About the AG Project
In recognition of the unique and expanding role state attorneys general play in our system of government, the American Constitution Society established the State Attorneys General Project (AG Project).
Through ACS's network of students, lawyers, academics and allies, the AG Project develops and disseminates legal resources and hosts programming and events examining the actions of state attorneys general and the emerging legal and policy issues they face.
As states’ chief legal officers, state attorneys general are, first and foremost, law enforcement officials sworn to uphold the U.S. and state constitutions, and to enforce federal and state laws. The heart of a state attorney general’s mission is to serve the public interest. With broad jurisdiction and independence to act, state attorneys general play a crucial role in upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights, health and safety of their states’ residents.
Many state attorneys general are currently engaged in actions, both individually and and collectively, to protect constitutional norms and principles from federal government overreach, while simultaneously filling a void created by federal inaction in numerous areas. For example, state attorneys general have brought actions to protect the rights of citizens and non-citizens alike. They are playing a significant role in reforming our criminal justice system. State attorneys general have also defended key federal environmental rules and regulations that protect our air, water, and natural resources, and have used the authority and power delegated to them to bring important cases against those violating federal and state environmental laws. State attorneys general have used the power of multistate enforcement mechanisms and joined with other government agencies to maintain a fair and equitable marketplace free from unscrupulous business practices that violate the rights of consumers and workers.
The efforts of state attorneys general go beyond enforcement and regulation. Through education and outreach initiatives, or by using the authority of their office, state attorneys general may encourage action by other local, state and federal governmental actors and agencies to ensure they are fulfilling their mandates.
For more information on State Attorneys General, see Jim Tierney's Intro to State AGs and read Bill Marshall's Yale Law Review article, Break Up the Presidency? Governors, State Attorneys General, and Lessons from the Divided Executive