PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro Sworn into Second Term

Attorney General Josh Shapiro was sworn in for his second term as the
Attorney General of Pennsylvania.

“Four years ago, I was elected your Attorney General to fulfill the promise of this great agency, to work towards justice, and to take on the big fights, against the most powerful institutions, for every one of us. I went to every corner of Pennsylvania — all 67 counties — the very first year, to listen…The work goes on — it must — because as we have seen over the past year, there is a long way to go.”

His swearing-in speech reflected on the big fights fought and won since taking office in 2017, and the bigger fights to come in his second term. AG Shapiro also held a moment of silence to honor the 400,000 people who have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

On facing the COVID-19 pandemic:

“COVID laid bare the inequities in our Commonwealth. It ripped off the cover that let too many in power look past how fragile our society and economy were before the virus. Moms working an extra job—60, 80 hours a week—not to save up for a trip or help with tuition, but to barely get by. These disparities are blinding, for all who care to see them: Who are the ‘essential workers’ and who gets to work from home? Which Pennsylvanians are able to get tests and vaccines, get a loan to keep their family business open, or meet their mortgage or monthly rent? Who has lost work, lost hours and whose portfolios have skyrocketed? How have we cared for the elderly, those suffering mental illness, and our most vulnerable? We know the answers, they are unacceptable — and to pursue justice, we must help find new answers.”

On tackling racial inequity and political tensions in 2020:

“When bias and inequality limit people’s potential, it robs us of a safer, more just, and
prosperous country. Justice requires us to have one rule of law — not different rules for
different people. Not competing realities. We can’t allow fear of others to trump fact and
reason and put your rights at risk. This is what is at stake – and why the work of this office is so important. It informs us how we will continue to seek justice: if we improve ourselves, if we tackle inequality across the Commonwealth, and most importantly, by showing you — all of you — that we will have your back when you are up against the most powerful and entrenched interests or the most well-connected in the world.”

On the big fights and beyond:

“We didn’t back down when the Catholic Church covered up decades of abuse. We didn’t back down when the two of the largest healthcare giants in Western Pennsylvania risked the coverage of 1.9 million people over a contract dispute. We didn’t back down when
multinational pharmaceutical companies were trying to wash their hands of their role in
manufacturing the opioid crisis. We didn’t back down from the attacks against your right to
vote, and to have your vote secured and counted—whoever you voted for. You deserve that. No matter where you’re from, what you look like, who you love or who you pray to or choose not to pray to, you deserve a team who will run through a brick wall to protect you — and we have and will.”

On protecting all Pennsylvanians for the next four years:

“For too long the phrase “rule of law” has been used as a way to oppress others — who don’t understand that running hand in hand with rule of law is the pursuit of justice for all. That’s what my Office keeps seeking and that’s what I intend to uphold. The continued pursuit of justice for all relies on citizens joining in, new ideas, new building blocks, a renewed, earned trust in our institutions, but most of all — it requires trust in ourselves. Our belief in our experiment of self-government. Of free and fair elections. Of a common set of facts, and laws that apply equally. Of our commonwealth and prosperity.”