In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Amos T. Akerman to Lyman Trumbull, 10 January 1871

Date: January 10, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: nar.01617

Source: National Archives and Records Administration. 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.

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January 10, 1871.

Hon. Lyman Trumbull,

Chairman Judiciary Committee,

U. S. Senate.


A note from the clerk of your Committee, dated yesterday, requests my opinion as to the necessity of the legislation proposed in a bill in relation to the fees of the U. S. Attorney for the District of Louisiana, (Senate Bill, No. 1134,) a copy of which he transmits.

I see no necessity for passing any such law. There is no reason known to me for a different rule of compensation in the case of the District Attorney of that District, from that which prevails generally throughout the United States. There is an exception by law from the general rule in the case of the Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the propriety of which I doubt; at least it occurs to me as unwise to extend the exceptions to the general rule of compensation.

I think that the whole subject of the compensation of District Attorneys should be carefully examined by Congress, and a revision of the present law, in many particulars, should be made—And I understand that the matter is receiving the attention of members of both houses—and this fact furnishes a good reason for forbearing special legislation for the present.

I suggest that if the bill should be passed, it would be proper to amend it by substituting in the 8th line the "Attorney General" for the "Secretary of the Interior." The Act to establish the Department of Justice has been understood to transfer to this Department the powers over office expenses previously exercised by the Secretary of the Interior, and for the sake both of symmetry in the law, and convenience in the practice the same supervision should be exercised over all the districts.

Very respectfully,

your obd't serv't,

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.

question of compensation of U. S. Atty's
Bill for special comp. U. S. Atty in Louisiana
see p. 568 seq.


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