Attorney General Rutledge Files Arkansas Works Brief with U.S. Supreme CourtTue, Jan 19, 2021
Says, ‘Arkansas’s community-engagement requirements will help build a better future for Arkansans’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today filed her brief in Arkansas’s U.S. Supreme Court case concerning Arkansas Works and a companion case concerning New Hampshire’s similar program. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments later in 2021. In this case, Rutledge seeks to defend Arkansas Works’ commonsense community-engagement requirements.
“I look forward to the U.S. Supreme Court hearing our case on why Arkansas’s community-engagement requirements will help build a better future for Arkansans," said Attorney General Rutledge. "Arkansas Works reaffirms Arkansas's commitment to improving the health of Arkansans and ensuring the Medicaid program is sustainable."
In 2018, the Trump administration granted a waiver allowing Arkansas to overhaul its eligibility requirements for Medicaid. Arkansas sought to add a requirement that able-bodied people without dependents had to either work or take part in educational or job-training programs for 80 hours a month to receive benefits. The Arkansas Works model is designed to encourage able-bodied Arkansans without dependents to transition into the workforce, while building stronger and more resilient connection with their communities.
In February 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision to vacate the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ approval of work requirements in Arkansas Works. Rutledge filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in July 2020 asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review and uphold the Arkansas Works Medicaid demonstration project. The Court granted certiorari in December 2020.
The cases are Arkansas v. Gresham, No. 20-38, and Azar v. Gresham, No. 20-37.
Rutledge Leads Multi-State Coalition Supporting NRATue, Dec 22, 2020
Says, ‘I stand committed to protecting the Constitution—particularly Arkansans’ right to bear arms’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is leading a coalition of 16 States that have filed an amicus brief supporting the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James. The NRA’s lawsuit seeks to block James’s politically motivated attempt in a separate lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, which is the country’s oldest civil rights organization and leading Second Amendment advocacy organization. New York hopes its lawsuit to dissolve the NRA will undermine Americans’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
“New York’s lawsuit is a political stunt by a liberal attorney general who promised in her campaign to go after the NRA. It is designed to undermine our Second Amendment right,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Even if it makes me unpopular in places like New York, I stand committed to protecting the Constitution—particularly Arkansans’ right to bear arms. That is why I oppose the New York Attorney General’s political stunt and am proud to lead these 16 States in supporting the NRA’s lawsuit against New York. I repeat my invitation to the NRA: The Natural State would happily welcome an organization that fights for the Second Amendment rights of Arkansans and all Americans.”
In August, Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit in New York state court seeking to dissolve the NRA. Separately, the District of Columbia Attorney General filed an action against the non-profit organization NRA Foundation, but the DC lawsuit tellingly did not seek dissolution.
Subsequently, the NRA responded by suing Attorney General James in New York federal court, claiming that her dissolution lawsuit violated the First Amendment by seeking to punish the NRA for its constitutionally protected Second Amendment advocacy.
Arkansas’s amicus brief supports the NRA’s federal-court lawsuit. Arkansas argues that James sought dissolution because she doesn’t like the NRA’s political advocacy, its members’ political views, and the organization’s defense of a fundamental constitutional right. The brief argues that New York’s lawsuit violates the First Amendment because it was designed to retaliate against the NRA and its members for these constitutionally-protected activities. The brief makes clear that state regulations of non-profits and charitable organizations are essential to protecting the public. But it also criticizes New York’s politically motivated enforcement of its regulations. Such regulations should never be used to attack a government official’s political opponents.
Arkansas is joined in the amicus brief by Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
Rutledge Joins 10 States Filing Lawsuit Against Google for Anticompetitive Practices and Deceptive AdvertisingWed, Dec 16, 2020
Says, ‘Google’s dominance and control over the digital advertising marketplace can no longer go unchecked’
LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today she joined a multistate coalition of 10 states in a lawsuit against Google for multiple violations of Federal and State antitrust laws, including anticompetitive conduct, exclusionary practices, and deceptive misrepresentations in connection with its role in the multibillion-dollar online display advertising industry. Google’s monopolization of online display advertising includes an anticompetitive agreement with Facebook, misrepresenting customers, suppressing competition and harming consumers in violation of antitrust and consumer protection laws.
“Google’s dominance and control over the digital advertising marketplace can no longer go unchecked,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans should not be targeted by ad companies that pay the highest amount to pop up in a user’s search. Arkansans deserve to have the most helpful and reliable information at their fingertips.”
The internet revolutionized the way people consume content as well as the type of ads that companies can purchase to reach consumers, including online display ads. In addition to representing both the buyers and the sellers of online display advertising, Google competes directly against the buyers and sellers they separately represent, all while operating the largest exchange of these products. Google’s exchange trades in billions of ad impressions a day.
Today’s lawsuit alleges that Google monopolized, or attempted to monopolize, products and services used by advertisers and publishers in online display advertising. The complaint also alleges that Google engaged in false, misleading and deceptive acts while selling, buying and auctioning online display ads. These anticompetitive and deceptive practices demonstrably harmed publishers’ abilities to monetize content, increased advertisers’ costs to advertise and directly harmed consumers.
Rutledge Releases Statement on Arkansas Ranked Most Pro-Life State in AmericaWed, Dec 16, 2020
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a statement following the announcement Arkansas is ranked the most pro-life state in America by Americans United for Life. The pro-life organization ranks each state based on state laws protecting the unborn, the elderly, the disabled, and the terminally ill.
“It is an incredible day in the State of Arkansas to be named the most pro-life state in America by Americans United for Life. This has not been an easy road, but it is the most important fight we could take on and win. My office has successfully defended and won a number of pro-life cases, and as long as I am Attorney General, I will ensure we continue to fight for the lives and the rights of the unborn. Even with this remarkable announcement our work continues and I promise I will keep fighting wholeheartedly to defend our pro-life laws.”
Rutledge On U.S. Supreme Court Victory That Defends Local Pharmacies Against Predatory PBMsThu, Dec 10, 2020
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion upholding Arkansas’s pharmacy benefit manager regulations in Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association. The Supreme Court’s decision reverses a lower court ruling blocking enforcement of Arkansas’s law.
“This is an important unanimous win for not only locally owned pharmacies that have experienced financial hardships at the hands of pharmacy benefit managers, but more importantly, this is a win for all Arkansans and Americans to have access to affordable health care,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “I will always protect Arkansans and small businesses from unfair practices and fight to lower the costs of prescription drugs.”
Rutledge Joins Multistate Lawsuit Seeking to End Facebook’s Illegal MonopolyWed, Dec 9, 2020
Says, ‘the social media giant must be held accountable when it keeps other competitors from entering into the marketplace’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against Facebook, Inc., alleging that the company illegally stifles competition to protect its monopoly power. The lawsuit alleges that, over the last decade, the social networking giant illegally acquired competitors and cut services to smaller threats, depriving users of the benefits of competition, and reducing privacy protections and services while gaining billions through increased advertising revenue.
“Many Americans rely on Facebook to connect with family and friends we may not see on a regular basis and the social media giant must be held accountable when it keeps other competitors from entering into the marketplace which keeps Arkansans from having the best option when they chose to share information online,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “I am bringing this lawsuit to ensure that Arkansans have a choice in the marketplace and to remedy Facebook’s anti-competitive practices.”
Since 2004, Facebook has operated as a personal social networking service that facilitates sharing content online without charging users a monetary fee, but, instead, provides these services in exchange for a user’s time, attention, and personal data. Facebook then monetizes its business by selling advertising to firms that attach immense value to the user engagement and highly targeted advertising that Facebook can deliver due to the vast trove of data it collects on users, their friends, and their interests.
The complaint alleges that Facebook employed various methods to keep its market dominance. The allegations, including buying potential rivals in an effort to stifle competition, detail how Facebook maintained its monopoly and made billions from advertising.
The lawsuit asks the court to halt Facebook’s illegal, anti-competitive conduct and block the company from continuing this behavior in the future. Additionally, the lawsuit asks the court to restrain Facebook from making further acquisitions valued at or in excess of $10 million without advance notice to the State of Arkansas and other plaintiff states. Finally, the court is asked to provide any additional relief it determines is appropriate, including the divestiture or restructuring of illegally acquired companies, or current Facebook assets or business lines.