Who’s the Boss? When State Governors and Attorneys General Clash

State governors and attorneys general typically find themselves on the same side of the law.  Nonetheless, an overwhelming majority of states directly elect their attorneys general. This framework creates a natural opportunity for conflicts to erupt, particularly when officials act to protect what they perceive to be equally legitimate interests.

One such drama is playing out in Rhode Island.  On May 18, 2014,… More

Simmering Feud Between Governor LePage and AG Mills Boils into Lawsuit

On May 1, 2017, Maine Governor Paul LePage sued Maine Attorney General Janet Mills in the culmination of a long-running dispute over the Governor’s ability to retain outside counsel when his views differ from those of AG Mills.  In particular, Governor LePage sent AG Mills a letter in March 2017 instructing the AG to represent the Governor and the State of Maine in ongoing litigation in Hawaii concerning the constitutionality of President Trump’s executive orders on immigration. … More

AG Healey Issues Guidance to Schools and Health Care Providers on Immigration Enforcement Issues

In the wake of several executive orders on immigration, ICE—the federal agency responsible for enforcing the nation’s immigration laws—has ramped up enforcement activities. As a result, local public school districts and health care providers in Massachusetts have asked the Attorney General about their rights and obligations with respect to the undocumented students and patients they serve. On May 22, 2017, the AG issued comprehensive guidance to answer their questions.… More

MA AG Joins with Other States to Defend Critical Aspect of ACA

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that her office would join with Attorneys General from 14 other states and D.C. in an attempt to intervene in House v. Price, now pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The motion was filed on May 18, 2017.  The lead states are California and New York.

House v. Price concerns a lawsuit filed by House Republicans in 2014 that attempted to erode certain aspects of Obamacare. … 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

CyberOhio Initiative – An Update from the Ohio AGO

We recently posted on the Ohio Attorney General’s CyberOhio initiative and forecasted that the Ohio Attorney General might be the first of many Attorneys General to join forces with industry in the struggle to protect consumer information.  Ohio Deputy General Counsel Craig Rapp, Director of CyberOhio, contacted our blog not only to agree with our prediction, but also to shed more light on what is transpiring in his state. … More

Exxon Case Against AGs Transferred to New York: Judge Kinkeade Fires a Parting Shot

On Wednesday, Judge Ed Kinkeade ordered that Exxon Mobil’s suit against NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey be transferred to the Southern District of New York. The AGs must be breathing sighs of relief this morning.

It’s a very curious order.  It’s 12 pages long, yet contains just one sentence explaining why the case is being transferred:

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is the proper venue for this case because “a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred” in New York City,… More

“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