Matt Cartwright

Federal Courts Make Changes in Response to #MeToo Movement
Judicial branch is creating more informal ways to file complaints

James Duff, left, and John Lungstrum testify before the House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday. (Courtesy Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts)

A federal court official said Wednesday that a main barrier to reporting sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct in the judicial branch is the “formality of our complaint process,” as well as employees misunderstanding confidentiality provisions in ethics rules and being unaware of protections against retaliation.

James Duff, director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the courts will create more informal ways to file complaints. The judiciary will also take extra steps to educate employees and law clerks about protections against retaliation for reporting misconduct, Duff said. The courts have already revised their confidentiality provisions, he added.

New Pennsylvania Map, New Pennsylvania House Ratings
Six races shift in Democrats’ direction, two in GOP’s favor

Under the new lines, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s district shifted from one carried narrowly by President Donald Trump to one carried narrowly by Hillary Clinton. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If you’ve been wondering what political handicapping is like in a redistricting cycle — or it’s been long enough for you to forget — the Pennsylvania Supreme Court offered a good reminder.

With newly drawn districts, misplaced incumbents and new district numbers, confusion is inevitable. But the bottom line for Pennsylvania is that Democrats had a half-dozen takeover opportunities with the old map and they have a half-dozen takeover opportunities with the new map, although they have a distinctly better chance at gaining those seats.

Supreme Court Denies Request to Halt Pennsylvania Redistricting
Current map was thrown out on partisan gerrymandering grounds

Supreme Court justices have denied a Republican request to halt a redrawing of congressional districts in Pennsylvania. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Pennsylvania state lawmakers to halt a redrawing of congressional districts for the 2018 primary and general elections. The state’s Supreme Court had thrown out the current map last month, ruling that it was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

The decision means Pennsylvania will have a new congressional map for the upcoming midterm elections. The primaries are scheduled for May 15.

NRCC Launches Digital Ads Targeting Democrats After Shutdown
Facebook ads take aim at 10 Democrats

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack, center, is a target of the NRCC’s new post-shutdown ads. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee wants to make sure Democrats don’t forget the three-day government shutdown. The group launched digital ads Tuesday that target 10 House Democratic members.

The ads, which will run on Facebook for one week, are part of a “five-figure buy,” according to details provided first to Roll Call. Five of the Democratic targets represent districts that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

At the Races: Senate Challengers — One In, One Out
Our weekly newsletter with the latest on House and Senate races

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter. We want to hear what you think. Email attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings and sign up for the newsletter here. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

NRCC Targets Democrats on Tax Overhaul in New Digital Ads
Republicans see taxes as a potent campaign issue

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolanis one of the Democrats targeted in the latest NRCC ads. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee is launching new digital ads targeting Democrats who voted against the tax overhaul that passed the House on Thursday. No members of the minority party voted for the legislation.

The 15-second videos, provided first to Roll Call, will start running on Facebook on Friday and target 25 House Democrats. The NRCC ad buy was described as “five figures” and the ads will run online for a week.

Congressional Funding an Issue for the 2020 Census
GAO includes it on ‘high-risk list’ of programs facing peril

In this photo provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, tabulators in Washington record the information from the more than 120,000 enumerators who gathered data for the 1940 U.S. Census. (AP/National Archives and Records Administration File Photo)

The United States Census Bureau is facing a host of challenges with 2020 on the horizon, from budget shortfalls and cost overruns to a shakeup atop the agency — the sudden resignation of Director John H. Thompson in June. There’s apprehension among some groups that President Donald Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration could depress participation, though questions are not asked about immigration status.

It all adds up to one central fear: a census that falls short of an accurate count of the population. The data from that decennial survey is used to map congressional districts, inform policymaking and steer billions of dollars in government resources where they’re needed.

House Challengers Find Fundraising Success Outside Their Districts
Eleven Democrats have raised nearly all their money from other parts of their states — and beyond

Democrat Bryan Caforio is challenging Republican Rep. Steve Knight for the second time in California’s 25th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are energized. They’re running for Congress. And they’re raising money — lots of it.

And for nearly a dozen Democratic challengers who have raised at least $50,000 in individual contributions worth at least $200 each during the first half of this year, more than 90 percent of the money raised came from outside their districts, a Roll Call review of Federal Election Commission data found.

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.

Word on the Hill: The Week Ahead
Your social calendar for the week

Another busy week ahead. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Happy May! Hope you enjoyed your White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner weekend in Washington.

Here are some highlights from the weekend.