From the December 2006 Idaho Observer:

A sitting AG’s opinion of quo warranto

Online right now is an opinion of the office of the attorney general of California regarding the writ of quo warranto. According to the California AG, "A quo warranto action is filed typically to remove a person from public office."

The AG goes on to qualify his handling of the process by stating that he "...must approve all quo warranto actions filed by private individuals" to protect "...public officers from frivolous lawsuits."

It appears that the AG recognizes the power of the quo warranto and has given himself the authority to intercede in such actions on behalf of public officials. Pardon the humor here, but, "By what authority does the California state AG approve ‘all quo warranto actions filed by private individuals’"?

Under the heading "Nature of Remedy" the AG continues: "A quo warranto action may be brought against any person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises any public office or franchise.

"A quo warranto action may also be brought against any corporation, either de jure or de facto, which usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises any franchise within California."

Further evidence of the state’s recognition of the power of quo warranto extends his office’s control of the process beyond attempts to protect public officials. "The Opinion Unit [of the AG’s office] reviews the written pleadings filed by the parties and issues an opinion either granting or denying the application to sue. If approval is given, the lawsuit is maintained under the direction of the Attorney General."

Again, we ask, "By what authority...?"

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