Title: Amos T. Akerman to A. C. Cragen, 23 February 1871
Date: February 23, 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.02922
Contributors to digital file: Nima Najafi Kianfar, Courtney Rebecca Lawton, and Kenneth M. Price
Feb. 23, 1871.
Hon. A. C. Cragen,
Chairman Committee on Naval Affairs,
In answer to your letter of the 20th inst. requesting my opinion upon the question whether an engineer in the Navy is subject to removal by the President, I have the honor to say that the law prescribing the duties of the Attorney General, as expounded by my predecessors, does not authorize that officer to render opinions on legal questions at the request of either House of Congress, or of Committees of those bodies. I refer you to the opinion of Mr. Wirt. (1 Opinions, p 335.) of Mr. Taney, (2 Opin, 490,) of Mr. Crittenden, (5 Opin. 561.) of Mr. Bates, (10 Opin. 164) and of Mr. Evarts, (12 Opin. 544.)
Concurring with them in their exposition of the law, I do not feel at liberty to give the opinion which you request.
Very respectfully, &c.
A. T. Akerman,
Official opinion declined