Opinions

Opinions

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Title Headnotes
Authority to Order Targeted Airstrikes Against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

The President had the constitutional authority to order targeted airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant without prior congressional authorization.

The President had reasonably determined that these military operations would further sufficiently important national interests. A combination of three relevant national interests—protecting American lives and property; assisting an ally or strategic partner at its request; and protecting endangered populations against humanitarian atrocities, including possible genocide—supported the President’s constitutional authority to order the operations without prior congressional authorization.

The anticipated nature, scope, and duration of the military operations did not rise to the level of a “war” within the meaning of the Declaration of War Clause.

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.

The Authority of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to Order a Federal Agency to Pay a Monetary Award to Remedy a Breach of a Settlement Agreement

Based on principles of sovereign immunity, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lacks authority to order the Social Security Administration to pay a monetary award as a remedy for breach of a settlement agreement entered to resolve a dispute under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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.

Prosecutorial Discretion Regarding Citations for Contempt of Congress

A U.S. Attorney to whom a contempt of Congress citation is referred retains traditional prosecutorial discretion regardless of whether the contempt citation is related to an assertion of executive privilege.

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