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Title Headnotes
Application of Record Destruction Requirements to Information Received From the National Instant Criminal Background Check System

Under the laws governing destruction of background check information, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives—which routinely receives and retains certain information from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System whenever the NICS determines that an individual seeking to purchase a firearm may not lawfully receive a firearm—does not have to destroy that information if the NICS later overturns that determination.

Status of the Director of Central Intelligence Under the National Security Intelligence Reform Act of 2004

At the time the National Security Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 takes effect, the then-current Director of Central Intelligence would not require a new appointment to the office of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency should the President wish him to serve in that position.

Treatment of Expunged State Convictions Under the Immigration and Nationality Act

Under the definition of “conviction” contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act, for a conviction not involving a first-time simple possession of narcotics, an alien remains convicted, and thus removable under the Act, notwithstanding a subsequent state action to vacate or set aside the conviction that does not reflect a judgment about the merits of the underlying adjudication of guilt.

Religious Objections to the Postal Service Oath of Office

Section 1011 of title 39 of the United States Code specifies an oath of office that all Postal Service officers and employees must take. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not require the Postal Service to depart from the dictates of section 1011 in order to accommodate (beyond what is required by section 1011) prospective employees who raise bona fide religious objections to taking this oath.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not require any further accommodation in response to three common objections to taking this oath.

Application of the Emoluments Clause to a Member of the President’s Council on Bioethics

A member of the President’s Council on Bioethics does not hold an “Office of Profit or Trust” within the meaning of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Whether Appropriations May Be Used for Informational Video News Releases

The “covert propaganda” prohibition in appropriations statutes does not apply where there is no advocacy of a particular viewpoint, and therefore it does not apply to the legitimate provision of information concerning the programs administered by an agency, such as through an informational video news release.

A recent, contrary opinion of the Comptroller General is not binding on the Executive Branch.

Scope of Criminal Enforcement Under 42 U.S.C. § 1320d-6

Covered entities and those persons rendered accountable by general principles of corporate criminal liability may be prosecuted directly under 42 U.S.C. § 1320d-6, and the knowingly element of the offense set forth in that provision requires only proof of knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense.

Authority of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to Permit Importation of Frames, Receivers, and Barrels of Non-Importable Firearms

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives does not have authority under the Gun Control Act of 1968 to permit the importation of the frames, receivers, and barrels of non-importable firearms, where the importation of those parts is solely for purposes of repair or replacement rather than for the assembly of a new firearm.

The Bureau may, however, announce that, for a limited time (60 days), it will not take enforcement action against persons importing frames, receivers, or barrels pursuant to a previously issued permit.

Whether the President May Sign a Bill by Directing That His Signature Be Affixed to It

The President need not personally perform the physical act of affixing his signature to a bill he approves and decides to sign in order for the bill to become law. Rather, the President may sign a bill within the meaning of Article I, Section 7 by directing a subordinate to affix the President’s signature to such a bill, for example by autopen.

Whether Conflict of Interest Laws Apply to a Person Assisting a Supreme Court Nominee

On the facts described, former Senator Fred Thompson would not be an “officer” or “employee” of the federal government if he assisted a Supreme Court nominee during the process of confirmation by the Senate, and as a consequence the federal conflict of interest laws would not apply to him.

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