Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Attorney General Spotlight: Nevada AG Aaron Ford

Aaron Ford will bring a wide array of legal and political experiences, as well as consumer protection zeal, to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office in his coming four year term.  Ford has been a political force in Nevada since his election to the Nevada State Senate in 2012, after which he served as Minority Leader from 2014 – 2016, and Majority Leader from 2016 – 2018, following Nevada Democrats’ re-taking of the Senate chamber in 2016.… More

Exxon Mobil Loses at Supreme Court; Massachusetts Investigation Will Proceed

Last April, I predicted that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision to allow Attorney General Maura Healey’s civil investigative demand regarding Exxon’s knowledge of climate change to proceed had “ended a significant chapter in [the] long-running dispute.”  In fact, that chapter managed to continue through January 7, 2019, when the United States Supreme Court rejected Exxon’s petition to review the SJC’s decision.

Exxon’s certiorari petition accuses the Massachusetts courts of “a breathtaking assertion of personal jurisdiction” that “flouts core notions of due process,” arguing that Exxon’s ability to control the advertising of its licensees in Massachusetts did not constitute sufficient contact with Massachusetts to be subject to a CID. … More

New Attorney General Spotlight: Colorado AG-elect Phil Weiser

This blog post is one of a series of posts highlighting newly elected Attorneys General, and commenting on how their priorities may differ from their predecessors’. Click here to read the full series.

Democratic AG-elect Phil Weiser will bring a strong academic and policy background to the Colorado AG’s office in 2019, following his defeat of Republican George Brauchler by a 51.60% to 45.13% margin. … More

State AGs Sue to Enjoin Association Health Plans Rule

On July 26, 2018, a coalition of Democratic state attorneys general sued the Department of Labor to enjoin its new rule on association health plans, which was finalized in June.  The Department promulgated the rule in response to an executive order from President Trump, signed in October 2017, that directed various federal agencies to encourage the growth of insurance options outside traditional insurance plans regulated by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”),… More

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Attorney General’s Exxon Investigation Can Proceed

On April 13, 2018, Massachusetts’ highest court ended a significant chapter in Exxon’s long-running dispute with Attorney General Maura Healey. In 2015, Healey issued a Civil Investigative Demand regarding Exxon’s knowledge of the effects of fossil fuels on climate change.  Exxon then undertook what a federal judge in New York last month called “a sprawling litigation involving four different judges, at least three lawsuits, innumerable motions and a huge waste of the [New York and Massachusetts] AGs’ time and money.”  (You can read a full analysis of that decision by my colleague Seth Jaffe here.)  Exxon’s actions in Massachusetts’ courts have been mercifully compact,… More

Attorneys General Continue to Battle the Trump Administration Over Environmental Regulations

Democratic Attorneys General have continued their efforts to combat the Trump administration’s attempts to roll back environmental regulations developed under the Obama administration in two recent actions. Thirteen AGs, including Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, sent a letter last week to Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, threatening legal action if the agency takes steps to weaken or delay the greenhouse gas emissions standards that were established in 2012 for cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2022-2025.… More

Maryland Legislature Instructs AG to Battle Trump Administration

In Maryland, unlike in some other states, the attorney general has historically required the governor’s or legislature’s express permission to undertake legal action against the federal government.  In late February, that changed with the passage of the Maryland Defense Act of 2017, which would limit the ability of Maryland’s governor – Larry Hogan, a Republican – to stop lawsuits against the federal government brought by Maryland’s attorney general – Brian Frosh,… More

Jury Convicts Pennsylvania Attorney General of Perjury and Other Official Misconduct

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

In the late evening on August 15, 2016, a 12-person jury in Norristown, Pennsylvania, unanimously convicted state Attorney General Kathleen Kane of two counts of felony perjury as well as a host of misdemeanor charges, including official oppression, obstruction, false swearing and conspiracy.  Kane faces a maximum sentence of 28 years in prison, although Pennsylvania’s sentencing guidelines recommend a more lenient sentence.

Prosecutors charged Kane based on allegations that she leaked secret grand jury documents related to a 2009 embezzlement probe to retaliate against former prosecutors she believed had embarrassed her. … More

Six State AGs Bring Affordable Care Act Lawsuit

On February 25, 2016, Indiana AG Greg Zoeller became the sixth AG, along with those of Texas, Wisconsin, Kansas, Louisiana, and Nebraska, to join in a lawsuit challenging the implementation of the Health Insurance Providers Fee, as part of the Affordable Care Act.  The state AGs argue that portions of the Fee, which is directed to certain health insurance providers, will be paid by states, which they allege violates the Constitution and several federal laws. … More