Monday, July 10, 2017

States AGs Emphasize Rule of Law; Look Forward to Working with Trump's Justice Department

Back in May, at the RNLA’s annual National Policy Conference, one of its highly-praised panels included a discussion and conversation with three current sitting state Attorneys General—Attorney General Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas, Attorney General Curtis Hill of Indiana, and Attorney General Jeff Landry of Louisiana.

They took a few moments to speak about their priorities in their home states as well as how they each saw their role at their home state’s chief lawyer.

Arkansas's Attorney General Leslie Rutledge spoke of the benefits of working with Trump Administration, rather than against the liberal and leftist policies of the previous administration. She also discussed her historic win as Arkansas’s first Republican Attorney General and her ongoing work to make the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office more accessible to all its residents.

[P]eople don't know all that we do in the Attorney General's Office. I really strive to reach more people. We have 75 counties in Arkansas. I've launched mobile offices and we go to every single county every year. This will be the third year in a row. I have personally gone to every county, all 75, holding “Rutledge Roundtables.” There is no litmus test to attend those roundtables. . . . We have to talk to people[, including those] who do not agree with us, and we have to do a better job of being public servants of letting people know how they can get help from our office. That's the one thing I have learned the most, how big the role of attorney general is and how much we can impact people daily life…

Jeff Landry, the new Attorney General of Louisiana, was most concerned about ensuring that police have the resources and ability to combat crime in their communities.

One of the most important roles we play is assuring the rule of law is actually followed. It's scary when you have to say that this country, to think that there are laws out there that [key members from the prior administration were just] picking and choosing whether or not they were going to follow them.

Attorney General Curtis Hill of Indiana ran and won on promising greater accountability and oversight as his priority in his new tenure as Attorney General--to serve the people. Beckoning back to President Reagan, Hill also wants to return common sense to his office.
My role as Attorney General remains the same regardless of who is in the White House. . . . My job is to defend the interests of my state and my people. Regardless of what the threat might be . . . [if we believe] some type of behavior is unconstitutional or we believe it to the detriment of Indiana, my office will act and will not act without any hesitation.

While each state varied a bit in their own agendas, there were some clear similarities. Specifically, each of the Attorneys General expressed enthusiasm about working with the Trump Administration and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session’s Justice Department. They also look forward to the addition of great judges, like Justice Gorsuch, and the score of other well qualified textualist judges recently nominated to the federal courts.

You can view the entirety of this discussion, here at C-SPAN. They taped the entire day’s public sessions. The AG Panel begins just after the 2-hour mark (about 2:02:00).


On August 4th and 5th, the RNLA is planning another stellar lineup of speakers for its annual National Election Law Seminar and you will be able to earn up to 9 hours of CLE credit, including an hour of ethics credit. This year, the RNLA is going to Grand Rapids, Michigan, which was a pivotal swing state in the 2016 Election. 

A keynote speaker at the Seminar will be Ronna McDaniel, Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. In the coming weeks, we will have additional announcements of keynote speakers and specials guests in attendance. Tickets are available now. The special early bird rate will end on Friday, July 14.  Also, specially discounted hotel rooms are still available for attendees. We look forward to seeing you there!

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