Since taking office in 2012, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has been a champion for students, consumers, and vulnerable people in her state. She is committed to protecting students from predatory student loan servicers, combating the opioid epidemic, fighting elder abuse and hate crimes, and defending access to reproductive healthcare. She is the first woman to serve as Oregon Attorney General and is up for her third-term re-election in 2020. She is the co-chair of the 1881 Initiative and the Executive Committee of the Democratic Attorneys General Association.
General Rosenblum’s major actions (and wins) in:
- ADVOCATING FOR STUDENT CONSUMERS
Protecting students from financial exploitation is a top priority for General Rosenblum. In 2019, she is working with the Oregon legislature to introduce a bill that would require student loan servicers to obtain a license administered by the state and create an office dedicated to advising student borrowers in navigating complex debt management systems. In 2017, General Rosenblum joined 18 other attorneys general in suing the Department of Education to reinstate President Obama’s Borrower Defense Rule, which gave federal loan forgiveness to student victims who were defrauded by for-profit colleges and universities. The AGs won the case in September 2018 when the DC District Court ruled that the DOE violated federal law by abruptly ending a rule designed to protect students and taxpayers.
- TAKING ON THE OPIOID DRUG MAKERS
Oregon has one of the highest rates of prescription opioid misuse in the country, with an average of 5 Oregonians dying every week from opioid overdose. In 2015, General Rosenblum led Oregon to take action against Insys, an opioid drug company that falsely marketed its highly addictive cancer pain treatment drug, Subsys, for off-label uses such as non-cancer neck and back pain. The suit ended with a $1.1 million settlement, of which General Rosenblum allocated $567,000 in funding to a non-profit organization combating opioid abuse. She continues to hold deceptive pharmaceutical companies accountable for their actions in misleading doctors and patients. In 2018, she joined the national lawsuit against another drug company, Purdue Pharma, for its misleading marketing of OxyContin.
- COMBATING HATE CRIMES
Hate crimes in major U.S. cities rose for the fifth consecutive year in 2018, with Portland seeing a 13% jump between 2017 and 2018. General Rosenblum is committed to reversing this trend and has urged the Oregon legislature to pass a bill that would modernize the state’s outdated intimidation statute (passed in 1981) and to rename it the bias crime law. The proposed bill would close major loop holes in hate crime prevention and investigative efforts that previously neglected victims in Oregon. Most critically, the bill would make the offense a felony and add gender identity as a protected class, improving protections for victims.
- FIGHTING ELDER ABUSE
Oregon’s Department of Justice under General Rosenblum’s leadership has taken strong steps to address the growing epidemic of elder abuse, especially as the state continues to see its elderly population rising. Financial abuse targeting the elderly costs Oregonians over $2.9 billion a year and affects women twice as more as men. By appointing Oregon’s first prosecutor focused on elder abuse in 2016 and securing funding for the new Elder Abuse Unit, General Rosenblum has helped the state DOJ more aggressively pursue individuals who exploit elder Oregonians. She plans to hold the fourth Annual Conference on Elder Abuse in October 2019.
- PROTECTING REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
More than four million people rely on Title X funding to access contraception and other essential reproductive healthcare, yet the Trump Administration in 2019 attempted to impose a “gag rule” that would have placed at risk more than 40 percent of the patients by cutting funding to Planned Parenthood. In response, General Rosenblum led a 21-state coalition to sue the administration and successfully defended women’s access to reproductive healthcare by securing the second nationwide preliminary injunction against the gag rule.
General Rosenblum in the press:
- Op-Ed in The Oregonian: Oregon won’t go back to the days before Roe v. Wade. 6/16/2019.
- Interview with Marie Claire: How Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum Is Quietly Fighting Trump—and Beating Him. Caroline Rothstein, 5/24/2019.
- Hate crime bill coverage on KTVZ: Oregon AG urges lawmakers to strengthen hate crime laws. 3/12/2019.