Title: Amos T. Akerman to R. A. Griffith, 24 November 1871
Date: November 24, 1871
Source: Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: National Archives and Records Administration
Whitman Archive ID: nar.02613
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Anthony Dreesen, John Schwaninger, and Nima Najafi Kianfar
Nov. 24, 1871.
R. A. Griffith, Esq. Chairman Ex.
Comm. S. G. C. No. 203 East Lombard S. Baltimore, Md.
Your letters of the 16th instant to the President and myself have been received, and both have been transmitted by him to me for such action as is proper.
Personally I should take great pleasure in advising you upon the subject of your communication; but under a long established rule, the Attorney General is not at liberty to give official opinions upon legal questions except at the call of the President or Head of a Department in matters arising in the course of administration. The reasons of this rule will readily suggest themselves to you. And hence I am unable to answer your questions; but I respectfully refer you to the District Attorney for Maryland, Mr. Sterling, who is very capable of advising you in the matter, and whose duty it is to prosecute for any violation of the criminal laws of the United States.
A. T. Akerman,
Official advice declined