Elie Mystal exposes the ‘incredibly well-funded’ GOP group ‘lying’ about states’ rights

Gun Rights

On its website, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) says the organization “elects and re-elects Republican attorneys general nationally to promote and protect the Constitution, freedom, and opportunity for future generations.”

In a Monday, May 13 op-ed published by The Nation, justice correspondent Elie Mystal sheds light on the “critical role” of Republican AGs.

“They are the people who, under their own authority, can bend the law to their will and weaponize it against vulnerable communities,” Mystal writes.

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Noting that Republicans often “justify nearly every one of their awful policies with a call to states’ rights,” the Nation columnist writes, “Republicans will say, for instance, that their intention is not to take away abortion rights but merely to let the states decide when a person can be forced to give birth against their will.”

“They are lying, of course,” Mystal emphasizes. “Put simply, whichever rights the Supreme Court does not succeed in obliterating, Republican-controlled state courts and Republican attorneys general eagerly chisel away, state by state,” he adds.

“Republicans realized long ago that state AGs represent the steel gauntlet inside the velvet glove of states’ rights,” Mystal continues. “They also realized that they needed an organization to help them make that vision real, so in 1999 they created” RAGA.

“There are currently 27 of them,” Mystal writes, “and they include future Newsmax hosts like Kansas AG Kris Kobach, who finds his joy in suing to stop Joe Biden’s student debt relief program; Florida AG Ashley Moody, who spends her days fighting whatever ‘wokeness’ conspiracy exists in her head at any given moment; and Texas AG Ken Paxton, who has effectively decided to make up his own immigration laws and enforce them at the point of a gun.”

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Mystal notes that the organization “is incredibly well-funded,” by “Federalist Society Svengali Leonard Leo,” as well as “the usual GOP donor-class supervillains, including Koch Industries, the National Rifle Association, the American Petroleum Institute, and a bunch of corporations, from ExxonMobil to CVS.”

The justice correspondent notes that the attorneys general “are elected officials (many with ambitions for higher office), so when they menace a vulnerable community, they want you to know about it.”

However, Mystal emphasizes, “This also means that they can be defeated. Most of these AGs are not appointed to their post or protected by lifetime tenure, as Supreme Court justices are; they are exposed to the will of the people. So if people would just pay attention to what they’re doing, they can be removed from power.”

Mystal’s full column is available at this link.

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