What to know about Brent Kavanaugh’s judicial record

If confirmed, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, would rank just after Justice Clarence Thomas as the court’s second most conservative member.

Why it matters: Kavanaugh’s confirmation would shift the court for a generation, impacting decisions on topics like gun rights, health care, social issues and more.

Executive power

  • In 2009, Kavanaugh “argued that presidents should not be distracted while in office by civil lawsuits or criminal investigations,” per The Post.


  • The White House, in a document sent out to business groups, “wrote that Kavanaugh has overruled federal regulators 75 times on cases involving clean air, consumer protections, net neutrality and other issues,” and most recently “favored curtailing the power of independent federal regulators.”

Health care

  • Kavanaugh’s most significant ACA-related decision was in a case about the individual mandate. He did not vote to uphold the mandate.
  • Another case sought to have the ACA invalidated because the Senate wrote most of it. “… The Constitution’s Origination Clause says bills that raise revenues have to originate in the House, not the Senate. Such Senate amendments are permissible under the Clause’s text and precedent,” Kavanaugh wrote. But he said an earlier ruling had upheld the law for the wrong reasons — and that his court should take another look at that decision. He lost.


  • Kavanaugh won’t be inclined to give federal agencies wide latitude on imposing climate and environmental regulations. “Longtime environmental lawyer David Bookbinder reports that, by his count, Kavanaugh has been involved with six climate change cases, and in five of those he took a ‘narrow’ view of EPA’s regulatory authority.”

Press freedom

  • ..is a constitutional conservative that some legal experts argue would likely side with conservatives in supporting corporate free speech cases.”
  • When it comes to net neutrality, Kavanaugh is a major net neutrality opponent. Kavanaugh argued that net neutrality violates the First Amendment, “because the rule impermissibly infringes on the Internet service providers’ editorial discretion.” Meaning even if net neutrality was legislated, he would still find it unconstitutional.


  • Kavanaugh has stood behind warrantless government surveillance in the past, including the NSA’s surveillance operation that former NSA contractor Ed Snowden exposed in 2013. He wrote, “the Government’s metadata collection program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment. … In my view, that critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program.”

Why Iowa matters:

Senator Charles Grassley is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee where he wields enormous influence on the confirmation process. He sets the agenda for the committee, and is responsible for scheduling hearings and votes on pending nominees. Potential judges can’t proceed to a Senate floor vote until they’ve been vetted by the committee.

Have questions/comments for Senator Grassley?  He will be on “recess” through the first part of September there will be opportunities to talk to him at town hall meetings or you can call, write or email his office!

Senator Chuck Grassley              http://www.grassley.senate.gov
Des Moines Office                          Washington, DC Office
721 Federal Building                      35 Hart Senate Office Building
210 Walnut Street                          Washington, D.C. 20510
Des Moines, IA 50309
515-288-1145                                202-224-3744

Immigration and Iowa

It seems that politicians often speak FOR Main Street businesses, farmers and the self employed.  We believe that it is more important to be LISTENED TO!

Immigration has become a huge issue in the United States and it is a big issue here in Iowa. At the Main Street Alliance, we’d like to better understand your views on immigration and how this is impacting your small business, community and local economy.

We have posters and window clings declaring “Hate Has No Business Here” – if you would like one, please fill out the form below and we will be in touch.

Thank you for taking the time to fill out this survey.  It helps us to guide our work around the issues that are important to YOU!

Undermining Social Security to Pay for Parental Leave

Undermining Social Security for Parental Leave Fact Sheet

The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) has put forth a deeply flawed paid leave proposal that asks working parents to take a cut in their future Social Security benefits to underwrite too-small parental leave benefits. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), along with Ivanka Trump and Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are interested in this flawed approach.  While no legislation has been developed utilizing this proposal yet, we believe these offices may be working towards drafting a bill.

Access to paid leave shouldn’t be carved out of funds dedicated to Social Security.

Small business owners and their employees shouldn’t be asked to pay for paid leave today by rolling the dice on their future needs for Social Security retirement benefits.

Creating a plan that covers only parental leave excludes the vast majority of working people who need time to deal with a personal or family member’s serious illness.

Benefit levels would not replace an adequate share of usual wages, putting the ability to use paid leave out of reach for those who need it most.

Women’s retirement security would take the biggest hit from this plan because they will disproportionately borrow against their own Social Security benefits.

The FAMILY Act: The U.S. can create a national paid family and medical leave plan affordably and responsibly without reducing workers’ Social Security or forcing them to delay retirement. The Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act (S. 337/H.R. 947) would do just that: create a self-sustaining, comprehensive national family and medical leave insurance program.

The FAMILY Act contains the following principles that MSA small businesses have said are essential to making a paid family and medical leave work for small business:

  • All individuals who work should have the ability to earn extended leave from work to care for their families or themselves, without fear of losing their job.
  • Any PFML policy must be financed in a way that is affordable and cost effective for small business owners and their employees.
  • Any PFML policy must be comprehensive and specific in addressing serious family and medical needs.
  • An inclusive family definition should be used to cover the range of family configurations and care responsibilities that business owners and their employees face.
  • The PFML implementation process should be simple and minimize the administrative responsibilities of small business owners.

CLICK HERE to see the entire fact sheet

The Main Street Alliance of Iowa – a coalition of hundreds of Iowa businesses, farmers and self-employed – works in partnership with Iowa Citizen Action Network and the national Main Street Alliance to provide a small business a voice on the most pressing public policy issues across the nation. Our advocacy promotes vibrant businesses and healthy communities, and fosters leadership development of socially responsible business leaders. The Main Street Alliance national network formed in 2008 and works on a range of issues that matter to small businesses and local economies.

Using Social Security to fund Parental Leave???

What do YOU think??

Social Security is NOT a piggy bank!

Senator Ernst has been working with Senator Rubio on a plan to let people collect Social Security benefits early to pay for time off after they have a baby. This might seem like a good idea, but there’s a catch: Parents would have their Social Security benefits delayed when they retire to offset the costs. And it will further erode Social Security as we know it.

The Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy is planning to hold a hearing on July 11, with Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) planning to testify and a yet-to-be determined panel of experts.

We’d like to hear from YOU prior to that hearing!

Voting Rights!!

The Primary Election is Tuesday, June 5th – Polls are open from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Elections in Iowa are held on Tuesdays only. If you ever have questions about voting call your county auditor’s office or the Secretary of State’s Office at 1-888-SOS-VOTE.

Early Voting is available through Monday, June 4th at your County Auditor’s office. Any absentee ballots must be postmarked by this date to be counted.

Voter ID Law Info:

For this year only, people who don’t bring identification to the polls on June 5 can still vote, but need to sign an oath verifying their identity.

Some Additional Info:
• Voters may wear a campaign button or clothing when they go to vote but must leave the polling place as soon as they are done voting. Campaigning or electioneering of any kind in a polling place is illegal; loitering in a polling place while wearing political items is considered electioneering. Employees of the county auditor’s office, precinct election officials, poll watchers, and observers at satellite voting locations are not allowed to wear political items while at the polling place.
• A provisional ballot is used by voters whose qualifications to vote have been challenged, voters who can’t prove they are qualified to vote, and voters who requested absentee ballots but did not surrender them at the polls. If your name is not on the list of registered voters or if someone challenges your right to vote on Election Day, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot. You have the right to provide evidence showing why you are eligible to vote. You may provide evidence to the precinct election officials or to the county auditor’s office by the deadline listed on the provisional ballot envelope.
The absentee and special voters’ precinct board will meet after Election Day to review your registration record and the information you provided. The board will then decide if your ballot can be counted. Before you leave the polls on Election Day, you will be given a written notice explaining your voting rights and listing the date on which the special ballot board will meet so you may be present to observe and present more information to the board. If your ballot is not counted, you will receive a letter in the mail explaining why it was not counted.
• Credentialed reporters, photographers and other staff with the media may be present at the polls as long as they are not interfering with the election process in any way. Voters may not be interrupted, hindered, or opposed while trying to enter the polling place, while inside the enclosed voting space, or while marking a ballot. The media may photograph or film activity inside the polling place but cannot take any images of how a voter marks or has marked a ballot. A voter must give permission before being photographed or filmed. If the media wishes to speak to voters about how and why they voted, the media must be outside the polling place to do so.
• If you make a mistake while voting your ballot at the polling place, tell a precinct election official. The official will take the ballot on which you’ve made the mistake and have you “spoil” it so it cannot be counted. You will then be given another ballot to vote. Voters may receive up to three ballots.
Beginning January 1, 2019Iowa voters will be required to show a driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, passport, military ID, veterans ID, or Voter ID Card at the polls before they vote. Voters without the necessary ID will be offered a provisional ballot and can provide ID up until the time of the county canvass of votes (Monday after Election Day for Primary and General Elections).
Any registered voter who does not have valid driver’s license or non-operators ID issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation will be issued a Voter ID Card for free, automatically, in the mail. This also applies to anyone who registers to vote in the future. Upon receipt of the Voter ID Card in the mail, it should be immediately signed and placed in the voter’s purse or wallet, and taken with them to vote. Obtaining the Voter ID Card does not require any further documentation or action by the voter. Voters simply need to be registered, and take their new Voter ID Card to the polls when they vote.


Iowa Needs Net Neutrality

The Senate voted May 16, 2018 to pass a measure that would repeal changes to net neutrality rules that were recently adopted by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission. Noticeably voting against Main Street, farmers, workers and more were Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.

We are collecting signatures from Iowans to forward to our Congressional Delegation.

The measure, which was backed by all 49 Democrats and 3 Republicans, has been sent to the House, where an uncertain vote is likely in the very near future.  Net neutrality is not a partisan issue, 83% of Americans support net neutrality and the open Internet regardless of their political affiliation.

We are calling on our Iowa delegation in the House to vote FOR small business, entrepreneurs, farmers, retirees, workers, students and more.

Equality of access to the internet is an integral part of life in Iowa. Net neutrality protects that access.

Don’t make net neutrality a partisan issue.


Main Street NEEDS Net Neutrality!

The Senate voted May 16, 2018 to pass a measure that would repeal changes to net neutrality rules that were recently adopted by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission. Noticeably voting against Main Street, entrepreneurs and Iowa’s farmers were Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.

The measure, which was backed by all 49 Democrats and 3 Republicans, has been sent to the House, where an uncertain vote is likely in the very near future. Net neutrality is not a partisan issue, 83% of Americans support net neutrality and the open Internet regardless of their political affiliation.

The Main Street Alliance of Iowa is calling on our Iowa delegation in the House to vote FOR small business, entrepreneurs and farmers.  Equality of access to the internet is an integral part of business in Iowa.  Net neutrality protects that access. An open and fast internet allows businesses to process and market products.  Taking that away makes it impossible to compete with the big corporations that have the resources to make sure they are prioritized by internet service providers.

We hear a lot of talk from politicians about “The American Dream” and having access to the internet allows businesses and entrepreneurs to achieve that by launching a business and reaching anyone around the world.

Sign the letter below!

Dear Member of Congress,

We are companies who rely on the open Internet to grow our business and reach customers online. We are calling on our Iowa delegation in the House to vote FOR small business, entrepreneurs and farmers.

Users and businesses need certainty that they will not be blocked, throttled or charged extra fees by Internet service providers. We cannot afford to be left unprotected while Congress deliberates.

We will accept nothing less than the protections embodied in the 2015 order. Please ensure the FCC keeps its tools to protect consumers and business like ours.

Thank you for considering our views.


We say NO to TrumpTax!

We should not be paying the way for wealthy corporations and millionaires… watching the rich get richer at our expense.


We call on our Iowa delegation to REJECT this TrumpTax Scam and truly represent the people who elected you.

The Main Street Alliance of Iowa Survey

In Washington, DC and Des Moines politicians are continually banging the drum about small business and what they need and want.

At the Main Street Alliance we think you should be telling THEM what’s important!

The Main Street Alliance creates opportunities for small business owners, the self-employed, farmers and entrepreneurs to speak for themselves to advance policies that are good for them and the communities they serve.

Please fill out our 2 minute survey below to help make your voice heard!