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6 State Attorneys General Warn Biden Over Potential Presidential Overreach

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2021
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by Outside Contributor
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A coalition of state attorneys general on Jan. 27 sent a letter to President Joe Biden reminding him that any potentially unconstitutional executive actions or federal overreach will not go unchallenged.

The letter, signed by six attorneys general, puts the Biden administration on notice that any actions that might exceed their statutory authority, are inconsistent with constitutional tenets, or place civil liberties at risk could trigger legal action by the states.

“We stand ready to meet with your administration to discuss more how the issues below affect our States; litigation is never first option, and we would like to help your team in its important job on behalf of all Americans, consistent with the Constitution and the rule of law,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is leading the group, wrote in the letter addressed to the White House (pdf).

“Yet if you sign unconstitutional laws passed by Congress, it will be our responsibility and duty to challenge those laws in court. If cabinet officials, executive officers, and agencies go beyond the bounds of their statutory authority, fail to follow legally required procedures, or fall short of the bedrock Administrative Procedure Act obligation of reasoned decision making, it will likewise be our responsibility to take action.”

The Administrative Procedure Act is a federal law that governs the process for agency rulemaking and has been frequently invoked to challenge executive branch rules and regulations.

Morrisey is joined by attorneys general from Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, and Texas.

It comes as Biden issued a series of executive orders in his first week since taking office. Some of the orders have overturned Trump-era policies, while others have established or expanded policies relating to climate change, racial equity, and the CCP virus pandemic.

Some of the orders have already drawn widespread scrutiny, such as the decision to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, as well as the decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, which is expected to put thousands of jobs at risk and undermine the U.S. relationship with Canada. The Biden administration has also met with backlash for embracing a quasi-Marxist critical race theory in its policies seeking to prioritize certain racial groups that have historically met with disadvantage.

Similarly, Biden’s order addressing discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation is expected to threaten the constitutional freedom to exercise one’s religious beliefs for individuals and organizations who affirm the traditional understanding of people as created biologically male and female.

“The President cannot cut constitutional corners or shirk statutory strictures without inevitably doing more harm to our country than good,” the attorneys general wrote. “The foundations of our republic and American life are embedded within our Constitution’s carefully crafted design.

“Accordingly, today by this letter we respectfully urge you when pursuing your policy priorities to honor the core constitutional tenets which should be appreciated and respected by every person entrusted with the honor and burdens of the presidency.”

The letter notes the freedom of religion and religious expression, and the right to bear arms as two areas of concern.

The attorneys general stated that while there is always pressure for U.S. presidents and Congress to exceed their power “lest they be judged to be ignoring important issues or failing to address critical problems,” it’s a president’s duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers as well as respect the sovereignty of the states.

They added that limits on federal power aren’t a flaw of the Constitution and that when certain issues that are excluded from the federal sphere need to be addressed, the “states are ready and able to do the job.”

The Biden administration has already faced several legal challenges over its executive actions. A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked Biden’s executive order to halt the deportation of certain immigrants for 100 days. The order is seen as a setback for the administration, which had campaigned on implementing far-reaching immigration changes, including a plan that would legalize about 11 million illegal immigrants.

Earlier on Jan. 27, Western Energy Alliance, a group representing fossil fuel producers on federal lands, challenged Biden’s executive order aimed at halting oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters.

Legal challenges to presidential orders aren’t uncommon. During former President Donald Trump’s four years in office, Democrat attorneys general frequently sued his administration on a range of executive actions and regulations in areas including health, climate, and immigration.

According to a website run by Dr. Paul Nolette, associate professor of political science at Marquette University, who tracked the lawsuits against the former president, the Trump administration was sued 157 times in cases in which states were initial plaintiffs, successful intervenors, or in single state lawsuits.

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Georgia Ann Sample
Georgia Ann Sample
3 years ago

Biden’s Executive Orders

Paul
Paul
3 years ago

Give the Democrats the same treatment they gave President Trump for 4 years.
DON’T LET UP ON JOE!

Laura
Laura
3 years ago

It’s a start. Now more need to step up and join them to save America ????????

Carol Jean
Carol Jean
3 years ago

Ya-Hoo to these 6 attorneys general. I applaud you.

Bgneiser
Bgneiser
3 years ago

Somehow a letter from six Republicans to Biden is a bit underwhelming. By now there should be a lawsuit for virtually every executive order. What is it by now, 30+?? Insane. And top priority for the GOP needs to be fixing the huge issues in the battleground states re: voter fraud. Instead, we have Democrats grabbing that bull by the horns and introducing legislation to EXPAND methods of making it easier to commit even MORE fraud in two years. Excuse the language, but what the HELL is going on, Republicans?? Did January 6th totally obliterate your ability to function at all??

PaulE
PaulE
3 years ago

I’m sure Biden’s handlers are all quaking in their boots…NOT! Call me when an actual lawsuit is filed in federal court. Then maybe that will get the Biden administration’s attention.

The Socialists and big money donors in charge of everything behind the Biden puppet will continue to have him sign whatever they put in front of him. As you see from some live media coverage of these signing events, he doesn’t even really understand what he just signed an executive action for. yet everyone in the MSM just continues to smile and applaud.

Virtually every executive order or executive action is written by WH lawyers for the administration. They all know enough to keep it all just this side of legal, even if the policies are completely un-American or anti-capitalist in nature. In the event anyone actually sues the Biden administration over any of these executive orders, there are still plenty of Carter, Clinton and Obama era federal judges on the bench to provide support for the Democrats…I mean Socialists. Nice gesture by these six AG’s, but it is of course largely symbolic.

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