Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, has emerged as a national leader in challenging the initiatives of President Trump, reports the New York Times. By moving to sue the FCC over net neutrality this month, Schneiderman’s office took its 100th legal or administrative action against the Trump administration and congressional Republicans. His lawyers have challenged Trump’s first, second and third travel bans and sued over such diverse matters as a rollback in birth control coverage and a weakening of pollution standards. They have also unleashed a flurry of amicus briefs and formal letters, often with other Democratic attorneys general, assailing legislation they see as gutting consumer finance protections or civil rights.
“We try and protect New Yorkers from those who would do them harm,” Schneiderman said. “The biggest threat to New Yorkers right now is the federal government, so we’re responding to it.” In Schneiderman’s seventh year as attorney general, the office has been transformed into a bulwark of resistance amid an unusually expansive level of confrontation with the federal government. Other Democratic state attorneys general are undertaking similar efforts, often in concert, like Xavier Becerra in California, where extra money was set aside in the budget for the attorney general to battle the Trump administration. How far Schneiderman is willing to go in taking on Trump could define his political career, particularly in a blue state where disapproval of the president is high. Republican attorneys general targeted President Obama’s policies while he was in office. Scott Pruitt, the head of Trump’s EPA, sued the EPA 14 times as Oklahoma attorney general.