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 a 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 101110 of 2188

  • Index of 1977 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed this index—of unclassifed OLC legal opinions from 1977—to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University during the litigation in Francis v. DOJ. The OLC labeled the index "preliminary."

    6/5/2020

  • Index of 1965 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed this index—of unclassifed OLC legal opinions from 1965—to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University during the litigation in Francis v. DOJ. The OLC labeled the index "preliminary."

    5/7/2020

  • OLC FOIA Initial Response Letter

    4/27/2020

  • Index of 1969 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed this index—of unclassifed OLC legal opinions from 1969—to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University during the litigation in Francis v. DOJ. The OLC labeled the index "preliminary."

    4/7/2020

  • Index of 1981 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed this index—of unclassifed OLC legal opinions from 1981—to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University during the litigation in Francis v. DOJ. The OLC labeled the index "preliminary."

    3/3/2020

  • Exclusion of Religiously Affiliated Schools from Charter-School Grant Program

    A provision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 that excludes religiously affiliated charter schools from participating in the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program discriminates on the basis of religious status in violation of the Free Exercise Clause. 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/1347781/download.

    2/18/2020

  • Applicability of Section 410 of the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997 to the Gateway Development Commission

    New Jersey's proposed diversion of a portion of its annual payment to Amtrak to a bridge project subject to the authority of the Gateway Development Commission, an interstate entity established by New York and New Jersey, would violate section 410 of the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997, which prohibits States from carrying out an interstate compact by using state or federal funds made available for Amtrak. 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/1277456/download.

    2/13/2020

  • House Committees' Authority to Investigate for Impeachment

    The House of Representatives must expressly authorize a committee to conduct an impeachment investigation and to use compulsory process in that investigation before the committee may compel the production of documents or testimony in support of the House's power of impeachment. The House had not authorized an impeachment investigation in connection with impeachment-related subpoenas issued by House committees before October 31, 2019, and the subpoenas therefore had no compulsory effect. The House's adoption of Resolution 660 on October 31, 2019, did not alter the legal status of those subpoenas, because the resolution did not ratify or otherwise address their terms. 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/1236346/download.

    1/19/2020

  • Publication of a Report to the President on the Effect of Automobile and Automobile-Part Imports on the National Security

    The President may direct the Secretary of Commerce not to publish a confidential report to the President under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, notwithstanding a recently enacted statute requiring publication within 30 days, because the report falls within the scope of executive privilege and its disclosure would risk impairing ongoing diplomatic efforts to address a national-security threat and would risk interfering with executive branch deliberations over what additional actions, if any, may be necessary to address the threat. 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/1350151/download.

    1/17/2020

  • Index of 1974 unclassified OLC legal opinions

    The OLC disclosed this index—of unclassifed OLC legal opinions from 1974—to the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University during the litigation in Francis v. DOJ. The OLC labeled the index "preliminary."

    1/6/2020

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