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Democratic AGs Are Already Preparing for Trump

When Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017, he did something that surprised a lot of Democrats: He tried to carry out his campaign promises. What kind of politician does that? Within a week, he tried to ban people from Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. He had warned he would do precisely that, but Democrats never took him seriously. Now they are.

In particular, at offices of Democratic attorneys general, the 900-page Project 2025 plan is required reading. The AGs actually expect Trump to try to carry out much of it and are busy preparing briefs already so they can sue him as soon as he tries to implement some part of the plan. The AGs are also coordinating with one another so for each possible lawsuit, one state takes the lead, to balance the load. The larger states, which have hundreds of lawyers on staff, are taking the lead on most of the big items, like reproductive rights and immigration.

In addition to preparing briefs for lawsuits they expect to file if Trump wins, AGs and governors are trying to Trump-proof their states as much as possible. This includes shoring up protections afforded by state constitutions, tightening environmental regulations, and preparing for deluges of disinformation and possibly violence. If Trump tries to govern by XO, having state constitutions and laws that say the opposite of some XO, will at least provide for a basis of a court case that could take years to resolve, at which time Trump might not be president. Using the courts to stall is one of Trump's favorite tactics, but the states can do it as well.

State AGs are often ambitious politicians. Few are content with remaining AG for decades, even if state law allows that. Most want to move up. AGs know that suing a president of the other party is generally popular with voters of their own party. Gov. Maura Healey (D-MA) and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) were once AGs. Democratic AGs Rob Bonta (CA), Keith Ellison (MN), Letitia James (NY), Kris Mayes (AZ) and Phil Weiser (CO) are all interested in higher office some day. If you want a long list of AGs by state who later held higher office, here it is.

In other words, you can count on endless litigation and obstruction from state AGs if Trump wins. It is good for their careers in blue states. (V)

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