Opinion: Independent for AG fights for rule of law, not politics

The Detroit News

October 29, 2018

By Chris Graveline

For the first time since 1988, Michigan voters will have the chance to elect an independent candidate for a statewide office. My name is Chris Graveline and I am running as a political moderate for a position that should be non-partisan, Michigan attorney general. Unlike the major party candidates, I can be truly independent since I have not sought nor will I accept any issue-advocacy PAC money or endorsements during this campaign.

The attorney general is Michigan’s top lawyer and its chief law enforcement officer. It is a position that demands fairness and impartiality. Unfortunately, both major parties have targeted the position of state attorney general around the country as a means to advance their policy arguments through lawsuit.

For example, Attorney General Bill Schuette repeatedly sued the Obama administration challenging its implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Similarly, the current Democratic nominee, Dana Nessel, has stated that she intends to “sue the Trump administration, all day, every day.” The parties want to transform this public office into their own law firm. This practice needs to end. There is too much work to do on behalf of Michigan’s citizens to allow it to continue.

Before initiating or joining a lawsuit on behalf of the people of Michigan, the attorney general should consider certain principles enunciated by Frank J. Kelley: (1) will the suit establish sound legal precedent; (2) will the suit affect many people and is not just of a localized interest; and (3) is the AG office legally authorized to get involved by statute or state constitution.

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