Opinions

Opinions

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Title Headnotes
Detail of Law Enforcement Agents to Congressional Committees

Details of Department of Justice law enforcement agents to congressional committees are statutorily authorized provided the details are made on a reimbursable basis.

Such details do not violate the constitutional principles of separation of powers as long as the details are advisory in nature, involve functions not required by the Constitution to be performed by an “officer” of the United States, and when there are particularly compelling policy reasons for the assignment that outweigh any separation of powers concerns.

Due to the substantial policy and ethical concerns such details raise, the Department should consider a reimbursable detail only after a careful examination of the functions to be performed and consideration of the conflicts likely to arise.

Investigative Authority of the General Accounting Office

The General Accounting Office lacks statutory authority to review the Executive’s discharge of its constitutional foreign policy responsibilities.

GAO is precluded by the Intelligence Oversight Act from access to intelligence information.

The memorandum also reviews generally the executive privilege principles that apply in the contexts of intelligence, law enforcement, and deliberative process information.

The President’s Veto Power

Article I of the Constitution does not vest the President with the inherent power to veto portions of a bill while signing the remainder of it into law.

The Status of the Smithsonian Institution Under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act

The Smithsonian Institution is an “independent establishment in the executive branch” and is therefore an “executive agency” for purposes of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act.

Applicability of Interest and Penalty Provisions of the Criminal Fine Enforcement Act to Fines Imposed as a Condition of Probation

Application of the interest and penalty provisions of the Criminal Fine Enforcement Act of 1984 is mandatory in the case of late payment or nonpayment of a fine imposed strictly as a condition of probation.

Litigating Authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission

The Interstate Commerce Commission lacks authority to intervene in the court of appeals in litigation between a railroad and its employees under the Railway Labor Act, or to file an amicus brief in the case, without the approval of the Attorney General.

The Interstate Commerce Commission also lacks authority to file a petition for certiorari, absent authorization from the Solicitor General.

Deportation Proceedings of Joseph Patrick Thomas Doherty

The Attorney General reversed the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals that there was insufficient evidence that the deportation of the respondent to the Republic of Ireland would be prejudicial to the interests of the United States, and remanded the case to the BIA for further proceedings.

Interpretation of District of Columbia Good Time Credits Act of 1986

The District of Columbia Good Time Credits Act of 1986, which requires that prisoners “be given credit on the maximum . . . term of imprisonment for time spent . . . on parole” does not impliedly repeal another provision of the D.C. Code, that requires that recommitted parole violators not receive credit against their sentences for time spent on parole.

Department of Justice Funding of Representation of Victims in Connection with a West German Prosecution

The Department of Justice may use its funds to pay for the representation o f non-military American victims of the hijacking of TWA Flight 847, in connection with a West German prosecution, if it is determined that such representation would be in the interest of the United States.

Applicability of the Davis-Bacon Act to the Veterans Administration’s Lease of Medical Facilities

The Attorney General has authority to review legal determinations made by the Secretary of Labor under the Davis-Bacon Act.

A lease of a privately owned facility is not a “contract for construction of a public building” within the meaning of the Davis-Bacon Act. The mere fact that a lessor undertakes construction in order to fulfill its obligations is insufficient to convert a lease into such a contract.

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