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Attorney General of California

  (Redirected from California Attorney General)

The Attorney General of California is the state attorney general of the Government of California. The officer's duty is to ensure that "the laws of the state are uniformly and adequately enforced" (Constitution of California, Article V, Section 13.) The Attorney General carries out the responsibilities of the office through the California Department of Justice. The Department employs over 1,100 attorneys and 3,700 non-attorney employees.

Attorney General of California
Seal of the Attorney General of California
Xavier Becerra official portrait (cropped).jpg
Xavier Becerra

since January 24, 2017
Department of Justice
StyleThe Honorable
Term lengthFour years, two term limit
Inaugural holderEdward J. C. Kewen
FormationCalifornia Constitution

The California Attorney General is elected to a four-year term, with a maximum of two terms. The election is held at the same statewide election as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Controller, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Insurance Commissioner.



The California Attorney General's main office in Sacramento is housed in this building

According to the state Constitution, California Code of Civil Procedure, and the California Government Code, the Attorney General:

  • As the state’s chief law officer, ensures that the laws of the state are uniformly and adequately enforced.[1]
  • Heads the Department of Justice, which is responsible for providing state legal services and support for local law enforcement.[2]
  • Acts as the chief counsel in state litigation.[3]
  • Oversees law enforcement agencies, including District Attorneys and Sheriffs.[1]


Although the office of Attorney General dates to the admission of California to the Union, the office in its modern form dates to Proposition 4 of 1934,[4] sponsored by Alameda County District Attorney Earl Warren as one of four initiatives he sponsored to substantially reform law enforcement and the judiciary. Previously, the attorney general lacked jurisdiction over matters in the jurisdiction of locally elected district attorneys and sheriffs.[5] Warren went on to become Attorney General himself in 1938 where he reorganized state's law enforcement into districts.

Notable attorneys general from CaliforniaEdit



  1. ^ a b California Constitution, Article V, Section 13 Archived January 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ California Government Code §15000
  3. ^ California Code of Civil Procedure §401
  4. ^ "History of Initiative and Referendum in California". Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  5. ^ "Proposition 4 (1934)".

External linksEdit