Arkansas Attorney General

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Attorney General of Arkansas
Seal of the Attorney General of Arkansas.png
Seal of the Attorney General's Office
Leslie Rutledge by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Leslie Rutledge

since January 13, 2015 (2015-01-13)
Abbreviation AG
Seat Attorney General's Office,
Little Rock, Arkansas
Term length Four years, renewable once (Seventy-third Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution of 1874)
Constituting instrument Act 1 of 1843
Precursor Arkansas Attorney for the Fifth Judicial District
Inaugural holder Robert W. Johnson
Formation February 3, 1843
(176 years ago)
Salary US$130,000 per year

The Attorney General of Arkansas, usually known simply as the Attorney General (AG), is one of Arkansas’ seven constitutional officers. The Attorney General serves as the state’s top law enforcement officer and consumer advocate. Since January 13, 2015, the Attorney General of Arkansas has been Leslie Rutledge.[2]


The Attorney General was not originally a state constitutional officer but rather was created by Act 1 of 1843, which designated the Arkansas Attorney for the Fifth Judicial District as the attorney general. The first Attorney General of Arkansas was Robert W. Johnson. The Arkansas Constitution of 1868 made the post elective, though it required only that the attorney general “perform such duties as are now, or may hereafter, be prescribed by law.” This was reaffirmed in the constitution of 1874. Act 131 of 1911 laid out four general responsibilities of the attorney general’s office: 1) to give opinions to state officers and agencies “upon any constitutional or other legal question that may concern the official action of said officers”; 2) to defend the interest of the state in federal court and representing all state officers, boards, and commissions in litigation involving the interests of the state; 3) to furnish any board or commission an opinion as to the validity of the title on any land they seek to purchase; and 4) to make a biennial report to the governor and the Arkansas General Assembly on all transactions of the attorney general’s office.[3]

Role and duties

The Attorney General represents state agencies and commissions in courts of law, giving opinions on issues presented by legislators and prosecutors, handling criminal matters and habeas corpus matters in the state, and advocating for citizens on issues pertaining to the environment, antitrust, and consumer protection.[4]

List of Attorneys General

19th century

  • Robert W. Johnson (1843)
  • Geo. C. Watkins (1843–1851)
  • J. J. Clendenin (1851–1856)
  • Thomas Johnson (1856–1858)
  • J. L. Hollowell (1858–1861)
  • P. Jordan (1861–1862)
  • Sam W. Williams (1862–1864)
  • Charles T. Jordan (1864–1865)
  • R.S. Gantt (1865–1866)
  • R. H. Deadman (1866–1868)
  • J. R. Montgomery (1868–1873)
  • T. D. W. Yonley (1873–1874)
  • J. L. Witherspoon (1874)
  • S. P. Hughes (1874–1876)
  • W. F. Henderson (1877–1881)
  • C. B. Moore (1881–1885)
  • D. W. Jones (1885–1889)
  • W. E. Atkinson (1889–1893)
  • J. P. Clarke (1893–1895)
  • E. B. Kinsworthy (1895–1899)
  • Jeff Davis (1899–1901)

20th century

  • George W. Murphy (1901–1905)
  • Robt. L. Rogers (1905–1907)
  • Wm. F. Kirby (1907–1909)
  • Hal L. Norwood (1909–1913)
  • William L. Moose (1913–1915)
  • Wallace Davis (1915–1917)
  • John D. Arbuckle (1917–1921)
  • J. S. Utley (1921–1925)
  • W. H. Applegate (1925–1929)
  • Hal L. Norwood (1929–1934)
  • Walter L. Pope (1934–1935)
  • Carl E. Bailey (1935–1937)
  • Jack Holt (1937–1943)
  • Guy E. Williams (1943–1949)
  • Ike Murry (1949–1953)
  • Tom Gentry (1953–1957)
  • Bruce Bennett (1957–1961)
  • J. Frank Holt (1961)
  • Jack Holt, Jr. (1962–1963)
  • Bruce Bennett (1963–1967)
  • Joe Purcell (1967–1971)
  • Ray Thornton (1971–1973)
  • Rodney Parham (1973)
  • Jim Guy Tucker (1973–1977)
  • Bill Wilson (1977)
  • Bill Clinton (1977–1979)
  • Steve Clark (1979–1991)
  • Winston Bryant (1991–1999)
  • Mark Pryor (1999–2003)

21st century

See also


  1. ^ Council of State Governments. "Selected State Administrative Officials: Annual Salaries - 2016" (PDF). Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  2. ^ "Leslie Rutledge; Attorney General of Arkansas". Republican Attorneys General Association. Archived from the original on February 25, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  3. ^ "Office of Attorney General". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Little Rock, Arkansas: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. January 16, 2015. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  4. ^ "Arkansas Attorney General". State of Arkansas. Retrieved March 2, 2015.

External links

  • Official website
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