When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was the state’s attorney general, he had a memorable description for his old job.
“My job description has been simplified over the past four years,” he said during a speech in 2013. “Because what I do is I go into the office, I sue the federal government and then I go home.”
Abbott was purposely oversimplifying his daily work schedule, but defending the state’s laws is a key element of the job.
“The attorney general is really the state’s attorney,” former state Solicitor General Julie Parsley said. “He or she defends the state’s laws and Constitution. They represent the state and its agencies, which is a very important thing to do. But there’s also … a myriad of things that they do by state law, too.”
Parsley pointed to consumer protection as another top role of the attorney general’s office. It’s the AG’s job to watch out for things like price gouging during natural disasters and to enforce child support orders. The attorney general also has oversight of charitable institutions.