What does the Alabama Attorney General do and is there an interesting recent opinion?
November 1, 2023 | View PDF
When the State of Alabama achieved statehood, an Attorney General was appointed by the legislature for a four-year period. In 1876 the Alabama Constitution was amended to provide that the Attorney General be elected by the voters of Alabama. While the term was changed to a period of two years for a time it was changed back to four years. The Attorney General can serve two successive elected four-year terms. Eventually, the Attorney General was allowed to hire clerical help and then other Assistant Attorneys General were hired. Since 1939 when the Alabama Merit System was passed, the salaries have since that time come under the State Personnel Board and includes greater than one hundred fifty employees. The many employees are divided into specialties with appropriate skills in the areas of consumer affairs, law, investigation, utility regulation, public administration and other areas. The attorney general website includes consumer links even to make complaints about businesses that have wronged them.
The Attorney General’s office is the state’s law firm in that it may bring lawsuits or other actions, both civil and criminal on behalf of the State but also to defend the State whenever Alabama is named as a party defendant.
The current Attorney General is Steve Marshall, who is a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law. He has extensive experience in private practice as well as serving the public as Marshall County District Attorney prior to his appointment by former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. He was appointed as Attorney General when Luther Strange was appointed as Senator in 2017. He is now in his second elected term.
Attorney General Marshall submitted an amicus curiae brief earlier this month to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Fedaral) in support of a Florida healthcare regulation. The Latin term amicus curiae means a “friend of the court”. The State of Florida declined to use Medicaid funds to pay for gender transitioning procedures. A district court had held that the State of Florida had violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution in not providing such services to transgender patients. The State of Florida had determined that “the available scientific evidence did not support the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones as safe and effective treatments for gender dysphoria “ (Attorney General press release, 10/13/23).
Attorney General Marshall argued in his brief that some of the major nations including Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom do not recognize gender transition procedures as anything more than experimental. The District Court had hinged its opinion on a radical group called the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Marshall went on to argue that WPATH and even the American Association of Pediatrics have not acted responsibly in advocating such measures for Florida’s citizens experiencing gender dysphoria. Marshall co-led with the states of Arkansas and Tennessee in submitting the brief. The brief was additionally signed by the Attorneys General of fifteen other states.
Looking at the website allows one to see that Attorney General Marshall and his staff truly seek to protect the State of Alabama and its citizens.
This article is informative only and not meant to be all inclusive. Additionally this article does not serve as legal advice to the reader and does not constitute an attorney- client relationship. The reader should seek counsel from their attorney should any questions exist.
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