Rutledge: ‘Second Amendment Must be Applied Equally’Wed, May 6, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined a bipartisan group of attorneys general from 20 other states in an amicus brief led by the State of Alabama to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals urging the court to strike down a San Diego County law restricting the issuance of concealed carry permits.
“The Second Amendment must be applied equally,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This law, from a municipality in California, weakens the Second Amendment and infringes upon the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. Self-defense is a fundamental human right that must be protected. This misguided law from San Diego County cannot stand, and I am proud to join 20 of my colleagues from across the nation to ask the Ninth Circuit to put a stop to this serious encroachment.”
In the court filing, Rutledge and other attorneys general said the Constitution clearly allows U.S. citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights to bear arms for lawful purposes, including for self-defense, both inside and outside the home. The San Diego County law, stemming from the Peruta v. County of San Diego case, treats bearing arms in self-defense as “not a right, but a privilege,” which must be determined by the county if the local government deems a person in a specific danger or documented threat.
The brief, which was filed Thursday, points out that the California law applies the Second Amendment unequally by allowing some to receive concealed carry permits while others are not allowed. For instance, a business or occupation that places an individual in a dangerous location would allow for a permit, but not those who live in an area that would put them at “high risk” of harm. Consequently, the attorneys general argue the San Diego County licensing scheme is unreasonable and unconstitutional.
In addition to Alabama and Arkansas, other states that joined the brief were: Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
A copy of the brief can be accessed here.
Attorney General’s Office Launches Military and Veterans Initiative Rutledge holds first Roundtable with stakeholdersFri, May 1, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that she is launching a Military and Veterans Initiative at the Attorney General’s Office. This initiative will assist active duty military, reservists, veterans and their families with consumer related issues, veterans courts, the Hiring Heroes program and many other collaborative efforts. The announcement was made at the Associated Press Managing Editors Association Annual Conference in Hot Springs on Saturday, April 25.
Also on Saturday, Rutledge introduced Col. Marcus Hatley, a 30-year veteran of the military, who will lead this new initiative as senior director of military and veteran affairs. Today, Rutledge held the first Rutledge Roundtable at the Attorney General’s Office with more than 15 military and veteran stakeholders to discuss the unique challenges faced by veteran and active duty servicemen and women and how the Attorney General’s Office can better assist them.
“As the daughter of a veteran, I fully appreciate the sacrifices our servicemen and women make,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The Attorney General’s Office will not only work to serve and protect our military members while they are serving our country, but also when they are back home. We will become engaged with active duty members, veterans and military families so they are better prepared for the challenges they will face here at home, while they are gone and once they return.”
Some of the conversations at today’s Roundtable centered on raising greater awareness for substance abuse, pointing veterans toward treatment courts, creating employer partnerships across the State to encourage hiring veterans and active duty members and building a communication network to inform members of the military and veterans of resources already available to them.
Earlier this week, Rutledge signed a Statement of Support for the National Guard and Army Reserve. The statement encourages the employment of guardsman and reservists across the State and in the Attorney General’s Office.
To find out more about the initiative, contact the Attorney General’s Office at (501) 682-2007.
Rutledge Comments on 8th Circuit Decision Not to Hear Argument in State’s Appeal of Amendment 83Wed, Apr 29, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the following statement after an 8th Circuit panel issued an order holding the State’s appeal in Jernigan v. McDaniel in abeyance pending the outcome of the same-sex marriage case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I am disappointed by the 8th Circuit’s decision not to hold oral argument in Arkansas's appeal in defense of the constitutionality of Arkansas Amendment 83. This case is important to the people of Arkansas, and the 8th Circuit has the authority to rule regardless of what is occurring before the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Following a ruling from U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker that declared Arkansas’s marriage laws unconstitutional in November 2014, the State appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In February, the Attorney General’s Office filed its opening brief and filed its reply brief in April. Oral argument was scheduled for May 12 in Omaha, Neb., along with cases arising out of Missouri, South Dakota and Nebraska, which are also now on hold.
Rutledge Announces Attorney General Mobile OfficesTue, Apr 28, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Saturday, April 25, at the Associated Press Managing Editors Association Annual Conference in Hot Springs that she is launching a new initiative to help take the Attorney General’s Office to Arkansans. Rutledge is starting Attorney General Mobile Offices, which will take the office to all 75 counties over the next year. The first two stops will be in Hot Springs Village on May 6 and Bella Vista on May 12.
“An elderly couple in Jasper or Eudora should not have to be scared to get on the Internet, pick up the phone or drive to Little Rock in order to speak to someone in the Attorney General’s Office,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Over and over, I hear that Arkansans do not know the ways my office can serve and assist them. As the people’s lawyer, I want to be accessible to everyone, and that means taking the office outside of the capital city. No issue is too small for my staff to have a face-to-face conversation, and I hope Arkansans will take advantage of this new program from the Attorney General’s Office.”
Attorney General Mobile Offices will assist constituents who are having consumer issues and help them file consumer complaints against scam artists. Staff will be available to answer questions about the office and the various services it offers to constituents.
For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s Office, visit arkansasag.gov or call (501) 682-2007.
Attorney General Mobile Office schedule:
Hot Springs Village - May 6
9 a.m. – noon
Coronado Community Center
150 Ponderosa Ln.
Hot Springs Village, AR 71909
Bella Vista - May 12
9 a.m. – noon
Bella Vista City Hall
101 Town Center
Bella Vista, AR 72714
Rutledge Signs Statement of Support for Guard and ReserveMon, Apr 27, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today signed a Statement of Support for the National Guard and Army Reserve. The statement encourages the employment of Guardsman and Reservists across the State and in the Attorney General’s Office.
On hand for the signing ceremony were officials with the Arkansas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR); Sen. Jane English, North Little Rock, Arkansas’s ESGR chairwoman; and Marcus Hatley, senior director of military and veterans affairs at the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office
“I am committed to working with and supporting our military servicemen and servicewomen,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These heroes bring an incredible value to any workplace, along with a global perspective and proven leadership, and they deserve employers who support their ongoing commitment to serve our country.”
The Statement of Support pledges:
- We fully recognize, honor and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act.
- Our managers and supervisors will have the tools they need to effectively manage those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
- We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans.
- We will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families in peace, in crises and in war.
The ESGR, a U.S. Department of Defense agency, was started in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service. For more information about ESGR Employer Outreach, visit ESGR.mil.
Rutledge Urges the EPA to Withdraw Federal Implementation Plan for Regional HazeFri, Apr 24, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she has submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding a proposed consent decree that would obligate the EPA to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze.
The comments request the EPA to withdraw the proposed settlement citing that the plan is inconsistent with the Clean Air Act. In the comments, Rutledge also says that the Sierra Club lacks standing in the suit, Sierra Club v. McCarthy, which gave rise to the settlement.
“I am urging the parties not to enter into this consent decree because it is inappropriate for the EPA to make decisions for the State of Arkansas because of pressure exerted by a California organization that cannot establish that it has legal right to seek jurisdiction in the court,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas has offered plan after plan to address regional haze, and each time it is never enough for the EPA. I have a responsibility to protect the interest of Arkansans from unreasonable and unnecessary utility rate increases, which is where this will lead. The EPA is putting the interest of the Sierra Club above the interests of the State, and I will not stand for that.”
Rutledge has filed these comments after the EPA held a public hearing in Arkansas on the proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze.
A copy of the comment letter submitted to the EPA can be viewed here.