In the months since President Joe Biden took office, Republican states have launched a legal blitz against his administration, challenging its energy, immigration and taxation policies in court.
But conservative attorneys general said they aren’t done yet and expect to set up a formidable roadblock to the Democratic agenda.
“We are sharpening the pencils and filling up the inkwells,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, who is leading two of the ongoing lawsuits against the Biden administration, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Landry said Republicans will have plenty of success in court against the president and his administration.
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said that with a gridlocked Congress, states are the last line of defense for Americans’ constitutional rights.
Knudsen added that he will continue to focus his efforts on Biden’s reliance on executive action, which the president has used to advance several key policies.
“When you step in on day one and start issuing edicts and executive orders like King George, I and a lot of other conservative Republicans are going to start having problems,” Knudsen said in an interview.
“State attorneys general are coming into their own and realizing they can be an effective pushback against an overreaching executive,” he said.
In his first 11 weeks in office, Biden has signed 38 executive orders, outpacing his predecessors Donald Trump, Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who signed 23, 18 and 8 orders respectively during their first 11 weeks.
Biden issued more executive orders in his first two days in office than Trump did in his first two months, according to The Economist.
In March, Knudsen led a coalition of 21 states to sue the Biden administration over an executive order revoking the federal permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Weeks earlier, Montana joined forces with Arizona in a lawsuit challenging a ban on deportations.
Landry, meanwhile, has filed lawsuits against Biden over an executive order blocking new oil and gas leases on federal lands and others that have allegedly led immigration authorities to release criminal illegal aliens.
“Democrats are basically hell-bent on overreaching, overspending, over-regulating,” Landry said. “All things that have detrimental long-term effects on job creation and overall stability for the country.”
Last week, West Virginia led a group of 13 states challenging a provision of the latest coronavirus aid package that prohibits states from cutting taxes after accepting relief funds.
“The Biden administration has already gone much further than Barack Obama,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey told the DCNF. “Biden is going a lot further across the board.”
“Frequently people talk about separation of powers between the three branches on the federal side: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary,” he continued. “But there’s also a critical need to ensure that the states don’t get run over by the feds.”
Both Morrisey and Knudsen told the DCNF that they expect to soon challenge Biden’s recent spate of executive actions promoting gun control.
Over the last four years, Democratic attorneys general waged an unprecedented war against Trump, filing hundreds of lawsuits against his policies.
The Trump administration suffered defeat in nearly 80 percent of the 207 cases brought against it, according to the Institute for Policy Integrity.
A large majority of the cases challenging the Trump administration accused the president of violating the Administrative Procedure Act, The Washington Post reported. The 1946 law requires federal agencies to provide sufficient reasoning for the rules and regulations they put in place.
Republican attorneys general have now turned the tables, accusing Biden of violating the APA.
The first lawsuit filed against the president in March accused him of violating the APA when he declared there were “social costs” to greenhouse gas emissions in a January executive order.
“They didn’t like the Trump administration violating APA,” Landry told the DCNF. “But they were quick to violate the APA as soon as Biden became president.”
The Biden administration is in for “rough sailing” when it comes to the lawsuits it may face, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The White House is gearing up for an onslaught of court battles, spokesman Mike Gwin told The Journal. Gwin said the administration has a “firm legal footing” for its actions.
“I’m not interested in filing lawsuits just for the sake of a headline,” Knudsen told the DCNF. “We wouldn’t file these things if we didn’t think there was a legitimate violation and a legitimate chance of winning in court.”
“I file cases because it’s the right thing to do and I think someone’s rights have been violated,” he continued.
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