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 5160 of 2188

  • Constitutionality of the Commissioner of Social Security's Tenure Protection

    The President may remove the Commissioner of Social Security at will notwithstanding the statutory limitation on removal in 42 U.S.C. § 902(a)(3). The conclusion that the removal restriction is constitutionally unenforceable does not affect the validity of the remainder of the statute. 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/1410736/download.

    7/8/2021

  • Whether Section 564 of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act Prohibits Entities from Requiring the Use of a Vaccine Subject to an Emergency Use Authorization

    Section 564(e)(1)(A)(ii)(III) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act concerns only the provision of information to potential vaccine recipients and does not prohibit public or private entities from imposing vaccination requirements for a vaccine that is subject to an emergency use authorization. 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/1415446/download.

    7/6/2021

  • Authority of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery to Oversee Programs Established Under the CARES Act

    The jurisdiction of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery is limited to oversight of programs established under the Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020. 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/1390936/download.

    4/29/2021

  • Annotated index of 1945 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1945 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).

    4/15/2021

  • Annotated index of 1946 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1946 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).

    4/15/2021

  • Annotated index of 1947 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1947 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).

    4/15/2021

  • Annotated index of 1948 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1948 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).

    4/15/2021

  • Annotated index of 1949 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1949 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).

    4/15/2021

  • Annotated index of 1950 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1950 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).

    4/15/2021

  • Annotated index of 1951 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed a preliminary index of all unclassified OLC legal opinions issued in 1951 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).

    4/15/2021

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