illumina in its case against the FTC. Varney doesn’t just attack specific enforcement actions as unwarranted, but calls into question the constitutionality of the FTC’s authority to issue enforcement actions in the first place. 

May 22, 2023

Jeff Hauser

Press Release Department of JusticeEthics in Government

RELEASE: The Justice Department Should Not Defend The Legal Incoherence That Is The Debt Ceiling

On Friday, May 19, the National Association of Government Employees filed an emergency motion in their lawsuit against President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. NAGE urged the Massachusetts District Court to issue a preliminary injunction holding that the debt ceiling violates the separation of powers and Presentment Clause set forth in Articles I and II of the U.S. Constitution. 

May 09, 2023 | Common Dreams

KJ Boyle

Op-Ed Anti-MonopolyDepartment of JusticeFTCMedia Accountability

Not Every “Former Antitrust Official” Is a Neutral Expert

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and DOJ Antitrust Division have long served as an essential stop for antitrust experts looking to maximize opportunities, influence, and compensation at BigLaw firms and monopolistic corporations. By spending some time learning the ins and outs of government investigations and enforcement efforts, revolvers are seen by potential corporate employers to be better equipped to assist corporations in antitrust lawsuits against their former government employers.

May 03, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Department of JusticeExecutive BranchGovernment Capacity

On the Debt, Biden Has No Choice But To Make One

On Monday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen shortened the estimate of when the U.S. could default on its debt to as soon as June 1. We’re less than a month out from the so-called X-date: the day that the federal government runs out of cash. President Biden has invited House and Senate leadership to the White House to talk debt this coming Tuesday, with highly uncertain results. 

April 19, 2023

KJ Boyle Andrea Beaty Emma Marsano

Newsletter

Anti-MonopolyConsumer ProtectionDepartment of JusticeFTCGovernment CapacityIndependent Agencies

To Reverse Decades Of Neglect, Antitrust Agencies Need Robust Budgets

The FTC and the DOJ are still dealing with a deluge of corporate mergers, and still only have capabilities to challenge a handful of those actions each year. Restoring competition in the U.S. economy will require much more than slight increases in funding — these government agencies need monumental budgets to take on entrenched monopolies that have flourished with decades of lax enforcement.

April 18, 2023 | The New Republic

Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionClimate and EnvironmentDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentGovernanceRevolving Door

The Ghost of a Trump Appointee Is Haunting Merrick Garland’s Justice Department

Tracing Clark’s lingering impact on ongoing litigation makes clear that the legacy of Trump’s Justice Department still haunts our governance and that failing to treat his cronies like the menace they are is worsening outcomes across the country. In some cases, Attorney General Merrick Garland is still carrying forward with the arguments Clark helped shape. In others, the Justice Department and its client agencies are at a critical juncture of having to decide whether to break from past positions or maintain continuity with positions they adopted during the Trump administration.

April 14, 2023

Emma Marsano

Blog Post Climate and EnvironmentCriminal JusticeDepartment of JusticeGovernance

DOJ IN THE NEWS: Mid-April Trends

This is the latest installment of a new biweekly blog series from RDP. Every two weeks, we call out ongoing trends in media coverage of the Justice Department’s focus and priorities, giving context from our past DOJ oversight work as needed, with an eye to the impact of DOJ capacity and resources, as well as alignment with the Biden administration’s professed goals.

April 05, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Dylan Gyauch-Lewis Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Department of JusticeDepartment of TransportationFinancial RegulationGovernanceIndependent AgenciesRevolving Door

Several Flavors of Regulatory Failures

Until the Biden administration learns that they need to draw a sharp contrast with their predecessors and, generally, do a full 180, they will keep getting egg on their faces. And when the blame genuinely belongs to both the Trump and Biden administrations, warranted criticism of disastrous Republican deregulation is undermined.

April 03, 2023 | The American Prospect

Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed Climate and EnvironmentCorporate CrackdownDepartment of JusticeGovernance

The Chickenshit Club, Climate Edition

If we at the Revolving Door Project could exhort the Biden administration to do anything, it would be this: Choose the right enemies—rich, powerful corporations that harm the public, most often with impunity. Sometimes you will lose, but that doesn’t mean you should forfeit the fight. And getting caught trying can inspire the public to rally around a political party and its leaders.

March 24, 2023

Emma Marsano

Blog Post Anti-MonopolyCriminal JusticeDepartment of JusticeGovernance

DOJ IN THE NEWS: Mid-March Trends

This is the latest installment of a new biweekly blog series from RDP. Every two weeks, we call out ongoing trends in media coverage of the Justice Department’s focus and priorities, giving context from our past DOJ oversight work as needed, with an eye to the impact of DOJ capacity and resources, as well as alignment with the Biden administration’s professed goals.