But also because 44 state legislatures are actively meeting this week.
Nevada, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Texas, and Louisiana are so so chill right now
Cry, Cry, Cry: After every gun violence tragedy, conversation quickly and rightly turns to Congress’ shameful inaction on the issue.
But states have broad leeway to regulate (or not) firearms themselves, so it’s worth taking a peek at what’s been happening in legislatures since the mass shooting in Las Vegas last October and the 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and … well.
But Republicans in New Hampshire killed a bill banning bump stocks at the beginning of the month.
(California and New York already ban bump stocks.)
Meanwhile, in Nevada itself, it’s against state law to ban bump stocks because of a measure that passed the legislature in 2015, back when Republicans controlled both chambers. (Though of course a future Democratic legislature could repeal this ban-ban.)
This week saw a veritable special election bonanza, by which I mean that state legislative specials were held on Monday (two in Minnesota) and Tuesday (one each in Florida, Georgia, and Oklahoma). Four of these five elections were to fill vacant Republican seats.
On Monday, Democrats held on to state Senate district 23B in Minnesota, despite the fact that Trump won the district (by a 46-45 margin) in 2016.
Republicans held on to their House seat (Trump won House District 23B 59-33).
Both specials were to replace lawmakers forced to resign over sexual misconduct allegations, and a Democratic woman will be replacing the Senate harasser in Senate District 54.
Wouldn’t be mad if this happened every time #MeToo forces a man from office tbh
Buchanan benefitted from his the name recognition of his congressman father, Rep. Vern Buchanan.
National Republicans took interest in the race, investing in it and even sending a key Trump campaign operative—none other than Corey Lewandowski—to help get out the vote.
Rep.-elect Good, meanwhile, had Joe Biden in her corner; he endorsed herand recorded a robocall for her about a week before the election.
Republicans held on to the seats in Oklahoma and Georgia on Tuesday (although the Democrat improved on 2016 presidential performance in the Oklahoma seat by 37 points; comparable figures aren’t available for the Georgia seat because it was a four-way race).
Can’t get enough special elections? Good! Because they can’t get enough of you, either, probably.
Mississippi House District 60, which became vacant when Republican incumbent John Moore resigned in the face of multiple sexual harassment complaints. State legislative special elections in Mississippi are technically nonpartisan; four men are running to replace Moore.
So here’s an appropriately themed statehouse update for you
Love is in the air in state legislatures across the country, and by “love” I mean that 41 statehouses are currently in session, and they’re all just awash in sexy things like holding public hearings on bills and passing resolutions honoring local sports teams and voting on legislation.
But one of those four Republican open seatsgave Democrat Mike Revis the winon Tuesday with 52-48 percent, shifting 31 points from Trump’s win percentage in the district.
Want to feel the heat of more special elections? Next week features five contests on back-to-back days—two seats inMinnesota onMonday, Feb. 12, and seats inFlorida, Oklahoma,andGeorgiaonTuesday, Feb. 13.
Draw Me Two Times:PennsylvaniaRepublicans did not take late January’s state Supreme Court ruling against their gerrymandered congressional maps well.
Pennsylvania’s GOP lawmakers were, shall we say,less than thrilled. Statements decrying the order flew out of Republican legislative leaders’ offices. The state Senate President pro temporeannounced that he wouldn’t complywith the court’s order to draw a new congressional map.
Democrats have a 5-2 majority on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and Republicans have almost zero chance of flipping the court back to a GOP majority before 2021.
In 2021, a commission of two Republicans, two Democrats, and a fifth member agreed upon by the other four create new state House and Senate maps.
If (when, let’s be real) the two Republicans and two Democrats fail to agree upon that fifth tie-breaking member, the state Supreme Court steps in to select the member. A Democratic-majority Supreme Court is likely to select a tiebreaker who will reject any map that unfairly benefits Republicans.
Additionally, legal challenges to the state House and Senate maps are normally handled by the state Supreme Court, placing another anti-GOP gerrymander trump card in Democrats’ hands.
The Democratic majority on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court thusly constitutes an existential threat to Republicans’ lopsided majorities in the the state legislature.
Pennsylvania Republicans finally are grumblingly complying with the court’s order to redraw the congressional maps, but they’re also not ruling out the possibility of going after the Supreme Court justices who are making them do it.
Rather, he wants the hold the specials concurrent with the general elections in November, when he seems to think Republicans have a better chance of holding on. (The state Senate is currently 18 Republicans to 14 Democrats, with one vacancy).
That means the Wisconsinites living in those districts could remain unrepresented in those chambers forthe better part of a year—if not longer.Also, Walker’sprobably violating the state constitutionby refusing to call specials to fill vacant seats in a timely manner, but whatevs.
Walker may be taking cues from Alabama GOP lawmakers, who are reacting to a Democrat winning of one of the state’s U.S. Senate seats in December’s special election by trying to get rid of Senate special elections entirely.