Main Content

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

U.S. Supreme Court Practice: February 14, 2022

Other than our federal government, state government is by far the most frequent litigant in the U.S. Supreme Court. This chapter will study the practice of state attorneys general before the United States Supreme Court, including the role played by Attorneys General submitting amici curiae briefs, and analyze the statistics of state involvement.  

This chapter also discusses how attorneys general have centralized their appearances in appellate matters by creating within their offices the position of State Solicitor General.  The creation of state solicitor general positions is an organizational decision by each attorney general and is designed to assure both quality and consistency in appellate presentation before federal and state appellate courts.  The increased prominence of state solicitors general in no way changes the fact that it is the attorney general who ultimately makes the decisions that are argued by the SG.