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Title Headnotes
Application of 18 U.S.C. § 203 to Maintenance of Contingent Interest in Expenses Recoverable in Litigation Against the United States

18 U.S.C. § 203 does not prohibit a prospective government officer from maintaining upon his entry into government service a contingent interest in expenses recoverable in litigation involving the United States.

Statute of Limitations and Settlement of Equal Credit Opportunity Act Discrimination Claims Against the Department of Agriculture

The Attorney General may not waive the statute of limitations in the litigation or compromise of pending claims against the United States.

Absent a specific provision to the contrary, a statute of limitations on civil actions also should apply to administrative settlements of claims arising under that statute pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 3702.

31 U S.C. § 3702 does not authorize the Department of Agriculture to pay compensatory damages in an administrative settlement of an ECOA claim if ECOA’s two year statute of limitations has run.

Filing an administrative claim with USDA does not toll ECOA’s statute of limitations.

Although ECOA’s statute of limitations is, in appropriate circumstances, subject to the doctrines of equitable tolling and equitable estoppel, courts have rarely applied either doctrine against the United States.

Reimbursement of Expenses Under 5 U.S.C. § 5503(a)

5 U.S.C. § 5503(a) does not prohibit individuals reappointed to the Board of Directors of the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund during a congressional recess from receiving reimbursement for travel, subsistence, and other necessary expenses associated with performing their functions.

Applicability of 18 U.S.C. §§ 431–433 to Limited Partnership Interests in Government Leases

The interests of two Members of Congress under a proposed real estate transaction involving limited partnership interests in government leases would fall within the prohibition of 18 U.S.C. § 431, and the “incorporated company” exception of 18 U.S.C. § 433 does not apply.

Applicability of 18 U.S.C. § 431 to Limited Partnership Interests in Government Leases

A modified version of the proposed real estate transaction described in the February 17, 1998 opinion that gives the blind trusts no interest in any government contracts is permissible under 18 U.S.C. § 431.

The Vacancies Act

The Vacancies Act is not the exclusive authority for temporarily assigning the duties of a Senate-confirmed office. Statutes vesting an agency’s powers in the agency head and allowing delegation to subordinate officials also may be used to assign, on an interim basis, the duties of certain vacant Senate-confirmed offices.

Interpretation of Inspector General Act

Although it is a close question, the better interpretation of the Inspector General Act is that Congress did not intend to limit the phrase “recommendation that funds be put to better use” to only those audit recommendations that achieve identifiable monetary savings.

Application of the Double Jeopardy Clause to Disgorgement Orders Under the Federal Trade Commission Act

In a civil suit brought by the Federal Trade Commission challenging unfair trade practices, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by a judgment requiring restitution and ordering that, in the event restitution is impracticable, the defendant pay money to the United States Treasury.

Possible Bases of Jurisdiction for the Department of Justice to Investigate Matters Relating to the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Department of Justice may conduct an investigation relating to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., to investigate the commission of federal crimes for which the applicable statute of limitations has run, in order to establish the facts of the crime, independent of whether such facts may lead to a prosecution.

The Department also has authority, under 28 U.S.C. § 533(3), to investigate the role of the Department or the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the original investigation of the King assassination. Such an investigation under § 533(3) could include a re-investigation of the facts surrounding the assassination itself in order to assess the conduct of the Bureau’s original investigation and determine the accuracy and completeness of its findings.

Coverage Issues Under the Indian Self-Determination Act

The 1990 amendment to the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 covers only those torts for which the Federal Tort Claims Act waives the sovereign immunity of the United States.

The 1990 amendment does not authorize or otherwise address representation of tribes or tribal employees who are sued in their individual capacities for constitutional torts.


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