Democratic Attorneys General Will Soon Set Records in Suing Trump

Republicans filed lawsuits against Obama only 46 times in eight years, but their partisan rivals are close to that total after just one year

Democratic state attorneys general (AG) will likely soon set a record: They’re suing President Donald Trump more in the early period of his presidency than Republican AGs sued former President Barack Obama throughout his eight years in the White House.

Democratic AGs in mostly northeastern and West Coast states have filed 35 lawsuits against Trump at this point. There are only 22 Democratic AGs across the country.

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The reason is not that Trump is out of control and ignoring the Constitution, Zack Roday, communications director for the Republican Attorneys General Association, told LifeZette Thursday. Rather, it is the threat the Democrats feel to their political agenda.

The 35 lawsuits Roday counts are all multi-state efforts. There are even more lawsuits filed against Trump — not quite a total of 50 — if single-state lawsuits are counted, Roday said.

The suits cover such topics as environmental protections and the travel restrictions on several predominantly Muslim nations that Trump tried to implement in his first days in office.

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But the biggest and latest lawsuit shows how far Democrats are willing to go: Democratic AGs are in court against the new tax code, claiming the elimination of local income-tax deductions for high-tax states is a violation of equal protection.

The Democratic Attorneys General Association’s 2017 report says the group “mounted legal challenges to attacks on Muslims, trans troops, DACA recipients, women’s health, students, the environment, workers, and consumers.”

Roday said that when the Republican AGs sued Obama, it was usually for “rule of law” reasons — in particular, because Obama liked to go around Congress to implement new policy unilaterally.

One example is how Republicans stalled Obama’s executive order Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), an amnesty program he decreed for illegal aliens without going through Congress. Republicans claimed that only Congress can set legal immigration policy, and the courts agreed — issuing an injunction that remains in force.

Democrats are suing Trump simply because they do not like his policies, Roday said.

Trump rescinded a similar Obama order that established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which applies to illegal aliens brought to the United States as children.

But Democrats are suing Trump simply because they do not like his policies, Roday said.

Two AGs who have been particularly aggressive are Xavier Becerra of California (shown at left at the top of this article) and Eric Schneiderman of New York (shown above right).

Schneiderman filed 100 legal actions against Trump and congressional Republicans by the end of 2017, according to Business Insider.

PoliZette White House writer Jim Stinson can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

(photo credit, article images: Eric T. Schneiderman, CC BY 2.0, by Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York; Xavier Becerra, CC BY 2.0, by Cliff)

meet the author

Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.

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