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Commentary By James R. Copland

New York Attorney General Schneiderman Resigns

Cities New York City

Like his predecessor Eliot Spitzer, Eric Schneiderman--the now-former attorney general of New York--will be most remembered for the sordid sex scandal that forced him from power. The sexual-abuse allegations against Mr. Schneiderman, if true, are serious indeed. But so too is the manner in which Schneiderman, like Spitzer, weaponized New York's open-ended 1921 securities law, the Martin Act, to bully and intimidate national businesses. It's long past time for New York to rein in this tool of prosecutorial abuse. And it's time for Congress to look at legislation, such as a bill introduced this winter by Rep. Thomas MacArthur of New Jersey, which would preempt such state laws when they enable politically ambitious state officials to exceed federal regulatory standards.

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James R. Copland is a senior fellow and director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute.