First established in 1999, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) describes itself as “America’s Last Line of Defense” against governmental “overreach” and ro “preserve the rule of law.” The group supports the election and reelection of Republican attorneys general in as many states as possible” to promote and protect the Constitution, freedom, and opportunity for future generations.”
As a 527 organization, RAGA can legally accept unlimited donations from individuals and businesses, meaning that millions of dollars flow in each year from corporations with legal and policy agendas they want state attorneys general to embrace. According to a 2014 “Membership Benefits” document obtained by The New York Times, annual fees of $25,000 and above for RAGA membership allow corporate donors to shape legal policy via an “online RAGA Briefing Room” and payments of $125,000 per year allow them to “lead private issue briefings.” Over the years, both pharmaceutical and fossil fuel companies have been the top donors to RAGA.
As of May 2022, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson serves as RAGA’s chair, with 27 AGs listed as members on the RAGA site.
January 6, 2021
- RAGA was an organizing member of the March to Save America, the rally on the Ellipse where Trump and other speakers fired up the crowd just prior to the violent attack on the Capitol.
- Staff members at the Rule of Law Defense Fund, a RAGA offshoot, arranged for robocalls to Trump supporters in late December and early January urging them to travel to Washington on Jan. 6 to protest the results of the presidential election. The prerecorded message said, in part: “I’m calling for the Rule of Law Defense Fund with an important message. The March to Save America is tomorrow in Washington, D.C….with doors opening at 7 am. At 1 pm, we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal. We are hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections…..”
The Big Lie
- The Republican attorneys general of Ohio and Missouri filed amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court for a case filed by Pennsylvania’s Republican Party challenging the use of mail-in ballots in the state.
- The Republican Attorney General of Oklahoma filed an amicus brief in support of the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s suit in conjunction with the Republican Attorneys General of five other states.
- On Dec. 10, 2020, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the election results in four swing states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia. Sixteen other Republican AGs signed on to the suit.
Post-2020 Election Subversion
- In Brnovich v. DNC, RAGA supported striking down Arizona’s practice of “ballot harvesting,” which allows representatives other than the voters themselves to deliver their absentee ballots to election officials. The case likewise rejected the validity of votes cast in the wrong precinct, making it more difficult for plaintiffs to challenge discriminatory voting laws.