Home | Arkansas Attorney General
NewsEvents

Rutledge Supports Law Protecting Women’s Health

Says, ‘Women deserve to know all medical procedures are performed in the safest way possible.’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge led a 20-state coalition in filing an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court supporting Louisiana’s efforts to ensure that abortion procedures are only performed under the safest conditions possible for patients.

“Women deserve to know all medical procedures are performed in the safest way possible,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Louisiana’s admitting-privileges requirement is a common sense way of ensuring that abortions are only performed by competent practitioners in conditions that minimize patient risks.”

Louisiana state law requires abortion practitioners to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility.

Attorney General Rutledge previously successfully defended Arkansas’s commonsense requirement that medication abortion practitioners have a contract with a physician who agrees to handle emergencies and complications associated with abortion inducing drugs. In 2015, that requirement had been blocked by a district court, but Attorney General Rutledge successfully appealed that order and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit unanimously overturned that order. The United States Supreme Court then declined to review the Eighth Circuit’s order and Arkansas’s requirement went into effect.

These laws are not about overturning Roe v. Wade or restricting access to legal abortions. They are about ensuring that if a woman chooses to undergo an abortion, that procedure is only performed in the safest manner possible for the patient.

Rutledge Praises President Trump for Signing TRACED Act into Law After She Spearheaded Anti-Robocall Efforts

Says, ‘we can all look forward to fewer fake calls in 2020.’

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today issued a statement praising President Trump for signing into law the bi-partisan Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act.

“I applaud President Trump’s support of this new law supplying law enforcement with the tools necessary to fight these relentless robocalls plaguing all Americans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I have worked non-stop in Arkansas fighting illegal calls and I am proud these efforts are backed by President Trump. With more than 55 billion fraudulent calls placed nationwide in 2019, we can all look forward to fewer fake calls in 2020 thanks to the passage of the TRACED Act.”

The TRACED Act authorizes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to issue additional civil penalties on people who intentionally violate restrictions on the use of automated telephone equipment, and directs the FCC to require voice service providers to offer call authentication technologies to consumers.

Rutledge led the fight against robocalls by working with state legislators to pass legislation to require telecommunication providers to submit annual reports to the Arkansas Public Service Commission to certify that all available and applicable technology is being employed to identify and block illegal robocalls and spoofing.

Rutledge also joined a bipartisan, public/private coalition agreement with every state attorneys general and 12 phone companies earlier this year. The coalition adopted eight principals to fight illegal robocalls and pave the way for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors.

The Arkansas Attorney General’s Office received more than 9,000 complaints about phone scams and robocalls in 2019. Arkansans who would like to file a complaint can email the office at oag@ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

Rutledge Announces January Mobile Office Schedule

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for January.

Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to increase office accessibility for all Arkansans, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties each year during her first term, assisting 3,300 Arkansans. In 2019, Attorney General Mobile Offices served over 2,200 Arkansans.

Rutledge believes face-to-face conversations are the best way to truly hear from Arkansans. The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist Arkansans with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.

Rutledge continues her partnerships with local law enforcement across Arkansas. Law enforcement officials will be on hand to collect unused and expired prescription medications to ensure they are secured and properly disposed. Arkansans are encouraged to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office. During Rutledge’s five years in office, over 800 pounds of medications were collected at mobile offices.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.

The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:

Grant County

Tuesday, January 7

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Sheridan Senior Center

Grant County Park

1525 US-270

Sheridan, AR 72150

Perry County

Thursday, January 9

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Diane Wilson Senior Activity Center

107 North Magnolia Street

Perryville, AR 72126

Conway County

Wednesday, January 15

10:30 a.m. to noon

T.C. Vaughan Senior Activity Center

706 North Division Street

Morrilton, AR 72110

White County

Thursday, January 16

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

John E. Lightle Senior Center

2200 East Moore Street

Searcy, AR 72143

Ashley County

Thursday, January 23

10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Hamburg Senior Citizens Center

1406 North Main Street

Hamburg, AR 71646

Prairie County

Tuesday, January 28

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Hazen Senior Health & Wellness Center

607 McDonald Drive

Hazen, AR 72064

Clark County

Thursday, January 30

9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

CADC Arkadelphia Senior Activity Center

1305 North 10th Street

Arkadelphia, AR 71923

Affordable Care Act’s Individual Mandate Found Unconstitutional

Says, ‘It is important that the rule of law prevail.’

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a statement following Wednesday’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit agreeing with Arkansas’s arguments, made as part of an 18-state coalition, that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. The coalition’s lawsuit will continue to settle the question whether all of Obamacare must be struck down because the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

“The individual mandate is unconstitutional, and it is important that the rule of law prevail,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As the Supreme Court noted, the individual mandate was propped up by a tax that Congress rightfully removed in 2017, making the mandate unconstitutional. Now is the time for Congress to create a comprehensive healthcare law that will work with states and provide coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.”

In 2012, a majority of the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare against a constitutional challenge because it said the individual mandate was a valid exercise of Congress’s Tax Power. But a different majority also held that Congress did not have the power to create the individual mandate under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. As Chief Justice Roberts explained, and the four-justice dissent agreed, the Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate commerce – but not to compel it, which is what the individual mandate does.

In 2017, Congress eliminated the tax portion of the individual mandate as part of President Donald J. Trump’s tax overhaul. Rutledge then joined a multistate lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Texas, arguing that Congress rendered all of Obamacare unconstitutional by doing away with the tax penalty.

Judge Reed O’Connor of the Texas federal court agreed and ruled that the individual mandate was no longer valid under Congress’s Tax Power. Applying the Supreme Court’s 2012 holding that the individual mandate violated the Commerce Clause, Judge O’Connor struck it down as unconstitutional. He then ruled that Congress would not have passed Obamacare without the individual mandate because it was an essential part of the law. Therefore, he also invalidated the entire law.

Wednesday the Fifth Circuit affirmed Judge O’Connor’s ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. But the Fifth Circuit sent the case back to Judge O’Connor for him to provide additional support for his other ruling, that Congress would not have passed Obamacare without the individual mandate.

In addition to Arkansas, the coalition – led by Texas – includes the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia, along with the governor of Mississippi.

Rutledge Applauds Passage of Federal TRACED Act After Her Robocall Initiatives Took Effect this Year

Says, ‘law enforcement will have an additional tool to shut down these illegal calls.’

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today issued a statement praising the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act.

“The unanimous Senate vote today is a welcome tool to help stop the incessant, irritating robocalls we all receive,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I have led the charge in Arkansas to stop these illegal calls, but this is a national problem that needs multifaceted solutions. Arkansans and all Americans can find hope in knowing this legislation is heading to President Trump’s desk, and with his signature, law enforcement will have an additional tool to shut down these illegal calls.”

Rutledge led the fight against robocalls by working with state legislators to pass legislation to require telecommunication providers to submit annual reports to the Arkansas Public Service Commission to certify that all available and applicable technology is being employed to identify and block illegal robocalls and spoofing.

Rutledge also joined a bipartisan, public/private coalition agreement with every state attorneys general and 12 phone companies earlier this year. The coalition adopted eight principals to fight illegal robocalls and pave the way for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors.

Arkansans who would like to file a consumer complaint can email the office at oag@ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

Rutledge Joins Bipartisan Coalition Calling for Fentanyl to Remain a Schedule I Drug

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today joined a bipartisan coalition of 56 attorneys general in calling for Congress to permanently classify fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I drugs. Schedule I drugs are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

“Fentanyl is an increasingly common, cheap and lethal drug,” Attorney General Rutledge said. “Its pain-relieving effects are greatly overshadowed by the overwhelming number of overdoses and addictions it has caused. Keeping its classification as Schedule I means that law enforcement and courts can bring criminal actions against those who manufacture, distribute or handle fentanyl-related substances.”

In the letter, the attorneys general urge Congress to pass S. 2701, the Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act, a bipartisan bill.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a temporary scheduling order in February 2018 to make any fentanyl-related substances a Schedule I Drug. This scheduling order is set to expire on Feb. 6, 2020. The FIGHT Fentanyl Act codifies DEA precedent to schedule fentanyl-related substances.

The FIGHT Fentanyl Act will ensure law enforcement agencies and courts retain the tools needed to keep those who traffic in this deadly substance off the streets.

In the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 72,000 drug-related deaths in the United States in 2017. Of those deaths, roughly 40% involved fentanyl or a fentanyl-related compound.

Attorneys general from every state, territory and the District of Columbia signed the letter.

With the support of every Attorney General including Arkansas’s, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) has chosen to endorse the legislation as one of its official policy positions.

January
7
Tuesday

Grant County Resources Day

Sheridan Senior Center
Grant County Park
1525 US-270, Sheridan

Mobile Office
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Partnering with Sheriff Ray Vance
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Identity Theft and Scam Presentation
11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
January
9
Thursday

Perry County Resources Day

Diane Wilson Senior Adult Center
107 North Magnolia Street, Perryville

Mobile Office
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Partnering with Sheriff Scott Montgomery
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Identity Theft and Scam Presentation
11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
January
15
Wednesday

Conway County Resources Day

T.C. Vaughan Senior Adult Center
706 North Division Street, Morrilton

Mobile Office
10:30 a.m. to noon

Prescription Drug Take Back
Partnering with Sheriff Mike Smith
10:30 a.m. to noon

Identity Theft and Scam Presentation
11:30 a.m. to noon

 10:30 AMVIEW 
January
16
Thursday

White County Resources Day

John E. Lightle Senior Center
2200 East Moore Avenue, Searcy

Mobile Office
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Partnering with Sheriff Phillip Miller
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Identity Theft and Scam Presentation
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
January
23
Thursday

Ashley County Resources Day

Hamburg Senior Citizens Center
1406 North Main Street, Hamburg

Mobile Office
10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Partnering with Sheriff Tommy Sturgeon
10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Identity Theft and Scam Presentation
11:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

 10:15 AMVIEW 
January
28
Tuesday

Prairie County Resources Day

Hazen Senior Health & Wellness Center
607 McDonald Drive, Hazen

Mobile Office
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Partnering with Sheriff Rick Hickman
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Identity Theft and Scam Presentation
Noon to 12:30 p.m.

 11:00 AMVIEW 
View All