About the State AG Project
In recognition of the unique role state attorneys general play in our system of government, the American Constitution Society established the State Attorneys General Project (State AG Project).
Through ACS's network of students, lawyers, academics and allies, the State 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. The State AG Project also highlights opportunities for law students and attorneys to advance their careers in public service in state attorney general offices.
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.
Recently, we have seen state attorneys general act collectively on various issues of national consequence, including immigration, health care, the opioid epidemic, violations of antitrust laws, and environmental protection. Many state attorneys general are playing a significant role in reforming their states' criminal justice systems. And many of them have take action to address and redress unscrupulous business practices that violate the rights of consumers and workers.
The efforts of state attorneys general go beyond enforcement actions. State attorneys general often propose bills to their state legislature, testify before state and federal legislative committees, submit comments to federal agencies on proposed rules and regulations, and write letters to officials regarding policy initiatives. They also can address issues within their states by using their public office to education the public about the law and their rights, convening task forces to address systemic issues, and issuing guidance or formal opinions to state agencies and officials to clarify their legal responsibilities.
For more information on State Attorneys General, see Jim Tierney's Intro to State AGs, read Bill Marshall's Yale Law Review article, Break Up the Presidency? Governors, State Attorneys General, and Lessons from the Divided Executive, and read Anthony Johnstone's Pepperdine Law Review article, Hearing the States. You can also watch this clip: State Attorneys General: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.