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Tue Sep 4, 2018, 09:23 PM

Is the President really the chief law enforcement officer of the United States?

I've seen this said from time to time, but it is not listed in the Constitution as one of the powers of the President. On the other hand, one of Congress' powers is

"To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."


So what did Congress say about what is necessary and proper for carrying out law enforcement?

28 USC 516 Conduct of Litigation Reserved to the Department of Justice

"Except as otherwise authorized by law, the conduct of litigation in which the United States, an agency, or officer thereof is a party, or is interested, and securing evidence therefor, is reserved to officers of the Department of Justice, under the direction of the Attorney General."


So the Attorney General, not the President is the chief law enforcement officer. At least that's what the law says. No doubt this will be litigated someday too, but it seems pretty plain to me.

9 replies, 1583 views

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is the President really the chief law enforcement officer of the United States? (Original post)
marylandblue Sep 2018 OP
htuttle Sep 2018 #1
Atticus Sep 2018 #2
marylandblue Sep 2018 #3
Generic Brad Sep 2018 #4
Louis1895 Sep 2018 #8
Louis1895 Sep 2018 #9
dflprincess Sep 2018 #5
marylandblue Sep 2018 #6
dflprincess Sep 2018 #7

Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2018, 09:26 PM

1. I think people confuse it with the 'Commander in Chief' business

Neither one means 'Dictator', as it turns out.

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2018, 09:31 PM

2. As was recently pointed out to me, while the president, under our Constitution, is responsible

for enforcing our laws, the AG is actually the chief law enforcement "officer".

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Response to Atticus (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 4, 2018, 09:36 PM

3. Yes, it says, " he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed,"

The President's job is to make sure the Attorney General enforces the law. So naturally Trump is upset that Sessions actually did his job.

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2018, 09:46 PM

4. He is according to Schoolhouse Rock


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Response to Generic Brad (Reply #4)

Tue Sep 4, 2018, 10:32 PM

8. Who sang that song?

She has a beautiful voice!

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Response to Louis1895 (Reply #8)

Tue Sep 4, 2018, 10:37 PM

9. I will answer my own question

Lynn Ahrens. She written and performed quite a bit!

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2018, 09:50 PM

5. The Attorney General of the U.S. is considered the "chief law enforcement officer"

pity it's currently sessions.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/the-executive-branch/


DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
The mission of the Department of Justice (DOJ) is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

The DOJ is comprised of 40 component organizations, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Attorney General is the head of the DOJ and chief law enforcement officer of the federal government. The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters, advises the President and the heads of the executive departments of the government, and occasionally appears in person before the Supreme Court.

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 4, 2018, 09:54 PM

6. For purposes of enforcing laws against Trump, it's Rosenstein

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #6)

Tue Sep 4, 2018, 10:09 PM

7. True. nt

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