Opinions

Displaying 1271 - 1280 of 1303
Title Headnotes
Assertion of Executive Privilege by the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission

Questions put to the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission regarding conversations he may have had with the President or his assistants in the White House come within the scope of the executive privilege, whereby information, papers, and communications which the President or the heads of the executive departments or agencies deem confidential in the public interest need not be disclosed to a congressional committee. In addition, the questions are within the scope of the President’s letter of May 17, 1954 to the Secretary of Defense setting forth the Administration’s policy that, in the public interest, advisement on official matters between employees of the Executive Branch of the government be kept confidential, and any conversations, communications, documents or reproductions concerning such advisement not be disclosed in congressional hearings.

Even if it were conceded only for the purpose of argument that the Atomic Energy Commission is a typical independent regulatory commission, which is not in one branch of the government to the exclusion of others but straddles at least two branches so as to be part of each, there is historical precedent indicating that, as to the executive functions of such a commission, its officers and employees have a right, and, when directed by the President, a duty to invoke the executive privilege.

The so-called fraud exception to executive privilege does not exist. The precedent for the so-called exception really evidences the unlimited discretion of the President to determine whether the public interest requires that the executive privilege be invoked or waived in a particular case.

Constitutionality of a Joint Resolution Requiring the President to Propose a Balanced Budget Every Year

A proposed joint resolution requiring the President annually to propose a budget in which estimated expenditures do not exceed estimated receipts, if made effective, would be invalid.

Authority of the Department of Justice to Represent Members of Congress in a Civil Suit

The Attorney General has authority to represent members of the House of Representatives in a state court civil lawsuit if he determines that it would be in the interest of the United States to do so.

The question whether the congressmen should be represented by the Department is wholly discretionary and should be determined as a matter of policy.

Authority of Florida Police Officers to Make Arrests on the Basis of FBI Pick-Up Notices

The authority of a Florida police officer to make a warrantless arrest for an alleged violation of federal law depends on state law and cannot be based merely on the existence of an FBI pick-up notice.

Constitutionality of an Appropriations Bill Denying Funds for Certain Civil Litigation

Legislation directing that no funds be expended in the preparation or prosecution of a civil lawsuit by the United States against a state public utility district regarding riparian rights in a river owned by the federal government is not subject to serious constitutional objection.

Presidential Authority to Direct the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Not to Comply With a Congressional Subpoena Seeking Testimony About Private Activities

Although there has been a practical construction, extending back to the earliest days of this Republic, of the respective powers of the Congress and the Executive, under which the President may order his subordinates in the Executive Branch to withhold information from the Congress when he deems such action to be in the public interest, it is difficult to justify application of this principle with respect to a congressional subpoena seeking an official’s testimony regarding his private activities prior to the time of his close official connection with the President.

Presidential Authority to Make Recess Appointments While Incumbents Hold Over

The President may make recess appointments to the Interstate Commerce Commission and to the Board of Directors of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation while members of those entities continue to serve in office under holdover statutes.

Presidential Authority to Call a Special Session of Congress

The President has the power, under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, to call a special session of the Congress during the current adjournment, in which the Congress now stands adjourned until January 2, 1948, unless in the meantime the President pro tempore of the Senate, the Speaker, and the majority leaders of both Houses jointly notify the members of both houses to reassemble.

Presidential Authority as Commander in Chief of the Air Force

The President is Commander in Chief of all the armed forces of the United States—the Air Force as well as the Army and the Navy.

Authority to Establish System of Universal Military Training

If Congress enacts legislation along the lines of either of two proposals for the establishment of a system of universal military training, supported by appropriate declarations of policy and findings of fact, such legislation would be well within the constitutional powers of the federal government.

Pages

Subscribe to Opinions