Politico reports that Miller is launching America First Legal, a group that will “help organize Republican attorneys general against perceived executive branch abuses in addition to filing lawsuits of its own.” Think of it as the right-wing answer to the American Civil Liberties Union, molded in Miller’s ugly image.
Miller’s organization will join a fairly crowded ecosystem of conservative-leaning legal entities, including Judicial Watch, Alliance Defending Freedom and the Immigration Reform Law Institute. But unlike those entities, which tend to operate around specific issues, such as religious liberty, free speech or immigration, America First Legal will be broadly focused on administrative law and executive overreach. That issue focus is derived, in large part, from the experiences that Miller and fellow Trump veterans confronted during the last administration.
Miller has been putting America First Legal together with guidance from former Sen. Jim DeMint’s Conservative Partnership Institute and Clinton-impeachment lawyer Ken Starr, who also served on Trump’s first impeachment defense team. Gene Hamilton, a former Justice Department lawyer, has also been involved and is expected to oversee the group’s legal work since Miller himself is not a trained attorney, while former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, currently a senior partner at CPI, will serve on its board.
Ken Starr, Mark Meadows, and Miller joining forces for any reason is cause for concern, be it a farting contest or a right-wing wet dream of bombarding the Biden administration with litigation.
This comes across as an embittered Miller is directing his ire at the next administration after the ACLU and other organizations made it just that much more difficult for Miller’s immigration framework to come to fruition. During Miller’s White House tenure, the ACLU filed 400 legal actions against the Trump administration, many regarding the administration’s approach to immigration, citizenship, and asylum. This includes litigation to end Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy at the U.S.-Mexico border, which separated migrant children from their parents to deter undocumented immigration.
Miller was the architect of the disastrous, short-lived policy, which he reportedly said must be enforced or else it’ll be “the end of our country as we know it.” Miller’s flair for dramatics—and depicting the undocumented as monstrous hordes of rapists, the bringers of so-called white genocide—will undoubtedly live on in America First Legal. Whether anyone wants to be associated with those dramatics is another question.
“I think this is an important endeavor but the question is whether Stephen Miller being the face of the fight against federal overreach will turn out to be a wise strategy,” said a former Trump White House official, adding that Miller could encounter fundraising difficulties “since many donors won’t want the potential exposure of backing something affiliated with him.”
Well, he can just slither off to the background, stowing chaos behind the scenes like he always does.