West Virginia Attorney General Tests Limits of His Authority


West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has tested the limits of his authority in a series of initiatives, from his statewide “Jobs Summit” tour to his plans to take on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for what he calls “federal overreach,” says the Charleston Daily Mail. He claims the state constitution and state law have granted his office wide, albeit rarely used, authority. And he’s probably correct.

West Virginia University law professor Bob Bastress said the state constitution is vague on the role of the attorney general, and state law gives the attorney general a wide range of powers and authority. The court system also has tried to define the attorney general’s duties, Bastress said, but that has been complicated. The state Supreme Court has ruled that the attorney general is the “premiere warrior” for the state but must act in a traditional attorney/client relationship when representing a state agency.

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