Scott Pruitt

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Scott Pruitt
17th Attorney General of Oklahoma
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 10, 2011
Governor Mary Fallin
Preceded by Drew Edmondson
Personal details
Born (1968-05-09) May 9, 1968 (age 46)
Danville, Kentucky, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Marlyn Pruitt
Alma mater Georgetown College
University of Tulsa

Scott Pruitt (born May 9, 1968) is a United States lawyer and Republican politician from the U.S. state of Oklahoma. He is the current Oklahoma Attorney General.

Pruitt was a State Senator, representing Tulsa and Wagoner counties from 1998 until 2006. When U.S. Congressman Steve Largent decided not to seek reelection in Oklahoma's 1st congressional district, Pruitt ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination to succeed Largent against the First Lady of Oklahoma, Cathy Keating and the eventual nominee and winner, John A. Sullivan. In the 2002 election cycle, Pruitt was re-elected without opposition by his home district. Rather than seek re-election in 2006, Pruitt launched a failed campaign to receive the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma.

Biography[edit]

Pruitt was born in Danville, Kentucky in 1968. He attended Georgetown College and graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Communications. He then moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma when he attended the University of Tulsa to earn a Juris Doctor in 1993. He passed the bar examination that same year.

He entered into private practice in Tulsa where he specialized in Constitutional Law, Contracts, Insurance Law, Labor Law, and Litigation & Appeals. After five years as an attorney, Pruitt ran for, and was elect to, the Oklahoma Senate in 1998, representing Tulsa and Wagoner counties. After only two years in the Senate, Pruitt was selected to serve as the Republican Whip from 2001 to 2003. He was then selected to serve as the Republican Assistant Floor Leader, a position he held until he left the Senate in 2006.

In 2004, Pruitt became the General Managing Partner of the Oklahoma RedHawks, Oklahoma City's Triple-A baseball club. Under his first season of leadership, the RedHawks saw a 25% increase in attendance. After two years, the team broke the all-time attendance record for minor league baseball in Oklahoma and saw a 45% increase in revenue.

2001 Congressional campaign[edit]

Pruitt, while still a freshman legislator, sought his party's nomination to succeed Steve Largent as the Member of Congress for the First Congressional District of Oklahoma in 2001. Largent, who had resigned to spend his focus running for Governor of Oklahoma, would be replaced by special election rather than by gubernatorial appointment. Two other main candidates emerged for the job, including sitting State Representative John A. Sullivan, the eventual winner, and Cathy Keating, the wife of then Governor Frank Keating. Pruitt came in a distant third behind a surprisingly successful first place finisher in Sullivan and Keating in second place. The Keating loss prompted then Governor Frank Keating to say the voters in his hometown of Tulsa were "dumb," a remark he later recanted as being emotionally supportive of his wife. [1]

2006 Lieutenant Governor campaign[edit]

Pruitt sought the Republican nomination to replace outgoing Republican Mary Fallin as Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma in the 2006 Lt. Gubernatorial election. In the primary election, Pruitt faced Nancy Riley and Speaker of the House Todd Hiett. Following the primaries on July 25, 2006, Pruitt received 34% of the vote, Riley receive 23%, and Hiett received 43%. Pruitt, according to Oklahoma state law, had to face Hiett in a runoff election in order to receive the party's nomination. Following the run-off election on August 22, 2006, Pruitt received 63,812 votes and 49.08% as opposed to Hiett's 66,217 votes and 50.92%. Pruitt failed to receive the nomination, with Hiett to face Democratic House Minority Leader Jari Askins in the November general election.

Career as Attorney General[edit]

In 2012, Attorney General Pruitt kept Oklahoma out of the mortgage settlement reached by 49 other states with five national lenders, wit Pruitt citing differing philosophies of government.[1]

In 2013, Pruitt brought a lawsuit targeting the Affordable Care Act.[2]

In 2013, Pruitt supported the Oklahoma legislature's bid to join four other states trying to restrict medical abortions by limiting or banning off-label uses of drugs, via House Bill 1970. after the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling that the abortion law was unconstitutional, Pruitt requested that the United States Supreme Court review the case. Pruitt was unhappy with the United States Supreme Court's rejection of the Oklahoma case. [3][4]

Pruitt was pleased with the decision of the United States Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby in June 2014. Pruitt, an acquaintance of the Green family - the founders of Hobby Lobby, filed a brief with the Supreme Court in support of their position, that the owners of privately held companies need not provide their employees with birth control, if that goes against their beliefs. In a statement, Pruitt noted, "The founders established a Constitution to protect Americans' religious freedom from an intrusive federal government. Today's ruling solidifies the principle that our religion is not a silent practice confined to the four walls of a church, but it is an opportunity to live out our faith in the public square."[5]

In June 2013, Pruitt maintained that the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a provision of DOMA, a federal law that denied federal benefits to homosexual married couples did not affect Oklahoma's laws on the subject.[6]

Pruitt expressed his dissatisfaction when a federal court ruled that Oklahoma's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage was a violation of the U.S. Constitution.[7]

In October 2014, Pruitt criticized the Supreme Court's refusal to hear Oklahoma's appeal in the same-sex marriage case. [8]

On March 6, 2014, Pruitt joined a lawsuit targeting California's prohibition on the sale of eggs laid by caged hens kept in conditions more restrictive than those approved by California voters. Less than a week later, Pruitt announced that he would investigate the Humane Society of the United States, one of the principal proponents of the California law. [9][10]

In October 2014, a California judge dismissed the lawsuit, rejecting the arguments of Pruitt and the other attorneys-general concerning California'sProposition 2, a 2008 ballot initiative. Judge Kimberly Mueller ruled that Oklahoma and the other states lacked legal standing to sue on behalf of their residents and that Pruitt and other plaintiffs were representing the interests of egg farmers, rather than "a substantial statement of their populations." [11][12][13]

In November 2014, after the Oklahoma Supreme Court blocked the enforcement of two abortion-related laws until after their constitutionality was litigated (which could take up to a year or more), Pruitt's office communicated the Attorney General's intention to support their implementation and enforcement.[14] [15]

Pruitt has also sued the United States Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of Oklahoma utilities unwilling to take on the burdens of additional regulation of their coal-fired plants, and criticized the agency in a congressional hearing. [16][17] This is one of several lawsuits Pruitt has failed against the EPA.[18]

Pruitt ran unopposed in the 2014 primary election and won the November 2014 election for a new term as Attorney General.[19]

On December 6, 2014, the New York Times reported that Pruitt copied the text of an energy lobbyist's letter to the Environmental Protection Agency and pasted it on official Oklahoma state letterhead and sent it to the EPA arguing that the EPA wasn't properly measuring pollution from natural gas drilling in Oklahoma. [20]

Election results[edit]

July 25, 2006 Republican Primary Election results for Lt. Governor
Candidates Party Votes %
  TODD HIETT Republican Party 66,220 50.92%
  SCOTT PRUITT Republican Party 63,817 49.08%
Source: [2]
July 25, 2006 Republican Primary Election results for Lt. Governor
Candidates Party Votes %
  TODD HIETT Republican Party 76,634 42.82%
  SCOTT PRUITT Republican Party 60,367 33.73%
  NANCY RILEY Republican Party 41,984 23.46%
Source: [3]
December 11, 2001, Special Election results for United States House of Representatives, District 1
Candidates Party Votes %
  JOHN SULLIVAN Republican Party 19,018 45.53%
  CATHY KEATING Republican Party 12,736 30.49%
  SCOTT PRUITT Republican Party 9,513 22.77%
  GEORGE E. BANASKY Republican Party 296 0.71%
  EVELYN L. ROGERS Republican Party 210 0.50%
Source: [4]
September 5, 1998, Republican Runoff Election results for Oklahoma Senate, District 54
Candidates Party Votes %
  SCOTT PRUITT Republican Party 2,326 56.33%
  GERALD WRIGHT Republican Party 1,803 43.67%
Source: [5]
August 25, 1998, Republican Primary Election results for Oklahoma Senate, District 54
Candidates Party Votes %
  SCOTT PRUITT Republican Party 1,959 48.94%
  GERALD WRIGHT Republican Party 1,820 45.47%
  DOUGLAS E. MEEHAN Republican Party 224 0.06%
Source: [6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://newsok.com/oklahoma-is-lone-maverick-in-national-mortgage-settlement-signed-by-49-states/article/3647630
  2. ^ http://newsok.com/lawsuits-by-oklahoma-attorney-general-scott-pruitt-others-challenge-obamacare-subsidies/article/3911239
  3. ^ http://www.newson6.com/story/23134460/attorney-general-files-brief-in-supreme-court-review-of-oklahoma-abortion-law
  4. ^ http://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/okla-ag-pruitt-reacts-abortion-ruling/nbhCx/
  5. ^ http://www.news9.com/story/25905512/oklahoma-ag-scott-pruitt-pleased-with-supreme-courts-hobby-lobby-opinion
  6. ^ http://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/attorney-general-says-supreme-court-gay-rights-rul/nYWrz/
  7. ^ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/14/oklahoma-gay-marriage-ban/4480277/
  8. ^ http://www.ktul.com/story/26717916/attorney-general-scott-pruitt-statement-on-same-sex-marriage-decision
  9. ^ http://oklahomafarmreport.com/wire/news/2014/03/06793_PruittCaliforniaLawsuit03072014_052320.php
  10. ^ http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/state-ag-s-office-issues-alert-against-humane-society-of/article_8924aaa0-aa4f-11e3-90a2-001a4bcf6878.html
  11. ^ http://m.sfgate.com/food/article/Judge-tosses-suit-by-6-states-over-California-law-5797844.php
  12. ^ http://www.politico.com/morningagriculture/1014/morningagriculture15540.html
  13. ^ http://www.sacbee.com/2014/10/02/6757006/judge-tosses-lawsuit-challenging.html
  14. ^ .http://newsok.com/oklahoma-supreme-court-puts-on-hold-two-abortion-laws-pending-constitutional-challenges/article/5363467
  15. ^ http://jurist.org/paperchase/2014/11/oklahoma-supreme-court-blocks-enforcement-of-abortion-laws.php,
  16. ^ http://newsok.com/oklahoma-attorney-general-scott-pruitt-criticizes-epa-at-congressional-hearing/article/3904818
  17. ^ http://stateimpact.npr.org/oklahoma/2013/10/03/an-insiders-guide-to-oklahoma-attorney-general-scott-pruitts-war-with-the-epa/
  18. ^ http://stateimpact.npr.org/oklahoma/2014/06/12/court-losses-wont-deter-attorney-general-scott-pruitt-in-his-fight-with-the-epa/
  19. ^ http://ballotpedia.org/Oklahoma_Attorney_General_election,_2014
  20. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/us/politics/energy-firms-in-secretive-alliance-with-attorneys-general.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=MostViewed&version=Full&src=mv&WT.nav=MostViewed