DAGA Weekly Update- April 5
April 9, 2019
Here is what happened last week for DAGA and our Democratic Attorneys General:
AG RACINE – ADVOCATE FOR DC
Throughout his career, DAGA Co-Chair District of Columbia AG Karl Racine has been a tireless advocate for the District and its residents. AG Racine is the first-ever elected District of Columbia AG and he established the first independent Office of Attorney General for the District. Check out this Washingtonian feature by Benjamin Wofford to get the full highlights of AG Racine’s career, what he is currently doing for the District, his work leading DAGA alongside Co-Chair Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum, and the actions he is taking to hold Trump accountable – like leading the emoluments lawsuit.
DEM AGs PROTECT WOMENS HEALTH CARE
As extreme abortion bans continue to grab headlines like the most recent law passed by the Georgia legislature, Democratic AGs are sounding the legal alarm bells on procedural attacks on women’s rights.
- Nevada AG Aaron Ford led a 21 Democratic AG coalition in an amicus brief in EMW Women’s Surgical Center v. Meier, a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, challenging a so-called “transfer agreement” law in Kentucky that would effectively shut down the only abortion provider in the state. “I’m proud to lead a multi-state effort to protect women’s access to healthcare services,” AG Ford said. In discussing the potential impact to his state, AG Ford noted that if Kentucky’s transfer agreement law was upheld, “[n]eighboring states could use [Nevada’s] status as a state that allows reproductive healthcare services to restrict a woman’s constitutional right to these services in her own state.” More on the coalition’s brief here from Bloomberg Law.
- Kentucky AG Andy Beshear filed his own amicus brief asking the court to protect women’s constitutional rights. “As the state’s chief law officer, it is my duty to uphold Kentucky’s Constitution and the U.S. Constitution,” said AG Beshear. “By ignoring state and federal laws the governor’s actions threaten the health and safety of women.” View AG Beshear’s statement here. It is a powerful statement when AG Beshear, the top law enforcement officer in Kentucky, denounces a harmful law pushed by politicians in his own state—learn more from the Courier Journal here.
SAVING SCHOOL LUNCH
A coalition of 20 Democratic AGs, led by New York AG Tish James, filed a lawsuit this week accusing the Trump Administration of “illegally weakening” school nutrition standards. “My office will use every tool at our disposal to fight back against these shameful rollbacks and ensure our children our protected,” AG James said in a statement. The rules, created under former First Lady Michelle Obama, set limits on salt and whole grains in school meals for the health and benefit of children. For more on how Democratic AGs are fighting to protect the health of students and school lunches nationwide, check out the CNN article here.
In support of New York AG Tish James who filed a merits brief on the on-going 2020 Census case, California AG Xavier Becerra filed an amicus brief this week urging the Supreme Court to strike down the Trump Administration’s discriminatory citizenship question on the 2020 Census. “We’ll continue fighting to protect Californians who could be disproportionately harmed by this question,” said AG Becerra. This brief follows a win by AG Becerra in March in a separate California lawsuit on the same issue. As a reminder, earlier this year AG James led a coalition lawsuit that won a federal ruling to block the citizenship question on the upcoming census – and then the Trump administration appealed the ruling.
ATTORNEY GENERAL JAMES GOES TO WASHINGTON
This week New York AG Tish James stopped in Washington, D.C. for two big events. First up, AG James spoke alongside Emily’s List Senior Director Geri Prado and Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea at the “We Are Emily” conference to discuss the important role state elected officials play and stress the importance of electing women to statewide office. Next up, AG James spoke at her alma mater Howard University as part of the University’s King Endowed Chair in Public Policy Lecture Series. It’s there she spoke about “The Fierce Urgency of Now” and spoke with former Democratic Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile about today’s political climate and her goals for the state of New York.