|Attorney General of Wisconsin|
Seal of the Executive Branch
|Term length||Four years, no term limits|
|Inaugural holder||James S. Brown|
|Formation||June 7, 1848|
The Attorney General of Wisconsin is a constitutional officer in the executive branch of the government of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. Fort-five individuals have held the office of Attorney General since statehood. The incumbent is Josh Kaul, a Democrat.
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders.
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States, in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 23rd largest state by total area and the 20th most populous. The state capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee, which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state is divided into 72 counties.
Joshua Lautenschlager Kaul is an American attorney, politician and member of the Democratic Party who is the 45th Attorney General of Wisconsin since January 2019.
The Attorney General is elected on Election Day in November, and takes office on the first Monday of the next January.There is no limit to the number of terms an Attorney General may hold. From 1848 to 1968, the Attorney General was elected to a two-year term in the November general election. Since 1970, following ratification of a constitutional amendment in April 1967, the Attorney General has been elected to a four-year term.
In the United States, Election Day is the day set by law for the general elections of federal public officials. It is statutorily set as "the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November" or "the first Tuesday after November 1". The earliest possible date is November 2, and the latest possible date is November 8.
A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms an officeholder may serve in a particular elected office. When term limits are found in presidential and semi-presidential systems they act as a method of curbing the potential for monopoly, where a leader effectively becomes "president for life". This is intended to protect a democracy from becoming a de facto dictatorship. Sometimes, there is an absolute or lifetime limit on the number of terms an officeholder may serve; sometimes, the restrictions are merely on the number of consecutive terms he or she may serve.
In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Attorney General, the Governor of Wisconsin may appoint a replacement to fill the remainder of the term. The Attorney General may be removed from office through an impeachment trial.They may also choose to resign from office.
The Governor of Wisconsin is the highest executive authority in the government of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The position was first filled by Nelson Dewey on June 7, 1848, the year Wisconsin became a state. Prior to statehood, there were four Governors of Wisconsin Territory.
The Attorney General is the chief law officer of the state of Wisconsin, and amongst other duties has charge and conduct for the state of all suits instituted for and against the government thereof, certifies all bonds issued by the state, protects the School Trust Funds managed by the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, and provides written opinions on questions of law to either house of the Wisconsin Legislature or the head of any state agency.By virtue of office, the Attorney General directs and supervises the Wisconsin Department of Justice. In accordance of Article X, Section 7 of the Wisconsin State Constitution, the Attorney General is a member of the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands; the same is a member of - or designates members to - the Claims Board, Crime Victims Rights Board, Law Enforcement Standards Board, and Board of Directors of the Insurance Security Fund.
The Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands or "BCPL" is a state agency responsible for managing Wisconsin's School Trust Funds in support of public education, for managing the state's remaining School Trust Lands, and for maintaining an extensive archive of land records. The agency was established in Article X, Section 7 of the Wisconsin Constitution, ratified in 1848 and subsequently amended over the succeeding decades.
The Wisconsin Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The Legislature is a bicameral body composed of the upper house Wisconsin State Senate and the lower Wisconsin State Assembly, both of which have had Republican majorities since January 2011. With both houses combined, the legislature has 132 members representing an equal number of constituent districts. The Legislature convenes at the state capitol in Madison.
This is a list of attorneys general for Wisconsin, from before statehood to present.
Before statehood, the Wisconsin Territory also had several attorneys general appointed by the governor of the territory.
The Territory of Wisconsin was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 3, 1836, until May 29, 1848, when an eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Wisconsin. Belmont was initially chosen as the capital of the territory. In 1837, the territorial legislature met in Burlington, just north of the Skunk River on the Mississippi, which became part of the Iowa Territory in 1838. In that year, 1838, the territorial capital of Wisconsin was moved to Madison.
|Name||Took office||Left office||Territorial governor|
|Henry S. Baird||1836||1839||Henry Dodge|
|Horatio N. Wells||1839||1841||Henry Dodge|
|Mortimer M. Jackson||1842||1845||James Doty|
|William Pitt Lynde||1845||1845||Nathaniel Tallmadge|
|A. Hyatt Smith||1845||1848||Henry Dodge|
Democratic Republican Progressive
|#||Name||Party||Took office||Left office|
|1|| James S. Brown |
|Democratic||June 7, 1848||January 7, 1850|
|2|| S. Park Coon |
|Democratic||January 7, 1850||January 5, 1852|
|3|| Experience Estabrook |
|Democratic||January 5, 1852||January 2, 1854|
|4|| George Baldwin Smith |
|Democratic||January 2, 1854||January 7, 1856|
|5|| William Rudolph Smith |
|Democratic||January 7, 1856||January 4, 1858|
|6|| Gabriel Bouck |
|Democratic||January 4, 1858||January 2, 1860|
|7|| James Henry Howe |
|Republican||January 2, 1860||October 7, 1862|
|8|| Winfield Smith |
|Republican||October 7, 1862||January 1, 1866|
|9|| Charles R. Gill |
|Republican||January 1, 1866||January 3, 1870|
|10|| Stephen Steele Barlow |
|Republican||January 3, 1870||January 5, 1874|
|11|| A. Scott Sloan |
|Republican||January 5, 1874||January 7, 1878|
|12|| Alexander Wilson |
|Republican||January 7, 1878||January 2, 1882|
|13|| Leander F. Frisby |
|Republican||January 2, 1882||January 3, 1887|
|14|| Charles E. Estabrook |
|Republican||January 3, 1887||January 5, 1891|
|15|| James L. O'Connor |
|Democratic||January 5, 1891||January 7, 1895|
|16|| William H. Mylrea |
|Republican||January 7, 1895||January 2, 1899|
|17|| Emmett R. Hicks |
|Republican||January 2, 1899||January 5, 1903|
|18|| Lafayette M. Sturdevant |
|Republican||January 5, 1903||January 7, 1907|
|19|| Frank L. Gilbert |
|Republican||January 7, 1907||January 2, 1911|
|20|| Levi H. Bancroft |
|Republican||January 2, 1911||January 6, 1913|
|21|| Walter C. Owen |
|Republican||January 6, 1913||January 7, 1918|
|22|| Spencer Haven |
|Republican||January 7, 1918||January 6, 1919|
|23|| John J. Blaine |
|Republican||January 6, 1919||January 3, 1921|
|24|| William J. Morgan |
|Republican||January 3, 1921||January 1, 1923|
|25|| Herman L. Ekern |
|Republican||January 1, 1923||January 3, 1927|
|26|| John W. Reynolds, Sr. |
|Republican||January 3, 1927||January 2, 1933|
|27|| James E. Finnegan |
|Democratic||January 2, 1933||January 4, 1937|
|28|| Orland Steen Loomis |
|Progressive||January 4, 1937||January 2, 1939|
|29|| John E. Martin |
|Republican||January 2, 1939||June 1, 1948|
|vacant||June 1, 1948||June 5, 1948|
|30|| Grover L. Broadfoot |
|Republican||June 5, 1948||November 12, 1948|
|31|| Thomas E. Fairchild |
|Democratic||November 12, 1948||January 1, 1951|
|32|| Vernon W. Thomson |
|Republican||January 1, 1951||January 7, 1957|
|33|| Stewart G. Honeck |
|Republican||January 7, 1957||January 5, 1959|
|34|| John W. Reynolds, Jr. |
|Democratic||January 5, 1959||January 7, 1963|
|35|| George Thompson |
|Republican||January 7, 1963||January 4, 1965|
|36|| Bronson La Follette |
|Democratic||January 4, 1965||January 6, 1969|
|37|| Robert W. Warren |
|Republican||January 6, 1969||October 8, 1974|
|38|| Victor A. Miller |
|Democratic||October 8, 1974||November 25, 1974|
|39|| Bronson La Follette |
|Democratic||November 25, 1974||January 5, 1987|
|40|| Don Hanaway |
|Republican||January 5, 1987|
[ citation needed ]
|January 7, 1991|
|41|| Jim Doyle |
|Democratic||January 7, 1991||January 6, 2003|
|42|| Peggy Lautenschlager |
|Democratic||January 6, 2003||January 3, 2007|
|43|| J.B. Van Hollen |
|Republican||January 3, 2007||January 5, 2015|
|44|| Brad Schimel |
|Republican||January 5, 2015||January 7, 2019|
|45|| Josh Kaul |
|Democratic||January 7, 2019||Incumbent|
Peggy Ann Lautenschlager was an American attorney and politician who was the first chair of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. She was Attorney General of the State of Wisconsin from January 3, 2003 to January 3, 2007. She succeeded fellow Democrat Jim Doyle when Doyle was elected Governor of Wisconsin in 2002. Lautenschlager was the first woman elected Wisconsin Attorney General.
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