United States Department of Justice

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United States Department of Justice
Seal of the United States Department of Justice.svg
Seal of the U.S. Department of Justice
Flag of the United States Department of Justice.png
Flag of the U.S. Department of Justice
Usdepartmentofjustice.jpg
The Robert F. Kennedy Building is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Justice
Agency overview
FormedJuly 1, 1870;149 years ago (1870-07-01)
Type Executive department
Jurisdiction U.S. federal government
Headquarters Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C., United States
38°53′36″N77°1′30″W / 38.89333°N 77.02500°W / 38.89333; -77.02500 Coordinates: 38°53′36″N77°1′30″W / 38.89333°N 77.02500°W / 38.89333; -77.02500
Motto"Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur" (Latin: "Who prosecutes on behalf of justice (or the Lady Justice)" [1] [2]
Employees113,114 (2019) [3]
Annual budget$29.9 billion (FY 2019) [3]
Agency executives
Website Justice.gov

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the United States government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries. The department was formed in 1870 during the Ulysses S. Grant administration, and administers several federal law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The department is responsible for investigating instances of financial fraud, representing the United States government in legal matters (such as in cases before the Supreme Court), and running the federal prison system. [4] [5] The department is also responsible for reviewing the conduct of local law enforcement as directed by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. [6]

The United States federal executive departments are the principal units of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. They are analogous to ministries common in parliamentary or semi-presidential systems but they are led by a head of government who is also the head of state. The executive departments are the administrative arms of the President of the United States. There are currently 15 executive departments.

Law System of rules and guidelines, generally backed by governmental authority

Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the science of justice" and "the art of justice". Law regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.

The administration of justice is the process by which the legal system of a government is executed. The presumed goal of such administration is to provide justice for all those accessing the legal system. The phrase is also used commonly to describe a University degree, which can be a prerequisite for a job in law enforcement or government.

Contents

The department is headed by the United States Attorney General, who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate and is a member of the Cabinet. The current Attorney General is William Barr.

United States Attorney General Head of the United States Department of Justice

The United States Attorney General (A.G.) is the head of the U.S. Department of Justice, a member of the U.S. president's Cabinet, and the chief lawyer of the federal government of the United States.

President of the United States Head of state and of government of the United States

The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

Advice and consent is an English phrase frequently used in enacting formulae of bills and in other legal or constitutional contexts. It describes either of two situations: where a weak executive branch of a government enacts something previously approved of by the legislative branch or where the legislative branch concurs and approves something previously enacted by a strong executive branch.

History

The office of the Attorney General was established by the Judiciary Act of 1789 as a part-time job for one person, but grew with the bureaucracy. At one time, the Attorney General gave legal advice to the U.S. Congress, as well as the President; however, in 1819, the Attorney General began advising Congress alone to ensure a manageable workload. [7] Until March 3, 1853, the salary of the Attorney General was set by statute at less than the amount paid to other Cabinet members. Early Attorneys General supplemented their salaries by running private law practices, often arguing cases before the courts as attorneys for paying litigants. [8]

Judiciary Act of 1789

The Judiciary Act of 1789 was a United States federal statute adopted on September 24, 1789, in the first session of the First United States Congress. It established the federal judiciary of the United States. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution prescribed that the "judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and such inferior Courts" as Congress saw fit to establish. It made no provision for the composition or procedures of any of the courts, leaving this to Congress to decide.

Bureaucracy refers to both a body of non-elected government officials and an administrative policy-making group. Historically, a bureaucracy was a government administration managed by departments staffed with non-elected officials. Today, bureaucracy is the administrative system governing any large institution, whether publicly owned or privately owned. The public administration in many countries is an example of a bureaucracy, but so is the centralized hierarchical structure of a business firm.

Following unsuccessful efforts in 1830 and 1846 to make Attorney General a full-time job, [9] in 1867, the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, led by Congressman William Lawrence, conducted an inquiry into the creation of a "law department" headed by the Attorney General and also composed of the various department solicitors and United States attorneys. On February 19, 1868, Lawrence introduced a bill in Congress to create the Department of Justice. President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill into law on June 22, 1870. [10]

Ulysses S. Grant 18th president of the United States

Ulysses S. Grant was an American soldier and politician who served as the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877. Before his presidency, Grant led the Union Army in winning the American Civil War. As president, Grant worked with the Radical Republicans in the Reconstruction of the Union while having to deal with corruption in his administration.

Grant appointed Amos T. Akerman as Attorney General and Benjamin H. Bristow as America's first Solicitor General the same week that Congress created the Department of Justice. The Department's immediate function was to preserve civil rights. It set about fighting against domestic terrorist groups who had been using both violence and litigation to oppose the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. [11]

Amos T. Akerman United States Attorney General

Amos Tappan Akerman served as United States Attorney General under President Ulysses S. Grant from 1870 to 1871. A native of New Hampshire, Akerman graduated from Dartmouth College in 1842 and moved South, where he had most of his career. He first worked as headmaster of a school in North Carolina and as a tutor in Georgia. Having become interested in law, Akerman studied and passed the bar in Georgia in 1850; where he and an associate set up a law practice. He also owned a farm and eleven slaves. When the Civil War started in 1861, Akerman joined the Confederate Army, where he achieved the rank of colonel.

Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. In Congress, it was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, and by the House on January 31, 1865. The amendment was ratified by the required number of states on December 6, 1865. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed its adoption. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War.

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Amendment which grants citizenship to everyone born in the US and subject to its jurisdiction and protects civil and political liberties

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. Arguably one of the most consequential amendments to this day, the amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by the states of the defeated Confederacy, which were forced to ratify it in order to regain representation in Congress. The amendment, particularly its first section, is one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution, forming the basis for landmark decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education (1954) regarding racial segregation, Roe v. Wade (1973) regarding abortion, Bush v. Gore (2000) regarding the 2000 presidential election, and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) regarding same-sex marriage. The amendment limits the actions of all state and local officials, including those acting on behalf of such an official.

Both Akerman and Bristow used the Department of Justice to vigorously prosecute Ku Klux Klan members in the early 1870s. In the first few years of Grant's first term in office, there were 1000 indictments against Klan members with over 550 convictions from the Department of Justice. By 1871, there were 3000 indictments and 600 convictions with most only serving brief sentences while the ringleaders were imprisoned for up to five years in the federal penitentiary in Albany, New York. The result was a dramatic decrease in violence in the South. Akerman gave credit to Grant and told a friend that no one was "better" or "stronger" than Grant when it came to prosecuting terrorists. [12] George H. Williams, who succeeded Akerman in December 1871, continued to prosecute the Klan throughout 1872 until the spring of 1873, during Grant's second term in office. [13] Williams then placed a moratorium on Klan prosecutions partially because the Justice Department, inundated by cases involving the Klan, did not have the manpower to continue prosecutions. [13]

Ku Klux Klan American white supremacy group

The Ku Klux Klan, commonly called the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist hate group, whose primary target are African Americans. The Klan has existed in three distinct eras at different points in time during the history of the United States. Each has advocated extremist reactionary positions such as white nationalism, anti-immigration and—especially in later iterations—Nordicism and anti-Catholicism. Historically, the First Klan used terrorism – both physical assault and murder – against politically active blacks and their allies in the South in the late 1860s, until it was suppressed around 1872. All three movements have called for the "purification" of American society and all are considered right-wing extremist organizations. In each era, membership was secret and estimates of the total were highly exaggerated by both friends and enemies.

Albany, New York State capital city in New York, United States

Albany is the capital of the U.S. state of New York and the seat of Albany County. Albany is located on the west bank of the Hudson River approximately 10 miles (16 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River and approximately 135 miles (220 km) north of New York City.

George Henry Williams American judge

George Henry Williams was an American judge and politician. He served as Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, was the 32nd Attorney General of the United States, and was elected Oregon's U.S. senator, and served one term. Williams, as U.S. senator, authored and supported legislation that allowed the U.S. military to be deployed in Reconstruction of the southern states to allow for an orderly process of re-admittance into the United States. Williams was the first presidential Cabinet member to be appointed from the Pacific Coast. As attorney general under President Ulysses S. Grant, Williams continued the prosecutions that shut down the Ku Klux Klan. He had to contend with controversial election disputes in Reconstructed southern states. President Grant and Williams legally recognized P. B. S. Pinchback as the first African American state governor. Williams ruled that the Virginius, a gun-running ship captured by Spain during the Virginius Affair, did not have the right to bear the U.S. flag. However, he argued that Spain did not have the right to execute American crew members. Nominated for Supreme Court Chief Justice by President Grant, Williams failed to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate primarily due to Williams's removal of A. C. Gibbs, United States District Attorney at Portland, Oregon.

The "Act to Establish the Department of Justice" drastically increased the Attorney General's responsibilities to include the supervision of all United States Attorneys, formerly under the Department of the Interior, the prosecution of all federal crimes, and the representation of the United States in all court actions, barring the use of private attorneys by the federal government. [14] The law also created the office of Solicitor General to supervise and conduct government litigation in the Supreme Court of the United States. [15]

With the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act in 1887, the federal government took on some law enforcement responsibilities, and the Department of Justice tasked with performing these. [16]

In 1884, control of federal prisons was transferred to the new department, from the Department of Interior. New facilities were built, including the penitentiary at Leavenworth in 1895, and a facility for women located in West Virginia, at Alderson was established in 1924. [17]

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order which gave the Department of Justice responsibility for the "functions of prosecuting in the courts of the United States claims and demands by, and offsenses [sic] against, the Government of the United States, and of defending claims and demands against the Government, and of supervising the work of United States attorneys, marshals, and clerks in connection therewith, now exercised by any agency or officer..." [18]

Headquarters

The U.S. Department of Justice building was completed in 1935 from a design by Milton Bennett Medary. Upon Medary's death in 1929, the other partners of his Philadelphia firm Zantzinger, Borie and Medary took over the project. On a lot bordered by Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues and Ninth and Tenth Streets, Northwest, it holds over 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of space. The sculptor C. Paul Jennewein served as overall design consultant for the entire building, contributing more than 50 separate sculptural elements inside and outside.[ citation needed ]

Various efforts, none entirely successful, have been made to determine the original intended meaning of the Latin motto appearing on the Department of Justice seal, Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur (literally "Who For Lady Justice Strives"). It is not even known exactly when the original version of the DOJ seal itself was adopted, or when the motto first appeared on the seal. The most authoritative opinion of the DOJ suggests that the motto refers to the Attorney General (and thus, by extension, to the Department of Justice) "who prosecutes on behalf of justice (or the Lady Justice)". [19]

The motto's conception of the prosecutor (or government attorney) as being the servant of justice itself finds concrete expression in a similarly-ordered English-language inscription ("THE UNITED STATES WINS ITS POINT WHENEVER JUSTICE IS DONE ITS CITIZENS IN THE COURTS") in the above-door paneling in the ceremonial rotunda anteroom just outside the Attorney General's office in the Department of Justice Main Building in Washington, D.C. [20] The building was renamed in honor of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in 2001. It is sometimes referred to as "Main Justice". [21]

Organization

Organizational chart for the Dept. of Justice. (Click to enlarge) Doj-Org-chart-2018.jpg
Organizational chart for the Dept. of Justice. (Click to enlarge)

Leadership offices

Divisions

DivisionDate established
(as formal division)
Antitrust Division 1933 [22]
Civil Division
(originally called the Claims Division;
adopted current name on February 13, 1953) [23] [24]
1933 [23]
Civil Rights Division 1957 [25]
Criminal Division 1919 [26]
Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD)
(originally called the Land and Natural Resources Division;
adopted current name in 1990) [27]
1909 [27]
Justice Management Division (JMD)
(originally called the Administrative Division;
adopted current name in 1985) [28]
1945 [28]
National Security Division (NSD)2007 [29]
Tax Division 1933 [30]
War Division (defunct)1942
(disestablished 1945) [31]

Law enforcement agencies

Several federal law enforcement agencies are administered by the Department of Justice:

Offices

Other offices and programs

In March 2003, the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service was abolished and its functions transferred to the United States Department of Homeland Security. The Executive Office for Immigration Review and the Board of Immigration Appeals, which review decisions made by government officials under Immigration and Nationality law, remain under jurisdiction of the Department of Justice. Similarly the Office of Domestic Preparedness left the Justice Department for the Department of Homeland Security, but only for executive purposes. The Office of Domestic Preparedness is still centralized within the Department of Justice, since its personnel are still officially employed within the Department of Justice.

In 2003, the Department of Justice created LifeAndLiberty.gov, a website that supported the USA PATRIOT Act. It was criticized by government watchdog groups for its alleged violation of U.S. Code Title 18 Section 1913, which forbids money appropriated by Congress to be used to lobby in favor of any law, actual or proposed. [41] The website has since been taken offline.

Finances and budget

The Justice Department authorized the budget for 2015 United States federal budget. The budget authorization is broken down as follows: [42]

ProgramFunding (in millions)
Management and Finance
General Administration$129
Justice Information Sharing Technology$26
Administrative Reviews and Appeals
Executive Office for Immigration Review
Office of the Pardon Attorney
$351
$347
$4
Office of the Inspector General$89
United States Parole Commission$13
National Security Division$92
Legal Activities
Office of the Solicitor General$12
Tax Division$109
Criminal Division$202
Civil Division$298
Environmental and Natural Resources Division$112
Office of Legal Counsel$7
Civil Rights Division$162
Antitrust Division$162
United States Attorneys$1,955
United States Bankruptcy Trustees$226
Law Enforcement Activities
United States Marshals Service$2,668
Federal Bureau of Investigation$8,347
Drug Enforcement Administration$2,018
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives$1,201
Federal Bureau of Prisons$6,894
Interpol-Washington Office$32
Grant Programs
Office of Justice Programs$1,427
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services$248
Office on Violence Against Women$410
Mandatory Spending
Mandatory Spending$4,011
TOTAL$31,201

See also

Notes and references

  1. Revision of Original Letter Dated 14 February 1992, United States Department of Justice.
  2. Madan, Rafael (Fall 2008). "The Sign and Seal of Justice" (PDF). Ave Maria Law Review. 7: 123, 191–192. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  3. 1 2 "2020 Budget Summary". The United States Department of Justice. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  4. "Fraud Section (FRD) | Department of Justice". Justice.gov. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
  5. "Organization, Mission & Functions Manual: Attorney General, Deputy and Associate | DOJ | Department of Justice". Justice.gov. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
  6. "Conduct of Law Enforcement Agencies | CRT | Department of Justice". Justice.gov. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
  7. "United States Department of Justice: About DOJ".
  8. Madan, Rafael (Fall 2008). "The Sign and Seal of Justice" (PDF). Ave Maria Law Review. 7: 123, 127–136. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  9. Madan, Rafael (Fall 2008). "The Sign and Seal of Justice" (PDF). Ave Maria Law Review. 7: 123, 132–134. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  10. "Public Acts of the Forty First Congress".
  11. Chernow, Ron (2017). Grant. Penguin Press. p. 700.
  12. Smith 2001, pp. 542–547.
  13. 1 2 Williams (1996), The Great South Carolina Ku Klux Klan Trials, 1871–1872, p. 123
  14. "Act to Establish the Department of Justice". Memory.loc.gov. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  15. "About DOJ – DOJ – Department of Justice".
  16. Langeluttig, Albert (1927). The Department of Justice of the United States. Johns Hopkins Press. pp. 9–14.
  17. Langeluttig, Albert (1927). The Department of Justice of the United States. Johns Hopkins Press. pp. 14–15.
  18. Executive Order 6166, Sec. 5 (June 12, 1933), at .
  19. Madan, Rafael (Fall 2008). "The Sign and Seal of Justice" (PDF). Ave Maria Law Review. 7: 123, 125, 191–192, 203. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  20. Madan, Rafael (Fall 2008). "The Sign and Seal of Justice" (PDF). Ave Maria Law Review. 7: 123, 192–203. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  21. "PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM DIRECTS DESIGNATION OF MAIN JUSTICE BUILDING AS THE "ROBERT F. KENNEDY JUSTICE BUILDING"". U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  22. History of the Antitrust Division, United States Department of Justice.
  23. 1 2 Gregory C. Sisk & Michael F. Noone, Litigation with the Federal Government (4th ed.) (American Law Institute, 2006), pp. 10–11.
  24. Former Assistant Attorneys General: Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice.
  25. Kevin Alonso & R. Bruce Anderson, "Civil Rights Legislation and Policy" in Postwar America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History (2006, ed. James Ciment), p .233.
  26. Organization, Mission and Functions Manual: Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice.
  27. 1 2 Arnold W. Reitze, Air Pollution Control Law: Compliance and Enforcement (Environmental Law Institute, 2001), p. 571.
  28. 1 2 Cornell W. Clayton, The Politics of Justice: The Attorney General and the Making of Legal Policy (M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 1992), p. 34.
  29. National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance (Routledge, 2010; eds. Emil J. Kirchner & James Sperling), p. 195.
  30. Nancy Staudt, The Judicial Power of the Purse: How Courts Fund National Defense in Times of Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2011), p. 34.
  31. Civilian Agency Records: Department of Justice Records, National Archived and Records Administration.
  32. Larry K. Gaines & Victor E. Kappeler, Policing in America (8th ed. 2015), pp. 38–39.
  33. United States Marshals Service Then … and Now (Office of the Director, United States Marshals Service, U.S. Department of Justice, 1978).
  34. The FBI: A Comprehensive Reference Guide (Oryz Press, 1999, ed. Athan G. Theoharis), p. 102.
  35. Mitchel P. Roth, Prisons and Prison Systems: A Global Encyclopedia (Greenwood, 2006), pp. 278–79.
  36. Dean J. Champion, Sentencing: A Reference Handbook (ABC-CLIO, Inc.: 2008), pp. 22–23.
  37. James O. Windell, Looking Back in Crime: What Happened on This Date in Criminal Justice History? (CRC Press, 2015), p. 91.
  38. 1 2 Transfer of ATF to U.S. Department of Justice [ permanent dead link ], Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
  39. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau, Federal Register.
  40. 1 2 Malykhina, Elena (April 25, 2014). "Justice Department Names New CIO". Government. InformationWeek .
  41. Dotgovwatch.com, October 18, 2007
  42. 2015 Department of Justice Budget Authority by Appropriation, United States Department of Justice, Accessed July 13, 2015

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