Week 8 – March 18, 2019
Relationship with Federal Government
Syllabus: The Role of the State Attorney General
State attorneys general have a complex relationship with the federal government, including the Department of Justice, local U.S. Attorneys, and other federal agencies. In most cases, attorneys general cooperate with federal agencies to carry out federal policy but in some cases and in some states attorneys general attempt to either challenge or prompt federal action. This section analyzes this complex and changing relationship.
We begin with the role of State attorneys general that everyone knows about today, namely, suing the federal government. Although people think of that as Republican AGs suing Obama and Democratic AGs suing Trump, it is more than that, and much older than that. Then, we look at the role of State attorneys general working with the federal government. Finally, we consider the role of preemption in which the federal government tries to prevent State attorneys general from taking action.
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Opposition to the Federal Government
- P.I.,States Sue Over Acid Rain(Mar. 20, 1984)
- Brooke A. Masters,States Flex Prosecutorial Muscle: AG's Move Into What Was Once Federal Territory, Washington Post (Jan. 12, 2005) (supplemental reading)
- Texas vs. the Feds — A Look at the Lawsuits, Texas Tribune (Jan. 11, 2017)
- Lauren Dezenski,In Fight Against Trump, Democratic AGs Take a Page from GOP, Politico (Feb. 7, 2018)
Cooperation with the Federal Government
- Gara, Antoine,Federal Judge Rules In Favor Of FTC Challenge To Sysco And US Foods Merger, Forbes (June 23, 2015)
- Louis Jacobson,Without Obama to Sue, What are Republican AGs Up To, Governing (Aug. 28, 2017)
Preemption by the Federal Government
- Robert Berner,They Warned Us About the Mortgage Crisis, Business Week (Oct. 9, 2008) (supplemental reading)
- Obama Preemption Order,The White House Office Of The Press Secretary(May 20, 2009)
- Trevor W. Morrison, The State Attorney General and Preemption(2009) (supplemental reading)
- Clean Energy in the Age of Trump Means Federal Preemption of State Incentives, Renewable Energy World
- After Scaling Back Student Loan Regulations, Administration Tries to Stop State Efforts, New York Times (Sept 9, 2018)