Advocacy/Legislative Update 10.2.20

First Presidential Debate

President Trump and Vice President Biden had the first Presidential Debate of 2020 and it was…..not great. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News appeared to be babysitting at times when the two candidates both tried to speak over one another.  Name-calling, family bashing, price-gouging, with a hint of racism mixed in.  Story here and another here.

President Trump Nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett

The Senate will begin the process of vetting Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Judge Coney Barrett currently sits on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which spans Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. She was nominated to the post in 2017.  Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings on October 12th, but Senate Minority Whip Durbin (D-IL) said that Senate Democrats will not be able “to stop the outcome.” Story here.

President Trump’s Tax Returns

A NY Times investigation into President Trump’s taxes shed new light on his finances. The picture painted by the article shows that the President has lost millions of millions of dollars. The NY Times report that “records show that [President Trump] depends more and more on making money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict of interest with his job as president.” It also reveals that President Trump paid $0 in federal taxes in 11 of the past 18 years and only paid $750 in 2016 and 2017. The takeaways from the investigation can be found here.  

Constitutional Law Lesson of the Day – Unprecedented Election Procedures

There is a growing fear that neither President Trump or Vice President Biden will win an outright Electoral College victory in November. Much of the fear is driven by concern that certain states may try to attack the legitimacy of mail-in ballots and refuse to certify the election. If this occurs, it would send the fate of the presidency to the House of Representatives to decide. Under that scenario, every state’s delegation gets a single vote. Right now, Republicans control 26 delegations to Democrats’ 22, with Pennsylvania tied and Michigan a 7-6 plurality for Democrats.

In a letter yesterday to House Democrats, Speaker Pelosi urged them to consider whether the House might be pulled into deciding who is president when determining where to focus resources on winning seats in November. The focus on Electoral College unknowns could lead to more concerted efforts by Democrats to win in states such as Montana and Alaska — typically Republican turf but where Democrats have been competitive statewide. In these states, Democratic victories could flip an entire delegation with a single upset House victory.

State News:

National News: