A coalition of twenty-eight attorneys general sent a letter to Congressional leaders, expressing support for the passage of the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act, which would restore the Federal Trade Commission's authority to obtain equitable monetary relief. In April, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the FTC does not have the power to obtain equitable monetary relief, such as restitution or disgorgement, from defendants by going directly to court -- notwithstanding the fact that courts have been awarding this type of relief to the FTC for years.
The AG coalition, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, said that the Supreme Court's decision "upends four decades of FTC practice and seriously undermines the FTC's efforts to combat fraud and other anticompetitive or unfair trade practices." Urging the passage of the new law, they wrote, "Without such authority, consumers and businesses in the States will be deprived of what is rightfully theirs, wrongdoers will be allowed to retain the profits of their illegal conduct, and markets will become less competitive."
In addition to Colorado and New York, the letter was signed by the attorneys general of Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
"We strongly urge you to quickly restore the essential tools that the FTC needs to combat fraud and anticompetitive conduct and protect an honest marketplace"