Illinois Attorney General
|Attorney General of Illinois|
Seal of the Attorney General
|Term length||4 years|
|Inaugural holder||Daniel Pope Cook|
|Formation||December 3, 1818|
The Illinois Attorney General is the highest legal officer of the state of Illinois in the United States. Originally an appointed office, it is now an office filled by statewide election. Based in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, the Attorney General is responsible for providing legal counsel for the various state agencies including the Governor of Illinois and Illinois General Assembly, and conducting all legal affairs pertaining to the state.
The office of the Illinois Attorney General was established on December 3, 1818 based on guidelines adopted by a state constitutional convention. The Attorney General is second (behind the Lieutenant Governor) in the line of succession to the office of Governor of Illinois. The first person to fulfill the duties of the office was Daniel Pope Cook who only served eleven days, and was later elected to the United States Congress. Cook County was named in his honor.
The current holder of the office is Kwame Raoul.
Under the Constitution of Illinois, the Attorney General is the state's chief legal officer, and has the powers and duties prescribed by law. The Attorney General's duties include advocating for the people of Illinois, working with the General Assembly to push for new legislation, and litigating to ensure that state laws are followed. The state's Attorney General Act specifies several duties, including:
- Represent the people of Illinois before the Supreme Court where the state or the people of the state are interested parties
- Prosecute all proceedings and actions in favor of the state
- Defend state officers acting in their official capacities in any actions or proceedings against them
- Consult with and advise the state's attorneys
- Investigate violations of all statutes that the Attorney General has a duty to enforce
- Advise the Governor and other state officers, and give written opinions on legal or constitutional matters when requested
- Give written opinions to the General Assembly or any of its committees when requested
- Prepare drafts of contracts in which the state is interested
- Attend, present evidence to, and prosecute indictments by the statewide grand jury
- Ensure the proper allocation of funds appropriated to public institutions, and prosecute breaches of trust
List of Attorneys General
|1||Daniel Pope Cook||Democratic-Republican||1819|
|3||Samuel D. Lockwood||Democratic-Republican||1821–1822|
|7||Ninian Wirt Edwards||Democratic||1834–1835|
|8||Jesse B. Thomas, Jr.||Democratic||1835–1836|
|9||Walter B. Scates||Democratic||1836–1837|
|10||Usher F. Linder||Democratic||1837–1838|
|11||George W. Olney||Democratic||1838–1839|
|14||James A. McDougall||Democratic||1843–1846|
|15||David B. Campbell||Democratic||1846–1848|
|Office abolished 1848–1867|
|16||Robert G. Ingersoll||Republican||1867–1869|
|18||James K. Edsall||Republican||1873–1881|
|19||James A. McCartney||Republican||1881–1885|
|21||Maurice T. Moloney||Democratic||1893–1897|
|22||Edward C. Akin||Republican||1897–1901|
|23||Howland J. Hamlin||Republican||1901–1905|
|24||William H. Stead||Republican||1905–1913|
|25||Patrick J. Lucey||Democratic||1913–1917|
|26||Edward J. Brundage||Republican||1917–1925|
|27||Oscar E. Carlstrom||Republican||1925–1933|
|28||Otto Kerner, Sr.||Democratic||1932–1938|
|29||John Edward Cassidy||Democratic||1938–1941|
|30||George F. Barrett||Republican||1941–1949|
|31||Ivan A. Elliott||Democratic||1949–1953|
|34||William L. Guild||Republican||1960–1961|
|35||William G. Clark||Democratic||1961–1969|
|36||William J. Scott||Republican||1969–1980|
|37||Tyrone C. Fahner||Republican||1980–1983|
|38||Neil F. Hartigan||Democratic||1983–1991|
|39||Roland W. Burris||Democratic||1991–1995|
- "Constitution of the State of Illinois". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
- "Illinois Compiled Statutes 15 ILCS 5 — Governor Succession Act". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- "Illinois Attorney General - About Us". www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
- "The Office of the Illinois Attorney General". Better Government Association. 2018-11-19. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
- Illinois Blue Book. Springfield: Secretary of State. 1908. p. 159. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- Illinois Attorney General official website
- Illinois Attorney General articles at Legal Newsline Legal Journal
- Illinois Attorney General articles at ABA Journal
- News and Commentary at FindLaw
- Illinois Compiled Statutes at Law.Justia.com
- U.S. Supreme Court Opinions - "Cases with title containing: State of Illinois" at FindLaw
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan profile at National Association of Attorneys General
- Press releases at Illinois Attorney General