Rutledge asks U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection ActTue, Oct 6, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act. Rutledge announced her intention to petition the Court on Sept. 23.
“As the State argues in its petition to the Court, I believe that certiorari should be granted to allow the Court to revisit and overturn the arbitrary viability rule,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas and other States should be allowed to advance their profound interests in defending the life of the unborn, which is exactly what the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act accomplishes.”
The Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act prohibits abortions after 12 weeks of gestation when a heartbeat is detected.
Rutledge’s petition 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.
For a copy of the petition, click here.
Rutledge Reacts to EPA’s Implementation of Ozone RuleFri, Oct 2, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to issue its final rule that will lower the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion.
“I am disappointed by the EPA's decision to move forward with its new ozone standards,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These standards will impact future economic growth in States like Arkansas. As I have done with EPA’s other power grabs, I plan to join other States to challenge this rule’s implementation.”
In March, Attorney General Rutledge joined with 13 other States in submitting comments in a letter to the EPA explaining the harmful, negative impact the rule would have on States across the country. Attorney General Rutledge also filed her own comment letter criticizing the proposed rule.
The current level of 75 parts per billion was set in 2008. Rutledge points out in the letter that while the Clean Air Act does require the EPA to review the standards every five years, the law does not require the standard be lowered every time it is reviewed.
“So long as the standard is protective of human health and the environment, it can remain unchanged,” Attorney General Rutledge wrote.
Rutledge Announces Annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse SummitThu, Oct 1, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the fourth annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Summit will be Nov. 3. The event, which will be held at the Hot Springs Convention Center, was established as a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Members of the general public may also attend and will have the opportunity to hear from experts regarding prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment.
“Prescription drug abuse is a major problem in Arkansas that unfortunately many times leads to accidental death and the misuse of illegal drugs,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Preventing this abuse requires all of us – law enforcement, medical providers, pharmacists and the general public – working together. I am excited to welcome my friend and colleague from Indiana, Attorney General Zoeller, to the Natural State to offer his insight and expertise on this important topic.”
The all-day event will begin with breakout sessions to discuss resources available in Arkansas for prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment. Nearly 44,000 people die from drug overdoses each year, with more than half of those because of abuse of prescription drugs.
Rutledge will host the luncheon, which will include the keynote address from Zoeller, who is serving his second term as Indiana’s 42nd Attorney General. Zoeller created and serves as co-chair of Indiana's Prescription Drug Task Force, is a member of the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana, supports the expansion of School Resource Officers and serves as the National Association of Attorneys General Tobacco Committee Co-Chair. A priority of the Task Force is to advance legislation to help combat prescription drug misuse and diversion. Several Task Force accomplishments include its partnership with the Indianapolis Colts to heighten awareness of this epidemic; the launch of its “Train the Trainer” public outreach program; the free online course titled “The Opioid Epidemic and Indiana's Opioid Prescribing Law;” drug take back events; and, the 85-plus outreach seminars/webinars presented to prescribers statewide since the implementation of the opioid prescribing laws.
The afternoon session will include a presentation from Patrick Glynn with the Quincy Police Department in Massachusetts. Glynn will speak about the successes his department has had in utilizing the drug naloxone to assist individuals experiencing opioid overdose.
In addition to the Attorney General’s Office, the Summit is being sponsored by the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy, Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services, Arkansas State Police, Benton Police Department, Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, Office of the State Drug Director, Rotary Clubs of Arkansas, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute.
To view the full agenda for the 2015 Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Summit, visit ArkansasAG.gov. Register at cji.edu/2015-arkansas-prescription-drug-abuse-summit/.
Attorney General Partners with Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas to host Crimes Against Children TrainingMon, Sep 28, 2015
NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today offered opening remarks to the Technologically Facilitated Crimes Against Children Training at Camp Robinson. More than 60 law enforcement, child advocacy service providers and representatives of child serving organizations attended the event, which was a partnership between the Attorney General’s Office and the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas.
“I am proud to have partnered with the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas to host this important training,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Technology is rapidly advancing and changing daily, exposing our children to increased dangers. It is critically important to have statewide collaboration to combat these crimes that don’t know geographic, age, race or economic boundaries. I want to extend a special thank you to Sgt. Steven Del Negro for leading today’s sessions and for sharing his specialized expertise and investigative experience with Arkansas.”
Sgt. Del Negro is a 29-year veteran of the Massachusetts State Police, and for the last 12 years of his career, he was assigned to the Digital Evidence Media Section/Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Sgt. Del Negro was commander for the ICAC Task Force in Massachusetts, in which he provided training to law enforcement, coordinated and conducted investigations, provided public awareness presentations and was the state contact for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. As a state police detective for 16 years, he investigated homicides, unattended deaths, rapes, child abuse, child sexual assaults and other major crimes.
This training provided an overview of the various types of technology used for sexual exploitation and to facilitate crimes against children. Discussion focused on the offenders’ use of technology and challenges new technology creates and how they impact victims.
Rutledge Joins Multistate Investigation into VolkswagenMon, Sep 28, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the State of Arkansas joined the executive committee of a multistate investigation into Volkswagen for altering emissions software to produce favorable test results.
“I am disappointed in Volkswagen and the action they took to modify their emissions testing software,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These actions are simply wrong, and I will fight for Arkansans who have been impacted by this manufacturer’s misconduct.”
Volkswagen is accused of equipping 11 million diesel vehicles with software that could be used to cheat on emissions tests. Arkansas is joining 28 other attorneys general from across the country to examine any potential consumer protection law violations.
A list of affected models, model years and instructions for vehicle owners can be found at EPA.gov.
Attorney General Urges Arkansans to ‘Take Back’ Unused MedicationFri, Sep 25, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she will participate in Arkansas’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Sept. 26, at a Little Rock Police Department Take Back site on Kanis Road.
“Unused and unneeded prescription drugs are lurking in medicine cabinets around our State,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans need to take personal responsibility to combat prescription drug abuse that is killing our children and destroying families. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles need to know that the old and unused prescription medications in their homes are the source of the drugs that are abused by our children. I urge Arkansans to clean out their homes and save lives by taking back unused medications to a safe and secure location in their community.”
In a consumer alert this week, Rutledge said that nearly 44,000 people die from drug overdoses each year, with more than half of those because of abuse of prescription drugs. Law enforcement officers will be available at 126 collection sites to collect and destroy pills in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Since the program began in 2010, 72 tons of medication has been collected in Arkansas, which is an estimated 201 million individual pills.
Attorney General Rutledge is partnering with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of the State Drug Director, the Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Rotary Clubs, the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, the Arkansas Department of Health, the Arkansas Department of Human Services and over 130 additional law enforcement and government agencies, community organizations, and public health providers who comprise the Arkansas Prescription Drug Coalition.
A complete list of collection sites for Take Back Day, as well as permanent, year-round collection sites, is available at artakeback.org. Sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow. Authorities will be collecting prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, pet medicines, medicated ointments and lotions, inhalers, liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers and medicine samples.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Take Back events nationally have taken nearly 5 million pounds of prescription medications out of circulation.
Details of Rutledge’s stop in Little Rock:
What: Participates in Arkansas’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day
When: Saturday, September 26
10:45 – 11:15 a.m.
Where: Little Rock Police Department
10001 Kanis Road
Little Rock, AR 72205
Members of the media planning to attend may contact Jessica Ray at Jessica.Ray@arkansasag.gov or 501-539-0955.