Opinions

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The Department of Homeland Security’s Authority to Prioritize Removal of Certain Aliens Unlawfully Present in the United States and to Defer Removal of Others

The Department of Homeland Security’s proposed policy to prioritize the removal of certain aliens unlawfully present in the United States would be a permissible exercise of DHS’s discretion to enforce the immigration laws.

The Department of Homeland Security’s proposed deferred action program for parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents would also be a permissible exercise of DHS’s discretion to enforce the immigration laws. 

The Department of Homeland Security’s proposed deferred action program for parents of recipients of deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would not be a permissible exercise of DHS’s enforcement discretion.

Immunity of the Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach From Congressional Subpoena

The Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach (“OPSO”) is immune from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s subpoena to compel him to testify about matters concerning his service to the President in the OPSO.

Competitive Bidding Requirements Under the Federal-Aid Highway Program

The competitive bidding requirement of 23 U.S.C. § 112 imposes, in addition to procedural rules dictating the process by which bids are awarded, a substantive limitation on state or local bidding requirements that are unrelated to the bidder’s performance of the necessary work.

Section 112’s competitive bidding requirement does not preclude any and all state or local bidding or contractual restrictions that have the effect of reducing the pool of potential bidders for reasons unrelated to the performance of the necessary work. Rather, section 112 affords the Federal Highway Administration discretion to assess whether a particular state or local requirement unduly limits competition.

Generally, state or local government requirements that eliminate or disadvantage a class of potential responsible bidders to advance objectives unrelated to the efficient use of federal funds or the integrity of the bidding process are likely to unduly impede competition in contravention of the substantive component of section 112’s competitive bidding requirement.

Whether the Millennium Challenge Corporation Should Be Considered an “Agency” for Purposes of the Open Meeting Requirements of the Sunshine Act

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is not an “agency” for purposes of the open meeting requirements of the Sunshine Act.

Availability of Appropriations for Social Security Administration Grant Programs Following the Expiration of Authorizations of Appropriations

Notwithstanding the expiration of the specific authorizations of appropriations for the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance program and the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security program, the appropriation for administrative expenses of the Social Security Administration remains available to fund those two grant programs. When an agency has legal authority to administer a program and appropriated funds are available for that purpose, the absence or expiration of an authorization of appropriations does not prevent the agency from expending funds on the program unless such a restriction is imposed by statute.

Whether the Peace Corps Director May Certify Peace Corps Response Volunteers for Noncompetitive Eligibility for Federal Employment Under Executive Order 11103

Under Executive Order 11103, which describes a “full term of service” as “approximately two years,” the Director of the Peace Corps may not issue certificates of satisfactory service to volunteers in the Peace Corps Response program (“PCRVs”) who serve between three and twelve months.

The Director may not issue certificates of satisfactory service to PCRVs under the exception in Executive Order 11103 for those who do not complete a full term “due to circumstances beyond their control.”

Whether the United States Department of Labor Has the Authority to Control the Disclosure of Federal Employee Compensation Act Records Held by the United States Postal Service

The Federal Employee Compensation Act gives the Department of Labor the authority to control and limit the disclosure of FECA records held by the United States Postal Service, and DOL’s FECA regulations prohibit USPS from disclosing FECA records in a manner inconsistent with DOL’s Privacy Act routine uses.

The Labor Department’s regulatory regime for FECA records is consistent with and furthers the purposes of the Privacy Act.

Neither the Postal Reorganization Act nor the National Labor Relations Act authorizes USPS to control the disclosure of FECA records.

Assertion of Executive Privilege Over Documents Generated in Response to Congressional Investigation Into Operation Fast and Furious

Executive privilege may properly be asserted in response to a congressional subpoena seeking internal Department of Justice documents generated in the course of the deliberative process concerning the Department’s response to congressional and related media inquiries into Operation Fast and Furious.

Duty to Report Suspected Child Abuse Under 42 U.S.C. § 13031

Under 42 U.S.C. § 13031—a provision of the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990—all covered professionals who learn of suspected child abuse while engaged in enumerated activities and professions on federal land or in federal facilities must report that abuse, regardless of where the suspected victim is cared for or resides.

The fact that a patient has viewed child pornography may “give reason to suspect that a child has suffered an incident of child abuse” under the statute, and a covered professional is not relieved of an obligation to report the possible abuse simply because neither the covered professional nor the patient knows the identity of the child depicted in the pornography.

Whether Reservists Who Otherwise Qualify for Leave Under Both 5 U.S.C. § 6323(a) and 5 U.S.C. § 6323(b) Must Exhaust Available Leave Under Section 6323(b) Before Taking Leave Under Section 6323(a)

A reservist who performs military service that qualifies for leave under both 5 U.S.C. §§ 6323(a) and 6323(b) may elect to take leave under section 6323(a) without first using all of his or her available leave under section 6323(b).

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