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How a Corporate Law Firm Led a Political Revolution

New York Times Magazine – The untold story of Jones Day’s push to move the American government and courts to the right. “For much of its history, Jones Day was a juggernaut in the field of corporate litigation. A global goliath with more than 40 offices and about 2,500 lawyers, it raked in billions a year in fees from tobacco, opioid, gun and oil companies, among many other giant corporations in need of a state-of-the-art defense. More than most of its competitors, the firm had an army of litigators who had perfected the art of exploiting tiny legal wrinkles, of burying outmatched opponents in paperwork and venue changes and procedural minutiae. But over the past two decades, Jones Day has been building a different kind of legal practice, one dedicated not just to helping Republicans win elections but to helping them achieve their political aims once in office. Chief among those aims was dismantling what Don McGahn — the Jones Day partner who helped run Trump’s campaign and then became his White House counsel — disparagingly referred to as the “administrative state.” To do that, the firm was bringing all the ruthless energy and creativity of corporate law to the political realm…

The power of that revolution, which is spreading to courtrooms and statehouses around the country, is now on vivid display. Even with Democrats controlling the White House and Congress, the Supreme Court has been on a rightward tear. In its most recent term, Trump’s three appointees — the first two handpicked by McGahn and the third, Barrett, plucked by him out of academia for the federal bench — helped erase the constitutional right to abortion, erode the separation of church and state, undermine states’ power to control guns and constrain the authority of federal regulators. Jones Day had a hand in some of those cases, and the firm has telegraphed that it is eyeing additional legal challenges in line with its leaders’ ideology…”

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