Six attorneys general have sent President Joe Biden a letter warning him that many of the orders issued in his first week in office are being challenged on constitutional grounds.
Any action he takes that violates legal authority, violates constitutional law, or jeopardizes civil liberties may result in legal action being sought by states, attorneys general from West Virginia, Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, and Texas in warned in the letter.
Litigation is never a first option, the attorneys general said in the letter, and they offered to help the new administration implement guidelines that are “constitutional and consistent with the rule of law.”
But if such guidelines are not implemented and the president “signs unconstitutional laws that have been passed by Congress, it is our responsibility and duty to challenge those laws in court,” they wrote.
“If cabinet officials, officers and agencies exceed the limits of their legal powers, fail to comply with procedures required by law, or fail to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act’s obligation to make reasoned decisions, it is also our responsibility to take action,” they added.
The Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the agency’s regulatory process, has often been used to challenge the rules and regulations of the executive branch.
Many of the 30 or so executive orders that Biden signed have repealed Trump-era guidelines. others founded new ones.
“The president cannot make any constitutional compromises or evade legal restrictions without inevitably doing more harm than good to our country,” argued the attorneys-general, urging the new administration to pursue political priorities that “adhere to the central constitutional principles valued and should be respected “every person entrusted with the honor and burdens of the presidency. “
In the letter, they also raise two areas of concern for possible overreach of the federal government: issues of religious freedom and expression, and the right to bear arms.
The state of Texas was the first to sue the government within a day of a resolution to end deportation and change immigration policy. A federal judge sided with Texas and prevented the order from going into effect.
Also within a day of the order to end oil and gas leasing in states, the administration was sued by the Western Energy Alliance.