Republican candidates for attorney general, meanwhile, promise to aggressively enforce state bans and act as a test of any efforts by President Joe Biden and the Democratic Congress to expand abortion rights.

Although attorneys general’s races tend to have lower voter turnout and costs than gubernatorial competitions, especially in “dead years” like 2022, the state’s top law enforcement service has long been a springboard for ambitious politicians and an opportunity to get nationwide fame. Applicants will not only decide how and whether abortion bans will be enforced in the near future Caviar repealed, but could also be tomorrow’s harvest of senators, governors and vice presidents who pass laws in the post-Caviar country.

Throughout the Trump and Biden administrations, attorneys general have used immigration, voting rights, and abortion to try to disrupt the president’s agenda by suspending or blocking legislation and regulation at the state and federal levels.

Due to the increased likelihood that abortion rights could become a problem left by the state in a few weeks, attorneys-general across the country are reminding voters of the rates.

“My role is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of my constituents, and I’m not going to do anything to endanger their lives,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who is running for re-election in November. “AH is an absolutely key position. Not only are we the only body that has the authority to prosecute cases in all counties of the state, but we also have unique oversight bodies when it comes to licensing and regulation. ”

Nessel along with Governor Democrat Gretchen Whitmer sue to bring down a ban on abortion in the state from 1931, which will come into force again if Caviar falls and has repeatedly prosecuted her rival, Republican Matt Depern, for promising to abide by a law banning abortion even in the event of rape, incest or medical danger to the mother.

“I’m disgusted that we go back in time for a century or more,” said POLITICO Nessel, who recently revealed she had an abortion when she was pregnant with triplets. “Who the hell do these Republicans think to make such a decision for me?”

Depernay, backed by former President Donald Trump, promised ensure compliance with the state ban on abortion without exception in the event of rape, incest or threats to the mother. He did not answer POLITICO’s additional questions about how he would approach the issue as Attorney General.

While the powers of the power of attorney vary greatly from state to state, everyone can play a role in how dozens often vaguely worded abortion bans interpreted and executed. In some states, such as Arizona, the Attorney General may intervene to prevent local prosecutors from making criminal charges against doctors and patients who terminate pregnancies.

Where this is not possible, they can provide advice that lawyers can use in these cases, and advise against prosecuting people for abortion or assisting with abortion.

And how to declare the right to abortion try to go beyond them to prevent people from traveling to neighboring states to terminate a pregnancy, attorneys general can protect their residents from accusations and claims made by other government officials or individuals.

Conversely, prosecutors general against abortion may direct the local prosecutor’s office to enforce a state ban and may themselves file charges, say, against a paternity planning clinic for alleged violations.

Several attorneys general from the Democratic Party have shown how they can use the powers of their office to protect reproductive rights in the post-Caviar landscape.

In January, California Attorney General Rob Bont released a memo warning every district attorney, police chief and state sheriff not to use state law “to punish people suffering from pregnancy loss” – citing the cases of two women accused of “killing a fetus” in Kings County after drug-related stillbirths. only one of their charges was dropped.

That same month, Delaware Attorney General Katie Jennings sued to block the town of Seaford at the request of the abortion clinic conducts the burial of the remains of the fetus at the expense of patients.

Democratic attorneys general also banded together to challenge federal policies and intervene in other states’ legal battles for abortion. It just happened with a six-week private abortion ban in Texas when the state’s attorney general argued in a note amicus that their health care systems are likely to be strained due to the flow of patients from Texas coming for the procedure.

“My opponents will say, ‘Why does he keep poking his nose into other states’ affairs?'” Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raul, who is running for re-election, told POLITICO. “But we are an oasis for reproductive health, surrounded by states with legislatures that want to undermine access to reproductive health. So guess where people go when access is limited. ”

In November, Democrats controlled 24 of the 51 seats in the Attorney General’s Office, some of which are appointed rather than elected. Twelve of these leaders will be re-elected, some in states like Michigan, where Republicans have imposed or are likely to introduce an abortion ban. Seven other Democratic candidates are challenging incumbent Republican presidents, and eight are vying for seats.

Abortion advocacy groups, including NARAL, Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List, are very keen on these races and have mobilized – especially since the publication of the draft Supreme Court ruling – to support, hold rallies and train Democratic Attorney General candidates. their strategies and messaging, and encourage them millions of members donate to democratic campaigns.

The Democratic Association of Attorneys General is also leaning toward the issue, announcing on Friday a record $ 30 million investment in the campaign of their candidates in Georgia, Arizona and other states not yet named on the battlefield in light of the “national abortion emergency.” ”Almost twice as much as the band collected in 2018.

Not only will the winners of these races play an important role in the abortion law, but this position is also a reliable path to senior positions – so much so that the National Association of Prosecutors General in political circles is scathingly called the National Association of Beginner Governors. Several current and future governors and senators are former state attorneys general, as well as the current vice president, and energy and health ministers.

While a quick end is expected Caviar adds new urgency to this year’s election, with abortion long reviving Democratic attorneys’ candidates who say they will be spearheads if the court overturns the 50-year-old precedent and pushes the decision back to the states – almost half of which already have bans. most or all abortions.

In 2019, after the then-Republican Senate confirmed Trump’s two candidates for the Supreme Court, the Democratic Association of Attorneys General became the first and so far only national election committee. require support for the right to abortion as a condition of its approval and financial support. Thus, although a small number of members of the Democratic Chamber, senators and governors remain against abortion, the litmus test of the group means that the current list of attorneys general is firmly and unanimously in favor of the right to abortion.

“We put our mark and said,‘ If you want to be a Democratic AG, you have to be loud and proud of the right to abortion, ’” said POLITICO Jennings, co-chair of the organization. “We will support you, but you must support this right.”

Dozens of Democratic attorneys general have repeatedly sued the Trump administration for executive actions that restricted access to abortion and contraception, including limiting Title X’s family planning program and Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. And Rachel Garza, a Democrat running for attorney general in Texas, led advocacy groups that tried the Trump administration in 2017 for refusing abortions to undocumented teenagers in immigration detention centers.

Now the draft conclusion is coming to an end Caviar Democrats say they are under more pressure than ever to win these races and act as “support” for abortion rights.

“During the Trump years, AGs tried to protect their voters from over-coverage of the administration and politics, which they considered unconstitutional and could harm people. But interestingly, AG is now forced to resist to surpass their own states, ”said Georgia Sen. Jen Jordan, a Democratic nominee for the post of Attorney General, who has vowed not to enforce a six-week ban on abortion that could take effect. effect if Caviar falls. “Our legislature – the House of Representatives and the Senate – is controlled by Republicans, and thanks to gerrymandering it won’t go away any time soon. So the only person standing in the gap will be AH. “

The Republican Association of Attorneys General, which far surpassed its Democratic counterpart in the first quarter of this year, according to a review by IRS POLITICO, told POLITICO that they did not have a requirement for Republican Attorney General candidates to oppose abortion rights.

“The only litmus test is a commitment to upholding and defending the Constitution and the rule of law,” said Peter Bisbee, the group’s executive director.

However, almost all participating Republicans oppose abortion rights – and promise voters that they will defend and enforce state abortion bans and try to block any attempts by Biden and the Democratic Congress to expand access to the procedure.

“The attorney general’s porch will be one of the most consistent elections this November,” Bisbee said. “Americans know that Republican UCPs and candidates are the only thing that stands between them and the radical progressive program of the day.”

However, even in red-headed states, where those in power oppose abortion rights, Democrats point to the survey showing that the majority of voters, including a large number of Republicans and independents, want to retain at least some access to the procedure, and predict a political response that could help them intensify this fall.

“I’m going to make it clear to the people of Arizona that they can protect their reproductive rights by choosing me AG,” said POLITICO Chris Mace, a Democratic candidate in the state. “Republicans are like a dog on a bus. They don’t know what will happen in November. “

Megan Wilson contributed to this report.

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/09/attorney-general-elections-candidates-abortion-00030821

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