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Selected Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)
Department of Justice

Various

OLC Opinions Disclosed by the Obama Administration, April 16, 2009

OLC Opinions and Memoranda Disclosed by the Obama Administration, March 2, 2009

OLC Views the Office of the Vice President, and Related Matters

  • Interpretation of Section 586 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act concluding that "existing statutory provisions that prohibit or impose mandatory restrictions on the public release of information are not overridden by section 586," July 18, 2003 (released January 2009)
  • Status of Presidential Memorandum Addressing the Use of Polygraphs, January 14, 2009
  • Liability of Contractors in Airbridge Denial Programs, March 1, 2004
  • Requests for Information Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, November 5, 2008
  • Constitutionality of the OLC Reporting Act of 2008, Attorney General Memorandum to the Senate Majority Leader, November 14, 2008 (released January 2009)
  • Authority of the President Under Domestic and International Law to Use Military Force Against Iraq, OLC Memorandum to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, October 23, 2002 (released January 2009)
  • Effect of a Recent United Nations Security Council Resolution on the Authority of the President Under International Law to Use Military Force Against Iraq, OLC Memorandum to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, November 8, 2002 (released January 2009)
  • Whether False Statements or Omissions in Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Declaration Would Constitute a "Further Material Breach" Under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, OLC Memorandum to Vice Presidential Counsel David S. Addington, December 7, 2002 (released January 2009)
  • "Protected Person" Status in Occupied Iraq Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, OLC Memorandum to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, March 18, 2004 (released January 2009)
  • Status of Taliban Forces Under Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, OLC Memorandum to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, February 7, 2002 (released December 2008)
  • Legality of the Use of Military Commissions to Try Terrorists, OLC Memorandum to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, November 6, 2001 (released December 2008)
  • Scope of the Definition of "Variola Virus" Under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Office of Legal Counsel, July 24, 2008
  • Military Interrogation of Alien Unlawful Combatants Held Outside the United States, Office of Legal Counsel, March 14, 2003
  • Application of Federal Advisory Committee Act to Non-Governmental Consultations, Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel, December 7, 2001
  • Status of the Director of Central Intelligence Under the National Security Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel, January 12, 2005 (published January 23, 2006)
  • The President's Constitutional Authority to Conduct Military Operations Against Terrorists and Nations Supporting Them, Office of Legal Counsel opinion, September 25, 2001

  • ISCAP Jurisdiction Over Classification Decisions by the Director of Central Intelligence Regarding Intelligence Sources and Methods, Randolph D. Moss, October 5, 1999
  • Presidential Authority to Decline to Execute Unconstitutional Statutes, Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel, November 2, 1994
  • Investigative Authority of the General Accounting Office, August 16, 1988
  • The President's Compliance with the "Timely Notification" Requirement of Section 501(B) of the National Security Act, December 17, 1986
  • FOIA Appeal from Denial of Access to FBI COINTELPRO Files Regarding Professor Morris Starsky, November 27, 1974
  • Executive Authority to Classify Defense Information and Material and to Invoke Sanctions for Disclosure, January 7, 1971
  • Use of Marshals, Troops, and Other Federal Personnel for Law Enforcement in Mississippi, July 1, 1964
  • Legal and Practical Consequences of a Blockade of Cuba, October 19, 1962
  • Criminal Liability for Newspaper Publication of Naval Secrets, June 16, 1942
  • Trials of Newspaper Personnel Accused of Disclosing Naval Secrets, June 16, 1942
  • Censorship of Transmission of Trotzky Speech From Mexico, February 8, 1937
  • Supplemental Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel, 1934-1974, published July 2013
  • Sources and Resources


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    Maintained by Steven Aftergood
    Updated September 9, 2014