Federal Law provides that the head of an executive department may request an opinion of the Attorney General[i]. Department heads may request opinions on questions of law arising in the administration of his/her department. Subordinate government officials who need opinions from the Attorney General may do so through their department heads[ii]. The Attorney General is required to give official opinion only to the President or to the heads of departments[iii]. However, the Attorney General is not required to give advice to;
- Legislative Department[iv].
- Local Officers[v].
- Regents of Smithsonian Institution[vi].
- To Individuals on claims against the Federal Government[vii].
- Particular Government Employees[viii].
- Questions under consideration by the courts[ix].
- Questions arising in the Department of Justice [x].
When the department head requests opinion of the Attorney General, s/he should state the material facts and advice desired[xi]. Also the department head should authoritatively state that the facts from which question of law arises are true[xii].
[i] 28 USCS § 512
[ii] 1 Op. Atty Gen. 211
[iv] 18 Op. Atty Gen. 87
[v] 6 Op. Atty Gen. 21
[vi] 6 Op. Atty Gen. 24
[vii] 6 Op. Atty Gen. 147
[viii] 39 Op. Atty Gen. 446
[ix] 32 Op. Atty Gen. 472
[x] 21 Op. Atty Gen. 6
[xi] 14 Op. Atty Gen. 367
[xii] 10 Op. Atty Gen. 267