With the Biden administration and a Democrat-controlled Congress pushing through its agenda with no Republican support, the 26 Republican state attorneys general are taking the matters into their own hands.
"We're standing up and fighting back," Missouri Republican AG Eric Schmitt told Politico of his states coalition suing President Joe Biden over the blocking of the Keystone XL Pipeline among other immigration, and climate change policies.
Among the other legal points of contention are Biden's $1.9 trillion spending package under the guise of COVID-19 relief and the Democrat-friendly H.R. 1 election-law bill that federalizes elections, usurping an authority that was once designed to be the states' domain.
Schmitt, vice chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association, told Politico that his members "play a very important role in checking a very aggressive administrative state that's been unleashed."
Ohio Republican strategist Mark Weaver hailed the "the rise of the Republican AGs as a counterweight to the Biden administration's overreach."
"This is the natural tension and the balance of power, right?" Weaver told Politico. "Leaders in government will use whatever levers of power are available to them to advance their policy goals. And state Republican attorneys general have the ability to bring lawsuits. And that's what they're doing."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott once famously said in 2013, per Politico: "I go into the office in the morning. I sue Barack Obama, and then I go home."
It is a cycle of political opposition to the sitting president, after the countless lawsuits hurled at the Trump administration by Democrat state attorneys general.
"The other side of the coin from the Democrats bringing literally hundreds of lawsuits against the Trump administration, which in turn built on a trend," former president of the National Association of Attorneys General Rob McKenna told Politico.
Excessive use of executive orders over pushing legislative bills is the root of this disturbing trend, McKenna continued, "so they leave themselves open to legal challenges."
"On the political side, the base of each party, Democratic and Republican, expects their attorney general to step up and fight for issues that the base believes in," McKenna told Politico.
"There's a higher expectation now that the AGs are going to be active, and if you don't step up, you're likely to come under fire from people in your own party."
Co-chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association, Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general notices the escalation.
"There can be fights," Healey, who helped lead the resistance to former President Donald Trump, told Politico. "There can be challenges to figuring out the scope or the extent of federal authority over a state, for example, right? And there may be a Republican philosophy around that and a Democratic philosophy around that. So, we're used to those battles, OK? But this is something different."
"Unfortunately, it seems," she continued, "there are certain Republican AGs who seem hell-bent on trying to stop the Biden and Harris administration from moving forward, and I think it's unfortunate."
Ultimately, it is up to the White House to ease the division, and President Biden did stress "unity" in his Inaugural Address, only to force through executive orders that would struggle to pass a slim majority in Congress.
The GOP pushback "really depends on how aggressive this administration wants to get in pushing the envelope relating to the separation of powers," Alabama's Republican Attorney General Steve Marshall told Politico.
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