AG Coleman sets lawsuit record. Who’s he trying to impress? Skip to content

AG Coleman sets lawsuit record. Who’s he trying to impress?

And I thought Daniel Cameron was bad.

3 min read

When Andy Beshear was attorney general, he filed a few well-known lawsuits as part of his work as AG. There was the threatened suit against President Trump over Obamacare. There was the lawsuit to stop the sewer bill. And there was talk over a suit about the Fort Campbell elementary school.

A couple of times, I thought there might be some political calculation behind a few of the suits, but I never thought that seemed to be the overriding concern. Most of Beshear’s work seemed to be focused on stopping an out-of-control governor named Bevin.

Then came Daniel Cameron. From the beginning, it seemed he was spending at least some of his time jockeying for a higher office, with becoming governor leading the way. He filed more suits than Beshear, and they seemed aimed to score points with his Republican base:

  • Kentucky v. Biden (federal contractor vaccine mandate)
  • Kentucky v. OSHA (large employer vaccine mandate)
  • Kentucky v. Yellen (ARPA tax mandate)
  • Kentucky v. EPA (“waters of the US” rule)
  • Kentucky v. EPA (Clean Air Act)
  • Cameron v. Beshear (Covid travel orders)
  • Tabernacle Baptist Church v. Beshear (in-person services)
  • Danville Christian Academy v. Beshear (school closures)
  • Kentucky v. Friedlander (abortion rules)

That’s nine lawsuits over a four-year term. Most of them came out of the pandemic, as Beshear tried to keep people safe and Cameron tried to win votes.

Now comes our current AG, Russell Coleman, whose comms person is kept busy sending out press releases touting his latest actions against President Biden, the EPA, and anyone else he can attack to score points with his base.

Think I’m overstating? Here’s a list from just his first four months in office, taken directly off his News page:

  • Attorney General Coleman leads multi-state coalition to block Biden administration’s assault on gas-powered cars (joins coalition to fight rule saying states need to reduce greenhouse emissions)
  • Attorney General Coleman fights to keep big government out of Kentuckians’ investments and savings (joined 23-state coalition opposing SEC’s tracking of stock trades)
  • Attorney General Coleman rejects Biden administration’s radical green agenda on plastics (joins coalition to oppose rule to reduce single-use plastic)
  • Attorney General Coleman calls on Supreme Court to rein in FDA that puts politics over health (files brief opposing loosening restrictions on mifepristone)
  • Attorney General Coleman leads national fight against Biden administration’s job-killing EPA rule (files lawsuit over air quality rule)
  • Attorney General Coleman urges Franklin Circuit Court to end its death penalty ban (files motion urging reinstatement of death penalty)
  • Attorney General Coleman takes Biden administration’s EPA to court, again (sues over EPA regulations on methane emissions)
  • Kentucky, Tennessee lead national fight to protect women’s sports and equal opportunities in schools (sues Biden over Title IX)
  • Attorney General Coleman sues to stop Biden administration’s harassment of law-abiding gun owners (joins 21-state lawsuit)

These are all red-meat topics for Coleman’s base, including their use of right-wing, straight-from-Fox verbiage: “Radical green agenda ... job-killing EPA rule ... harassment of gun owners.” Whenever I get one of these press releases in my inbox, I can just look at the subject line and tell who it’s from.

So here’s a question: Is Russell Coleman serving as our AG, or running for president? Or trying to be Trump’s VP pick? (Hmm.)

Somehow, amidst all the right-wing showboating, the office of the AG has done a few good things, mainly in the fraud and opioid spaces. Read the list of headlines I linked to above and you’ll see what I mean.

But based on that same list, Coleman and his staff are much more focused on suing Biden and the EPA than they are on justice issues in our home state.

And remember – that list is from four months in office. Compare that to Daniel Cameron’s list of nine in four years.

Can Coleman and his merry band of lawyers keep up this pace? Will we need to submit the list to the Guinness Book of World Records? Or at some point, will even Coleman get tired of it? (Safe bet: No.)

It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out over the next months and years. If Coleman is still AG in 2027, it’s obvious he’s going to run for governor. But maybe he’s aiming higher – Congress, or even Mitch’s Senate seat.

Or maybe it really is a play to get that Trump VP slot. Considering Trump’s current set of courtroom entanglements, perhaps Coleman thinks this many lawsuits against Biden will impress The Former Guy.

So keep it up, AG Coleman. Maybe Trump will notice, and you’ll get to campaign as a law-and-order straight arrow running with a multiply-indicted crime boss.

Or, there’s always the Book of World Records.


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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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