If the Supreme Court accepts the draft opinion that was leaked last month, and overturns it Roe v. WadeAttorneys general from dozens of states that have already passed abortion bans will have new authority to determine how and if those laws are being enforced.
The expected ruling in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, would eliminate the federal right of abortion and make abortion access subjected to laws on a state-by-state basis. According to the Guttmacher Institute, including seven with pre-Roe abortion bans and 13 with “trigger” laws that would take effect in the absence of Roe.
The majority of states with abortion bans are Republican-leaning and will likely elect Republican attorneys general. However, in a few battleground states, Democratic candidates for attorney general are telling voters they would legaly not enforce abortion ban laws in their state if Roe is repealed.
Two states have Democratic incumbents who have pledged not to enforce abortion bans. They are now being challenged by anti-choice Republican candidates. Michigan’s abortion ban, which dates back to 1931, does not allow for incest or rape. Dana Nessell, the Democratic incumbent attorney general, has been challenged by anti-choice Republican challengers. vowed not to enforceIf she is reelected, the law will apply to her. Matthew DePerno is her Republican challenger. He has said that he would enforceThe state law. Similar dynamics are being played out in the Wisconsin attorney-general race with pro-choice Democrat Josh Kaul. He has stated that he would not use state resourcesto investigate or prosecute claims of violations of an abortion ban that has been in effect in the state since 1849. Eric Toney (Republican anti-choice candidate) is his opponent. Toney said that he intends to challenge him. would enforceThe law accuses Kaul, who is accused of abdicating responsibility and not being fit to hold the AG office.
Two additional battleground states have seen the issue feature prominently in their attorneys General races. Arizona has a law that prohibits abortions after the fifteenth weeks of pregnancy. The attorneys general contest features several pro-choice Republicans as well as Kris Mays, Democrat. saidShe said that she would not prosecute doctors or women who seek or provide abortions. In Georgia, where a “heartbeat law” would ban abortions after about 6 weeks of pregnancy, Republican incumbent Chris Carr is facing a challenge from Democratic state Sen. Jen Jordan, who has saidShe would not enforce the law and would challenge it before state courts.
Corporations and ‘Dark Money’ Groups Bankroll Republican AG Group
In these battleground races, the anti-choice Republican candidates will be supported by spending from the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), a national political group that has already raised $17.7 million this election cycle from conservative “dark money” groups, corporations, and individuals to support Republican AG candidates.
These races are expected to have a dominant RAGA. It has already made a commitment to spending $700,000Nessel was the subject of an October ad-blitz to defeat Democratic Ag Josh Kaul. attack adsIn the past. Historically, the group has often been the top spender in state AG races, such as in the 2018 Wisconsin attorney general’s race where it spent $2.8 million in support of Kaul’s Republican opponent.
RAGA’s efforts this election cycle have been funded by millions of dollars from “dark money” groups such as the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), which is registered with the IRS as the Concord Fund and has deep ties to far-right Federalist Society board of directors co-chairman Leonard Leo. JCN has been RAGA’s largest donor, according to the firm True North Research, giving more than $14 million since 2014, including $1 million in the first quarter of this year. RAGA also received more than $370,000 from the Rule of Law Defense Fund this cycle, an affiliated policy non-profit that does not reveal its donors. organizer of the Jan. 6 protestThat was before the riot at Capitol Building.
According to RAGA, hundreds have donated to RAGA this election cycle from trade associations and corporations. Sludge’s review of IRS documents. These corporations are likely to support Republican AGs due to their power over legal matters affecting business practices. However, their donations can also have the effect bolstering conservative positions socially such as abortion, which corporations usually try to avoid in public images.
After the Concord Fund’s $3.5 million in contributions, the largest donor to RAGA to date this cycle has been the Institute for Legal Reform, the civil justice reform nonprofit arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with more than $800,000 given. Altria gave $325,000, Reynolds American gave $283,000 and Philip Morris gave $126,000 to RAGA. Koch Industries, a multi-national conglomerate owned Charles Koch, donated a quarter to a million dollars on Jan. 31, the exact amount given by Bernie Marcus, a Republican megadonor and cofounder of Home Depot.
Some of RAGA’s biggest corporate donors this cycle have tried to portray themselves as allies of women’s reproductive health.
Online dating company Match Group saidIn September last year, it established a fund that would allow Texas employees to obtain abortion care from outside the state. The company donated $125,000, or nearly $137,000, to RAGA on September 20, the bulk amount of its donation last year.
Citigroup was founded in March announced it would also step up to cover travel costs for employees affected by Texas’ abortion ban. The company donated $75,000 last year to RAGA.
Uber announcedIt announced in September that it would establish a legal defence fund to aid its drivers who could be sued under Texas’ abortion ban for simply transporting people. The company gave $50,000 to RAGA two months later on Dec. 27.
Other top corporate donors to RAGA this cycle include Comcast, AT&T, healthcare company Centene, and gaming company Caesars Entertainment, as well as trade groups like PhRMA, the American Petroleum Institute, and the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.
December saw arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case indicated that the Supreme Court’s conservative majority of six justices was willing to strike downThe landmark Roe decision, a possibility confirmed by the leakage of a draft majority opinionIn May to Politico. Several corporations donated to RAGA following the December arguments. These included the freight railroad company BNSF Railway and Walmart. 1-800 Contacts, Dish Network and JPMorgan Chase were among others. Tyson Foods was also involved.
There are 30 seats for attorney general up for election this year, with 12 being held by Democratic incumbents. The Democratic Attorneys General Association announced in May that it was preparing a record. $30 millionIn spending to defend and elect its candidate.
To see more RAGA donors for this election cycle, click the arrow to the right of the table.