The latest stunt that AG Cuccinelli has pulled is filing an amicus brief on on behalf of Arizona, along with 8 other states. Bacon’s Rebellion Blogspot has an interesting take on the antics of the AG and just how much he is costing the commonwealth:
Sooner or later, someone is going to have to pay for the dogma-saturated legal forays of Kenneth Cuccinelli, Virginia’s firebrand Attorney General.
It’s a shame because hardly any of Cuccinelli’s high-profile legal actions seem to be worthy cases that protect citizens of the Old Dominion. Instead, his actions are aimed at firing up the hard-right fringes of the Republican Party and maybe dragging some in the center along as congressional elections approach this fall and General Assembly races follow next year.
Meanwhile, “The Cooch’s” legal initiatives are getting some substantial push-back and they are far from litigation slam-dunks.
The Feds have come back hard against Cuccinelli’s politically-motivated lawsuit against the health care reform act just passed that ends such one-sided and harmful practices as denying people health insurance because of a “pre-existing” condition as defined by private sector lawyers and insurance bureaucrats. The next shoe to drop comes in federal court in Richmond in August.
Bacon’s Rebellion led me to pose a few questions to an attorney friend of mine. I asked by whose authority does Cuccinelli act? Is he accountable to anybody? Does the governor have to approve his actions (The gov. seems be turning a blind eye to all of his lawsuits and briefs.)? How about the General Assembly? Are there any rules for being an Attorney General or can they just do to suit themselves?
My friend provided the following regarding the duties of the Attorney General:
The duties and powers include:
- Provide legal advice and representation to the Governor and executive agencies, state boards and commissions, and institutions of higher education. The advice commonly includes help with personnel issues, contracts, purchasing, regulatory and real estate matters and the review of proposed legislation. The Office also represents those agencies in court.
- Provide written legal advice in the form of official opinions to members of the General Assembly and government officials.
- Defend criminal convictions on appeal, and defend the state when prisoners sue concerning their incarceration.
- Defend the constitutionality of state laws when they are challenged in court.
- Enforce state laws that protect businesses and consumers when there are violations. Individual consumer complaints are usually handled by another agency.
- Represent consumers in utility matters before the State Corporation Commission.
- Collect debts owed to state agencies, hospitals and universities.
- Conduct or assist criminal investigations and prosecutions in certain limited cases (for example Medicaid fraud, money laundering, theft of state property, environmental crimes, and computer crimes).
- Represent the Department of Social Services in its efforts to collect child support on behalf of children and families.
- Supervise the appointment and payment of private attorneys hired by other state agencies for various matters.
- Assist victims of crime who are following criminal cases at the appellate level.
- Provide information to the public on Identity Theft prevention and remediation.
- Administer grants to help reduce crimes involving gangs, drugs and sex predators.
- Administer the Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment Program to protect children from the most dangerous predators.
I don’t see a darn thing on there about advancing a far right, fringe lunatic agenda under the auspices of the State of Virginia. While his base is cheering him on, Cuccinelli had better enjoy his short-lived time in the cat bird’s seat. Most Virginians consider this kind of showboating to be expensive, grand-standing and without merit.