Attorney General of Alabama

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Alabama Attorney General
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $21,000,366
Term limits:  2 terms
Structure
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 112
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Luther Strange.jpg
Name:  Luther Strange
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  2011
Compensation:  $160,003
Elections
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other Alabama Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Attorney General of Alabama is an elected constitutional officer in the Alabama government and serves as the state's chief law officer and chief law enforcement officer. He may also initiate both civil and criminal court action to protect the state's interests or to enforce state law.[1]

Current officeholder

The current and 49th attorney general of Alabama is Luther Strange, a Republican. Strange was first elected on November 2, 2010[2], and assumed office on January 17, 2011.[3] His first four year term will expire on January 19, 2015.

Prior to becoming attorney general, Strange operated his own practice in Birmingham. Before that, he worked for the lobbying firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLC.

Authority

The attorney general's authority derives from Article V, Section 112 of the Alabama Constitution.

Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 112

The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, commissioner of agriculture and industries, and a sheriff for each county.

Qualifications

Qualifications for the office of attorney general are described in Article V, Section 132 of the state constitution. Candidates for the office must have been a citizen of the United States for seven years, a resident of Alabama for five years, and at least 25 years of age.

Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 132

No person shall be eligible to the office of attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, or commissioner of agriculture and industries unless he shall have been a citizen of the United States at least seven years, and shall have resided in this state at least five years next preceding his election, and shall be at least twenty-five years old when elected.

Elections

Click here to view a large-scale image of the Alabama state government organizational chart, as of 9/11/12.

Per Section 114 of the state constitution, Alabama elects its attorneys general during federal midterm election years (e.g. 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018). Section 116 sets the attorney general's inauguration for the first Monday after the second Tuesday in the January following an election. Thus, January 17, 2011 and January 19, 2015 are inaugural days.

Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 114

The governor, lieutenant governor, attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, and commissioner of agriculture and industries shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state at the same time and places appointed for the election of members of the legislature in the year nineteen hundred and two, and in every fourth year thereafter.

Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 116

The governor, lieutenant governor, attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, commissioner of agriculture and industries, elected after the ratification of this Constitution, shall hold their respective offices for the term of four years from the first Monday after the second Tuesday in January next succeeding their election, and until their successors shall be elected and qualified.

Term limits

Per Amendment 282 to Article V, Section 116 of the Alabama Constitution, attorneys general are limited to two terms in office.[4]

Full History


Vacancies

Article V, Section 136 of the Alabama Constitution requires the governor to appoint a replacement if the office of attorney general becomes vacant or if the incumbent "shall become of unsound mind." The replacement serves until the next scheduled election.[5]

Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 136'

Should the office of attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, or commissioner of agriculture and industries become vacant from any cause, the governor shall fill such vacancy until the disability is removed or a successor elected and qualified. In case any of said officers shall become of unsound mind, such unsoundness shall be ascertained by the supreme court upon the suggestion of the governor.

Duties

Section 137 of the Alabama Constitution provides that "attorney general may be required to defend suits against state, political subdivisions, officers, etc." The attorney general's other duties are prescribed by law. Besides representing the state in court, the incumbent is required to give legal advice to state and county officers or agencies and represent the state before the Supreme Court or Courts of Criminal or Civil Appeals. He may also represent municipalities before appeals courts in cases where the constitutionality of a municipal ordinance is questioned.

The attorney general's office issues an annual report including "suggestions for the suppression of crime and the improvement of criminal administration." He is also required to report on laws held invalid by state courts and give his opinion on the constitutional validity and clarity of bills being considered by the legislature.

Alabama state law requires the attorney general to fulfill several other minor duties, including keeping an official record of all of his correspondence and approving extradition forms.[6]

Divisions

The attorney general's office includes the following divisions:[7]

  • Administrative Services
  • Capital Litigation
  • Constitutional Defense
  • Consumer Affairs*
  • Criminal Appeals
  • Environmental
  • General Civil and Administrative Law
  • Investigations
  • Legislative Affairs
  • Medicaid Fraud
  • Opinions
  • Public Corruption & White Collar Crime
  • Public Information
  • Violent Crimes

State budget

The budget for the Attorney General's Office in Fiscal Year 2012-2013 was $21,000,366.[8]

Compensation

See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2013, the Alabama Attorney General was paid an estimated $160,003. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments. He or she receives the same compensation as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama.[9] Article V, Section 118 of the state constitution requires that changes in compensation take effect in the term after they were passed.

Alabama Constitution, Article V, Section 118

The governor, lieutenant governor, attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, and commissioner of agriculture and industries, shall receive compensation to be fixed by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which they shall have been elected, and shall, except the lieutenant governor, reside at the state capital during the time they continue in office, except during epidemics.

Historical officeholders



Recent news

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Contact info

Alabama

Capitol Address:
Office of the Attorney General
500 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130

Phone: (334) 242-7300

See also

External links

References