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The Role of the State Attorney General [POLICYbrief]

We have a broad portfolio.

Our office does everything from, you know, criminal justice prosecutions, civil rights

investigations, we have a civil litigation division that is responsible for representing

the state in civil lawsuits, whether that's initiating lawsuits or defending the state

against lawsuits.

Really our core function is to handle every criminal appeal from the circuit level higher.

That's really one of the basic things we, we do as AGs from day-to-day.

You also defend the Constitution, not only of the State of Florida but for the United

States of America.

We argue cases from the state trial court to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cases may include a criminal case, public protection case, going after a bad company

that has hurt Arkansans and Americans, Medicaid fraud, people who take advantage of taxpayer

dollars.

Regardless of what it is, we're going to handle it.

Again, it may be a state trial court level all the way up to the United States Supreme Court.

We are the state's largest law firm, and I would submit the state's most important law firm.

We have more than 400 lawyers.

More than a thousand employees.

We handle cabinet meetings, clemency hearings, as well as criminal appeals, consumer protection

is so important in Florida, especially during hurricane season with price gauging.

Attorney general is a representative of the government.

And I believe very strongly when you're the government, when you have the ability to take

away people's livelihoods, their life, their liberty, and their property, you've got to

be held to the highest standards.

An attorney general is the chief legal officer, and the chief law enforcement officer of the

state.

All states have an attorney general whether it's appointed or elected depends on the state.

In Arizona, the attorney general is elected.

That, that's the case in an overwhelming majority of the states.

In Arizona, we're up for election every four years, and you can't serve more than two consecutive terms.

And it's a statewide election in Florida.

43 states have elections similar to Florida.

Some states are actually appointed by the governor.

And then in Tennessee, the AG is chosen by the Supreme Court.

One state, which is Maine, the AG is chosen by the legislature.

Most states have residency requirements.

In Arkansas, you must be a registered voter of the State of Arkansas.

As attorney general, it is my job and the role of the office to always defend the people

of Arkansas to uphold the rule of law, and so whether it's going to court, insuring criminals

are kept behind bars, protecting the public from bad businesses or con artists and criminals,

or going after those who take advantage of taxpayer dollars.

Cause you can't be a champion of federalism or state sovereignty only when it's convenient

to you.

As AG's, we have to be consistent.

Regardless of who the President is, you have to be consistent in enforcing the rule of

law and making sure that the constitutional prerogatives are followed.

Whether or not you agree or disagree with the verdict, it's your job to handle those

appeals.

I tell people all the time, I'm not a policymaker.

Myself, as the attorney general, my job is to enforce the law as it is, not as I want

it to be.

My favorite part about being the attorney general is knowing that we are seeking justice

and upholding and defending the rule of law, that America was founded on our principles

of law and ensuring that every American has the opportunities to succeed.

As the attorney general, I get to defend those laws every single day.

No matter what state you live in, what we do has an impact on your life.

The scope and breadth of a state attorneys generals' practice is broader very often than

people realize because what we do touches someone's life in Arizona every single day.