Rutledge Statement Following Mass Shooting at Downtown Little Rock ClubSat, Jul 1, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement following an overnight mass shooting at Power Ultra Lounge in Little Rock.
“My thoughts and prayers are with all 28 victims who were injured overnight at the Power Ultra Lounge in Little Rock, and I am grateful for the first responders who saved multiple lives,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Today, we all woke to the tragic news that this senseless act of violence occurred right in the heart of our capital city. As state and community leaders, it is our responsibility to encourage a civil, peaceful discourse and that violence can never be the solution to solve our differences. As the chief law enforcement officer, I stand ready to assist the Little Rock Police Department as they continue their investigation and we work together to reduce crime in our communities."
Rutledge Calls on Trump Administration to Phase Out Unlawful DACA ProgramFri, Jun 30, 2017
Letter does not ask for deportations or for current permits to be rescinded
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, along with nine other state attorneys general and the Governor of Idaho, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging the Trump Administration to phase out the unlawful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, which was put in place by President Barack Obama. DACA confers lawful presence and work permits for nearly one million unlawfully present aliens in the United States.
“There is no way around it: DACA is an unlawful program that must be phased out,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am not asking the government to remove any person currently covered by DACA or for the Administration to rescind DACA permits that have already been issued – this is about upholding the rule of law. Even former President Obama acknowledged many times that he did not have authority to unilaterally grant this type of legal status to over one million aliens.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security revoked a 2014 memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program, which was blocked by courts after Rutledge and a multi-state coalition challenged DAPA all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But the Secretary of Homeland Security’s recent memorandum stated that DACA would remain in effect, along with some permits that had been issued under the 2014 memorandum that had been rescinded.
In the letter, the multi-state coalition urges the Secretary of Homeland Security to phase out the DACA program by rescinding the 2012 DACA memorandum and ensuring that no new DACA permits are issued and no existing DACA permits are renewed in the future.
“We respectfully request that the Secretary of Homeland Security phase out the DACA program,” the letter states. “Just like DAPA, DACA unilaterally confers eligibility for work authorization and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress.”
Rutledge and the coalition promised to voluntarily dismiss their lawsuit challenging unlawful deferred-action programs currently pending in district court if the Trump Administration agrees by Sept. 5 to rescind DACA and not renew or issue any new DACA permits in the future. “Otherwise, the complaint in that case will be amended to challenge both the DACA program and the remaining Expanded DACA permits,” the letter states.
Arkansas joined a lawsuit in December 2014, at the request of then Attorney General-elect Rutledge, against the Obama administration that successfully put DAPA on hold as the case worked its way through the courts. Following a win in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision. And ultimately, the president’s unilateral immigration policies were blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.
Rutledge joined the letter signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter.
Rutledge Announces Mobile Office Locations for JulyWed, Jun 28, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for July.
Attorney General Rutledge created the mobile office initiative during her first year in office to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. In both 2015 and 2016, office hours were held in all 75 counties assisting nearly 1,300 Arkansans.
The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues in filing consumer complaints against scam artists. Staff will also be available to answer questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents. Rutledge believes there is no issue too small for her staff to have a face-to-face conversation.
Rutledge continues her partnership that began in 2016 with local law enforcement across the State to offer prescription drug take back boxes. Law enforcement will be at all mobile offices to handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Rutledge encourages Arkansans to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office.
For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.
The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:
Thursday, July 6
Benton County Senior Activity and Wellness Center
3501 S.E. L St.
Bentonville, AR 72712
Tuesday, July 11
Carroll County Senior Activity and Wellness Center
202 W. Madison Ave.
Berryville, AR 72616
Tuesday, July 18
Lon Mann Cotton Research Station
8 Lee Road 214
Marianna, AR 72360
Tuesday, July 25
Van Matre Senior Activity and Wellness Center
1101 Spring St.
Mountain Home, AR 72653
Thursday, July 27
M.B. Ainley Jr. Community Center
536 E. Elm St.
Corning, AR 72422
Rutledge Praises EPA for Rescinding WOTUS RuleTue, Jun 27, 2017
Big win for Arkansas landowners
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today praised the action of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt for rescinding the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.
"The full rescindment of this unlawful rule is a big win for Arkansas landowners," said Attorney General Rutledge. "WOTUS has been enjoined because of the work of attorneys general, and today's action shows a clear signal that the EPA is returning to its core mission. I look forward to working with the agency as it works to draft a new, lawful rule that protects our waters and does not harm our farmers and ranchers, who continue to be the first conservationists."
In February, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to review the WOTUS rule, begin efforts to rescind or significantly revise the regulation and take appropriate steps in ongoing litigation. Rutledge and a bi-partisan coalition of 19 other attorneys general sent a letter last week to the EPA as part of the review urging the EPA to preserve the role of the states in protecting the nation’s waters.
Rutledge was part of a coalition that helped secure a nationwide injunction in August 2015, blocking enforcement of the rule, which allowed the new administration to review the rule.
Rutledge testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry in March 2015 urging the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the rule because of the negative impact it would have on Arkansas farmers. In 2012, agriculture added $20.1 billion to the Arkansas economy, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
The rule was issued in June 2015 and allowed the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to assert federal authority over a vast number of small bodies of water, roadside ditches, short-lived streams and any other area where water may flow once every 100 years.
Rutledge Statement on High Court’s Decision on President’s Authority to Temporarily Suspend Entry of Non-CitizensMon, Jun 26, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case concerning the constitutionality of the President’s authority to temporarily suspend entry of non-citizens, as well as granting a stay of a large portion of the injunction. Rutledge had urged the justices to grant a stay and ultimately reverse the 4th and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals injunctions of the President’s revised executive order.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has largely affirmed the President’s authority to protect the American people from those who might slip through the cracks of poor vetting in our current immigration system,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am very pleased that the Court stayed significant portions of the injunctions issued by the lower courts and agreed to hear this critically important national security case.”
The high court agreed to hear the arguments on the temporary travel ban at the start of the fall term. In the meantime, nonresident aliens applying for visas who have never been to the U.S. or have no family, business or other ties may be prohibited from entry into the country.
Rutledge Statement on U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in Religious Liberty CaseMon, Jun 26, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a statement following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling today that sided with Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, and affirmed religious institutions should be eligible to receive funds for secular purposes.
“This important decision clarifies that no state can bar a religious organization from an available state-benefit program exclusively based on religion,” said Attorney General Rutledge.
Rutledge joined a coalition of 18 attorneys general in April 2016 in filing an amicus brief with the court in support of the church, which was seeking to participate in a State program that reimburses the cost of rubberizing playground surfaces.
In its 7-2 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion stating that the State’s denial of the grant solely based on the preschool’s religious affiliation is unconstitutional.