Iowa Republicans complicit in Trump's fake national emergency

“Whatever a national emergency may be, that’s not it,” tweeted experienced Supreme Court litigator Neal Katyal, after President Donald Trump admitted during his February 15 press conference, “I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather do it much faster.”

The courts may stop Trump from using funds appropriated for other purposes to have the military build a wall along the southern border, which Congress has repeatedly declined to authorize. But the president’s warlord-like behavior can still do lasting harm to democratic institutions.

Iowa Republicans in Congress are either unconcerned about this “reckless disregard for the separation of powers” or cheering it on.

Continue Reading...

How one Democrat's work will let Iowa Republicans pack the courts

Republican lawmakers and Governor Kim Reynolds are poised to give GOP officials and their proxies control over what has been a mostly non-partisan system for choosing Iowa judges since 1962.

Until a couple of months ago, I didn’t realize the Republican trifecta could blow up our judicial selection process in a matter of weeks. The Iowa Constitution spells out how vacancies on the bench are filled, and altering any language in our state’s founding document takes years.

Unfortunately, a time bomb has lurked in Article V, Section 16 for more than five decades. While most elements of the system can be changed only through a constitutional amendment, the manner of forming judicial nominating commissions (half appointed by the governor, half elected by attorneys) is specified only “Until July 4, 1973, and thereafter unless otherwise provided by law.”

How did that language end up in the constitution? A Linn County Democrat offered a fateful amendment 60 years ago.

Continue Reading...

Iowa Congressional reaction to ending government shutdown

The federal government reopened as of 9:23 pm Eastern time on January 25. Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump retreated from his demand that any spending bill include money for a wall along the U.S. southern border.

Why cave now? For weeks, media around the country have been reporting on the hardship faced by some 800,000 federal workers and at least 1 million contractors going without pay. Trump changed course largely for two reasons: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied him permission to deliver a State of the Union address while the government was shut down, and several major east coast airports experienced delays on January 25 due to air traffic controller staff shortages.

Shortly after Trump announced his new position, the U.S. House and Senate approved by voice votes a continuing resolution to fund the government for three weeks. Congressional leaders and White House representatives will attempt to work out some kind of immigration compromise by February 15. The deal includes an extension and reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which expired near the beginning of the shutdown.

Continue Reading...

IA-04: Randy Feenstra to challenge Steve King; Rick Sanders thinking about it

Nine-term U.S. Representative Steve King will face at least one challenger in the 2020 Republican primary to represent Iowa’s fourth Congressional district.

State Senator Randy Feenstra announced his candidacy today, and Story County Supervisor Rick Sanders confirmed to Bleeding Heartland that he is seriously considering the race.

The moves are the clearest sign yet that Iowa’s GOP establishment is tired of King.

Continue Reading...

IA-04: Randy Feenstra to challenge Steve King; Rick Sanders thinking about it

Nine-term U.S. Representative Steve King will face at least one challenger in the 2020 Republican primary to represent Iowa’s fourth Congressional district.

State Senator Randy Feenstra announced his candidacy today, and Story County Supervisor Rick Sanders confirmed to Bleeding Heartland that he is seriously considering the race.

The moves are the clearest sign yet that Iowa’s GOP establishment is tired of King.

Continue Reading...
View More...