Except as otherwise authorized by law, the head of an Executive department or military department may not employ an attorney or counsel for the conduct of litigation in which the United States, an agency, or employee thereof is a party, or is interested, or for the securing of evidence therefor, but shall refer the matter to the Department of Justice. This section does not apply to the employment and payment of counsel under section
1037 of title
Sections 189 and 365 of the Revised Statutes, as amended, are combined and the section is revised to express the effect of the law since department heads have long employed, with the approval of Congress, attorneys to advise them in the conduct of their official duties. The law which concentrates the authority for the conduct of litigation in the Department of Justice is codified in section
516 of title
28 by this bill.
The words “Executive department” are substituted for “department” as the definition of “department” applicable to R.S. § 189 is coextensive with the definition of “Executive department” in section
101. The words “or military department” are inserted to preserve the application of the source law. Before enactment of the National Security Act Amendments of 1949 (63 Stat. 578), the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force were Executive departments. The National Security Act Amendments of 1949 established the Department of Defense as an Executive Department including the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force as military departments, not as Executive departments. However, the source law for this section, which was in effect in 1949, remained applicable to the Secretaries of the military departments by virtue of section 12(g) of the National Security Act Amendments of 1949 (63 Stat. 591), which is set out in the reviser’s note for section
R.S. § 189 was part of title IV of the Revised Statutes. The Act of July 26, 1947, ch. 343, § 201(d), as added Aug. 1, 1949, ch. 412, § 4,63 Stat. 579 (former 5 U.S.C. 171–1), which provides “Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of this Act [National Security Act of 1947], the provisions of title IV of the Revised Statutes as now or hereafter amended shall be applicable to the Department of Defense” is omitted from this title but is not repealed.
Standard changes are made to conform with the definitions applicable and the style of this title as outlined in the preface to the report.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Description of Change
Statutes at Large
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