Sheldon Whitehouse Profile picture
U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, the Ocean State. Chairman of @SenateBudget.
🇺🇦🇺🇲☕️Coffee&Robots🤖🌊🇺🇦🇺🇲 Profile picture Ken Tancrous Ⓥ 🌱 eDo Profile picture Oy Vey Profile picture Leslie Jaszczak ( Profile picture 90 subscribed
Feb 23 4 tweets 1 min read
It is the business model of the fossil fuel industry to push the costs of its pollution and mess onto the public, allowing it to underprice cheap clean energy.… It’s not just bad economics; it’s a lethal prescription costing us trillions of dollars (per Deloitte and IMF, not greenies).
Feb 21 13 tweets 3 min read
Judicial fact-finding. What could possibly be more boring?

Right, a law review article. Well, not so fast.

This captured Supreme Court specializes in phony fact-finding, a new thing for the Court. My new law review article examines that. 🧵 Start with a simple principle: appellate courts don’t find facts; trial courts find facts. So the Supreme Court’s fact-finding is weird, even if they weren’t making up false facts.

Why is it the general rule that trial courts find facts?
Feb 14 28 tweets 4 min read
Trump seems to be counting on the three justices he “chose” for appointment to the Supreme Court to get him out of trouble. But did Trump really choose them? Or was Trump the chump, in someone else’s game? Let’s have a look. The justices were supposedly appointed from a “Federalist Society list” that Trump announced, saying that was the “gold standard.” But the Federalist Society has never shown the public, or admitted the existence of, any record of any report, or agenda item, or vote, on any list.
Feb 14 4 tweets 1 min read
And if you’re wondering what happened in the wee hours this morning, in this the last of three clotures, we decided to “call the question” when they ran out of speakers. In the previous two clotures, as a show of respect and for maximum comity, we let them have the whole thirty hours without needing to be constantly speaking.
Feb 12 6 tweets 1 min read
Remember this was Thomas’s third questionable case: the January 6 investigation case; the Arizona election interference case; and now the Colorado insurrection case.… His wife’s documented role in the insurrection suggests he should have recused in all three.
Feb 12 13 tweets 2 min read
If you’re sitting around wondering what is happening in the Senate, (a) you need to get a life, and (b) here’s a handy-dandy overview. We begin with the rule that spending measures have to originate in the House, so to start a bill like our Ukraine funding measure in the Senate you need to bring a House-passed measure to the Senate Floor. The first step is to proceed to that House-passed measure.
Jan 21 4 tweets 1 min read
In Loper arguments, Kavanaugh suggested the danger of the Chevron precedent is “aggressive assertions of unilateral executive power.” Excuse me? Congressional Review Act? Appropriations process? Legislative committee oversight? Even impeachment? Oh, and judicial review under APA.…
Jan 9 4 tweets 1 min read
Climate change drives Florida Republicans to “Socialist Model” as its property insurance market circles the drain? Wow. Look out.… Florida insurance prices sky-high and climbing; insurers leaving and going bust; state-backed insurer may not have enough reserves for major storm. Ingredients are in place for an insurance meltdown.
Nov 16, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
Let’s take a look at some of the tweaks the Supreme Court made to the lower courts’ code of conduct. Swapping out “judge” for “justice” makes perfect sense, but a few of these edits ought to raise eyebrows.

Here’s the “no ratting out your colleagues” switch: Image Note here the addition of “knowingly.” Image
Nov 13, 2023 7 tweets 2 min read
The question is enforcement: where do you file a complaint; who reviews it; how does fact finding occur; who compares what happened to what’s allowed? 

That’s where the rubber hits the road. 🧵 Image For instance, justices are supposed to recuse from cases where they have a personal interest, but Thomas has never been asked about his wife’s 1/6 role or what he knew.
Nov 9, 2023 5 tweets 1 min read
“As Mr. Trump criticized the court, Mr. Leo with the Federalist Society is said to have told associates he was disappointed that the former president’s rhetoric made his judicial appointment record look ‘transactional,’ aimed at advancing Mr. Trump’s personal interests….” Let’s consider “transactional”: Kochs hated Trump, Trump hated Kochs; then came Trump’s public “Federalist Society list” for the Supreme Court; then came peace between House of Koch and House of Trump. Is that a transaction?…
Oct 23, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
The number one goal of the right-wing fossil-fuel billionaires who captured the Court is to break the public’s power to regulate things like pollution.… The Court has obediently followed their lead, importing ideas cooked up in billionaire-funded doctrine factories into U.S. law.

They get their directions from flotillas of billionaire-funded right-wing “amici” who file coordinated briefs at the Court.
Sep 25, 2023 10 tweets 1 min read
Here’s the right-wing billionaire “care-and-feeding-of-FedSoc-justices” count so far: 1. Harlan Crow to Clarence Thomas: “Undisclosed yacht and jet travel 1.0” in 2011 followed by “undisclosed yacht and jet travel 2.0” earlier this year; multiple vacations and gifts to Thomas family.
Sep 25, 2023 6 tweets 1 min read
The U.S. is far behind the E.U. on reducing plastics contamination because U.S. fossil fuel interests hold such sway with the Republican Party, so fossil fuel (including plastics) interests can come arrogantly to U.S. politics like they own the place — because they do. It’s sad.…
Sep 22, 2023 9 tweets 2 min read
Oh, my.

More undisclosed private jet travel, more fingerprints of the billionaire-funded Court fixer Leonard Leo, more engagement with billionaire-funded organizations scheming to influence the Court.… Always the same little circle; always the Chosen Ones on the Court.
Sep 11, 2023 8 tweets 1 min read
I’m amazed that more observers have not made the connection between the recent Alito scandals.

Scandal One was Alito receiving undisclosed gifts of travel and entertainment from a right-wing billionaire whose firm has had cases before the Court. Scandal Two was Alito offering (on the WSJ editorial page) his opinion on a legal matter that may come before the Court. How do the two connect?
Sep 7, 2023 16 tweets 3 min read
Justice Thomas’s additional disclosure filings, and the combative partisan lawyers’ letter that accompanied the filing, raise two major unanswered issues: One is why things that we know Thomas received were not disclosed in amendments to the relevant years’ filings. The lawyers assert that there was a recent change in the rules, suggesting that Thomas’s filings before the change were compliant at the time and require no amendment.
Aug 31, 2023 14 tweets 2 min read
Buried in Thomas’s lawyers’ overheated partisan rhetoric lie two key assertions: one, that “new guidance … revised reporting requirements”; and two, that his failures weren’t “willful.” These are highly contestable and significant, but largely unsupported, assertions. They matter.
Aug 31, 2023 8 tweets 1 min read
Here’s how you corrupt a country using the Supreme Court: first — obviously — you get a bunch of your friends on to the Supreme Court (whole separate scheme how that was done). Then you get your friends on the Supreme Court to allow unlimited amounts of your special interest money into politics to buy unlimited political influence (Citizens United).
Aug 18, 2023 7 tweets 1 min read
Oil industry attorneys argue that “lawsuits are a distraction and will do little to address climate change.”

Let’s look at a little history. Just like the tobacco industry, the fossil fuel industry has engaged in a pattern of deliberate deceit and denial of the harms associated with its product. Even some of the same groups and industry hacks participated!
Aug 10, 2023 6 tweets 1 min read
Behaving like it’s a climate emergency is more important than declaring a climate emergency. Here’s my checklist: 1. Implement the IRA effectively. Seems to be going pretty well; Podesta knowledgeable and experienced; Zaidi working hard.

2. Crack down on the big methane leaks. Task force announced; pace and effectiveness TBD — but at least a start.