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Requiring Fees: First Amendment Violation

Rutledge: Requiring Fees Paid to Public-Sector Unions Violates the First Amendment

Mon, Sep 14, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she joined an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Rutledge and 17 State attorneys general urge the Court to overrule Abood v. Detroit Board of Education and hold that requiring fees to public-sector unions, including for activities related to the union’s role as exclusive bargaining representative, violates the First Amendment.

Rebecca Friedrichs, a public school teacher in Orange County, California, along with several other colleagues and the Christian Educators Association, filed a lawsuit against the California Teachers Association (CTA) challenging the association’s fee requirement of all California teachers. California teachers cannot be forced to join the CTA, but teachers are still required to pay a fee to cover the cost of “collective bargaining, contract administration and grievance adjustment purposes,” a requirement allowed by the Supreme Court’s 1977 ruling in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.

“No individual should be forced to help fund a cause he or she does not support,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Regrettably, as the law stands, public employees are being forced to pay union fees, thus having their First Amendment rights violated. Arkansas is a right-to-work State, but the Court needs to acknowledge that public employees in this country should not be required to associate themselves with a union or the causes for which the union advocates.”

The State attorneys general believe the Court was incorrect to distinguish between union political activity and union collective bargaining, arguing that “it is time to abandon the meaningless distinction between collective bargaining and other political activity.” In the public sphere, the subjects of collective bargaining – pensions, wages, and the size of the government workforce – have the same public policy implications as other political activity.

The attorneys general also point out that collective bargaining was a major factor in multiple municipal bankruptcies including Detroit, Michigan; Stockton, California; and San Bernardino, California.

A copy of the brief is available by clicking here.

September Mobile Office Locations

Rutledge Announces Mobile Office Locations for the Remainder of September

Fri, Sep 11, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for the remainder of September.

Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents who are having consumer issues and help them file consumer complaints against scam artists. Staff will also be available to answer questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s Office, visit or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at and on Twitter at

The Attorney General Mobile Office schedule can be found below:

Thursday, Sept. 17
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Yellville City Hall
112 Highway 62 East
Yellville, AR 72687

Thursday, Sept. 17
2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Clinton Senior Center
311 Yellowjacket Lane
Clinton, AR 72031

Tuesday, Sept. 22
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
St. Bernards Senior Life Center
715 Canal Avenue E.
Wynne, AR 72396

Tuesday, Sept 22
1 – 3 p.m.
Augusta City Hall
210 Main St.
Augusta, AR 72006

Thursday, Sept. 24
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
DeWitt Senior Citizen Center
205 N. Main St.
DeWitt, AR 72042

Thursday, Sept. 24
2 – 4 p.m.
Stuttgart City Hall
304 S. Maple St.
Stuttgart, AR 72160

Tuesday, Sept. 29
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Pine Valley Senior Center
900 Meadowbrook Lane
Magnolia, AR 71753

Tuesday, Sept. 29
2 – 4 p.m.
Lafayette County Senior Citizen Center
205 Thomas St.
Stamps, AR 71860

2016 Child Safety Poster Contest

Rutledge Announces 2016 Child Safety Poster Contest

Fri, Sep 11, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the 2016 Child Safety Poster Contest, which is open to all Arkansas students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Preparation and creation of the posters gives parents and teachers an opportunity to explain the many dangers they face and teach students strategies to stay safe. The 2015 contest saw a record number of participants with more than 1,100 students from across the state, and Rutledge hopes that number increases next year.

“It seems like every day there is a new and growing danger threatening our children,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am especially proud to sponsor this program because it teaches our children, in an interactive way, how to avoid danger and remain safe. Last year’s entries were beautiful, informative and thoughtful, and I look forward to seeing what thousands of talented Arkansas students will produce this year.”

2015 1st place winner, 4th grade, Magness Creek Elementary in Cabot

Students are asked to incorporate this year's theme of “Bring Our Missing Children Home.” The postmark deadline for entries to be received at the Attorney General’s Office is Jan. 20. Judging will take place in February, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in April.

The winning poster from the fifth grade will be entered into the National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest, hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Contest rules and the entry form can be found at, or call the Attorney General’s Office Community Engagement Department at (501) 682-1020 for more information.

Pulaski County Woman Arrested

Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Arrests Pulaski County Woman

Thu, Sep 10, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the arrest of a Pulaski County woman by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Cheri Bates-West, 38, of Maumelle was arrested on three felony controlled substance violations after investigators determined she administered substitute narcotics and drugs to residents of Lakewood Nursing and Rehab in North Little Rock and retained the prescribed medications for her own use. Bates-West was booked into the Pulaski County Jail and is being held on a $15,000 bond.

Bates-West was also charged with two additional outstanding warrants – a felony for failure to appear in Logan County and fraud for insufficient funds from the Sherwood Police Department.

Medicaid fraud occurs when Medicaid providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money or products to which they are not entitled.

Arrest of Pulaski County Man

Rutledge Announces Arrest of Pulaski County Man for Crimes Involving Children

Fri, Sep 4, 2015

NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of David Wayne Davis of North Little Rock on 30 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony.

Davis, 62, was arrested by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit at his home on Thursday, Sept. 3. Davis is being held in the Pulaski County Jail on no bond and will appear before the North Little Rock District Court next week.

Special agents in the Attorney General’s Office began investigating Davis after agents determined that someone using a computer at Davis’ address offered to participate in the distribution of sexually explicit material involved children.

Municipal Ban on Certain Firearms

Rutledge Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case Involving a Municipal Ban on Certain Firearms

Thu, Sep 3, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she joined an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a petition for certiorari in the case, Friedman v. Highland Park. The brief, which was filed on Aug. 28, was signed by 24 State attorneys general.

Friedman v. Highland Park was filed in 2013 and sought to invalidate a city ordinance that banned semi-automatic rifles and magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, was one of several municipalities that enacted ordinances regulating or banning the possession of certain firearms before Illinois passed its concealed carry law. In May 2015, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision allowing the gun and magazine ban to stand.

“As a strong defender of law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights, I urge the Supreme Court to take this case,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The Seventh Circuit decision threatens the Second Amendment rights of Arkansans and all Americans’ freedoms by further opening the door for a potential federal ban on these types of firearms. Such a federal law would override the policy choices of an overwhelming majority of States where these firearms are allowed.”

The brief argues that the Supreme Court should overturn the Seventh Circuit’s decision, invalidate the municipal ban and ensure the lower courts provide a robust protection for Second Amendment rights.

The State attorneys general write, “granting certiorari and reversing the Seventh Circuit’s decision would provide clarity not only to the lower courts but also make clear to Congress that these bans are unconstitutional and any federal effort to disrupt State efforts to protect the Second Amendment rights of their citizens will fail.”

A copy of the brief is available by clicking here.

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