Force and Effect of Administrative Agency Opinions

Opinions of the Attorney General are not binding on courts.  In Pueblo of Taos v. Andrus, 475 F. Supp. 359 (D.D.C. 1979), the court held that the court has power to rule on same matter presented to Attorney General, and court is not bound by opinion of Attorney General.

However the opinion of Attorney General may have a controlling influence in some cases[v].  In Berger v. United States, 36 Ct. Cl. 243, 247 (Ct. Cl. 1901), the court held that the head of an Executive Department is bound by the opinion of the Attorney General.  In Berger, the court observed that the Attorney General is the highest law officer of the Government and the head of any executive department may require the opinion of the Attorney-General on questions of law arising in the administration of his/her department.

[i] 28 USCS § 512

[ii] 17 Op. Atty Gen. 332

[iii] 17 Op. Atty Gen. 332

[iv] Lewis Pub. Co. v. Morgan, 229 U.S. 288 (U.S. 1913)

[v] United States Bedding Co. v. United States, 55 Ct. Cl. 459 (Ct. Cl. 1920)


Inside Force and Effect of Administrative Agency Opinions