DAGA Download – February 21

February 21, 2020

ON THE TRAIL

DEBATE DEBRIEF
Nevada AG Aaron Ford was front and center (and on the airwaves) at the Democratic Debate in Las Vegas this week. AG Ford also took over DAGA’s Twitter account leading up to the showdown to emphasize how important it is to elect Democrats up and down the ticket in 2020, especially Democratic AGs. “Democratic AGs are defending health care, fighting the climate crisis, protecting reproductive rights, and standing up to the Trump administration’s dangerous policies in state and federal courts,” AG Ford said.

TROUBLE IN INDIANA
Republican incumbent AG Curtis Hill is still under investigation for sexual misconduct. Last week, a hearing officer appointed by the Indiana State Supreme Court filed a report stating that AG Hill “committed the criminal act of battery.” As part of this report, the hearing officer recommended that AG Hill’s law license be suspended for 60-days, without automatic reinstatement. For more on the latest on Indiana, check out this note here.

MULTI-STATE MOMENTS!

DISCRIMINATION RULE CHANGES
Democratic AGs across the country are speaking out against two federal proposals that roll back anti-discrimination protections for patients and students. Both of these proposals stem from President Trump’s Executive Order that allows faith-based organizations to deny services. Massachusetts AG Maura Healey tweeted out her strong opposition to the two proposals and announced that she and other AGs submitted two comment letters in opposition. “Instead of working to guarantee safe, equal treatment for everyone, the federal government is taking significant steps backwards that put women and LGBTQ individuals at greater risk for discrimination,” said North Carolina AG Josh Stein.

BONUS: Other Democratic AGs also spoke out in opposition to the two proposals. “Sadly, these new proposals are just the latest example of the Trump Administration’s obsession with trampling on our nation’s anti-discrimination protections,” said California AG Xavier Becerra. “California is prepared to step up to protect the rights of the people of our state,” he added.

AG SPOTLIGHT!

BLUE VIRGINIA
Virginia AG Mark Herring is on a winning streak. Virginia Democrats are on the verge of passing LGBTQ protections, a higher minimum wage, laws decriminalizing marijuana, and protections for abortion access. This comes in the wake of the Virginia vote to pass the ERA and Democratic AGs’ subsequent decision to go to court to see that the amendment is adopted. This past week, the Virginia House of Delegates and Virginia Senate passed AG Herring’s package of legislation to address the rise in hate crimes and white supremacist violence. The bills update the state’s definition of a hate crime, allow the state AG to prosecute hate crimes, prohibit paramilitary activity, limit firearms at permitted events, and keep guns out of the hands of those convicted of hate crimes. Read more here in AP News about how Virginia is becoming a Democratic stronghold.

CALLING ALL LAWYERS
District of Columbia AG Karl Racine, in a letter to the editor in the Washington Post, urged “all lawyers, including state attorneys general and local prosecutors, to honor their professional and ethical obligation to protect our legal system.” This came in response to a Washington Post article that highlighted President Trump’s attacks on the judge who will sentence long time Trump ally Roger Stone. Read the full Letter to the Editor here!

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Last Friday, Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro announced that he was supporting the Peace Plan for a Safer America. The plan, from the advocacy group March for Our Lives, consists of six steps designed to address the national gun violence epidemic. This Tuesday, AG Shapiro tweeted out a Peace Plan for a Safer Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Philadelphia chapter of March for Our Lives, committing to ensure safe gun ownership, address systemic causes, and fix democracy. That’s a win for commonsense gun law advocacy in Pennsylvania!

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

This Wednesday, North Carolina AG Josh Stein heard testimonies from North Carolinians who have been affected by forever chemicals, such as PFAS… with THE HULK? (ok, it was really just the actor who plays The Hulk, Mark Ruffalo!!!)