|10/16/2007||Whether the Defense of Marriage Act Precludes the Non-Biological Child of a Member of a Vermont Civil Union From Qualifying for Child’s Insurance Benefits Under the Social Security Act||
The Defense of Marriage Act would not prevent the non-biological child of a partner in a Vermont civil union from receiving child's insurance benefits under the Social Security Act.
|10/10/2007||Department of Justice Authority to Represent the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in Certain Potential Suits||
The Department of Justice has statutory authority to represent the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in suits that may arise from his decision to exercise his authority under the United States Housing Act of 1937 to override certain state civil service protections that would otherwise apply to employees of the Housing Authority of New Orleans.
|09/17/2007||Authority of the President to Name an Acting Attorney General||
The President may designate an Acting Attorney General under the Vacancies Reform Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 3345–3349d, even if an officer of the Department otherwise could act under 28 U.S.C. § 508, which deals with succession to the office of the Attorney General.
|08/21/2007||Whether the Office of Administration Is an “Agency” for Purposes of the Freedom of Information Act||
The Office of Administration, which provides administrative support to entities within the Executive Office of the President, is not an agency for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act.
|07/10/2007||Immunity of Former Counsel to the President From Compelled Congressional Testimony||
The former Counsel to the President is immune from compelled congressional testimony about matters that arose during her tenure as Counsel to the President and that relate to her official duties in that capacity and is not required to appear in response to a subpoena to testify about such matters.
|06/29/2007||Application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to the Award of a Grant Pursuant to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act||
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is reasonably construed to require the Office of Justice Programs to exempt World Vision—a religious organization that has been awarded a grant under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act—from the religious nondiscrimination provision in 42 U.S.C. § 3789d(c)(1).
|06/27/2007||Assertion of Executive Privilege Concerning the Dismissal and Replacement of U.S. Attorneys||
Executive privilege may properly be asserted over the documents and testimony concerning the dismissal and replacement of United States Attorneys that have been subpoenaed by congressional committees.
|06/15/2007||Application of the Emoluments Clause to a Member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Director’s Advisory Board||
A member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Director’s Advisory Board does not hold an “Office of Profit or Trust” under the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
|05/23/2007||Constitutionality of D.C. Voting Rights Act of 2007||
S. 1257, a bill to grant the District of Columbia representation in the House of Representatives as well as to provide an additional House seat for Utah, violates the Constitution’s provisions governing the composition and election of the United States Congress.
|05/17/2007||When a Prior Conviction Qualifies as a “Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence”||
A “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) is limited to those offenses of which the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon is an element—that is, a factual predicate specified by law and required to support a conviction.
Where the legal definition of the crime at issue contains a disjunctive element (which requires proof of only one of multiple specified factual predicates), only one subpart of which requires the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, application of the prohibition in section 922(g)(9) will turn on whether the factfinder found that the subpart meeting the “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” definition had been proved (or whether the defendant pleaded guilty to that subpart). The answer to that question may be gleaned from the record of conviction or the supporting record of proceedings in the court of conviction. Police reports cannot answer that question.
The above interpretations also govern background checks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for firearms transfers under the National Instant Background Check System, but additional materials, including police reports, may be relied upon by the NICS for certain limited purposes.