Suvarna Garge (Editor)

United States Attorney General

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Member of

Term length
No fixed term

Reports to
The President

United States Attorney General

The Honorable (formal) Mister Attorney General (informal)

Washington, D.C., United States

The President with Senate confirmation

The United States Attorney General (A.G.) is the head of the United States Department of Justice per 28 U.S.C. § 503, concerned with legal affairs, and is the chief law enforcement officer and chief lawyer of the United States government. The 84th and current Attorney General is Jeff Sessions, who assumed the office on February 9, 2017. The attorney general serves as a member of the Cabinet of the President of the United States and is the only cabinet officer who does not have the title "Secretary of".


The Attorney General is appointed by the President and takes office after confirmation by the United States Senate. He or she represents the people of the United States of America; the attorney general is also subject to impeachment by the House of Representatives and trial in the Senate for "treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors".

The office of Attorney General was established by Congress by the Judiciary Act of 1789. The original duties of this officer were "to prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned, and to give his or her advice and opinion upon questions of law when required by the president of the United States, or when requested by the heads of any of the departments." In 1870, the Department of Justice was established to support the attorney general in the discharge of their responsibilities. The Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Defense are generally regarded as the four most important cabinet officials because of the importance of their departments.

List of Attorneys General


  No party (1)   Federalist (3)   Democratic-Republican (5)   Democratic (34)   Whig (4)   Republican (38)


Living former U.S. Attorneys General

As of March 2017, there are eleven, living former US Attorneys General, the oldest being Ramsey Clark (served 1967–1969, born 1927). The most recent Attorney General to die was Janet Reno (served 1993–2001, born 1938) on November 7, 2016.

Line of succession

The line of succession for the Attorney General is as follows:

  1. United States Deputy Attorney General
  2. United States Associate Attorney General
  3. Other Officers potentially designated by the Attorney General (in no particular order):
    1. Solicitor General of the United States
    2. Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division
    3. Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division
    4. Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division
    5. Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division
    6. Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division
    7. Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division
    8. Assistant Attorney General, Justice Management Division
    9. Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division
    10. Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs
    11. Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
    12. Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Policy
    13. Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs
  4. United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia
  5. United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois
  6. United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri


United States Attorney General Wikipedia