The Justice Department has weighed in twice since it said in February it would take a more active role in scrutinizing class action settlements.

The attorneys general of 18 mostly red states have followed its lead in the cases. The courts haven’t been very impressed by the arguments in either case. Both resolved consumer claims through coupons rather than money damages.

That lack of success is causing some consumer attorneys to question the government’s strategy and even sophistication handling class actions.

Some also question the motivation behind the extra attention: whether it’s to protect consumers, or to support conservative organizations...