Continuing Legal Education: The Role of State Attorneys General in the Enforcement of Federal Law

Mar 02, 2010
B338 Rayburn House Office Building (Room Change)

This Continuing Legal Education Course will feature two panels. The first will provide an overview of the history and role of state attorneys general, as well as address the evolving role of attorneys general in the present day. The second panel will feature a discussion between two former state attorneys general on emerging trends in enforcement authority and related contemporary legal matters.

View the complete course agenda.

This program will cover the following issues:

  • What are the proper roles, duties, and powers of the State AGs with respect to  enforcement of federal law and in relation to the federal government?
  • What, if any, legal boundaries should constrain the powers of State AGs?
  • What are the consequences, both good and bad, of enabling State AGs to enforce federal law?
  • What’s behind the emerging trend of State AGs functioning as an enforcement arm of federal government under federal law, such as in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), proposed consumer financial protection legislation and health care reform?

The course will feature the following speakers:

Panel One: Historical overview of the role of state attorneys general; attorneys general in present day.

  • ROB RAFFETY, JD/MPA, is Adjunct Professor of Law and Public Administration for the George Mason University School of Law and the GMU Department of Public and International Affairs, and the Associate Director of the Regulatory Studies Program and the Government Accountability Project of the Mercatus Center at GMU.
  • HON. HAL STRATTON, JD, is the former attorney general for the State of New Mexico, former chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Adjunct Professor at George Mason University School of Law Professor, and Senior Counsel in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Albuquerque office.

Panel Two: Discussion between two former attorneys general on the history and evolution of expanded AG enforcement authority, and the associated consequences thereof.

  • Hon. Peg Lautenschlager, JD, is the former attorney general for the State of Wisconsin, a practicing lawyer and a professor at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
  • Hon. Jerry W. Kilgore, JD, is the former attorney general for the State of Virginia, and Senior Vice President for Government Relations at McGuireWoods LLP in Richmond, VA.

Mercatus Center CLE classes are reserved exclusively for and are offered at no cost to Congressional, Federal Agency and Library of Congress counsels. 

This course has been approved for CLE credit by the following:

Virginia State Bar: 2 non-ethics credit hours (Course ID Number NX0530/Sponsor Mercatus Center/GM Univ)
Kentucky Bar Association: 2 non-ethics credit hours (Activity Number 109993/Sponsor Number 1637)
Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board: 2 non-ethics credit hours (Course ID Number 127545/Provider 4286)
The Florida Bar: 2.5 non-ethics credit hours (Course Number 3429 0/Sponsor Number 0245343)

Attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions may apply for credit subject to the rules of their states. We provide a Certificate of Attendance to assist with this process. In addition, states such as New Jersey allow for CLE credit reciprocity. Please contact Anna Shopen-Duran at if you have questions or need assistance with CLE credit.

We have limited space for this event so please RSVP to reserve your place!

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Anna Shopen-Duran at or at (703) 993-8965.