In the last eight days, the Justice Department has sued the state of Texas over the pernicious SB 8 bill that drew significant backlash in September, sued for fairer voting rights, went to court to prevent an egregious merger between publishing giants Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, and worked on an expansion for legal aid access for those who need it. This sounds like a pretty significant week – even if the Biden administration and congressional Democrats hadn’t scored a massive win with infrastructure this week.
Antitrust law is something that Amy Klobuchar, Chair of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee has been passionate about for a while, and a number of giant conglomerates got even bigger over the last four years, as the Trump administration only tried to prevent one major merger between AOL Time Warner and AT&T from happening – just on the basis that Donald Trump was trying to get back at CNN for saying mean things about him. Of course, that didn’t fly and the merger happened anyway. Monopolies are bad for competition and the market in general, and we should be seeing more lawsuits like the one Garland is bringing against Simon & Schuster.
These events are all happening simultaneously while there are state justice departments looking into the former guy and his doings. What we’re currently seeing right now is a functional justice department – carrying out a number of crucial things that they should be working on – and this is all happening while the senate is appointing federal judges at a record pace.
A lot of it isn’t mentioned regularly in the media because pundits tend to gravitate where they can build up tension or drama to keep the viewers tuned in. Some people will always argue that they’re not doing enough of course, but this is a lesson in why it’s important to protect what we already have while we make more progress, as a Republican administration even with congressional restraints against it could easily undo much of our hard work.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making