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Authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to Order the Closing of Certain Streets Located Along the Perimeter of the White House

18 U.S.C. § 3056 grants the Secretary of the Treasury broad authority to take actions that are necessary and proper to protect the President, including the authority to order the closing of certain streets located along the perimeter of the White House.

Whether 18 U.S.C. § 603 Bars Civilian Executive Branch Employees and Officers from Making Contributions to a President’s Authorized Re-Election Campaign Committee

Civilian employees and officers in the executive branch would not violate 18 U.S.C. § 603, as amended by the Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993, by making contributions to a President’s authorized reelection campaign committee, so long as such contributions were not made in a manner that would violate the specific prohibitions of 5 U.S.C. §§ 7324(a)(1)–(4).

Impermissibility of Deputizing the House Sergeant at Arms as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal

Appointment of the House Sergeant at Arms as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal would entail an overlapping of congressional and executive accountability that is incompatible with separation of powers requirements, and it would impermissibly involve the institution of Congress in executive branch law enforcement.

Authority to Issue Executive Order on Government Procurement

The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act vests the President with authority to issue Executive Order No. 12954, entitled “Ensuring the Economical and Efficient Administration and Completion of Federal Government Contracts,” in light of his finding that it will promote economy and efficiency in government procurement.

Use of the Exchange Stabilization Fund to Provide Loans and Credits to Mexico

As part of an international financial support package for Mexico, the President and the Treasury Secretary have the authority under section 10(a) of the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 to use the Treasury Department’s Exchange Stabilization Fund to provide loans and credits to Mexico in the form of (i) short-term currency “swaps” through which Mexico will borrow U.S. dollars in exchange for Mexican pesos for ninety days; (ii) medium-term currency swaps through which Mexico will borrow U.S. dollars for up to five years; and (iii) guaranties through which the United States will backup Mexico’s obligations on government securities for up to ten years.

Permissibility of the Administration and Use of the Federal Payroll Allocation System by Executive Branch Employees for Contributions to Political Action Committees

Federal employees who would offer the use of, or administer, the federal salary-allocation system for allotments to political action committees, would not, without more, violate 18 U.S.C. §§ 602 and 607, or the civil provisions of the Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993.

The Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993 would prohibit certain high-level and Executive Office employees identified in 5 U.S.C. § 7324(b), the duties and responsibilities of whose positions continue outside normal duty hours and while away from the normal duty post, from using the salaryallocation system to make contributions to political action committees.

The Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993 would not prohibit the remainder of federal employees covered by those Amendments from making contributions to political action committees through the salary-allocation system; however, 5 U.S.C. § 7324(a) would expressly prohibit such employees from taking steps to use the salary-allocation system to make such contributions while they are on duty or in a federal building.

While use of the salary-allocation system for contributions to political action committees would be lawful under certain circumstances, the head of each federal agency has the discretion to decide whether to make the system available for that purpose to employees of the agency.

Authority of FBI Agents, Serving As Special Deputy United States Marshals, to Pursue Non-Federal Fugitives

Regardless of whether federal process is outstanding or anticipated, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have authority to investigate fugitive felons when there is a reasonable basis to believe that doing so will detect or prevent the commission of a federal crime.

U.S. Marshals, including FBI agents serving as Special Deputy U.S. Marshals, have authority under 28 U.S.C. § 566(e)(1)(B) to investigate and pursue fugitives wanted under state felony warrants whenever such action is undertaken pursuant to a special apprehension program approved by the Attorney General.

Where a U.S. Marshal or Special Deputy U.S. Marshal is engaged in an approved investigation of state law fugitives under section 566(e)(1)(B), the marshal’s derivative state sheriff powers under 28 U.S.C. § 564 and the marshal’s inherent authority to take enforcement actions necessary to carry out his federal duties provide valid grounds for the marshal to arrest such fugitives. 

Internal Revenue Service Notices of Levy on Undelivered Commerce Department Fishing Quota Permits

The Department of Commerce may lawfully withhold delivery of fishing quotas or quota shares to eligible fishermen under the federal fishery laws in order to comply with a notice of levy served on the Department by the Internal Revenue Service to satisfy federal tax delinquencies.

The Balanced Budget Amendment

The lack of any enforcement mechanism in current proposals to amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget could result in the transfer of power over fundamental political questions of taxing and spending to the courts. This would represent a substantial reordering of our basic constitutional structure.

Before resorting to the drastic step of amending the Constitution, Congress should explore other reasonable alternatives, including line item veto legislation.

Relationship Between Department of Justice Attorneys and Persons on Whose Behalf the United States Brings Suits Under the Fair Housing Act

When the Department of Justice undertakes a civil action on behalf of a complainant alleging a discriminatory housing practice under the Fair Housing Act, Department attorneys handling the action do not enter into an attomey-client relationship with the complainant, nor do they undertake a fiduciary obligation to the complainant.

Because no attomey-client relationship is established in such undertakings, no retainer agreement between the complainant and the Department attorneys should be entered into.

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