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The Department of Justice Inspector General’s Access to Information Protected by the Federal Wiretap Act, Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and Section 626 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Department of Justice officials may disclose information protected by the Federal Wiretap Act (Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968), Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and section 626 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act to the Department’s Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) in connection with many, but not all, of OIG’s investigations and reviews.

Section 6(a)(1) of the Inspector General Act of 1978 does not supersede the limitations on disclosure contained in Title III, Rule 6(e), and section 626.

Section 218 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, also does not supersede the limitations on disclosure contained in Title III, Rule 6(e), and section 626.

Authority of the Chairman of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board to Disclose Performance Appraisals of Senior Executive Service Employees

In the circumstances presented here, the organic statute of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board requires the Chairman to grant a requesting Board member access to written performance appraisals of Senior Executive Service employees.

In these circumstances, the Privacy Act does not bar the disclosure of those appraisals to the requesting Board member.

Authority to Order Targeted Airstrikes Against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

The President had the constitutional authority to order targeted airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant without prior congressional authorization.

The President had reasonably determined that these military operations would further sufficiently important national interests. A combination of three relevant national interests—protecting American lives and property; assisting an ally or strategic partner at its request; and protecting endangered populations against humanitarian atrocities, including possible genocide—supported the President’s constitutional authority to order the operations without prior congressional authorization.

The anticipated nature, scope, and duration of the military operations did not rise to the level of a “war” within the meaning of the Declaration of War Clause.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Authority to Prioritize Removal of Certain Aliens Unlawfully Present in the United States and to Defer Removal of Others

The Department of Homeland Security’s proposed policy to prioritize the removal of certain aliens unlawfully present in the United States would be a permissible exercise of DHS’s discretion to enforce the immigration laws.

The Department of Homeland Security’s proposed deferred action program for parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents would also be a permissible exercise of DHS’s discretion to enforce the immigration laws. 

The Department of Homeland Security’s proposed deferred action program for parents of recipients of deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would not be a permissible exercise of DHS’s enforcement discretion.

The Authority of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to Order a Federal Agency to Pay a Monetary Award to Remedy a Breach of a Settlement Agreement

Based on principles of sovereign immunity, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lacks authority to order the Social Security Administration to pay a monetary award as a remedy for breach of a settlement agreement entered to resolve a dispute under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Immunity of the Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach From Congressional Subpoena

The Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach (“OPSO”) is immune from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s subpoena to compel him to testify about matters concerning his service to the President in the OPSO.

Prosecutorial Discretion Regarding Citations for Contempt of Congress

A U.S. Attorney to whom a contempt of Congress citation is referred retains traditional prosecutorial discretion regardless of whether the contempt citation is related to an assertion of executive privilege.

Competitive Bidding Requirements Under the Federal-Aid Highway Program

The competitive bidding requirement of 23 U.S.C. § 112 imposes, in addition to procedural rules dictating the process by which bids are awarded, a substantive limitation on state or local bidding requirements that are unrelated to the bidder’s performance of the necessary work.

Section 112’s competitive bidding requirement does not preclude any and all state or local bidding or contractual restrictions that have the effect of reducing the pool of potential bidders for reasons unrelated to the performance of the necessary work. Rather, section 112 affords the Federal Highway Administration discretion to assess whether a particular state or local requirement unduly limits competition.

Generally, state or local government requirements that eliminate or disadvantage a class of potential responsible bidders to advance objectives unrelated to the efficient use of federal funds or the integrity of the bidding process are likely to unduly impede competition in contravention of the substantive component of section 112’s competitive bidding requirement.

Whether the Millennium Challenge Corporation Should Be Considered an “Agency” for Purposes of the Open Meeting Requirements of the Sunshine Act

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is not an “agency” for purposes of the open meeting requirements of the Sunshine Act.

Availability of Appropriations for Social Security Administration Grant Programs Following the Expiration of Authorizations of Appropriations

Notwithstanding the expiration of the specific authorizations of appropriations for the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance program and the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security program, the appropriation for administrative expenses of the Social Security Administration remains available to fund those two grant programs. When an agency has legal authority to administer a program and appropriated funds are available for that purpose, the absence or expiration of an authorization of appropriations does not prevent the agency from expending funds on the program unless such a restriction is imposed by statute.

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