The Office of the Solicitor General was created by the Statutory Authorization Act of June 22, 1870. The Act states that there shall be an officer learned in the law, to be called the Solicitor General, to assist the Attorney General in the performance of his/her duties.
The mission of OSG is to represent the interests of the United States before the Supreme Court and to oversee appellate and certain other litigation on behalf of the United States in the lower federal and state courts.
The major functions of the OSG are to:
- Conduct, or assign and supervise all Supreme Court cases, including appeals, petitions for and in opposition to certiorari, briefs, and arguments.
- Determine whether, and to what extent, appeals will be taken by the government or whether the government will file a brief amicus curiae in any appellate court.
- Determine when and whether the United States should intervene in any court to defend the constitutionality of an Act of Congress.
- Assist the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, and the Associate Attorney General, as requested, in the development of Department programs and policy.