March 3, 2017
Maryland Legislature Expands State AG Authority - Finally!
Former Maine Attorney General and Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School
*This piece originally appeared on StateAG.org's Tierney Blog.
The Maryland Legislature has finally gotten around to giving that state's outstanding AG - Brian Frosh - the authority that is enjoyed by almost every other AG, e.g. the authority to protect and defend the public interest by exercising his or her own best legal judgement without the approval of the Governor or the Legislature. This initiative finally consigns to the historical dustbin a wrongly decided 1984 decision by the Maryland Supreme Court.
As the Rhode Island Supreme Court said in 2008, "the holder of that high office (state attorney general), as distinguished from the usual advocate, has a special and enduring duty to seek justice." State of Rhode Island v. Lead Industries Association Inc., et al., 951 A.2d 428 (R.I. 2008).
Residents of Maryland can now be assured that their attorney general will now work to "seek justice" for them. And other attorneys general around the country can now fully welcome Maryland into their midst.