Supreme Court

Karen Handel Proves Third Time’s the Charm
Georgia Republican heads to Congress after 2 losing bids for higher office

Karen Handel gives her victory speech to supporters in Atlanta on Tuesday, as her husband Steve Handel looks on. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Republican Karen Handel comes to Congress after a 28-year career with a diverse portfolio of public- and private-sector jobs ranging from overseeing elections as Georgia’s secretary of state to heading the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to serving as the vice president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which supports breast cancer research.

Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff 52 percent to 48 percent in Tuesday’s 6th District special election runoff to replace former Rep. Tom Price, who vacated the seat to become secretary of Health and Human Services.

In Ralph Norman, Trump Gets a Strong Ally
Incoming South Carolina congressman gives president an A-plus

South Carolina Rep.-elect Ralph Norman won on his second attempt for the 5th District seat. (Courtesy Ralph Norman for Congress)

Republican Ralph Norman, a developer of hotels, shopping centers, and retail stores, won a House seat 11 years after his first unsuccessful bid for the same South Carolina seat in 2006.

In Tuesday’s 5th District special election to replace former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who resigned from the House to become head of the Office of Management and Budget, Norman defeated Democrat Archie Parnell, a former Goldman Sachs executive and tax lawyer by an unexpectedly close 51 percent to 48 percent margin.

Republican Ralph Norman Wins Close Race in South Carolina
GOP winner likely to join House Freedom Caucus

Republican Ralph Norman won the special election in South Carolina’s 5th District (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Ralph Norman had a good birthday Tuesday night, winning the special election to fill South Carolina’s 5th District seat, albeit by a closer-than-expected margin.

Norman defeated Democrat Archie Parnell 51 percent to 48 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. 

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Partisan Redistricting
Wisconsin case challenges politically motivated gerrymandering

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the Wisconsin redistricting case in October. (Courtesy Phil Roeder/Flickr CC BY 2.0)

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear arguments in a Wisconsin case about partisan redistricting and gerrymandering, taking on a longstanding question that could change the way states draw congressional and legislative districts.

The justices have never fully answered when partisan gerrymanders — or maps that benefit one political party to the detriment of another — could be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court hasn’t weighed in on the issue in more than a decade and could be sharply divided.

League of Women Voters Files Pennsylvania Redistricting Lawsuit
Plaintiffs say case is about “one of the greatest threats to American democracy”

Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan’s district was named in the lawsuit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that the Keystone State’s congressional map was illegally drawn.

“This case is about one of the greatest threats to American democracy today: partisan gerrymandering,” the plaintiffs, which include the group and several voters, wrote in their complaint.

James Hodgkinson Had Been Frequent Critic of GOP
66-year-old Illinois man identified as shooter at Republicans’ baseball practice

In this undated file photo, James Hodgkinson holds a sign during a protest outside of a United States Post Office in Belleville, Ill. Hodgkinson has been identified as the suspect in the Wednesday, June 14, 2017, Washington D.C. shooting. (Derik Holtmann/Belleville News-Democrat via AP)

James T. Hodgkinson, who wounded five people at Republicans’ congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning before later dying at a local hospital, had been critical of the Republican party.

Hodgkinson, 66, was from Belleville, Illinois, a town outside St. Louis represented by GOP Rep. Mike Bost. The two-term member is not on the baseball team.

Word on the Hill: Mai Tais Flowing on the Hill
LOC movie series lineup announced

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono prepare to sample Spam musubi at last year’s Taste of Hawaii. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The fourth annual Hawaii on the Hill begins today. The itinerary includes the Taste of Hawaii reception this evening, hosted by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii.

It’s a 21+ event, which means guests can enjoy mai tais from Koloa Rum, beer from Maui Brewing Company, and food from the 69 different companies showcased. If you received tickets beforehand, you can get in an hour early. General admission opens at 6 p.m. in Russell’s Kennedy Caucus Room.

Appeals Court Upholds Block on Trump’s Travel Ban
Administration seeks to bar foreign travelers from 6 Muslim-majority nations

Demonstrators rally for and against the Trump administration’s first travel ban in Los Angeles on Jan. 29. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld Monday a nationwide block on the Trump administration’s revised travel ban, a decision that adds to the executive order’s legal setbacks as the Supreme Court considers a similar ruling from another federal appeals court.

Travelers From Six Muslim Countries Drop Without Travel Ban
U.S. also sees marked decline in admission of Syrian refugees

Demonstrators rally in Los Angeles on Feb. 4 in support of a judge’s restraining order against President Donald Trump’s first temporary travel ban. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

Even though President Donald Trump’s travel ban has run afoul of the courts, the number of visas issued to people from six majority-Muslim countries targeted by the executive order appears to be slowing down dramatically.

Separately, refugee resettlement in the U.S. from February through May has also plummeted, according to CQ Roll Call’s review of data released by the State Department.

McConnell Basks in GOP Victory on Courts
Senate leader looking forward to reshaping federal judiciary

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell flashes a thumbs up on April 6 after the Senate invoked the so-called nuclear option that allowed Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed by a simple majority vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that the current vacancies in the U.S. court system will allow President Donald Trump to have the longest impact on the future of the country and vowed to continue to push through his nominees, regardless of any opposition from Democrats.

The comments delivered to the Faith and Freedom Coalition at its conference in Washington are likely to rile Democrats, who blasted the Kentucky Republican last year for refusing to allow even a single hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.