Attorneys General

Attorneys General are the primary law enforcement officers and attorneys for their governments, serving as top law enforcement representatives and lawyers.

Most AGs are elected, while in other cases they are appointed by either their state legislature or Supreme Court. The Constitution remains generally neutral on what powers and obligations states choose to grant their attorneys general.

The President

The Attorney General serves as head of the Department of Justice. Like other cabinet members, he is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. As legal adviser to both him and other heads of cabinet departments, as well as responsible for drafting legislation and reviewing contracts entered into by government bodies, he serves as advisor on legal matters as needed.

He is responsible for conducting investigations and prosecutions of federal crimes. Although intended to remain independent from partisan politics and act as an advocate for President, impartiality can often prove challenging when investigating close political allies.

Attorney generals often use their position as a springboard into other elected offices, like Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo did before them, moving from being New York attorney generals into governorship positions – with Eric Schneiderman likely following suit as the current AG of New York.

The Senate

The framers of the Constitution gave both Senate and president joint authority over civil and judicial officers, including attorney general. However, president can bypass this provision by making recess appointments when Senate is adjourned between sessions or within sessions itself.

Attorney generals on a state level protect public interests by taking part in administrative proceedings, testifying at hearings, proposing legislation and initiating investigations. Furthermore, they serve to check federal agencies when they overstep their authority by filing lawsuits against them when necessary.

Stoddard suggests an appointed position could help eliminate partisanship from the role and end conflicts related to fundraising and campaigning for reelection. Furthermore, an appointment would enable an attorney general to focus on his or her duties without political considerations clouding his view. He noted studies of presidential democracies worldwide have found that countries where president and attorney general share political allies often have poor human rights records.

The House of Representatives

The Attorney General serves as the legal representative for state agencies, often wielding significant influence over state policy decisions. Their office brings and defends lawsuits, conducts criminal investigations statewide and provides formal legal opinions requested by State officers or legislators on legal issues. Furthermore, their Office also acts as legal adviser to the House and provides it with digests of procedural decisions known as parliamentary precedent.

AGs are typically elected by their constituents; in certain states the Governor holds this power instead. Most AGs serve a four-year term; this can vary by state. Their budget and scope also may differ; New York’s AG used settlement funds to take on financial institutions while also fighting back with housing aid efforts and pursue other high-profile priorities – an effect which served as an entryway into other public office; both of Schneiderman’s immediate predecessors eventually went on to become governors themselves!

The Executive Branch

The president appoints an attorney general as part of their cabinet with advice and consent of the Senate, giving this position great power over legal affairs within their administration, even though other departments may employ attorneys on staff.

The Founding Fathers included the Attorney General as part of the executive branch, alongside Supreme Court and lower federal courts. Other heads of executive departments take on titles of Secretary while Attorney General retains his or her original designation: Attorney General.

Some attorneys general have stretched the limits of their office’s powers. New York AG Eliot Spitzer famously took on banking industry over conflict-of-interest issues, as well as being an outspoken critic of abuses of abortion law. Other AGs have used their offices as a springboard into higher offices; one example being Jacob Javits who served as New York AG before becoming a U.S. senator.