Trump Democrats ready a Republican tactic; lawsuits

They have pledged to defend undocumented immigrants, and to combat hate crimes

  • Published:
A California teacher who told her students that Donald Trump's election was an "Act of terrorism" has had to go into hiding play

A California teacher who told her students that Donald Trump's election was an "Act of terrorism" has had to go into hiding

(AFP)
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One attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, is already investigating Donald Trump over possible violations of New York state law at his charity foundation.

Another, Maura Healey of Massachusetts, has joined Schneiderman in an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil — whose chief executive, Rex W. Tillerson, is Trump’s choice for secretary of state — lied to investors and the public about the threat of climate change.

Healey also has a new fundraising pitch: “I won’t hesitate to take Donald Trump to court if he carries out his unconstitutional campaign promises,” she recently wrote to supporters.

A third, Rep. Xavier Becerra, who was chosen this month to become California’s attorney general, has dared the Trump administration to “come at us” over issues including immigration, climate change and health care.

As Democrats steel themselves for the day next month when the White House door will slam on their backs, some of the country’s more liberal state attorneys general have vowed to use their power to check and balance Trump’s Washington.

If the Trump administration withdraws from environmental, antitrust or financial regulations, the attorneys general say they will plug regulatory holes that may gape wide open, deploying state laws like New York’s Martin Act, which allows the state attorney general to pursue wide-ranging investigations on Wall Street.

They have pledged to defend undocumented immigrants, and to combat hate crimes that many believe were unleashed by Trump’s polarizing campaign.

And if Trump’s policies veer toward the unconstitutional, several of the 10 current and incoming Democratic attorneys general interviewed recently said they would apply a remedy favored by Trump himself: a lawsuit.

The strategy could be as simple as mirroring the blueprint laid out by their Republican colleagues, who made something of a legal specialty of tormenting Obama. Conservative attorneys general in states including Texas, Virginia and Florida have sued the Obama administration dozens of times, systematically battering Obama’s signature health care, environmental and immigration policies in the courts.

One of them, Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, who used his office to bayonetObama’s clean-energy regulations, was just chosen by Trump to become the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

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