Biden faces first multistate lawsuit over climate EO

March 9, 2021: Twelve states filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration regarding an executive order on climate change.

President Joe Biden (D) and his team have been preparing for the transition between presidential administrations since the election, including selecting senior White House staff and appointees to top government positions.

In 2020, there were 1,472 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,118 positions required Senate confirmation and 354 did not. The new administration is also responsible for filling thousands of other positions across the federal government, including in operations and policy. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden administration.

  • The Senate will vote on whether to invoke cloture on the nominations of Marcia Fudge for secretary of housing and urban development and Merrick Garland for attorney general on Tuesday evening.


  • Twelve states, led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R), filed a lawsuit against Biden on Monday over an executive order he issued to assess the costs of and damages associated with greenhouse gas pollution. Schmitt called the executive order unlawful federal overreach. In addition to Missouri, the following states are involved: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah.
  • The White House announced additional staff members across several offices, including legal counsel, legislative affairs, and speechwriting.
  • Biden nominated Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost as commander of the United States Transportation Command and Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson as commander of the United States Southern Command. If confirmed, they would be the second and third women to lead a combatant command.
  • Biden signed an executive order on Monday calling for the evaluation of Title IX rules on how sexual harassment and assault cases are handled at educational institutions.

Transition in Context: Multistate Lawsuits

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) filed the first multistate lawsuit against the Biden administration on Monday. Multistate lawsuits are legal actions involving two or more state attorneys general.

The following chart shows the number of multistate lawsuits filed against each previous administration from 1981 to 2021. During this time period, the Bush I administration saw the fewest lawsuits filed (20). The Trump administration saw the most multistate lawsuits with more than 150.

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