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2005-June-01Scope of Criminal Enforcement Under 42 U.S.C. § 1320d-6Covered entities and those persons rendered accountable by general principles of corporate criminal liability may be prosecuted directly under 42 U.S.C. § 1320d-6, and the knowingly element of the offense set forth in that provision requires only proof of knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense.
2005-March-09Application of the Emoluments Clause to a Member of the President's Council on BioethicsA member of the President's Council on Bioethics does not hold an “Office of Profit or Trust” within the meaning of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
2005-February-02Religious Objections to the Postal Service Oath of Office
(Posted 2008-November-12)
Section 1011 of title 39 of the United States Code specifies an oath of office that all Postal Service officers and employees must take. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not require the Postal Service to depart from the dictates of section 1011 in order to accommodate (beyond what is required by section 1011) prospective employees who raise bona fide religious objections to taking this oath.
2005-January-18Treatment of Expunged State Convictions Under the Immigration and Nationality Act
(Posted 2006-May-24)
Under the definition of “conviction” contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act, for a conviction not involving a first-time simple possession of narcotics, an alien remains convicted, and thus removable under the Act, notwithstanding a subsequent state action to vacate or set aside the conviction that does not reflect a judgment about the merits of the underlying adjudication of guilt.
2005-January-12Status of the Director of Central Intelligence Under the National Security Intelligence Reform Act of 2004
(Posted 2006-January-23)
At the time the National Security Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 takes effect, the then-current Director of Central Intelligence would not require a new appointment to the office of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency should the President wish him to serve in that position. 
2005-January-11Application of Record-Destruction Requirements to Information Received From the National Instant Criminal Background Check System
(Posted 2006-October-29)
The laws governing destruction of background-check information do not require the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to destroy information it previously received from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System when the NICS had determined that an individual seeking to purchase a firearm may not lawfully receive a firearm in the circumstance when the NICS later overturns that determination.

Definition of Torture Under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340–2340A

This opinion interprets the federal criminal prohibition against torture codified at 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340–2340A. It supersedes in its entirety the August 1, 2002 opinion of this Office entitled Standards of Conduct under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340–2340A.

That statute prohibits conduct “specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.” This opinion concludes that “severe” pain under the statute is not limited to “excruciating or agonizing” pain or pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily functions, or even death.”

The statute also prohibits certain conduct specifically intended to cause “severe physical suffering” distinct from “severe physical pain.”


Political Balance Requirement for the Civil Rights Commission

In appointing a new member to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, in order to comply with the statutory requirement that “[n]ot more than 4 of the members shall at any one time be of the same political party,” the President should look to the party affiliation of the other members at the time the new member is appointed.


Terms of Members of the Civil Rights Commission

The six-year term of a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights runs from the date on which his or her predecessor’s term ends, not from the date of the member’s appointment.


Applicability of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to Tribally Controlled Schools

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act generally applies to tribally controlled schools that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Justice.

Updated: April 2014