Department of Justice

October 31, 2022

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post 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?

August 25, 2022 | Democracy Journal

Eleanor Eagan Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed 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

Max Moran Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed Department of JusticeEthics in GovernmentExecutive Branch

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

Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed 2020 Election/TransitionClimate and EnvironmentDepartment of JusticeIndependent Agencies

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

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Confirmations CrisisCorporate CrackdownDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentLarry Summers

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

Glenna Li

Blog Post Anti-MonopolyDepartment of JusticeExecutive BranchFTC

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

Andrea Beaty

Press Release Anti-MonopolyDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentFTC

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

Daniel Boguslaw

Newsletter

2020 Election/TransitionDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government

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 01, 2022

Jeff Hauser

Press Release 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

Daniel Boguslaw

Newsletter

Climate and EnvironmentDepartment of JusticeExecutive BranchIndependent Agencies

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

Hannah Story Brown

Press Release 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

Letter

Anti-MonopolyDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentTech

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.

May 11, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Anti-MonopolyClimate and EnvironmentDepartment of JusticeIndependent Agencies

Environmental Quality, Justice, Enforcement, Oh My!

Tuesday dawned with the unwelcome news that Antitrust Chief Jonathan Kanter has been indefinitely barred from working on the anti-monopoly case against Google while the Justice Department decides whether his past work representing Google’s critics should require his recusal. This, despite the fact that none of his past clients are parties in the Google case at issue.