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The Role of the State Attorney General-Harvard Law School-Spring. 2022

Relationship with Federal Government - April 11, 2022

State Attorneys General have a complex relationship with the federal government, including the White House, the Department of Justice, local U.S. Attorneys, and other federal agencies. Away from the headlines, in most cases, attorneys general cooperate with federal agencies to carry out federal policy but in some cases and in some states attorneys general attempt to either challenge or prompt federal action. This section analyzes this complex and changing relationship.

For a brief overview see:

And for how it all worked out, see: 


This Chapter also contains references to the concept of preemption in which the federal government tries to prevent state attorneys general from taking action. The areas of law where the federal and state governments differ are many, but this Chapter focuses on immigration policy.

For an entire semester on this topic see: