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The Role of the Attorney General Office in Every State of the United States

The attorney general office is the where an attorney general holds office and serves as the main legal advisor to the government he or she serves. The attorney general office functions differently from various nations and states. The attorney general office has jurisdictions over most common laws that guide the attorney general in giving out the most reasonable and precise guidance on almost every legal issue under the country or the state’s jurisdictions. Parties in dispute can always seek the guidance of the attorney general office in order to reach a course of action that provides the answers in defining what is lawful or unlawful.

The attorney general office under some jurisdictions has executive power and responsibility for public prosecutions and for law enforcement such as:

  • social order
  • public incident mediation
  • pre-empting anti social behavior
  • dangerous event public logistics
  • public safety
  • general search and rescue
  • dangerous event containment and quarantine
  • crowd control

The term attorney general office has been traditionally used to identify the office of person who has the general power of attorney to represent the government in all matters and affairs that concerns the latter. The United States has an attorney general office in each of its 50 states and surrounding territories and each appointed attorney general of every state serves as the chief legal advisor to the United States government and the chief law enforcement officer. More delicate matters pertaining to the safety of the public such as terrorist threats is handled by the attorney general office. In some of the states, the attorney general also serves as the head of the state’s justice department with responsibilities and power similar to the Department of Justice of the United States of America.

The attorney general office has power over decisions pertaining to land disputes, mortgage issues, commercial disputes within the state and criminal cases. So who decides who sits as the attorney general? The attorney general office is occupied by an attorney who was elected by the state but there are cases that the attorney general was appointed by the governor of the state, through legislature or the supreme court of the Department of Justice.

In United States history, the longest serving attorney general was Frank J. Kelley of the state of Michigan who held office lasting for a 37 year term from 1961 to 1998. He was known as the only attorney general to get the title as the “youngest” and the “oldest” attorney general in the state of Michigan’s history and was later given the nickname “Eternal General”. Currently, there are 32 Democrats and 18 Republicans who hold office as attorneys general.

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