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Steve Marshall: ‘Any day I can sue Joe Biden is a good day’

Last week, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall spoke to the Alabama Association of General Contractors about his work as the top law enforcement official and prosecutor for the State of Alabama.

Marshall shared a range of accomplishments by his office, including securing a significant settlement for the state from opioid manufacturers, as well as his ongoing efforts to keep President Joe Biden’s administration in check from what Marshall describes as executive overreach.

“Any day I can sue Joe Biden is a good day,” Marshall told the group. “When I came in, we had three lawyers that worked in that national space. I have doubled that.”

Marshall explained that there are three criteria for when the state attorney general has legal standing to challenge the federal government in court: “Does it adversely affect our state? Does it adversely effect people in our state? Does it adversely effect our state law?”

“When we don’t have standing, we can still support industries through the amicus briefs,” Marshall said.

For example, Marshall said when he and a group of state attorneys general sued the Biden administration for using occupational safety authority to require all employees of any defense contractor to receive the COVID-19 vaccine — they were successful in overturning the mandate, thanks due in part to support from impacted industries.

“When industries and AGs work together, we are far more successful than when we don’t,” he said.

RELATED: Marshall ‘Crime Stopper of the Year’ for role in ’99 cold case

Marshall explained that since the administration cannot pass its agenda through Congress, the White House is ruling through executive orders and changing administrative rules to increase their authority.

“They have exceeded the authority that Congress gave them,” Marshall said. “There is no bureaucracy that does not try to extend their authority. If it violates state authority or it violates the constitution then we act.”

“This country has been built on affordable and available power. The green agenda is a threat to that. The concrete industry, they have been targeted by the Biden administration. The two main targets in Alabama are agriculture and the concrete industry. A lot of work is being done with the Clean Air Act.”

Marshall recounted how he brought action against the administration’s orders enabling transgender participation in school sports, banning bump stocks, and changing environmental policies to handicap American businesses. The Alabama AG’s office is actively involved in these issues and many others.

Marshall recently negotiated settlements with the pharmaceutical companies over the damage that they did to the state through the frivolous prescribing of opioids.

“It has been a seven-year project,” said Marshall. “We knew that Alabama was number one per capita in opioid prescriptions.”

Marshall said that Alabama was also number one in persons who got addicted to prescription opioids and number one in deaths from the drugs, even though the deaths are “underreported.”

“$850 million is the amount of settlement coming into the state,” Marshall said. “Half to the state itself and the other half go to the cities and the counties.”

RELATED: AG Marshall finalizes $220 million settlement with two opioid distributors

Marshall said that since Alabama was the state that experienced the consequences of the overprescribing of opioids more per capita than Marshall felt the state should have gotten the most per capita in the national settlement.

“New York, California, and Florida wanted a population centric model,” for how the opioid settlement dollars would be divided between the states Marshall explained. “I was one of the attorney generals that refused to agree to the national settlement.”

Big pharmaceutical companies, which profited billions of dollars by encouraging doctors to prescribe drugs like Lortabs and OxyContin, sought a delayed timeframe to pay their settlements to the states.

“18 years was way too long,” Marshall said explaining his decision for Alabama to go it alone in court rather than just accepting the state’s allotted portion of the national settlement. “I felt that it was a fight worth fighting.”

Half of the money is available for use by the cities and counties.

“We have given what I call flexible guardrails,” on how that money can be used Marshall explained. “Do it in a way where you can tangibly show you are making a difference.”

Opioid dependency is a major contributor to Alabama’s low workforce participation rate which is only 57% of adults working full or part-time.

“The greatest way I can get people out working in the work force and out of the justice system is to be clean for a year.”

Marshall had a very active speaking schedule last week, addressing the Republican Women of South Baldwin County on Tuesday, the Republican Women of Point Clear on Tuesday night, the Alabama Association of General Contractors on Wednesday, and the Capital City Republican Women on Thursday.

Marshall has served as Alabama Attorney General since 2017.

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