Category Archives: Attorney General

Rhode Island seeks Good Neighbors on Air Pollution at the U.S. Supreme Court

Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral argument in two cases about what it means to be a good neighbor… if you are a state.

The two cases – EPA v. EME Homer City Generation and American Lung Association v. EME Homer City Generation will likely determine the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to prevent one state’s air pollution from reaching the air of a neighboring state.

The state of Rhode Island joined 8 other states, the District of Columbia, and five cities in urging the SCOTUS to uphold the Clean Air Act’s requirement that “upwind” states have an independent obligation to fix the impact they have on “downwind” states.  Read the brief that Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin filed here.

More background on the case and prospects for SCOTUS’ ruling can be found here on the SCOTUS blog.

In related news, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin joined a coalition of other state attorneys general in submitting comments to the EPA this week arguing that the EPA must combat power plant pollution by both setting strong emission limits and giving states flexibility on how they choose to meet the limits. More details here.

Protect Yourself while Holiday Shopping in Rhode Island

Attorneys Sue Pegden and Sean Feeney from the lawfirm of Hamel, Waxler, Allen & Collins have a great blog post up on ways to remain safe and protected while shopping during the holiday season:

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), “(d)eaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually.” Before you buy anything, check the CPSC website at to see if a recall or warning has been issued on the item you want to buy. This is particularly true of items for sale on line or second-hand items.

Click here for more.

Attorney General Kilmartin Comments on SCOTUS Decision Upholding Citizens United

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin commented on the Supreme Court decision reversing, without hearing arguments or accepting briefs, a Montana Supreme Court ruling that affirmed the state’s right to impose its own ban on independent spending by corporations.

“Today’s decision is a clear indication that the Supreme Court will not reconsider its Citizens United ruling.  Citizens United has resulted in a torrent of undisclosed corporate and special interest money into the electoral process due to the flourishing of corporate spending.  This presidential election cycle has seen hundreds of millions of dollars thrown into the race on both sides to sway the American electorate, with very little oversight or accountability.  It is undermining the fairness of elections and distorting the electoral process.

“Therefore, the only way to address the damage caused by that decision is to amend the United States Constitution.  I recognize that amending the Constitution is not an easy task and should not be done lightly.  It should only be amended when it is in the absolute best interest of the nation and its citizens.  Undoing the damage of Citizens United is in the best interest of our country, and is the only way to put the electoral process back in the hands of the people, not special interests.”

In April, Kilmartin called on Congress in a letter to amend the U.S. Constitution to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  In May, Kilmartin and 22 attorneys general filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to reconsider the 2010 Citizens United decision, citing that unrestricted independent campaign expenditures may distort political races, promote corruption or require corporate shareholders to fund political communication that they oppose.  The states argued that all state laws governing corporate campaign expenditures seek to ensure that such expenditures did not undermine principles of accountability and integrity in state and local elections, while protecting residents’ rights to participate in the electoral process.

Incoming Attorney General Peter Kilmartin Supports “Secure Communities” Program

While incoming Governor Lincoln Chafee and incoming Providence Mayor Angel Taveras have been vocal about their opposition to policies that target immigrants, incoming Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is taking a different tack according to the Providence Journal:

Criminal suspects in Rhode Island would have their fingerprints automatically checked against an immigration database to determine if they’re in the country legally under a federal initiative that incoming attorney general Peter Kilmartin says he’ll enlist the state in after taking office.

The “Secure Communities” program, which the federal government hopes to roll out nationwide by 2013, has stoked debate about what role local police departments should have in federal immigration enforcement and about whether illegal immigrants accused of petty offenses are being flagged for deportation.

Supporters, including Kilmartin, say the initiative simplifies information sharing between local and federal law enforcement agencies, and is about identifying only those illegal immigrants accused of breaking the law. The government says the fingerprint program comes at no extra cost for communities.

Joe Fernandez Counter Attacks in new TV ad

Responding to a negative ad from Peter Kilmartin, Joe Fernandez goes on the offensive against his two opponents:

Steve Archambault Unveils New TV Ad

AG Candidate Kilmartin Goes on the Offensive

Democratic Attorney General candidate Peter Kilmartin has a new TV ad that goes on the offensive against his two primary opponents.  Let’s see if there is a response: