Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is spending his final days in office catering to the desires of his successor, Leslie Rutledge.
The latest is news that he’s joined the lawsuit cooked up by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to challenge President Obama’s decision to delay deportation of people in the country without documentation. Other presidents, including Republicans, have done the same.
There are now 24states in the case. Only McDaniel is a Democrat among the attorney generals who’ve intervened. He told the Democrat-Gazette (I don’t blame him for not issuing a news release about this) that he’d joined the case at the behest of Rutledge. It fits with her campaign pledge to fight “federal overreach,” meaning just about anything Obama proposes.
The question unanswered in the D-G reporting in any useful way is why McDaniel couldn’t have left it to Rutledge to make this step on her own in January. It’s a partisan maneuver, unlikely to succeed unless decided by partisan Republican judges. McDaniel said, oh, there was a question about executive power. Not really, unless the U.S. Supreme Court is about to reverse the discretion it’s granted the executive in prioritizing immigration enforcement.
If it does succeed, then I do hope the next step in the logical progression of this argument — that Obama must faithfully uphold every technical aspect of the law — is for the Republican Congress to pass a spending bill to charter the 100,000 bus trips, drivers and sufficient guards to start taking the 5 million U.S. residents home post haste. That tens of thousands are hard-working residents who contribute to our economy, children in Arkansas schools and long-time residents? McDaniel is unconcerned. He’s going to maintain his viability in the system, I guess. It is a long way from the sometimes bold attorney general who refused to join the parade of lawsuits against Obamacare. Don’t let the doorknob hit you on the way out.
This, by the way, is all McDaniel had to say about the decision, provided by aide Aaron Sadler:
Questions regarding the use of executive power in this instance are legitimate questions of law that should be addressed. However, the deciding factor in joining this lawsuit is that Attorney General-Elect Rutledge has asked me to do so, so that she may participate when she takes over as Attorney General in roughly 30 days.