The rationale often given is that if state officers were bound by an attorney genera’s opinion, “any executive office of the state could be controlled by the opinion of the attorney general specifying what the law requires to be done in that office.”
“If we think them right, we follow and approve, and if convinced they are wrong, . . . we reject and decline to feel ourselves bound.
The attorney general of Tennessee had issued an opinion that a law requiring the expenditure of funds was unconstitutional. The Tennessee Supreme Court did not speak in terms of whether state officials are bound by the attorney general’s opinion. Rather, the Court spoke in terms of duty: “State officials are presumed to do their duty…
Administrative interpretations of statutes made pursuant to attorney general opinions are entitled to great weight in statutory interpretation cases.
Oklahoma Supreme Court held, “an official who has sought an opinion from the attorney general should, even though not compelled to do so by statute, follow the advice which is given to him.”
Attorney General opinions are not binding on courts because they are “neither statutes nor municipal ordinances, [and] do not carry the weight of law.
The fact that two different attorneys general have reached the same conclusion with respect to the exact issue lends “considerable persuasive influence to their opinions and weighs heavily in favor of our conclusion herein.”
An Attorney General’s opinion is only entitled to such persuasive effect as the court deems the opinion warrants.”
The Washington Supreme Court articulated three reasons for giving weight to attorney general opinions: First, such opinions represent the considered legal opinion of the constitutionally designated “legal adviser of the state officers.” Second, we presume that the legislature is aware of formal opinions issued by the attorney general and a failure to amend the statute…
Attorney General opinion to school board is decisive until a court of competent jurisdiction decides otherwise, is not binding, but “instructive.”