By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) We’ve often written about how President Donald Trump is one of the most besieged occupants of the White House in the history of our Republic, and on Wednesday, we got additional proof of that assertion.
According to The Hill, the Trump administration has been subjected to state-borne lawsuits at a record pace, and there doesn’t appear to be any signs indicating the pace will let up anytime soon.
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The news site reported:
State attorneys general have filed an unprecedented number of lawsuits against the Trump administration, as Democratic-led states exercise new levers of power to block some of President Trump’s most controversial initiatives.
States have formed coalitions to file 103 multi-state suits against the administration in its first three years, according to data compiled by Paul Nolette, a political scientist at Marquette University. The vast majority of those suits, 96, have been led by Democratic attorneys general.
By contrast, states filed 78 multi-state suits in the eight years of President Obama’s administration, and 76 multi-state suits during President George W. Bush’s eight years in office. Democratic attorneys general sued Trump 40 times in his first year in office alone, more lawsuits than have ever been filed against an administration in a single year.
“Every time this guy breaks the law, we take him to court,” said Xavier Becerra (D), California’s attorney general who has led 31 suits and been party to 25 others. Joining with other states to file suit “adds strength, it certainly adds value, and it shows unity. It demonstrates that the unlawful action that the Trump administration is looking to take impacts more than just one state.”
The Hill noted further that the trend began during the Obama Administration and, of course, the news site blamed it on Republican attorneys general. But there is a distinct difference between the motivation driving Republican and Democratic attorneys general to sue.
GOP-led states most often sued Obama over patently illegal executive actions like DACA, an order that defied existing federal law regarding the deportation of people in the country illegally (which is all DACA is at its core). Red states also sued over Obamacare provisions which are on the verge of being declared unconstitutional anyway (finally).
Blue states, by comparison, opposed Trump on policy: Immigration policy, mostly, but also his environmental policies:
The attorneys general have sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) more than any other agency in government. All told, the EPA has faced 31 lawsuits over proposals to roll back Obama-era environmental laws or to implement new rules. States have sued the Department of Health and Human Services and the Interior Department about a dozen times each.
It should also be noted that the bulk of blue state lawsuits that attempt to block President Trump’s authority to implement changes to immigration and environmental policy have all gone down in flames, as one federal court after another, including the Supreme Court, have upheld them as lawful and constitutional.
That’s because many of the laws are written to give presidents the latitude to implement their provisions as he sees fit, and yes, per his own agenda.
Ken Paxton (R), Texas’s attorney general, also said there is a big difference between the suits he joined against the Obama administration and the ones Democrats are filing against the Trump team.
“These lawsuits against the Trump administration are just an attempt to implement policies through the courts that voters have rejected at the ballot box,” Paxton said. “The lawsuits attorneys general had to file against the Obama administration were about preserving our constitution and defending the rule of law, while these suits against the Trump administration are based on nothing more than policy disagreements and political posturing.”
That’s exactly right, as The Hill confirmed:
Even in cases the Trump administration wins, the lawsuits can move policy. A suit challenging the constitutionality of Trump’s travel ban delayed implementation for years and rallied the Democratic base. The Trump administration had to revise the travel ban before the Supreme Court ultimately allowed it to go into effect.
“This is broader than the Trump era. This reflects an age of empowerment where everybody from activists to CEOs to mayors to attorneys general feel empowered to drive policy, block things they don’t like and champion their own priorities,” Bruce Mehlman, a lobbyist in Washington, told The Hill. “It’s yet one more arena for policy advocates. Twenty years ago, the fight was in Washington. Today, the fight is in Washington, state capitals, agencies implementing the laws and the courts.”
Translation: Americans can elect who they want, but it won’t matter because a single multi-state lawsuit can thwart the will of the people. And that’s not just by accident, that’s an actual objective.
Now you know why keeping Trump in the White House and Republicans in control of the Senate is vital: They are responsible for repopulating our federal courts with constitutionalists.
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