The OLC
Astrid Da Silva

The OLC's Opinions

Opinions published by the OLC, including those released in response to our FOIA lawsuit

This Reading Room is the most comprehensive public database of opinions written by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). It contains the approximately 1,400 opinions published by the OLC in its online database and the opinions produced in Freedom of Information Act litigation brought by the Knight Institute, including opinions about the Pentagon Papers, the Civil Rights Era, and the War Powers Act. It also contains indexes of all unclassified OLC opinions written between 1945 and February 15, 1994. Those indexes are also available as a comprehensive list here and in .csv format here.

The Knight Institute will continue updating the reading room with new records. To get alerts when the OLC publishes a new opinion in its database, follow @OLCforthepeople on Twitter.

Showing 1120 of 2188

  • Authority of the President to Prospectively Appoint a Supreme Court Justice

    If the Senate votes to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the President may complete her appointment to the Supreme Court by signing her commission before Justice Breyer's resignation takes effect. The original opinion is available at https://www.justice.gov/olc/file/1494816/download.

    4/15/2022

  • Re: Freedom of Information Act Guidelines

    Although OLC's records are generally privileged, consistent with the Attorney General's FOIA guidelines, dated March 15, 2022, OLC sometimes releases requested records as a matter of discretion, even if they fall within the scope of a FOIA exemption or have not been the subject of a FOIA request. To make such documents generally available when they are the subject of repeated requests or may be of public or historical interest, and consistent with the requirements of 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(2)(D), the Office may post them in this electronic reading room. Documents posted in this electronic reading room generally have been disclosed through discretionary release, but they have not been selected for official publication and thus they are not included among the Office's formal published opinions. Although these records may be of public or historical interest, the views expressed in some of these records may not reflect the Office's current views. The original opinion is available at www.justice.gov/ag/page/file/1483516/download.

    6/8/2022

  • Annotated index of 1988 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1988 to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. This version of the index (annotated by Institute staff) shows which opinions are already publicly available (blue).

    1/28/2022

  • Annotated index of 1989 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1989 to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. This version of the index (annotated by Institute staff) shows which opinions are already publicly available (blue).

    1/28/2022

  • Annotated index of 1990 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1990 to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. This version of the index (annotated by Institute staff) shows which opinions are already publicly available (blue).

    1/28/2022

  • Annotated index of 1991 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1991 to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. This version of the index (annotated by Institute staff) shows which opinions are already publicly available (blue).

    1/28/2022

  • Annotated index of 1992 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1992 to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. This version of the index (annotated by Institute staff) shows which opinions are already publicly available (blue).

    1/28/2022

  • Annotated index of 1993 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1993 to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. This version of the index (annotated by Institute staff) shows which opinions are already publicly available (blue).

    1/28/2022

  • Annotated index of unclassified OLC legal opinions written between January 1, 1994 and February 15, 1994

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in the first six weeks of 1994 to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. This version of the index (annotated by Institute staff) shows which opinions are already publicly available (blue).

    1/28/2022

  • Index of unclassified OLC opinions from January 1, 1988 to February 15, 1994

    The OLC disclosed this index—of unclassifed OLC legal opinions from January 1, 1988 to February 15, 1994—to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University as part of the settlement of Francis v. DOJ.

    1/28/2022

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