After Democrats succeeded in unraveling much of the Trump agenda through a California-led deluge of lawsuits, they now face a sobering reality: Their courtroom playbook is about to be turned against them.
Republican attorneys general are angling to retaliate with equal force, further pushing the boundaries of an elected position that not long ago was among the most apolitical in state government. In the modern era, it is the new launchpad for partisan attacks.
While Republicans may find in Biden a tougher target — legal blunders made Trump’s actions uniquely vulnerable — they are also backed by a better funded and more brazen political apparatus than Democratic state lawyers had going into battle with the Trump administration. The same “dark money” groups that funneled millions of dollars into helping Trump reshape the Supreme Court as president are now focused on helping Republican attorneys general undermine the Biden administration.
A benefactor of that money, the Republican Assn. of Attorneys General, has already launched a coordinated initiative it calls “save and defend” that aims to block many of Biden’s policy plans. Texas already took the lead in filing the first big lawsuit, which challenges Biden’s pause on deportations. More than a dozen GOP attorneys general warned last week they are preparing to sue the Biden administration to force approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, after the president cancelled the permit as one of his first big actions to confront climate change.
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