Broad Strokes: Unprecedented Turnover and More ‘Political’ State Attorneys General
Partner and Former Maryland Attorney General

With 18 new Attorneys General assuming their new roles this year − an unprecedented changing of the legal guardians − much of the old-school ways of collaboration may be in jeopardy. Gone are the days when Attorneys General were perceived as the only apolitical group of elected officials and an Attorney General may not even have known the political party of the Attorney General sitting next to him or her. As DAGA and RAGA continue to ascend in power, the collegiality of NAAG is waning. This tension may be seen by Attorneys General wading in on both sides of enforcement in the wake of major Supreme Court decisions around student loan, abortion, gun, and immigration issues. The one state Attorney General organization that has benefitted from maintaining an above-the-political-fray position seems to be the AGA (Attorney General Alliance), formerly known as CWAG.

In terms of traditional state Attorney General issues, with the re-election of Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, who garners a strong background in antitrust law, the state Attorneys General will continue to expand their reach into antitrust issues, often alongside of federal regulators. The place where this is likely to be seen most will be in Big Tech. Despite many losses in these cases from seemingly flimsy legal and factual underpinnings, and that attacking Big Tech often may undermine America’s entrepreneurial leadership, I would suspect that we will see more such cases. Notably, the state Attorneys General have slowly shifted their sights away from Facebook, Amazon and Google, and toward Twitter and TikTok.

February 7, 2023
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