Democrat Phil Weiser became Colorado’s attorney general on Jan. 8, elected on a promise to serve as a check on President Donald Trump’s administration.
He has wasted little time in filing legal challenges against White House policies and initiatives.
So far, he has either filed or signed onto at least 14 lawsuits against the Trump administration. He has also filed at least 9 briefs in support of challenges to its policies and stances.
Here is a breakdown of those cases:
Lawsuits against the Trump administration
Oregon vs. Azar: Weiser signed Colorado onto the multistate lawsuit that seeks to overturn the Trump administration’s so-called Title X “Gag Rule.” The policy restricts what health care providers can say about abortion to patients who receive family planning and other health care services under the Title X, national family planning program.
California vs. Azar: Weiser signed Colorado onto the multistate lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s efforts to expand religious and moral exemptions to providing birth-control coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Colorado vs. U.S. Department of Justice: Weiser and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis are suing the Trump administration seeking to secure $2.7 million in federal criminal-justice grants for state and local law enforcement that were withheld because Colorado refused to agree to immigration-enforcement stipulations. A number of other states and cities have filed similar legal actions.
New York vs. Donald Trump: Weiser signed Colorado onto the multistate lawsuit aimed at preventing the president from undoing the Obama-era program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which provided deportation protections for young people who were brought into the country as children and now are living in the U.S. illegally.
New York vs. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Weiser signed Colorado onto the multistate lawsuit to block a Trump administration policy that would expand the ability of medical providers to deny services to patients based on personal beliefs or moral convictions. Critics of the policy worry it could be used to deny abortions.
Texas vs. U.S.: Weiser signed Colorado onto the multistate effort to challenge a lawsuit from Republican attorneys general attempting to unwind the Affordable Care Act.
California vs. U.S.: Weiser signed Colorado onto the multistate lawsuit over Trump’s emergency declaration to secure funds to build a wall along the border with Mexico. He said Colorado has standing to join the legal action because money for the state’s military installations could be at risk.
U.S. Department of Commerce vs. New York, et al: Weiser signed the attorney general’s office onto the lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s effort to ask a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper initially added the state to the legal action, but Weiser added the weight of his office to the fight.
New York, et al vs. EPA: Wesier signed Colorado onto a lawsuit with 28 other states and cities suing the Trump administration over its rollback of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. Weiser’s predecessor, Republican Cynthia Coffman, sued the Obama administration to block the policy’s implementation.
Washington, et al vs. U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Weiser joined a multi-state lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s changes to the “public charge” definition, which opponents say unfairly targets immigrants and their families. The change means an immigrant in the U.S. legally who uses benefits like food or housing assistance can have their legal status is revoked or even face deportation.
Colorado, et al vs. United States: Weiser joined a lawsuit with a host of states challenging the Trump administration’s decision to rescind a waiver allowing states to enact tougher vehicle emissions standards than what’s mandated federally.
Colorado, et al vs. Interior Department: Weiser joined a multistate lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to roll back parts of the Endangered Species Act.
Colorado, et al vs. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Weiser joined six other states and the District of Columbia in suing the Trump administration over a rule requiring insurance companies to send a second, separate bill for abortion and other reproductive health coverage.
Colorado, et al vs. U.S. Department of Agriculture: Weiser joined a number of other states in suing the Trump administration over a rule change limiting exemptions on time limits for the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
California, et al vs. Environmental Protection Agency: Weiser joined 22 other states and four cities, including Denver, to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for relaxing clean car standards that could impact Colorado’s new zero-emissions vehicle policy.
Briefs filed in lawsuits against the Trump administration
U.S.A vs. Safehouse: Weiser has filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting Safehouse, a Philadelphia nonprofit, in its legal battle with the federal government over its effort to open a supervised drug consumption site.
California vs. Environmental Protection Agency: Weiser has filed a brief supporting the federal lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to roll back Obama-era vehicle-emissions standards for manufacturers’ fleets.
Mayor and City Council of Baltimore vs. Donald Trump: Weiser joined 17 other states and the District of Columbia in filing a friend of the court brief supporting the City Council of Baltimore’s lawsuit against the Trump administration’s changes to the public-charge rule. The rule aims to change the process by which officials determine whether an immigrant would end up using government programs.
Zzyym vs. Pompeo: Weiser has filed a brief in support of an intersex Coloradan who is seeking to obtain a U.S. passport with a nonbinary gender identification.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization vs. Dobbs: Weiser joined 21 states and the District of Columbia in supporting a legal challenge to a Mississippi law that bans access to abortion after 15 weeks.
Make more journalism like this possible with a Colorado Sun membership, starting at just $5 a month.
Neopollard Interactive vs. Barr: Weiser has filed a brief in a case challenging the Trump administration Department of Justice’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act, which some fear could criminalize all forms of interstate online gambling. The brief argues that the Wire Act does not apply to state lotteries.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey vs. Trump: Weiser filed a brief supporting a challenge to rules related to contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Brackeen (Texas) vs. Zinke: Weiser filed a brief in support of the Trump administration’s U.S. Department of the Interior’s defense of the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Pennsylvania vs. Navient: Weiser filed a brief supporting states’ ability to hold student loan services accountable under consumer protection laws.
Altitude Express v. Zarda, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home v. EEOC: Weiser filed a brief in supporting the idea that protections from job discrimination based on gender falls under Title VII of the Ciil Rights Act include protections for sexual orientation.
This is a developing story that will be updated.
The Colorado Sun has no paywall, meaning readers do not have to pay to access stories. We believe vital information needs to be seen by the people impacted, whether it’s a public health crisis, investigative reporting or keeping lawmakers accountable.
This reporting depends on support from readers like you. For just $5/month, you can invest in an informed community.