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.

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  • Exercising the Pocket Veto

    When the President wishes to disapprove a bill, and Congress's adjournment has prevented the President's return of the bill, the safer course for the President to exercise his power of disapproval is through a pocket veto, instead of endorsing the bill with the word "disapproved" and the President's signature. 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/file/20641/download.

    6/26/1934

  • Constitutionality of Legislation to Confer Citizenship Upon Albert Einstein

    Congress has the authority to enact a law granting citizenship to Albert Einstein. 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/file/19176/download.

    4/9/1934

  • Whether a Three-Day Recess by One Chamber of Congress Constitutes an Adjournment for Purposes of the Pocket Veto Clause

    It is doubtful that a three-day recess by the Senate, with the House continuing in session, constitutes an adjournment by Congress that would "prevent [the] Return" of a bill that has been presented to the President under the Pocket Veto Clause of the Constitution. 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/file/20636/download.

    3/16/1934

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