Attorney General Clare Connors was appointed as Hawaii’s 16th Attorney General in January 2019. She began her legal career in public service as a trial attorney prosecuting federal crimes and served as Assistant US Attorney handling cases related to tax, fraud, and public corruption. As a litigator, she represented clients in matters related to personal injury, consumer rights, and medical malpractice. Since assuming office, Attorney General Connors has been working to challenge the Trump administration’s new federal rules and rollbacks that hinder people’s access to government benefits, healthcare, and reproductive rights, and is focused on promoting human rights, election security, and public safety.
General Connors’ major actions (and wins) in:
- UPLIFTING FAMILIES OUT OF POVERTY
When the United States Department of Agriculture introduced a rule that would kick 750,000 people across the country off from their food stamps (formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits), General Connors opposed the rule by joining 21 other states in submitting comments to the federal agency. The SNAP program is the nation’s anti-hunger program that sets out to help impoverished families, yet the proposed USDA rule would heavily restrict states’ abilities to provide nutritious food to those in need. In June 2019, General Connors joined the multistate coalition to oppose the change in the way the federal poverty threshold is calculated to ensure that federal benefit programs are protected for millions of Americans who depend on food stamps and affordable healthcare.
- PROTECTING ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
General Connors has a proven record of protecting access to healthcare for the people of Hawaii. She joined California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in appealing Texas v. US in order to defend the Affordable Care Act for 133 millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. In May 2019, she joined the multistate lawsuit over the rule proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services that expanded the power of businesses to refuse certain healthcare services to their employees based on religious belief or moral convictions. Believing that such a rule is a misguided interpretation of religious freedom that would have devastating consequences to women in particular, General Connors worked to challenge it in court. In March 2019, she joined fellow woman Democratic Attorney General, General Ellen Rosenblum of Oregon, in successfully challenging Trump’s rule that restricted federal Title X funding. The coalition’s efforts helped to protect access to necessary reproductive services for women.
- DEFENDING HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANT CHILDREN
Standing up for human rights of migrant families and children, General Connors joined the multistate filing of an amicus brief with the US District Court for the Central District of California, urging for a swift intervention and relief for children in custody near the US border who are being held under inhumane conditions. General Connors called out the Trump administration for failing to keep up with basic standards expected in border facilities and neglecting immigrant children by keeping them in extremely harsh and unsanitary conditions.
- KEEPING OUR ELECTIONS SECURE
Attorney General Connors joined a coalition of 21 other attorneys general to request Congress to take measures to protect the integrity of elections, by providing more funding to states to establish cybersecurity and audit standards and by passing a bipartisan legislation that would strengthen election security. Especially with reports that confirm Russia’s success in breaching Florida’s election system and its targeting of all 50 states in 2016, General Connors is working to push greater election security measures nationwide.
- ENFORCING GUN BANS
General Connors joined 18 fellow state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief defending California’s right to enact reasonable firearm restrictions that promote public safety, specifically defending the ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Hawaii is one of the states that have already enacted laws banning large-capacity magazines, and these bans have already been upheld by federal courts of appeals.
General Connors in the press:
- Maui Now: Attorney General Joins States Supporting Ban on Large-Capacity Magazines. Staff, 7/23/2019.
- West Hawaii Today: Clare Connors appointed new AG. Staff, 1/3/2019.