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Delegation of the President’s Power to Appoint Members of the National Ocean Research Leadership Council

Draft amendments to 10 U S.C. § 7902 empowering the President to delegate to the head of a department his authority to appoint certain members of the National Ocean Research Leadership Council would not violate the Constitution’s Appointments Clause.


Bureau of Prisons Disclosure of Recorded Inmate Telephone Conversations

The policy of the Criminal Division requiring outside law enforcement officials to obtain some form of legal process authorizing access to contents of inmate telephone conversations is not mandated by the Constitution or Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.

The practice of profiling specific groups of inmates for monitoring raises concerns when it requires or causes the Bureau of Prisons to alter its established monitoring procedures for purposes unrelated to prison security or administration.

Inmates have a First Amendment right to some minimum level of telephone access, subject to reasonable restrictions related to prison security and administration. Under certain circumstances they also may have a Sixth Amendment right to make telephone calls to their attorneys.


Proposed Agency Interpretation of “Federal Means-Tested Public Benefit[s]” Under Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996

The interpretation of the phrase “federal means-tested public benefit[s]” in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 proffered by the Departments of Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development—that it applies only to mandatory (and not discretionary) spending programs—constitutes a permissible and legally binding construction of the statute.


Application of the Ineligibility Clause

The Ineligibility Clause of the Constitution would not bar the appointment of Representative Bill Richardson to serve as United States Ambassador to the United Nations or of Senator William Cohen to serve as Secretary of Defense.


Access to Classified Information

This memorandum provides an opinion on various legal questions posed by a panel appointed by the Director of Central Intelligence to make a recommendation on whether an official at the Department of State, Richard Nuccio, should be granted access to Sensitive Compartmented Information.


Authority to Exempt Programs under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996

The Attorney General may not exempt California’s prenatal care program under § 401 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 because eligibility for, and the recipient’s share of the cost of benefits provided by, that program are conditioned on the recipient’s income.


Validity of Congressional-Executive Agreements That Substantially Modify the United States’ Obligations Under an Existing Treaty

It lies within Congress’s power to authorize the President to modify substantially the United States’ domestic and international legal obligations under a prior treaty, including an arms control treaty, by making an executive agreement with our treaty partners, without Senate advice and consent.


Procedural Rights of Undocumented Aliens Interdicted in U.S. Internal Waters

Undocumented aliens seeking to reach the United States aboard a vessel that has reached the internal waters of the United States at the time of interdiction, but who have not come ashore on United States “dry land,” are not entitled to deportation proceedings or other proceedings under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Apprehension of such aliens in the internal waters of the United States solely for the purpose of interdicting or repulsing their attempt to enter the United States unlawfully does not constitute an “arrest” under section 287(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and would not require the institution of exclusion or other proceedings under the Act.

If such aliens are brought ashore on United States dry land, they would acquire the status of “applicants for admission” and would have to be inspected and screened pursuant to section 23S of the Immigration and Nationality Act.


Service on the Board of Directors of Non-Federal Entities by Federal Bureau of Investigation Personnel in Their Official Capacities

Section 208 of title 18 prohibits a Federal Bureau of Investigation employee from serving on the board of directors of an outside organization in his or her official capacity, unless the service is authorized by statute or the employee obtains either a release of fiduciary obligations by the organization or a waiver of the requirements of section 208.


Legal Effectiveness of Congressional Subpoenas Issued After an Adjournment Sine Die of Congress

A congressional subpoena issued after an adjournment sine die of Congress lacks any legal force and effect and does not impose any legal obligation to comply with the subpoena.

Updated: April 2014