Judge Barrett’s Record: Siding With Businesses Over Workers

With the opening statements and the grandstanding now over, today the nomination hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court begin in earnest, as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee launch into their questioning. Supreme Court confirmation hearings have become a high-level version of dodgeball, where nominees work tirelessly to evince no opinion on any legal matter whatsoever, using the excuse that the topic might come up before the Court in the future, and the nominee wouldn’t want to prejudge any decision.

In this case, both Barrett’s record and the entire process can be prejudged. Though she only has three years on the federal bench, Barrett has nearly two decades’ worth of law review writing from her time as a professor at Notre Dame. Everyone knows she has been installed to deliver victories on long-sought, ideologically conservative priorities, from eliminating the right to choose an abortion to the overturning of a century of labor law jurisprudence. And everyone knows conservative senators will vote in lockstep to get Barrett on the Court to commence this work. The only drama lies in whether enough of them are actually available to complete the task before the general election.

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Still, I subscribe to the school of thought that what a judicial nominee believes actually matters when confirming them to the highest court in the land. And even Barrett’s short stint as a judge has yielded a number of revealing opinions that all point to a general bias. As the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law puts it in a report released today on the Barrett record, “she is predisposed to side with law enforcement at the expense of defendants’ constitutional rights, and with employers and business interests in disputes with

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Colorado Springs heating contractor up for record sixth customer service award | Business

WireNut Home Services is hoping to become the first Colorado Springs business to win the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado‘s top customer service award six times.

The Colorado Springs-based electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor, which won the award for the past four consecutive years and in 2009, tops the list of seven finalists for this year’s awards. All Smiles Dental Group, Endodontic Specialists of Colorado and Champion Windows & Home Exteriors also have won the awards five times, but none are finalists for this year’s award.

The nonprofit BBB has presented the award annually since 1995. It will present the 26th annual awards from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 22 during a free virtual gala on livestream and Facebook Live sponsored by Bob Penkhus Motor. The Mazda, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen and Volvo new vehicle dealer also is a finalist for the award, which would be the first for the 63-year-old business. For more information or to register for the event, go to

2 Colorado Springs companies vying to become 5-time customer service award winners

“Completing the application process ourselves this year was incredibly eye opening for our business and has foundationally altered the way we conduct our business,” Sevan Stryker, Bob Penkhus Motor general manager, said in a news release.

The other five finalists are:

• McCloskey Motors, which was started in 1985 and also won the award in each of the past two years. (More than one winner can be announced at each year’s awards.)

Better Business Bureau recognizes 10 Colorado Springs businesses for A+ customer service

• Davis Construction, a contractor specializing in roofing, skylights, fencing, decks and home remodeling started in 2018.

• Krafted Homes, a homebuilder started in 1993.

• Serenity Paws Pet Stylist, a pet grooming business started in 2009.

BBB cites four companies,

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Mortgage rates set another record low, sparking new strength in refinances

  • Refinance volume surged to the highest level since mid-August as mortgage rates dipped to 3.01%.
  • Refinances jumped 8% last week and were 50% higher than a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

a stop sign: An 'Open House' sign is displayed as potential home buyers arrive at a property for sale in Columbus, Ohio.

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An ‘Open House’ sign is displayed as potential home buyers arrive at a property for sale in Columbus, Ohio.

Mortgage rates moved even lower last week after setting multiple record lows in recent months, spurring more borrowers to call their lenders and apply for a refinance, but homebuyers were quite as motivated. 


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The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of up to $510,400 slipped to 3.01% from 3.05%, while points decreased to 0.37 from 0.52 for loans with a 20% down payment. 

In response, refinance application volume, which is most sensitive to weekly rate moves, rose 8% for the week and was 50% higher than a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. That is the highest refinance volume since mid-August.

Applications for a mortgage to purchase a home fell 2% for the week but were 21% higher than a year ago. While the annual comparison is strong, purchase volume has been falling little by little and is now down just over 4% from four weeks ago.

“There are signs that demand is waning at the entry-level portion of the market because of supply and affordability hurdles, as well as the adverse economic impact the pandemic is having on hourly workers and low- and moderate-income households,” said Joel Kan, an MBA economist. “As a result, the lower price tiers are seeing slower growth, which is contributing to the rising trend in average loan balances.”  

The average loan size increased again, to a record $371,500, thanks to stronger activity on the

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August Home Sales Soar to a Record High: 5 Top Housing Picks

The U.S. housing sector is on a roll, with an increasing number of Americans leveraging on the record-low mortgage rates. The latest pending home sales data for August reached the highest level on record as more Americans signed contracts to buy homes in the month, suggesting that the hot U.S. housing market will maintain the strong spell well into fall.

All-Time High Pending Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors or NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index — a forward looking indicator of home sales based on contact signing — soared 8.8% from July to 132.8 in August, hitting a record high, according to the NAR survey since January 2001. Contract signings are 24.2% higher from the year-ago period as well.

It is worth mentioning that August marks the fourth consecutive month of gains as well as the third year-over-year rise since the pandemic hit the housing market hard. All four major U.S. regions notched growth in August, with the West seeing the biggest improvement.

Apart from record pending home sales numbers, there were a couple of indicators showing continued strength in the housing market. Last week, the NAR released data that showed that sales of existing homes rose 2.4% in August from July to its highest level since 2006. Sales were up 10.5% from a year ago and back to pre-COVID-19 levels of early 2020. Also, the Commerce Department’s new home sales increased 4.8% in August from July and a remarkable 43% from August 2019.

Meanwhile, the NAR Housing Market Recovery Index indicated that the greatest recoveries have been recorded in the Seattle, Las Vegas, Boston, Denver and Philadelphia areas.

“Tremendously low mortgage rates – below 3% – have again helped pending home sales climb in August,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. The average U.S. mortgage rate for a

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US pending home sales leap to record as housing-market surge continues

April Home Sales Rise As Buyers Take Advantage Of Expiring Gov't Tax Credit
A ‘sale pending’ sign is displayed in front of a home for sale May 24, 2010 in San Rafael, California. Government incentives and low mortgage rates helped April home sales surge 7.6 percent in April, the biggest gain in five months.

  • The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index surged 8.8% last month to an all-time high of 132.8, signaling the US housing market’s rally continued into the fall.
  • Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected an increase of 3.1%.
  • The reading is the fourth-straight climb for the index. All four major US regions notched growth in August, with the West seeing the biggest improvement.
  • The pace of home sales rocketed through the summer as Americans leveraged record-low mortgage rates. The sector has served as a rare bright spot in the pandemic-rattled economy.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Record-low mortgage rates drove home sales contracts higher in August as the US housing boom showed no signs of stopping.

The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index soared 8.8% last month to a record high of 132.8, according to data published Wednesday. The reading marks a fourth-straight monthly increase for the index, and all four of the major US regions posted growth through the end of summer.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected a jump of 3.1%.

Growth from July to August was sharpest in the West, with the region’s pending sales climbing 13.1%. Nationwide contract signings surged 24.2% year-over-year, NAR added.

Read more: BANK OF AMERICA: Buy these 29 high-quality value stocks primed to cash in on the economic recovery

“Tremendously low mortgage rates have again helped pending home sales climb in August,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, said in a statement.

He continued: “While I did very much expect the housing

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