“The North Dakota attorney general and attorneys general across the country – they’re the top law enforcement officers and they filed a lawsuit in the US Supreme Court based on allegations, and I find that just incomprehensible,” Jon Western said. A native of Bismarck, Professor of International Relations at Mount Holyoke College and Five Colleges Inc., Massachusetts, teaches courses on human rights and democracy. “Your job is to work on the facts, and they haven’t.”
“More Political Than Legal”
Western filed papers with each of the attorneys general associated with the Amicus Brief to learn more about the “legal theory behind it.” He provided the Tribune with the North Dakota records, which the Tribune also independently received, and provided over 1,000 pages of legal information and email correspondence.
Missouri Attorney General John Sauer emailed other states on December 8, asking them to join the amicus letter. The next day, North Dakota Assistant Attorney General Troy Seibel replied, “ND is joining.”
In the hours leading up to North Dakota joining, North Dakota Assistant Attorney General Jim Nicolai told Attorney General Matt Sagsveen, “The decision whether to join this amicus is more political than legal.”
Stenehjem, a Republican, told the stands that he and Nicolai “discussed it, and the decision was, of course, mine … and we understood that it is entirely possible that the Supreme Court might refuse to hear the case and.. if so, it would. ” be it.”