(Cartoon by Greg Kearney)
(Cartoon by Greg Kearney)
Gov. Paul LePage is once again suing Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills for not following his orders. In a complaint filed in Kennebec County Superior Court on Oct. 11, LePage’s attorney Bryan Dench argues that Mills overstepped her authority by joining a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

In a statement back in September, Mills condemned U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the administration will phase out DACA within six months and will no longer accept new work permit applications for undocumented people whose parents brought them to the United States as children.

“The several hundred young people in Maine who will be directly impacted by this action are working and paying taxes to the state,” said Mills at the time. “The idea that these are the people the current administration wants to remove from the only country they’ve ever known is despicable.”

In a letter to Mills dated Sept. 22, LePage said that she needs approval by his office or the Legislature to join the 20 state attorney generals in challenging Trump’s move.

“I have not requested that you initiate litigation in California relating to DACA,” wrote LePage. “In fact, I support the end of DACA and believe its termination is in the best interest of the State of Maine and its people.”

Mills wrote back thanking the governor for the letter and cited two Maine Supreme Court decisions — Lund Ex Rel. Wilbur v. Pratt and Superintendent of Ins. v. ATTY. GEN. — which ruled that the Attorney General is not obligated to represent the executive branch and affirmed that, as an independent constitutional officer, the AG has the power to defend the interest of the public unless there is an explicit law prohibiting her to do so.

Kennebec County Superior Court recently threw out a separate LePage lawsuit against Mills alleging “abuse of power” because she refused to represent him on amicus briefs supporting Trump’s Muslim travel ban.

Lewiston Sun Journal is reporting that LePage has filed yet another lawsuit against Mills for allegedly holding back public records related to litigation challenging Trump’s travel ban.

“While I’m confident that this latest quixotic attempt to prove otherwise will meet the same fate as all the others,” wrote Mills on Facebook, “I’m also saddened by the waste of time and taxpayer dollars that this frivolous lawsuit represents.”