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Petitions SCOTUS on Heartbeat Constitutionality

Rutledge to Petition U.S. Supreme Court on Constitutionality of Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act

Wed, Sep 23, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she will file a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act.

“As Attorney General, I have a duty to fully defend the State’s law, which prohibits abortions after 12 weeks of gestation when a heartbeat is detected,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “But beyond my duty, I firmly believe that the State has a profound interest in protecting the lives of the unborn, which is exactly what this law does.”

Rutledge’s request to the U.S. Supreme Court comes after a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that affirmed U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright’s ruling that prohibiting abortions after 12 weeks of gestation is unconstitutional. The Attorney General’s Office requested a rehearing of the case before the full membership of the 8th Circuit, but rehearing was denied.

The State’s certiorari petition will be filed with the Supreme Court in the coming weeks.

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Rutledge Welcomes Fall Law Clerks

Rutledge Welcomes Fall Law Clerks to the Attorney General’s Office

Mon, Sep 21, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has welcomed a new class of law clerks to the Attorney General’s office. These law students work in various departments assisting with legal research and drafting memos and legal documents.

“These future attorneys are a valuable asset to the Attorney General’s office,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “They are getting exposure into the public service sector and invaluable experience from some of the top attorneys in the State.”

Stefanie Blahut, a second year law student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) William H. Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. She graduated from Indiana University in 2007 with a major in criminal justice. Blahut is from Indianapolis, Indiana, and graduated from Pike High School in Indianapolis in 2003.

Katie Waldrip Branscum, a second year law student at UALR, is clerking in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. She is a 2012 graduate of the University of Arkansas with degrees in dietetics and hospitality management. Branscum is from Moro and graduated from Lee Academy in Marianna in 2008.

Mitchell Dennis, a second year law student at UALR, is clerking in the Civil Department. He graduated from Williams Baptist College in 2014 with a degree in history. Dennis is from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and graduated from Neelyville High School in 2010.

Jack Easterly of Little Rock, a second year law student at UALR, is clerking in the Criminal Department. In 2014, he graduated from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, with a degree in classical and religious studies. Easterly graduated from Catholic High School for Boys in 2010.

Rafael Gallaher, a part-time student in his last year of law school at UALR, is clerking in the Criminal Department. He graduated from Henderson State University in 2011 with a degree in philosophy. Gallaher is from Hot Springs and was home schooled and graduated in 2007.

Megan Rodgers of Anchorage, Alaska, a second year law student at UALR, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. She is a 2011 graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage with a degree in political science. Rodgers graduated from East High School in Anchorage in 2007.

Tess Stewart is a second year law student at UALR and is clerking in the Civil Department. She is a 2012 graduate of Hendrix College with a double-major in English and accounting. Stewart is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and graduated from Baton Rouge Magnet High School in 2008.

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Medicaid Fraud Arrest of Pulaski County Woman

Rutledge Announces Medicaid Fraud Arrest of Pulaski County Woman

Fri, Sep 18, 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.

Karen D. Johnson, 56, of Little Rock was arrested on one count of Medicaid fraud. Johnson was booked into the Pulaski County Jail where she is being held on a $2,500 bond. She is accused of falsifying medical authorizations supporting more than $17,000 in Medicaid payments for medical equipment that was not needed, a Class B felony.

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

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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.

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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 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 Attorney General Mobile Office schedule can be found below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 ArkansasAG.gov, or call the Attorney General’s Office Community Engagement Department at (501) 682-1020 for more information.

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