Francis C. P. Knize emails in:
|Sent:||Mon 7/13/09 10:17 PM|
|To:||[email address snipped]
To: Office of the Attorney General
55 Elm Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06106
Telephone: (860) 808-5318`
Fax: (860) 808-5387
July 10, 2009
Dear Attorney General Richard Blumenthal,
As state citizen and Legal Reporter, I respectfully request your analysis and Opinion concerning the duties of your office, as the subject has remained controversial throughout the several states what the role of AG precisely is. I noted with the Chief Justice Sullivan affair you did not represent Sullivan, but rather state interests against public official misconduct. As a sovereign acting in the public interest for which theoretically you serve, I am presuming the following concerning your duties grounded in well-settled Common and Constitutional Law; and formally request for the record your response whether each (a-d) below presumption and each attribute
stated within is correct:
a) the role of Connecticut’s Office of the Attorney General in defending suits for or against government is not a bar to his/her prosecution of court actions to challenge government encroachments on the rights of state citizens and their rights to statutory protections of both Connecticut and the several states as they shall mandate, and exist no bar as well, to challenge unconstitutional state law. The state becomes an “interested party” for any abuses upon the Connecticut Constitution;
b) the Connecticut Attorney General may properly position himself and thus have standing simultaneously on both sides of a suit to invalidate state law: being the proper legal voice for the respondent state government and yet have powers to present to a court forum that certain law is unconstitutional to citizens. He has a duty under those conditions to ask the court to rule for a petitioner citizen, in part under the “likely to be repeated” public interest rule, and has powers to challenge vague laws on behalf of the Sovereign, “We The People” to whom the Connecticut Attorney General owes full allegiance beyond the mandates of CGS Sec. 3-125, and to reinforce Sec. 3-125 in its underlying Constitutional directives, concerning the following clauses:
The Attorney General shall have general supervision over all legal matters in which the state is an interested party. …in all suits and other civil proceedings
(The exception is criminal Cases when prosecutors have been granted the role. However, in a civil capacity, the state becomes an “interested party” with AG jurisdiction for any abuses upon the Conneticut Constitution, with attention to proclaimations reiterated from the U.S. Constitution.)
He shall, when required by either house of the General Assembly or when requested by the president pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, or the majority leader or the minority leader of the Senate or House of Representatives, give his opinion upon questions of law submitted to him by either of said houses or any of said leaders.;
c) Attorney General's have a Parens Patriae Duty To The People. The attorney general has a common law duty to represent the public interest. Constitutional Law and the common law holds high the obligation for the Connecticut Attorney General to act on behalf of state citizens to protect persons, papers, and property and the 14th Amendment. As an elected official, the people presume and count on the AG to do everything possible to dislodge, through litigation if need be, government encroachments on the rights of the people of this state, including encroachments through unconstitutional law;
d) the Connecticut Attorney General's responsibilities as the legal voice for the government of Connecticut pursuant CGS Sec. 3-125 is secondary to AG obligations to defend the Constitutional and other rights of Connecticut citizens. The Connecticut Constitution fully embraces the principles of the Federal Constitution and the Bill Of Rights therein. That mere fact, Ab Initio, allows the voice of the AG to be empowered by Constitutional dictates.
AUTHORITIES AND CITINGS SUPPORTING THESE CONCLUSIONS
State AG May Seek To Overturn State Law, And Even Constitutional Law.
California Attorney General, Jerry Brown, petitions California Supreme Court to overturn a constitutional amendment on the basis that it allegedly violates inalienable and fundamental rights of state citizens. See LINK http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/California-Supreme-Court-to-Reveal-Prop-8-Decision-Tuesday.html?corder=reverse
A State AG May Petition A Court On Behalf of The People, Against Government, While Simutaneously Representing Government In The Same Suit
Jerry Brown represents the government respondents in the same case. See http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S168047.PDF
Above Legal Principle of Dual Representation By AG Office Is Well Settled
In the above-cited case (with Jerry Brown's participation) the California Supreme Court makes no issue of the dual representation. Even such preeminent constitutional scholars as Professors Vikram David Amar and Alan Brownstein of the University of California, Davis, School of Law make no issue out of it in their article about the suit, The California Attorney General’s Brief in the California Supreme Court Case Challenging Proposition 8: The Questions It Raised, and Why It Surprised Many Observers. See http://writ.lp.findlaw.com/amar/20090102.html
Attorneys General May Sue Governors and Other State Officials On Behalf Of People
Unlike many believe, and some stated in this forum, attorneys general are not appendages of government, "just lawyers for government," but are independent enforcers of law, including constitutional law, and have no allegiance to government itself. They can and must sue government officials violating citizens' rights and committing other transgressions of law. See, e.g. a state attorney general suing the state's governor: http://chronicle.com/daily/2007/09/2007091402n.htm Kentucky's Attorney General Sues Over Governor's Appointments to University Boards Two of Kentucky's top elected officials are heading to court to resolve a dispute over the partisan makeup of the governing boards of the state's public universities.
Attorney Generals Owe Service and Allegiance To The People through the Common Law. It is a settled principle that the elected officials owe allegiance only to the electorate. Whatever other obligations they may have to government agencies/officials, such obligations exist only in the context of agencies'/officials' own service to the people. Where, as in Connecticut (and most states), AGs are elected, they report to the sovereign, the people. This is, among other law, pursuant to common law, which is integrated into our constitutional framework. “The Attorney-General, at common law, was the chief legal representative of the sovereign in the courts, and it was his duty to appear for and prosecute in behalf of the crown any matters, criminal as well as civil . . . . [T]he Attorney-General became the representative of the people of the State, and was the only officer who, by virtue of his common-law powers, could represent the people.” People v. Kramer, 33 Misc. 209, 213-14, 68 N.Y.S. 383, 386 (N.Y. Cty. Ct. Gen. Sess. 1900)," Jay L. Himes, Chief, Antitrust Bureau Office of the New York Attorney General, State Parens Patriae Authority: The Evolution of the State Attorney General’s Authority (2004), http://www.abanet.org/antitrust/at-committees/at-state/pdf/publications/other-pubs/parens.pdf .
Synopsis: When the Connecticut founders put in the state constitution the provision for Attorney General, they neither defined it nor elaborated on it, because to them the AG concept and functions were already reflected in the Colonial (and British) AGs of the King, who owed allegiance only to the King and who were litigating on behalf of his interests. American AG's had no allegiance to the colonial governors and were at times in adversarial relationships with them. Since the founders could not be clearer on the people being the Sovereign in the Confederate states and subsequently the several states of the Union, the AG's allegiance, duty, service, and representation in legal matters had to shift to the new legal paradigm of owing to the Sovereign of the People rather than to the authorities of the Kings and Queens of Europe.
Attorney General's Parens Patriae Duty To The People
The AGs also have the historical parens patriae duty to defend those who can't defend themselves, which today is the very young, old, dysfunctional people, to those who could not defend their important rights for other reasons, including the lack of resources. See, e.g. the following wording in the above article: "People v. Town of Wallkill, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13364, at *19-20 (S.D.N.Y. March 16, 2001) (upholding attorney general’s parens patriae authority where legal standards and practical difficulties made it unlikely that individual victims of police misconduct could secure the sort of systemic, prophylactic injunctive relief sought)."
Virginia. Under this principle in Virginia it was the VAG's responsibility to challenge HB3202. Left unchallenged by the AG would have allowed terrible unconstitutional law to exist, It’s understandable Virginia is not alone, unconstitutional laws are attempted in the several states all the time -- HB3202 itself was similar to unconstitutional law enacted in a few other states.
Attorneys General Have Wide Discretion In Protecting the Public's Rights and Interests: "People v. Town of Wallkill, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13364, at *19-20, "Absent contrary legislative action, the attorney general “typically may exercise all such authority as the public interest requires. And the attorney general has wide discretion in making the determination as to the public interest." and " Secretary of Administration and Finance v. Attorney General, 367 Mass. 154, 163, 326 N.E.2d 334, 338 (1975) (the attorney general “has a common law duty to represent the public interest”)."
Please set forth your humble opinion in these matters of your duty. I would appreciate if you could expedite your answer and deliver it in a few weeks.
50 Sunset Pass
Wilton, Ct 06897
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