Abstract and Keywords
This article explores the fascinating and varied tools with which the New York State attorney general exercises power over lives and property. The New York State attorney general has become a major player in the national economy, and the office a steppingstone to the governorship. It is noted that law and tradition generally give the attorney general sufficient independence to exercise judgment in any given matter as to whether the responsibility to represent the public interest prevails over the responsibility to represent the attorney general's “other” client, the state, or the state agency being sued. New York State attorneys general have employed creativity, ambition, and intelligence to realize the full potential of their office to do good, a potential that developed over history and in response to the evolving social, economic, and political complexity of American society.
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