Settlement Authority of the United States in Oil Shale Cases

Headnotes: 

The Attorney General has authority to settle cases even when the agency charged with administering the underlying law would not have that authority.

In settling a case, the Attorney General is not bound by whatever litigating position the Department of Justice has heretofore taken in the case, nor is he bound by each and every statutory requirement that Congress may have imposed upon some other agency head in administering that agency’s program; at the same time, there may be some forms of settlement that would be foreclosed, as where the settlement would result in action plainly at variance with Congressʼ intent.

Updated July 9, 2014