We need more of this. A lot more of this. Sue over everything, in jurisdictions with plenty of Trump judges. Bring this lawless regime to its legal knees.
The legal resistance to Joe Biden’s abusive and illegal executive orders and rogue directives is finally getting going.
In contrast to the speed with which the Democrat legal resistance went to court challenging almost everything Trump did, Republicans have been slow on the uptake. Republicans have had to rely on states because Republicans lack the massive legal activist infrastructure that Democrats have.
Now 13 states have filed a court challenge to Biden’s ban on drilling on federal lands. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, who is leading the effort, issued this press release:
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is leading a 13-state lawsuit against the Biden Administration’s attack on American energy independence, good-paying jobs, and affordable energy for all.
In January, President Biden solidified a moratorium on new development of oil and gas fields on federal lands. Executive Order 14008 halted all oil and gas leasing operations, days after the Biden Interior Department took similar steps against activities on existing leases. Together, these actions make-up the Biden Ban – an aggressive, reckless abuse of Presidential power that threatens American families’ livelihoods and our national interests.
“By executive fiat, Joe Biden and his administration have single-handedly driven the price of energy up – costing the American people where it hurts most, in their pocketbooks,” said Attorney General Landry. “Biden’s Executive Orders abandon middle-class jobs at a time when America needs them most and put our energy security in the hands of foreign countries, many of whom despise America’s greatness.”
The lawsuit states, “The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and Mineral Leasing Act set out specific statutory duties requiring executive agencies to further the expeditious and safe development of the abundant energy. In compliance with those statutes, the Department of the Interior has for decades issued leases for the development of oil and natural gas on public lands and offshore waters.”
“For decades, Congress has embraced responsible development of our natural resources as a means of achieving energy independence – a matter of national security,” continued Attorney General Landry. “They have discarded vulnerable dependence on foreign oil, which is why the court should reject the Biden Ban.”
The Biden Ban’s attack on Louisiana energy will devastate our coast and the people who live here. These jobs provide food to put on the table and are the lifeblood of our coastal communities. The White House purports the Biden Ban to protect the environment, but instead it constitutes what is likely the single-largest divestment of revenue for environmental protection projects in American history. The Biden Ban immediately impacts and harms Louisiana by reducing revenue and royalties from federal oil and gas leases. Canceling lease sales will reduce Louisiana’s GOMESA funding by up to $57 million.
In addition to Louisiana – the following states joined in the lawsuit: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.
The Complaint (pdf.) alleges, among other things:
1. When seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for President, then–former Vice President Joe Biden made no secret of his disdain for domestic energy development. “No more—no new fracking . . . no more drilling on federal lands,” he said during a March 2020 Democratic presidential candidate debate…. Concerned that this candid response could hurt his electoral chances “in key states with blue-collar voters like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Colorado,” Mr. Biden’s campaign spokesman quickly “clarified that the former vice president wouldn’t ban fracking”—“[h]e was referring only to his stated policy to ban new permits for oil and gas drilling on federal land andoffshore.” Id.
2. But that stated policy of banning new drilling permits contravenes congressional commands. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and Mineral Leasing Act set out specific statutory duties requiring executive agencies to further the expeditious and safe development of the abundant energy resources on public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf. In compliance with those statutes, the Department of the Interior has for decades issued leases for the development of oil and natural gas on public lands and offshore waters….
* * *
5. Making matters worse, the agencies that President Biden tasked with implementing the Order—the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Bureau of Land Management—rushed to halt long-planned lease sales using an opaque and nonpublic process that arbitrarily failed to consider whether the Biden Ban complies with statutory requirements, the public good, or the procedural requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. And those agencies entirely ignored the obligation to consult with States or Tribes.
6. Although the restraints imposed by the Administrative Procedure Act, OCSLA, and MLA did not prevent Candidate Biden from making contradictory campaign promises, they do constrain President Biden from translating campaign rhetoric into an energy-development moratorium by fiat—especially one to be implemented outside the public eye.
7. The Biden Ban fails all the requirements of the APA, OCSLA, and MLA. As a result, all actions taken in reliance upon Executive Order 14008 must be vacated and enjoined, and the agencies ordered to return to the vital work of carrying out their statutory, regulatory, and contractual obligations under the OCSLA’s and MLA’s oil and gas leasing programs.
Business Insider notes federal judges appointed by Trump could make legal life difficult for Biden’s agenda:
Days after a federal judge indefinitely blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a 100-day deportation freeze, another federal judge in Texas struck down the CDC’s eviction moratorium.
These two losses — from judges appointed by former President Donald Trump — show his lasting legacy on the judiciary and how that could impact the Biden administration.
During Trump’s four years in office — and with a Republican Senate majority — the former president appointed more than 230 federal judges across states, which, according to Pew Research Center, is nearly as many federal judges as Barack Obama appointed in his eight years in office.
And less than two months into Biden’s presidency, Trump’s lasting impact on the federal judiciary is becoming apparent.
We need more of this. A lot more of this. Sue over everything, in jurisdictions with plenty of Trump judges.
Bring this lawless regime to its legal knees.
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