“Fourth Branch”? Hawaii Wins Nationwide TRO against the President’s Revised Immigration Ban

Once again, a State AG lawsuit has put the brakes on the President’s immigration ban. This one comes from Hawaii. Last week, Hawaii challenged the new ban in district court and moved for a temporary restraining order. On Wednesday, March 15, the court granted the motion.[1]

Hawaii challenged the President’s first ban in early February. That one barred the entry of citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries—as well as all refugees,… More

Time to Start Working on 2018 Ballot Questions

It may feel like the dust has yet to settle on the 2016 Election, but the first important deadlines for the 2018 Election are just around the corner.  In Massachusetts, proposed Initiative Petitions for the November 2018 ballot must be submitted to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) on or before Wednesday, August 2, 2017.

Initiative petitions provide issue advocates with a means of passing policy proposals that may have stalled in the Legislature.  … More

Recent Updates from the Attorney General’s Nonprofit Division

Several attorneys from the Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division of the Office of the Attorney General (the Division) participated in an engaging panel discussion at the Boston Bar Association last week. The discussion covered a number of topics of interest to nonprofit organizations in the Commonwealth, including required and requested reporting related to “fundamental transactions,” probate issues, governance challenges faced by nonprofits, and an update regarding charitable fundraising in the Commonwealth.… More

Friend or Foe? State Attorneys General Start to Change Their Tune on Industry & Cybersecurity

Should businesses be thought of as victims or bad actors when it comes to data breaches?  State attorneys general are embracing the idea that businesses are not necessarily adversaries in the struggle to protect sensitive consumer information.  Over the past several years state attorneys general have exerted efforts to both educate businesses as to their data privacy responsibilities, and collaborate with businesses in constructing more robust cybersecurity policies.  The spotlight now is on the Ohio Attorney General,… More

With CFPB’s Future in Doubt, State AGs Prepare to Fight

In the first of what are becoming regular clashes between Democratic state attorneys general and the new President, the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia sought to intervene in federal court proceedings to defend the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”), which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”),… More

Gun Rights Activists and Industry Representatives Continue to Challenge the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Gun Control Efforts

In the latest development in the ongoing dispute between Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, on the one hand, and gun manufacturers, distributors and gun rights advocates on the other, the Gun Owners’ Action League, Inc. (GOAL) and others filed suit last week challenging the constitutionality of both the Commonwealth’s assault weapons ban, which was first passed in 1998, and the AG’s July 20, 2016 Enforcement Notice,… More

Update: Six National Retailers Agree to Stop Using On-Call Shift Scheduling

Attorneys general from eight states, including Massachusetts and New York, and the District of Columbia, announced in December that six major retailers—Aeropostale, Carter’s, David’s Tea, Disney, PacSun, and Zumiez—have agreed to stop scheduling employees for on-call shifts.  The retailers agreed to end the practice after receiving letters from the AGs last April that sought information about the companies’ utilization of on-call shifts and expressed concern about the negative effects the practice has on employees. … More

Summary of The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act

On November 8, 2016, Massachusetts voters passed Initiative Petition 15-37, The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.  The Act: legalizes the possession of one (1) ounce or fewer of marijuana for people age twenty-one (21) and older and the personal possession of ten (10) ounces and not more than twelve (12) plants cultivated in a person’s primary residence for personal use; establishes a Cannabis Control Commission with the authority to license,… More

Exxon Climate Change Investigation Updates

Exxon’s dispute with Massachusetts AG Maura Healey’s civil investigative demand related to Exxon’s knowledge of climate change both deepened and potentially widened in the last week.

First, on October 13, 2016 United States District Judge Ed Kinkeade handed down an order that will allow Exxon to conduct discovery on Healey’s motives for issuing the CID.  The order stems from the AG’s argument, in moving to dismiss, that Exxon’s claim is improperly before the federal court in the Northern District of Texas pursuant to Younger v.… More

Exxon-Healey Dispute Gets Hearing as State AGs Weigh In

This week in the Northern District of Texas, U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade heard oral argument on Exxon Mobil’s motion for preliminary injunction against Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s civil investigative demand, issued to Exxon on April 19, 2016, which sought documents from Exxon related to its analysis of research efforts to study climate change.  The argument followed two amicus briefs from state attorneys general across the country.

The first brief,… More