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Status of Taliban Forces Under Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949

The President has reasonable factual grounds to determine that no members of the Taliban militia are entitled to prisoner of war status under Article 4 of the 1949 Geneva Convention (III) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.


Assertion of Executive Privilege With Respect to Prosecutorial Documents

Executive privilege may properly be asserted in response to a congressional subpoena seeking prosecutorial decisionmaking documents of the Department of Justice.


Application of Federal Advisory Committee Act to Non-Governmental Consultations

The Federal Advisory Committee Act does not apply to the consultations that the Department of Defense plans to conduct with various individuals from outside the government regarding the policies and procedures that DoD is developing for military commissions.


Application of Privacy Act Congressional-Disclosure Exception to Disclosures to Ranking Minority Members

The congressional-disclosure exception to the disclosure prohibition of the Privacy Act generally does not apply to disclosures to committee ranking minority members.


Constitutional Issues Raised by Commerce, Justice and State Appropriations Bill

A provision prohibiting the use of appropriated funds for United Nations peacekeeping missions involving the use of United States Armed Forces under the command of a foreign national unconstitutionally constrains the President’s authority as Commander in Chief and his authority over foreign affairs.

A provision prohibiting the use of appropriated funds for cooperation with, assistance to, or other support for the International Criminal Court would be unconstitutional insofar as it would prohibit the President from providing support and assistance to the ICC under any and all circumstances, but it can be applied in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority in the area of foreign affairs.


Legality of the Use of Military Commissions to Try Terrorists

The President possesses inherent authority under the Constitution, as Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, to establish military commissions to try and punish terrorists captured in connection with the attacks of September 11 or in connection with U.S. military operations in response to those attacks.


Authority of the Deputy Attorney General Under Executive Order 12333

The Deputy Attorney General has authority to approve searches for intelligence purposes under section 2.5 of Executive Order 12333.


Application of 18 U.S.C. § 208 to Trustees of Private Trusts

Although a trustee of a private trust, solely by virtue of his capacity as a trustee, should not be deemed to have a personal financial interest in the property of the trust, a trustee of a private trust may have such an interest under certain circumstances. Further, a trustee of a private trust also should be considered to be serving in the capacity of a “trustee” of an “organization” for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 208(a).


Duration of the Term of a Member of the Civil Rights Commission

A member of the Civil Rights Commission, appointed when a predecessor died before the end of his term, serves only the remainder of her predecessor’s term.


Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest of Members of FDA Advisory Panels

Special government employees who serve as members of a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel and who seek waivers of conflicts of interest must publicly disclose any conflicts of interest they may have that relates to the work to be undertaken by the panel. The FDA may not waive a panel member’s conflict until the panel member makes the public disclosure.

The FDA has considerable discretion to determine how detailed the panel member’s disclosure must be, so long as such disclosure is adequate to inform the public of the nature and magnitude of the conflict.

Updated: April 2014