The overwhelming message among democrats in Annapolis this past legislative session was quite clear: We do not like Donald Trump.
Aside from the often-animated rhetoric heard on the House and Senate floors, there were several pieces of legislation introduced that sought to counter the direction of the newly elected Trump Administration.
One such bill was the Maryland Defense Act. This unprecedented legislation effectively expands the powers of the Attorney General, an office that has been unchanged since 1864.
Under this new measure, Attorney General Brian Frosh may now sue the Trump administration at will, using taxpayer money. He no longer has to receive permission from the Governor to do so. This legislation also provides one million dollars for the Attorney General and his staff to file the lawsuits.
The political environment in Washington and Annapolis is extremely tumultuous. Concerns have been voiced over why Maryland Democrats are giving Attorney General Brian Frosh unchecked powers to sue for any reason and for no reason.
During the recent legislative session, progressive democrats in the House and Senate attempted to pass legislation that would make Maryland a Sanctuary State. While the Trump Administration and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned states against such a move, the progressive left and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh support Maryland becoming a Sanctuary State.
The legislation ultimately failed to pass due to a wave of pressure from Maryland residents who reached out to their elected officials in opposition. The timing of the legislation did not help, as it was being discussed when news broke that a 14 year old girl from Rockville High School was allegedly raped by two of her classmates in a school bathroom. One of the suspects, an adult male, was illegally present and had a deportation detainer against him. He was enrolled as a Freshman by Montgomery County Public Schools.
The legislation was killed in the Maryland Senate and many Senators, specifically Senator Bobby Zirkin (D-Baltimore County), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have drawn harsh criticism from progressive democrats who wanted to see the bill passed. Republicans in both houses opposed the bill.
Ignoring Federal law, Attorney General Brian Frosh has now issued a memorandum to all State law enforcement agencies and correctional institutions personnel. In his memorandum, Frosh requested all law enforcement members to not cooperate with federal government immigration and customs agency detainer requests.
While this is only a “guidance memorandum”, Frosh threatened in his memo that any jail, correctional facility or law enforcement agency that does not comply with his advice and cooperates with federal immigration agents could be sued.
It would appear that Frosh’s new unchecked powers have emboldened him. The Maryland Legislature did not pass sanctuary state legislation, yet Attorney General Frosh has taken it upon himself to effectively mandate that Maryland law enforcement abide by sanctuary state-like policies, or else.