One of the hallmarks of the left’s “resistance” to former President Donald Trump was Democratic state attorneys general filing lawsuits against the Trump administration over his executive actions or bills signed into law.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, as Republican state attorneys general are using that same playbook against President Joe Biden and his administration, Fox News reported.
As Biden approaches the 100-day mark of his new administration, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) says that its members have already filed at least 19 lawsuits directly against the federal government and have sought to intervene as litigants in at least eight other lawsuits filed against the government.
“Only line of defense”
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) told Fox News, “Joe Biden campaigned as a moderate but has ruled as a radical progressive, pursuing policies that are detrimental to our economy, border security, religious liberty, and jobs.”
“Republican attorneys general are the only line of defense standing between the hyper-partisan policies coming out of Washington and the rule of law,” he added.
That sentiment was echoed by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R), who told the outlet, “Under President Biden, the federal government has failed to uphold its responsibility to defend existing laws, and has sidestepped the legal process to enact their own radical agenda.”
History of lawsuits
Marquette University professor Paul Nolette maintains a database of state AG lawsuits against presidential administrations since the Obama era. Based on the numbers thus far, Republican state AGs are on pace to out-litigate their Democratic counterparts, even as the database shows fewer lawsuits filed against Biden at this point than the RAGA claimed.
According to Nolette’s database, as of April 25, there were a total of 16 lawsuits involving state AGs against the Biden administration, which actually included five Democrat-led challenges against Trump-era regulations.
In comparison, over Trump’s four years in office, his administration faced a total of 157 lawsuits, 126 of which were led by Democratic AGs, 11 of which featured Democratic AGs intervening in other lawsuits, eight of which were multi-state affairs, and including six Republican AG lawsuits challenging Obama-era regulations.
Further comparisons reveal just how lawsuit-happy Democratic state AGs were toward Trump compared to how litigious Republican state AGs were toward former President Barack Obama, who faced a cumulative total of 78 lawsuits, around 50 of which were led by GOP states.
Keeping the federal government “in its lane”
According to the Associated Press, the Republican state AG lawsuits against Biden cover a wide range of issues, including revocation of the Keystone XL pipeline permit, a moratorium on oil and gas leases, the handling of border security and immigration policies, action regarding climate change, federal funding for abortions, and even a provision within the recent COVID relief bill that blocks states from reducing taxes.
“Our job is to ensure the rule of law is upheld,” Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R) told the AP. “It’s a natural tension we’ve seen throughout American history. How does the federal government stay in its lane?”