Week 9 – March 25, 2019
Politicization of the Attorney General
Syllabus: The Role of the State Attorney General
With Attorneys General playing a larger and larger national role, all sides of the political spectrum increasingly attempt to influence Attorneys General. Eric Lipton of the New York Times wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning series on lobbying Democratic and Republican Attorneys General. Following Citizens United, increasingly “dark money” is used to challenge or defeat Attorneys General who have taken or may take positions adverse to certain interests. This week considers the increasing politicization of Attorneys General, the possible impacts of such politicization, and whether there is anything that can or should be done about it.
To help us navigate through this swamp, the former Connecticut Attorney General George Jepson will join us. In addition to being one of the most respected Attorneys General when he served, acting as lead counsel on a number of the major multistate cases we discuss this semester, he served as the head of the Democratic Attorneys General Association.
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- Eric Lipton,Lobbyists, Bearing Gifts, Pursue Attorneys General, New York Times (Oct. 28, 2014)
- Eric Lipton,Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance with Attorneys General, New York Times (Dec. 6, 2014)
- Eric Lipton,Lawyers Create Big Paydays by Coaxing Attorneys General to Sue, New York Times (Dec. 18, 2014)
- Paul Nolette,State Litigation During the Obama Administration: Diverging Agendas in an Era of Polarizing Politics, 44 Publicus: the Journal of Federalism 451 (2014) (supplemental reading)
- Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) (edited)
- Montana AG Blue Cross-Blue Shield Articles (2012-14)
- Dan Levine and Lawrence Hurley, "These are desperate times": Big money is pouring into state attorney general races, Business Insider (July 31, 2017)