Democrats prepare to mimic GOP lawyers like Leslie Rutledge | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Democrats prepare to mimic GOP lawyers like Leslie Rutledge

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 9:06 AM

click to enlarge ATTORNEY GENERAL RUTLEDGE: She might turn up on the side of federal government in days ahead, given plans by Democrats to use courts to attack Trump administration policy.
  • ATTORNEY GENERAL RUTLEDGE: She might turn up on the side of federal government in days ahead, given plans by Democrats to use courts to attack Trump administration policy.
We've written about how Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has been busier joining lawsuits all over the country that digging into some pressing local issues — the return of payday lending, the state's unconstitutional criminal eviction law.

Rutledge has been in league with other Republican state legal officers in lawsuit after lawsuit, fighting things like clean air and water and workplace protection, not to mention abortion, human rights for gay people and others.

With a Republican presidency looming, the New York Times reports, Democratic attorneys general are plotting a similar strategy.

One attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, is already investigating Donald J. Trump over possible violations of New York State law at his charity foundation.

Another, Maura Healey of Massachusetts, has joined Mr. Schneiderman in an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil — whose chief executive, Rex W. Tillerson, is Mr. Trump’s choice for secretary of state — lied to investors and the public about the threat of climate change.

Ms. Healey also has a new fund-raising pitch: “I won’t hesitate to take Donald Trump to court if he carries out his unconstitutional campaign promises,” she recently wrote to supporters.

A third, Representative Xavier Becerra, who was chosen this month to become California’s attorney general, has dared the Trump administration to “come at us” over issues including immigration, climate change and health care.

These efforts should keep Rutledge busy, too, in defense of whatever Donald Trump decides is good government policy.

Someday, maybe, she'll do something about payday lending, back in business in Arkansas after being run out by her Democratic predecessor, Dustin McDaniel. Rutledge seems unconcerned. Wesley Brown of Talk Business also reports a lack of urgency on her office's part in being heard on the state's punitive and, according to several state courts, unconstitutional criminal eviction statute, also under challenge in federal court. She IS interested in a Washington state law that bars discrimination against gay people. THAT is an Arkansas concern, not debtors' prison for people who fall behind in rent, or withhold payment because of uninhabitable premises, also permitted by Arkansas law.


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