Abortion

Democratic Women in Congress Launch Campaign to Recruit More Female Candidates
Elect Democratic Women would raise money for pro-choice women in potential swing districts

Lois Frankel, D-Fla, center, shown here with, from left, Reps. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,  will chair a new organization geared toward recruiting pro-choice Democratic women to run for office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A group of female Democratic lawmakers launched an effort Thursday to recruit pro-choice women to run for office, a campaign they tied to efforts to peg 2018 as the second “Year of the Woman.”

Elect Democratic Women will be chaired by Florida Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel and raise money for female candidates within the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees “Red to Blue” program, which seeks to identify and funnel support to candidates with a strong shot of unseating Republican incumbents.

As Trump Waffles, House Republicans Confident They’ll Avert Shutdown
Still president, conservatives wary of GOP leaders’ government funding strategy

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, is confident there will not be a government shutdown despite President Donald Trump’s mixed signals on the matter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans prepare a legislative strategy with President Donald Trump seemingly on board, only for the president to catch them off guard with a last-minute tweet suggesting his opposition to the plan.

That scenario has played out a few times this year as lawmakers debated immigration and appropriations bills. And it could realistically happen again next week as Congress plans to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown that Trump has already signaled he might force.

Kavanaugh Is Already Reshaping the Supreme Court
As Trump’s pick defends himself, justices will meet behind closed doors

Nominee Brett Kavanaugh will be on the justices’ minds as they meet to set the agenda for the Supreme Court’s coming term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

On the same day the Senate Judiciary Committee plans a televised hearing on a sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the eight current members of the high court will meet behind closed doors to discuss which new cases to hear.

The confluence of those events set for Monday underscores how the high-profile political fight over Kavanaugh’s nomination will also color the public perception of the Supreme Court, and could prompt the justices to steer clear of more controversial cases in the coming term that starts in October.

EMILY’s List to Spend $37 Million in 2018 Cycle
Pro-abortion rights group is looking to play in roughly 30 House races

EMILY’s List trained thousands of women looking to run for office, many of whom were energized by the Women’s March in 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 4:04 p.m. | EMILY’s List, a group that backs female Democrats who support abortion rights, said it expects to spend more than $37 million this election cycle, which includes the $14 million it already spent in Democratic primaries. 

Stephanie Schriock, the president of EMILY’s List, told reporters in a briefing Monday that the group plans to play in more than 30 House districts to help Democrats net the 23 seats needed to win a chamber majority. 

Republicans Face Critical Moment With Kavanaugh
Allegation against Supreme Court nominee heaps cultural importance on what senators do

Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh meets with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Judiciary Committee, in July. Graham said on Sunday that he is willing to hear Kavanaugh’s accuser, but said that should happen “immediately.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS: President Donald Trump’s pick for a pivotal spot on the Supreme Court already put the Senate at the confluence of the nation’s contentious political and legal movements.  But a woman’s allegation of sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh  — dating back decades to when he was a teenager — heaps cultural importance as well on what senators do at this moment.

Senators, particularly Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Republicans who have relentlessly insisted on a confirmation vote this month, now have to decide what to do amid a “Me Too” movement that has exposed how these types of allegations have been hidden, mishandled or simply ignored by powerful men in the past. 

Kavanaugh Set to Advance Amid Democratic Objections
Supreme Court nominee mostly evasive in follow-up answers to Judiciary panel

Brett Kavanaugh, nominee to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, is on track for a Judiciary Committee vote next week. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to hold a committee vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh at a specific time, 1:45 p.m., on Sept. 20. The vote was 11-10 along party lines over the objections of committee Democrats who said it would prematurely cut off debate.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee still had a lot of questions for Kavanaugh after last week’s confirmation hearing — they asked more than 1,200 written follow-up queries. But the nominee didn’t provide many revealing answers late Wednesday when he turned in 263 pages of responses in which he tried to provide more thoughts on one of the more dramatic moments of his confirmation hearing, brush aside questions about his finances, and clean up answers about abortion, his independence from political pressure and other topics.

New Light on Dark Money Found in Study From Bipartisan Group
Explosion of secret donations to campaigns largely comes from handful of insider groups

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fl., and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., hold a news conference to announce efforts to crack down on out-of-control campaign spending. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The explosion of so-called “dark money” in political campaigns can be largely traced to spending from 15 groups, according to a study released Wednesday by a non-partisan watchdog group.

The analysis by Issue One is the first attempt to catalog the influential and secretive spending by labor unions, corporations, mega-donors and other special interest groups flooding the American political system in the years since the landmark 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. Such a task is notoriously difficult because the organizations behind such spending are not legally required to disclose the sources of their money.

Kavanaugh Witnesses Frame Upcoming Confirmation Debate
As Senate starts home stretch toward confirmation vote, divergent portrait painted

Jackson Corbin testifies about his reliance on affordable healthcare on the fourth day of Brett Kavanaugh's hearing before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building Friday Sept. 7, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

As the Senate continues its processing of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it does so in the shadow of the last day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing, with strikingly different depictions of the appeals court judge on display.

Democrats brought a series of emotional witnesses to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday to sound more warnings about what Kavanaugh would mean for the country’s legal landscape, while witnesses invited by Republicans gave straightforward descriptions of an appeals court judge with the credentials to join the high court.

3 Takeaways From Brett Kavanaugh’s Testimony
Americans ‘rightly’ will have ‘dimmer view of the Senate,’ Graham says

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies Wednesday before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh spent two days jousting with Senate Democrats over his views on executive power and abortion rights. But he appeared mindful that his top job was to keep all 51 Republican senators firmly in his corner.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee rarely flustered the 12-year veteran of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and by midday Thursday several complimented his knowledge of the law and character. Republican Judiciary members began Thursday in a huddle called by Chairman Charles E. Grassley and spent the second day of questioning refuting Democrats’ criticisms of the nominee and defending him.

Advertising Arms Race in Maine Over Brett Kavanaugh
NARAL ups the ante with new half-million-dollar buy

Brett Kavanaugh adjusts his nameplate as he takes his seat for day three of his confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Thursday morning, Sept. 6, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A political advertising war related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has broken out in Maine over abortion, aiming to influence the vote of its senior senator, Republican Susan Collins.

It comes after the circulation of “committee confidential” documents in which Democrats throw cold water on Kavanaugh’s statements about what he has maintained is his respect for precedent when it comes to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that established a right to abortion.