Patrick Morrisey

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Patrick Morrisey
36th Attorney General of West Virginia
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 14, 2013
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
Preceded by Darrell McGraw
Personal details
Born (1967-12-21) December 21, 1967 (age 46)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater Rutgers University, New
Brunswick

Rutgers University, Newark
Religion Roman Catholicism

Patrick Morrisey (born December 21, 1967) is is the Attorney General of West Virginia. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life and Education[edit]

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Morrisey grew up in Edison, New Jersey.[1] His father was account manager at U.S. Steel, while his mother worked as a registered nurse.[1] Morrisey ran cross-country and played on his high school's tennis team, before he graduated from Bishop George Ahr High School in 1985.[1]

Morrisey graduated from Rutgers College with a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science in 1989.[2] He also attended Rutgers School of Law–Newark, receiving his juris doctor in 1992.[3]

Career[edit]

After graduating from Rutgers, Morrisey opened a private law firm in 1992. He practiced health care, election, regulatory and communications law at the lobbying group Arent Fox, from 1995 to 1999.[4] Morrisey served as deputy staff director and chief health counsel for the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce from 1999 to 2004, where he worked on the passage of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Response Act and the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (establishing Medicare Part D).[5] He ran unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in New Jersey's 7th congressional district in 2000, receiving 9% of the vote in the Republican primary.[6] He worked for Sidley Austin before he joined King & Spalding in 2010, becoming a partner.[7]

In 2012, Morrisey ran for Attorney General of West Virginia against Darrell McGraw, a five-term incumbent.[7] He defeated McGraw and was sworn in on January 14, 2013, making him the first Republican state Attorney General since 1933.[8][9]

Recently questions have arisen about Morrisey's ties to Cardinal Health, his campaign funds and the lawsuit his predecessor filed against Cardinal Health. After his claim of recusing himself from the suit he met privately on several occasions with representatives of Cardinal Health. [10]

In August 2014, Morrisey filed a lawsuit, along with 11 other states, challenging the EPA's proposal to regulate coal-fired power plants as part of President Obama's plan to mitigate climate change. [11]

Federal Lawsuits[edit]

Legal Strategy[edit]

Morrisey says that the West Virginia Attorney General's Office has "worked to fight federal overreach by filing amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court on a number of issues, ranging from protecting the Second Amendment to defending state jobs and our valuable energy resources."[12] He has said that he did not expect to win many court cases and his "goal for the Obama agenda" was to "gum up the courts enough over the course of the next four years to be able to slow down the Obama administration on these regulations" and "that is going to be the best we can do."[13][14][15] He said his plan was "limit the damage that the Obama administration can inflict on our citizens" [16] and "make it as hard as possible for the administration to finalize invalid rules." [17]

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act[edit]

On July 29, 2014, State of West Virginia v United States HHS, et al/ (1:14-cv-01287-RBW) was filed which challenges regulatory changes to the PPACA's implementation. State of West Virginia has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendant (HHS) has requested an extension of time to respond until October 17, 2014.[18][19][verification needed]

On December 31, 2013, an individual named Jeffrey Cutler filed the case of Cutler v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al., in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (case no. 1:13-cv-02066-CKK). Cutler challenges the constitutionality of the Act. Cutler asserts that the provision requiring individuals to obtain health insurance coverage or face monetary penalties violates the religion clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and a previous Supreme Court Decision , “1947 Everson v Board of Education”, and allows the government to favor one religion over another religion. Cutler also seeks to rollback the law to the status it had prior to 2014 on various grounds. The federal government's motion for complete dismissal is under review, as is the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment. Notice of Appeal was filed on July 25, 2014. Case 14-5183. On August 11, 2014 a notice of related case was filed for the case of State of West Virginia v United States HHS,et al (1:14-cv-01287-RBW). Lawyers from the American Freedom Law Center are handling the appeal. On October 16, 2014 an injunction pending appeal was filed based on "unequal treatment under the law".[20][21][verification needed]

Environmental Protection Agency[edit]

Morrisey's office has filed many amicus briefs in lawsuits challenging the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with little success.

American Farm Bureau v. EPA. On September 13, 2013, in American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania said that the EPA had the authority under the Clean Water Act to impose a total maximum daily load standard for pollutants and that the procedures established were consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.[22] This is contrary to the argument by Morrisey's amicus brief which said that the "EPA's overreach in the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TDML) infringes states' traditional rights the Clean Water Act intended to protect."[23][24]

Mingo Logan Coal v. EPA. On March 24, 2014, in Mingo Logan Coal Company v. EPA, the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed the case without comment finding that the appeal had no merit.[25] The Court rejected the argument in Morrisey's brief which said that the "EPA unlawfully vetoed permits issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers."[26][27]

White Stallion v. EPA. On April 15, 2014, in White Stallion Energy Center v. EPA, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said that the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule regulation of emissions from coal-fired electric generating units was appropriate and necessary and that the EPA acted within its legal authority and demonstrated a reasonable connection between its action and the record of decision.[28] The Court rejected the argument in Morrisey's brief which said that the "EPA rule usurped the states’ authority by setting minimum substantive requirements for state performance standards."[29]

Homer City v. EPA. On April 29, 2014, in EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, the U.S. Supreme Court said the EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule was a cost-effective allocation of emission reductions among upwind States and is a permissible, workable, and equitable interpretation of the Good Neighbor Provision.[30] The Court rejected the argument in Morrisey's brief which claimed that the "EPA exceeded its authority under the federal Clean Air Act when it promulgated the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule".[31][32]

Utility Air v. EPA. On June 23, 2014, in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the EPA reasonably interpreted the Act to require sources that would need permits based on their emission of conventional pollutants to comply with Best Available Control Technology (BACT) for greenhouse gases and that EPA’s decision to require BACT for greenhouse gases emitted by sources otherwise subject to Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) review is, as a general matter, a permissible interpretation of the statute.[33] The Court rejected the argument in Morrisey's brief which said that the "EPA violated the U.S. Constitution and the Clean Air Act by concocting greenhouse gas regulations" and that court needed to "rein in a usurpatious agency and remind the President and his subordinates that they cannot rule by executive decree."[34][35]

Murray Energy v. EPA. On June 25, 2014, Morrisey and other attorneys general submitted an amicus brief [36] in Murray Energy v. EPA before the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit[37] This lawsuit was prematurely filed before EPA has issued the final standards, which are not due until June 1, 2015.[38] The D.C. Circuit has already ruled less than two years earlier in December 2012 on this issue in Las Brisas Energy Center v. EPA. The court dismissed the case with a single short sentence: "The challenged proposed rule is not final agency action subject to judicial review."[39]

National Mining v. EPA. On July 11, 2014, in National Mining Association vs EPA, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said that the EPA and the U.S. Corps of Engineers had the statutory authority under the Clean Water Act to enact a procedure rule (Enhanced Coordination Process memorandum) to review mountaintop mining permits. [40] The Court rejected the argument in Morrisey's brief which claimed that the "EPA was attempting to take for itself responsibilities reserved to the states and other federal agencies."[41]

West Virginia et al v. EPA. On July 31, 2014, Morrisey and attorneys general from other states filed a lawsuit West Virginia et al v. EPA[42][43] in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit challenging a court ordered[44] settlement over three years earlier on March 2, 2011 between the EPA and 11 states - New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia.[45] In this settlement, EPA promised to issue its now-pending rule establishing standards of performance for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Electric Utility Steam Generating Units (EGUs). A settlement was reach based on guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency in 2007 where the Supreme Court held that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act. The attorneys general's lawsuit is over three years late. The EPA published the proposed settlement in December 2010, and Section 113(g) of the Clean Air Act allows a 30 day period to challenge any requirements of the Clean Air Act.[46]

Second Amendment[edit]

Morrisey has filed several amicus briefs in lawsuits challenging Second Amendment decisions with little success.

Kachalsky v. Cacace. On April 15, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in Kachalsky v. Cacace which challenged a New York law that requires a person to show a particular need to obtain a permit to carry a firearm outside the home.[47] Morrisey and attorneys general from other states had submited a brief challenging the lower court decision saying that the law "does not survive any level of scrutiny".[48][49]

Drake v. Jerejian. On May 5, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in Drake v. Jerejian which challenged New Jersey’s requirement that concealed carry permit applicants must demonstrate a “justifiable need” in order to be issued a handgun carry permit.[50] Morrisey and attorneys general from other states had submitted a brief challenging the lower court decision saying that New Jersey's law would "threaten" and "shake the foundation" of less restricting gun permitting schemes in other states."[51][52]

Abramski v. United States. On June 16. 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court in Abramski v. United States of America said that "regardless whether the actual buyer could have purchased the gun, a person who buys a gun on someone else’s behalf while falsely claiming that it is for himself makes a material misrepresentation punishable" under the law.[53] This is contrary to the claim made by Morrisey that the "Department of Justice wants to ensnare innocent West Virginian gun owners in a web of criminal laws if they try to sell their guns" and that "the administration’s interpretation oversteps the law and could make criminals out of innocent citizens."[54][55]

Personal[edit]

Morrisey moved to West Virginia in 2006.[56] He lives in Jefferson County with his wife and his stepdaughter.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Zack Harold (January 25, 2013). "Meet Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia's new attorney general". Charleston Daily Mail. 
  2. ^ Chris Dickerson (April 13, 2012). "Morrisey proposes ethics overhaul". wvrecord.com. 
  3. ^ Rutgers School of Law–Newark (May 22, 2013). "January — June 2012". law.newark.rutgers.edu. 
  4. ^ Paul J. Peyton (June 1, 2000). "The Westfield Leader Newspaper The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood". goleader.com. 
  5. ^ Andrea Lannom (January 25, 2013). "New role as WV attorney general marries Morrisey's passions". State Journal. 
  6. ^ Peyton, Paul J.; Stalker, Suzette; and Johnson, Brian; Westfield Leader. "Ferguson Tops Kean to Win GOP Congressional Primary". goleader.com. 
  7. ^ a b c "Morrisey files to run for AG | West Virginia Record". Wvrecord.com. 2012-01-28. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  8. ^ http://www.statejournal.com/story/patrick-morrisey-announces-steering-committee-meeting
  9. ^ Anonymous. "Patrick Morrisey » Editorials » The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia". Register-herald.com. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  10. ^ http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201310120085
  11. ^ Davenport, Coral. "A Dozen States File Suit Against New Coal Rules". www.nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Meet the Attorney General Patrick Morrisey", West Virginia Attorney General Office. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  13. ^ "State AG holds forum in Logan", Logan Banner. August 2, 2013. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  14. ^ "West Virginia must win its fight against overreach", West Virginia Record. August 23, 2013. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  15. ^ "Morrisey speaks at energy rally in Pittsburgh", West Virginia Record. July 30, 2014. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  16. ^ "Coal Must Be a Part of the Nation’s Future", Huntington News. March 30, 2014. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  17. ^ "Democrat-led West Virginia plans to retaliate against EPA anti-coal regulations", Daily Caller. July 19, 2013. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  18. ^ http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/07/30/west-virginia-attorney-general-suing-white-house-over-obamacare/
  19. ^ http://www.pacer.gov
  20. ^ http://www.pacer.gov
  21. ^ http://www.americanfreedomlawcenter.org/case/jeffrey-cutler-v-u-s-dept-of-health-human-services/
  22. ^ "American Farm Bureau v. EPA Decision", U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania. September 13, 2013. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  23. ^ "American Farm Bureau v. EPA Brief of the States", Kansas et al. February 3, 2014. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  24. ^ "The pro-pollution AGs", The Baltimore Sun. February 6, 2014. Accessed August 17, 2014.
  25. ^ "March 24, 2014 Order List", US Supreme Court. March 24, 2014. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  26. ^ "Mingo Logan Coal Company v. EPA Brief of the States", West Virginia et al. December 16, 2013. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  27. ^ "Morrisey, 26 other AGs come to support of mining company", Charleston Gazette. December 18, 2013. Accessed August 17, 2014.
  28. ^ "White Stallion Energy Center v. EPA Decision", U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. April 15, 2014. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  29. ^ "White Stallion Energy Center v. EPA Brief of State, Industry, and Labor Petitioners", Utility Air Regulatory Group et al. March 25, 2013. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  30. ^ "EPA v. EME Homer City Generation Decision", U.S. Supreme Court. April 29, 2014. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  31. ^ "EPA v. EME Homer City Generation Decision Brief of the States", West Virginia et al. November 7, 2013. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  32. ^ "W.Va. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey Leads Bipartisan Group in Supreme Court Brief Opposing Cross-State Air Pollution Regulations", West Virginia et al. November 7, 2013. Accessed August 17, 2014.
  33. ^ "Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA Decision", U.S. Supreme Court. June 23, 2014. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  34. ^ "Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA Brief of the States", Kansas et al. December 16, 2013. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  35. ^ "U.S. SC to hear challenge to EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations", West Virginia Record. October 16, 2013. Accessed August 17, 2014.
  36. ^ "Murray Energy v. EPA Brief of the States", West Virginia et al. June 25, 2014. Accessed August 21, 2014.
  37. ^ "Murray Energy files lawsuit against EPA to prohibit coal-fired power plant regulations", Murray Energy v. EPA. June 18, 2014. Accessed August 21, 2014.
  38. ^ "Section 111 of the CAA: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants", Environmental Protection Agency. February 20, 2014. Accessed August 21, 2014.
  39. ^ "Las Brisas Energy Center v. EPA", U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit. December 13, 2012. Accessed August 21, 2014.
  40. ^ "National Mining Association vs EPA Decision", U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. July 11, 2014. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  41. ^ "West Virginia must win its fight against overreach", West Virginia Record. August 23, 2013. Accessed August 16, 2014.
  42. ^ "West Virginia et al v. EPA", West Virginia et al. July 31, 2014. Accessed August 21, 2014.
  43. ^ "WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey files new lawsuit", West Virginia State Journal. August 1, 2014. Accessed August 21, 2014.
  44. ^ "New York et al. v. EPA", United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit. September 24, 2007. Accessed August 21, 2014.
  45. ^ "Settlement Agreement", New York et al and EPA. March 2, 1011. Accessed August 21, 2014.
  46. ^ "Clean Air Act. Title I. Air Pollution Prevention and Control.", Environmental Protection Agency. February 24, 2004. Accessed August 21, 2014.
  47. ^ "Kachalsky v. Cacace", SCOTUSblog. April 15, 2013. Accessed August 17, 2013.
  48. ^ "Attorney General Morrisey Files Brief in Gun Case Pending Before U.S. Supreme Court", Office of the WV Attorney General. February 14, 2013. Accessed August 17, 2013.
  49. ^ "Kachalsky v. Cacace Brief of the States", Commonwealth of Virginia et al. Feb 11 2013. Accessed August 17, 2013.
  50. ^ "Drake v. Jerejian", SCOTUSblog. May 5, 2014. Accessed August 17, 2013.
  51. ^ http://www.ago.wv.gov/publicresources/Documents/Wyoming%20Amicus%2002-12-14.pdf "Drake v. Jerejian Brief of the States"], Wyoming et al. February 14, 2014. Accessed August 17, 2013.
  52. ^ "Attorney General Patrick Morrisey Joins 18 Other States in Defending Second Amendment", Office of the WV Attorney General. February 18, 2014. Accessed August 17, 2013.
  53. ^ "Abramski v. United States of America", U.S. Supreme Court. June 16. 2014. Accessed August 17, 2013.
  54. ^ "WV Leads 27 States,Territories in Supreme Court Brief Supporting Citizens’ Rights to Buy, Sell Guns", Office of the WV Attorney General. December 4, 2013. Accessed August 17, 2013.
  55. ^ "Abramski v. United States of America Brief of the States", West Virginia et al. December 3, 2013. Accessed August 17, 2013.
  56. ^ Chris Dickerson (October 31, 2012). "AG hopefuls battle to the end". wvrecord.com. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Darrell McGraw
Attorney General of West Virginia
2013–present
Incumbent