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 2130 of 2188

  • Effect of 2020 OLC Opinion on Possible Congressional Action Regarding Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment

    A 2020 opinion of the Office of Legal Counsel that addressed the legal status of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment is not an obstacle either to Congress's ability to act with respect to ratification of the ERA or to judicial consideration of questions regarding the constitutional status of the ERA. The original opinion is available at www.justice.gov/olc/file/1466036/download.

    1/26/2022

  • Discretion to Continue the Home-Confinement Placements of Federal Prisoners After the COVID-19 Emergency

    This Office concluded in January 2021 that, when the COVID-19 emergency ends, the Bureau of Prisons will be required to recall all prisoners placed in extended home confinement under section 12003(b)(2) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act who are not otherwise eligible for home confinement under 18 U.S.C. § 624(c)(2). Having been asked to reconsider, we now conclude that section 12003(b)(2) and the Bureau's preexisting authorities are better read to give the Bureau discretion to permit prisoners in extended home confinement to remain there. The OLC does not provide release dates for its opinions, so the release date listed is the date on which the opinion was authored. The original opinion is available at www.justice.gov/olc/file/1457926/download.

    12/21/2021

  • Reappointment of a Member of the National Credit Union Administration Board

    A member of the National Credit Union Administration Board initially appointed to a partial term is eligible for reappointment under 12 U.S.C. § 1752a(c) regardless of whether the member's first appointment was for the remainder of a term that became vacant mid-term or that had no prior appointee. The OLC does not provide release dates for its opinions, so the release date listed is the date on which the opinion was authored. The original opinion is available at www.justice.gov/olc/file/1456541/download.

    12/10/2021

  • Annotated index of 1973 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1973 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).

    10/18/2021

  • Annotated index of 1975 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1975 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).

    10/18/2021

  • Annotated index of 1976 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1976 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).

    10/18/2021

  • Annotated index of 1978 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1978 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).

    10/18/2021

  • Annotated index of 1979 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1979 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).

    10/18/2021

  • Annotated index of 1980 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1980 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).

    10/18/2021

  • Annotated index of 1982 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1983 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).

    10/18/2021

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