Opinion

Rule Of Law: Republican AGs Join GOP Election Wave

Jessica Medeiros-Garrison President, Rule of Law Defense Fund

The message could not be clearer. The American people roundly rejected President Obama and his policies on election night. Up and down the ticket, Republicans claimed victory. What many consider to be the last line of defense against Obama and federal overreach, Republican attorneys general, bolstered their ranks. This is good news for the rule of law, to have more defenders as the states’ top lawyers.

All incumbent Republican AGs on the ballots were reelected. Additionally, the Republican candidates for attorney general won in both red and purple states. Leslie Rutledge in Arkansas, Brad Schimel in Wisconsin, Ken Paxton in Texas, Doug Peterson in Nebraska, Cynthia Coffman in Colorado, Mark Brnovich in Arizona, and Adam Laxalt in Nevada all claimed victory. These AG-elects vowed not only to uphold the rule of law within their states but also protect their citizens from this administration’s egregious overreach.

Adam Laxalt is a former lieutenant in the United States Navy that served his country as a Judge Advocate General and is uniquely qualified to enforce states’ rights and fight back against federal government overreach. “We need an attorney general that is willing to stand up for Nevada, Nevada businesses and Nevada individuals as many rights are being trampled by basically unlimited federal government,” Laxalt said. He has already announced his desire to go directly after this Administration’s misdeeds on a number of environmental issues, including the tactic known as “sue and settle.”

Mark Brnovich is the son of immigrants, an accomplished federal and state prosecutor and is ready to hit the ground running. “Arizonans deserve an attorney general who understands the federal and the state constitution and that makes sure that all of our rights and liberties are protected. Whether that’s protecting us from federal encroachment, such as Obamacare and the job-killing policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, or making sure that the rule of law is upheld,” Brnovich said.

Cynthia Coffman’s experience as a public servant for over 20 years, including her most recent role as Attorney General John Suthers’ Chief Deputy, makes her a great choice to serve as the state’s top law enforcement officer. She believes the most important duty of the attorney general is to uphold the state and federal constitutions. “The attorney general plays a critical role in defending the rule of law and the Constitution.” Coffman said. She understands that there will be rare cases, where the state must sue the federal government for an action it takes that violates the state’s sovereignty and people’s rights guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment.

Doug Peterson has been practicing law for almost 30 years. He has experience in private practice as well as previously serving Nebraskans as a Deputy County Attorney and serving as Nebraska’s Assistant Attorney General. This know-how will serve him well, and he is ready to apply his skills as an advocate for the citizens of Nebraska. “The United States Constitution limits federal authority. Nebraskans simply cannot back down to power plays by this current federal administration. Government works only when it operates within the constitutional boundaries,” said Peterson.

Ken Paxton is the son of an Air Force veteran and has consistently been recognized as a conservative, stalwart leader with a deep passion and respect for our Constitution. In the Texas legislature, Ken worked to protect the Tenth Amendment, fighting efforts by President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Holder to infringe upon Texas’ state sovereignty. Paxton said, “The states were designed to be the laboratories of democracy, not entities to be wholly ruled by the federal government. In a day and age where state sovereignty is perpetually under attack from the Obama administration, attorneys general are on the front lines battling for states’ freedoms.”

Brad Schimel has been a prosecutor for 25 years and will work side-by-side with law enforcement officials throughout the state, which is why they overwhelmingly supported his candidacy. He is steadfast in his commitment to the rule of law and will stand up for Wisconsinites in all areas. On the eve of the election, Schimel vowed that he would “focus on the rule of law, no matter whether the law was passed by Democratic or Republican lawmakers.” Like his other Republican colleagues elected on Tuesday night and others already in office, he is committed to intervene on behalf of the citizenry if the federal government continues its attempts to overstep the legal bounds.

Leslie Rutledge’s election made history — not only did Arkansans elect the first Republican attorney general since Reconstruction, they also elected the state’s first woman attorney general as well. “I believe the Arkansas Attorney General should stand up and fight for states’ rights and against federal overreach and intrusion into our everyday lives.  Our way of life is being threatened.  I will use every tool at my disposal to ensure that the people of Arkansas aren’t bullied anymore by a White House intent on getting its way by any means necessary,” Rutledge said.

The seven attorneys general elect are the new faces of a growing movement to keep the balance of federalism in the right place. Republican AGs continue their mission for limited government, legal reform, personal responsibility, free enterprise, judicial restraint, aggressive crime fighting, equal opportunity and the preservation of conservative values. Republican attorneys general are more important than ever before as the last line of defense in our states against an aggressive federal government.