Attorney General Foster stepping down

Mar 09, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

New Hampshire Attorney General Joe Foster announced he will step down on March 31. 

Gov. Chris Sununu will choose Foster’s replacement.

While the Attorney General has no say in writing laws, he or she can shape policy by choosing which cases to pursue.

Under Foster, the Attorney General’s office often focused on combatting drug abuse.  For example, the Attorney General began prosecuting drug dealers for murder if a drug user overdoses.  Foster also sued pharmaceutical companies for unfair and deceptive marketing practices of addictive opioid painkillers.   

Some of Foster’s other cases were more controversial.  For example, in 2015 the New Hampshire Attorney General joined the defense of the federal Clean Power Plan.  That same year, Foster said his office would not defend the state school funding cap for fast-growing towns, which motivated some legislators to join the case. 

In 2016 Foster interpreted state law in a way that would have required the courts to start sharing some mental health records with the federal government for firearm background checks.  Chief Justice Linda Dalianis blocked the Attorney General on that move, however. 

Foster was appointed by then-Gov. Maggie Hassan in 2013.

Sununu has not yet announced his nominee to replace Foster.

Do you have an opinion on the next state Attorney General?  Let us know in the comments.

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