ICYMI: Washington Examiner: Top Trump Allies Begin Legal Effort to Stop Federal Government from Trampling on Constitutional Rights
By Christian Datoc
May 14, 2021
Allies of former President Donald Trump are launching a legal team whose mission is to stop “big tech, big media and big government” from trampling on the rights of Americans.
The effort by the America First Policy Institute, a nonprofit founded by former Trump administration officials, has been dubbed the Constitutional Litigation Partnership. It “is another strong addition to AFPI’s already impressive arsenal of weapons against these assaults on our freedoms,” institute President and CEO Brooke Rollins told the Washington Examiner.
“Federalism, free speech, and the rule of law are under attack. Big tech, big media, and big government wield unprecedented power against the interests of the American way of life,” Rollins, who served as the White House’s Domestic Policy Council director under former President Donald Trump, added. “Every American deserves to be heard, the courts are our last line of defense, and the Constitutional Litigation Partnership exists to tip the scales of justice in favor of the American people.”
America First Policy Institute has not formally announced the litigation effort, although the program is listed on the group’s website, and Rollins recently traveled to Florida to discuss the idea with Trump.
Constitutional Litigation Partnership will be joining an already saturated field of legal-based, conservative-leaning advocacy groups.
Stephen Miller, a senior Trump White House adviser who had a heavy hand in guiding the administration’s immigration policy, launched America First Legal in April. The group drew fire from Democrats for joining a suit alleging a Biden administration program providing economic aid to black, Hispanic, and Native American farmers actually discriminates against white farmers.
Still, two former Trump administration officials familiar with the planning behind the launch said America First Policy Institute’s massive organizational structure, roster of high-ranking Trumpworld veterans, and unmatched budget in terms of groups formed by ex-Trump officials, will make Constitutional Litigation Partnership succeed where similar efforts have failed.
Following its April formation, America First Policy Institute boasts 20 fully staffed policy “centers” (Constitutional Litigation Partnership will be the 21st policy center operating under its umbrella) and has plans to double its operating budget of $20 million by 2022.
Trump’s former Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow respectively serve as America First Policy Institute’s chairwoman and vice chairman, while David Bernhardt, Pam Bondi, Jack Brewer, Keith Kellogg, Brian Morgenstern, Rick Perry, John Ratcliffe, Ja’Ron Smith, Scott Turner, Paula White-Cain, and Chad Wolf are also working with the group in some capacity.
One former Trump official framed Constitutional Litigation Partnership as integral toward fulfilling America First Policy Institute’s mission goal: advancing policies “that put the American people first.”
The official noted a dramatic rise in multistate lawsuits filed against the federal government in recent years. The Trump administration faced 156 multistate suits in four years, compared to 78 and 76 in the Obama and W. Bush administrations, which lasted eight years apiece. Those figures, according to the former Trump official, are indicative of growing partisan gridlock in D.C. over the past two decades.
There are only two ways to protect civil rights, the official claimed: the first is by crafting good policy, while the second is going to court. When legislatures fail, the courts are your only recourse, that official added.
A second former Trump official explained that the sheer number of issue-focused policy centers at America First Policy Institute will allow Constitutional Litigation Partnership to take on big cases tackling the federal government, the media, technology companies, and other class-action lawsuits.
The official further stated the desire within the organization to work with small businesses across the country that were decimated due to the coronavirus pandemic and that Constitutional Litigation Partnership is in preliminary discussions with parties in Florida and New Jersey about potential collaboration.
America First Policy Institute is nonpartisan and isn’t concerned with rehabilitating Trump’s image after leaving office, Rollins told reporters in April.
Instead, the organization will seek to shape policy that will positively affect the country for decades, regardless of which party is in power in Washington, she claimed, and that “those on the other side of the aisle, those that are progressive, sort of radical, remake America, have out-gunned us on this field for years, if not decades.”
Conversely, Miller’s outfit launched with the explicit goal of obstructing President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.