In this episode of Regulatory Oversight, Ashley Taylor welcomes Professor Paul Nolette from Marquette University to discuss the evolution of state attorneys general and how their roles in government have shifted over the years. Professor Nolette serves as the chair of Marquette’s Political Science Department and focuses his teaching and research on the dynamics of contemporary American federalism and the interplay between law and politics. Professor Nolette wrote the book Federalism on Trial: State Attorneys General and National Policy Making in Contemporary America, which examines how state litigators have used lawsuits against large corporations and the federal government as a way to influence national policy.

Over time, we have seen the AG role shift from being a capstone to ones career to more of a steppingstone for politicians. With this change, we also have seen a change in how state AGs approach federal government, federal government regulatory policies, and statutory policies — ultimately impacting numerous industries over the years.

Additionally, Ashley and Professor Nolette discuss what attracted him to study state AGs and the major developments he has seen with multistate settlements throughout his career as a professor and through his involvement with the National Association of Attorney General.

Transcript: The Evolution of State Attorneys General (PDF)