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The abortion fight underscores Georgia’s state attorney general’s election

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The abortion fight underscores Georgia’s state attorney general’s election

By JEFF AMY – Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — The Democratic state senator seeking to unseat Georgia’s incumbent attorney general says abortion isn’t the only issue in the running, but she is leading her challenge to the Republican with her pro-abortion advocates , who is seeking a second full term as the state’s chief attorney.

State Senator Jen Jordan and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr also disagree on who would best protect Georgians from crime, how independent the attorney general should be, and what is the best approach to protecting consumers and encouraging businesses.

Jordan, a Sandy Springs attorney, said she will support those challenging Georgia’s six-week abortion ban on constitutional grounds, a case scheduled to go to trial in Fulton County in late October.

“It’s not a partisan thing,” Jordan said at a NARAL Pro Choice America event in early October using another. This is about women in this state and their ability to be equal to men.”

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However, Carr lumps Jordan’s claim that the attorney general has a role to challenge state laws alongside some prosecutors who refuse to enforce certain laws.

“The Attorney General’s job is to enforce the laws of the state of Georgia — period,” Carr said after a campaign speech in August. “If you don’t like the law, run for the legislature or, in your case, don’t leave the legislature. This is how we change the laws. But when the attorney general or a district attorney says, ‘I don’t agree with the law, I won’t enforce it,’ is a dereliction of duty.”

Jordan drew attention in 2019 for an impassioned speech opposing the anti-abortion law, which finally went into effect in July this year after the US Supreme Court ruled Roe v. Wade had picked up. The law bans most abortions in Georgia once a “detectable human heartbeat” is present. Heart activity can be detected in an embryo as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

Carr quickly asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to allow that measure to go into effect once Roe was overthrown.

He touts his “vigorous defense” of the law on his website, but that’s not at the heart of his appeals. Instead, Carr leads the pursuit of gang members using his office’s newfound powers.

The Georgia Attorney General has traditionally had little direct criminal prosecution powers, primarily to defend and bring civil claims. But lawmakers have increased the bureau’s law enforcement powers, adding human trafficking and gang crimes to previous powers to prosecute elder abuse and financial and computer crimes.

Carr’s anti-gang law enforcement unit, which began operations in July, secured its first two indictments against suspected gang members in Athens earlier this month.

“Who are the communities most often terrorized by gangs? Lower income, racial diversity and immigrants,” Carr told an audience in Atlanta in August. “I don’t care if you live in Southwest Georgia, Southwest Atlanta, Buckhead or Blairsville, every single Georgian deserves to be safe.”

Carr, chief of staff to the late US Senator Johnny Isakson and then Secretary of State for Economic Development, was appointed attorney general by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2016. The Dunwoody resident, who is closely associated with Gov. Brian Kemp, won his first full term in office against Democrat Charlie Bailey in 2018.

Carr has been actively suing President Joe Biden’s administration, particularly over vaccination and mask mandates during the pandemic. He joined an earlier lawsuit that tried unsuccessfully to void former President Barack Obama’s health care.

The incumbent also highlights his defense of Georgia’s new election law, calling a federal lawsuit challenging it “manifestly political”.

Jordan said Carr should bear some blame for a 2021 automated call from the Republican Attorneys General Association’s political arm urging Trump supporters to march on the US Capitol on Jan. 6 to “stop the theft.” . Carr said neither he nor any other attorney general in the group authorized the call. Carr later resigned as chairman of the association, openly saying Biden won the 2020 election and calling Jan. 6 “one of the dark days in American history.” Jordan said even if Carr didn’t know about the call in advance, it was “disqualifying.”

Carr still sometimes talks like he’s the commissioner for economic development, arguing that Georgia should avoid aggressive legal action against companies, though he also boasts about Georgia’s $636 million share of a nationwide opioid deal.

“If companies think the Attorney General is going to wake up any day and sue you, we’re not going to be the #1 doing business state in the nation,” Carr said.

Jordan, who heralds previous lawsuits against payday lenders and insurers that have been shown to be unfair to customers, said Carr has a lax approach to consumer protection. She said Carr had not done enough to protect residents of her Senate district, including parts of Cobb and Fulton counties, from toxic gases emitted by a medical instrument sterilization facility.

“The people I’m going to prioritize – these are the most vulnerable, our seniors, children, people who are targeted, the marginalized in this state. It’s really about protecting the least of us, the ones left behind,” Jordan said at a campaign rally in August.

Follow Jeff Amy at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.

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