Since taking office at the beginning of 2019, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul has announced the state’s participation in several multistate actions covering various issues. The actions include comments challenging federal administration proposals, investigations into corporations, and multistate lawsuits and amicus briefs. Below is an update on notable multistate actions in which Wisconsin is participating:
- On Oct. 22, Kaul announced Wisconsin’s participation in a bipartisan group of attorneys general investigating Facebook for antitrust issues. There is a total of 47 attorneys general from across the U.S. and territories involved in the investigation.
- On Sept. 9, Kaul joined 49 attorneys general in a bipartisan investigation of Google for antitrust issues.
- On July 22, Kaul announced Wisconsin, among 49 other states and territories, reached a settlement with Equifax as a result of the attorneys general investigation into a 2017 data breach.
Multistate Lawsuits & Amicus Briefs
- On Oct. 23, Kaul filed an amicus brief with 15 attorneys general in a Montana case regarding states’ roles in addressing pollution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.
- On Oct. 22, Kaul and 19 other attorneys general filed a complaint challenging three rules that make changes to the Endangered Species Act by adding economic considerations and narrowing the circumstances under which animals may be designated endangered, among other reforms.
- On Sept. 20, Kaul joined a lawsuit challenging a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rule preempting state-level vehicle emissions standards.
- On Aug. 13, Kaul joined a coalition of 22 states and seven local governments in a lawsuit challenging the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Affordable Clean Energy Rule, which repeals the Clean Power Plan.
- On June 12, Kaul joined an amicus brief challenging the federal administration’s use of Department of Defense funds to construct a border wall in New Mexico and Arizona. Kaul joined a coalition of 20 states in filing a similar motion in April.
- On June 11, Kaul joined several other states in a lawsuit seeking to block the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.
- On May 21, Kaul joined a coalition filing a legal challenge to a federal rule that would allow health care providers to deny treatment based on the providers’ religious beliefs.
- On May 16, Kaul filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, alleging the opioid manufacturer contributed to the opioid epidemic. Four other states filed separate lawsuits against the company. Earlier this fall, Kaul declined to join a multidistrict settlement against Purdue Pharma, and the lawsuit is ongoing.
- On May 13, Kaul joined a coalition of states in filing a lawsuit against generic drug manufacturers, alleging antitrust issues.
- On March 5, Kaul joined a coalition of 21 states filing a challenge to a rule that would bar clinics receiving Title X grant funding from referring patients for abortion.
- On Jan. 15, Kaul joined an amicus brief seeking to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Withdrawal from Previous Administration Lawsuits
- On April 15, Kaul successfully withdrew Wisconsin from a lawsuit challenging Environmental Protection Agency regulations of air pollutants.
- On April 2, Kaul successfully withdrew from a lawsuit challenging a Department of Health & Human Services rule that includes gender identity and termination of pregnancy in the prohibition of discrimination in health care.
- On April 5, Kaul withdrew Wisconsin from a multistate lawsuit seeking to declare the Affordable Care Act
Comments to Congress & Agencies
- On Oct. 23, Kaul joined 23 states in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency. The comments challenged a proposed rule changing states’ authority under the Clean Water Act.
- On Oct. 17, Kaul joined 28 states in requesting the federal Department of Education discharge federal student loans for students who attended now-closed schools operated by Dream Center Education Holdings, LLC.
- On Sept. 24, Kaul joined a 24-state coalition opposing federal Department of Agriculture rules revising categorical eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
- On Sept. 20, Kaul joined 27 other states in submitting a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stating concerns about a proposed rule regarding debt collection.
- On Aug. 7, Kaul and 42 other state attorneys general urged the video streaming industry to implement policies to limit tobacco imagery in video content.
- On Aug. 5, Kaul joined a coalition of 39 attorneys general in a letter to Congress urging legislation to remove federal regulatory barriers to opioid use disorder treatment.
- On July 30, Kaul joined 21 other state attorneys general in urging Congress to regulate PFAS compounds.
- On July 3, Kaul and 15 other attorneys general sent a letter to the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development opposing a rule repealing requirements that shelters house individuals according to gender identity.
- June 25, Kaul joined 18 other state attorneys general in submitting comments to the federal Department of Labor opposing a proposal to change the department’s interpretation of joint employment.
- On June 12, Kaul announced that a coalition of 43 attorneys general urged the Federal Trade Commission to develop new antitrust policies, specifically related to digital platforms like Facebook, Google, and Amazon.
- On May 24, Kaul announced he and 50 other attorneys general from U.S. states and territories submitted a letter asking the federal Department of Education to forgive student loan debt for veterans permanently disabled in connection with their service.
- On May 8, Kaul joined a bipartisan coalition in urging Congress to pass legislation to provide marijuana-related businesses access to the federal banking system.
- On May 1, Kaul and 40 other attorneys general urged Congress to fund the Legal Services Corporation, which provides funding for programs like Legal Action of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Judicare.
- On April 1, Kaul and a bipartisan coalition sent a letter to the Department of Health & Human Services expressing concern about the department’s Pain Management Best Practices Interagency Task Force draft report.
- On Feb. 18, Kaul joined multistate letters to the Federal Trade Commission on identity theft rules and to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on financial consumer products protections.