A small group of Republican attorneys general have announced that they’re withdrawing from the National Association of Attorneys General(NAAG), but Virginia AG Jason Miyares’ office hasn’t responded to questions asking if he is also planning to withdraw from the NAAG.
“While we have been a driving force for NAAG’s success – both financially and on key issues – the Association’s leftward shift over the past half decade has become intolerable,” states a letter signed last week by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, and Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen.
The three attorneys general said they were following Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s lead after Marshall left the NAAG in 2021. However, so far, those four are the only attorneys general who have announced their withdrawals, although there are 27 Republican attorneys general in the U.S.
Of the attorneys general who have announced their withdrawal, three are running against GOP challengers in primaries this year. Paxton and Marshall are seeking re-election and Schmitt is seeking the nomination to run for U.S. Senate.
The Star News Network reported that Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is also considering withdrawal. Brnovich is one of five Republicans vying for the nomination this year to run for U.S. Senate in Arizona.
Miyares isn’t the only Republican attorney general to not respond to questions about NAAG withdrawal. The Star has asked the Republican attorneys general of Ohio, Georgia, and Tennessee for comment, with no response.
In 2021, National Review praised Marshall for his withdrawal: “For those unfamiliar with the organization, NAAG describes itself as a ‘nonpartisan national forum’ for state attorneys general. But it functions more like a left-wing litigation shop, with close and lucrative ties to plaintiffs’ firms.”
In a statement Monday, NAAG responded to the concerns listed in the letter from Paxton, Schmitt and Knudsen:
“Since 1907, NAAG has served as the nonpartisan organization assisting America’s attorneys general in their work protecting the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. We’re proud of that history and will continue to provide a community for attorneys general and their staff to work together in a bipartisan way to serve their constituents and advocate for the public interest. We believe our recent NAAG Attorney General Symposium met those goals.”
The statement continued, “NAAG is transparent with its members about its finances, including providing annual reports to members. Bipartisan committees of attorneys general, not NAAG staff, control how the organization’s funds are spent. Information can also be requested at any time by any NAAG member.”
NAAG said that the Missouri, Montana, and Texas attorneys general offices were members in good standing, and that Schmitt, Knudsen, and Paxton “have been valued participants in the organization” and the offices would be welcome to re-engage as members. The statement said NAAG provides trainings, annual meetings, legal newsletters, advocacy, legal assistance and counseling, and appellate advocacy support.
“The value that each attorney general receives from their NAAG membership far exceeds what they pay in dues,” the statement said.
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