Washington (CNN) - More than 100,000 Justice Department employees, including federal law enforcement officials from the FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Attorney offices and many other agencies, will know by Friday whether they will be required to work during a looming government shutdown.
Attorney General Eric Holder sent a memo to employees, obtained by CNN, that promised, "Should it become necessary to implement our contingency plans, you will receive notice from your manager no later than Friday April 8th regarding the designation of your position and status."
Washington (CNN) – One day after Attorney General Eric Holder placed the blame squarely on Congress for forcing him to place the 9/11 plot conspirators before a military court in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Congress struck back.
At a congressional hearing dominated by Republican lawmakers and a panel heavy with Obama administration critics, the much-delayed decision was met with derision and accusations of partisan politics.
Washington (CNN) - "It could be a bumpier road," a smiling Attorney General Eric Holder said to a reporter in a recent casual conversation at the Justice Department.
His aides say, however, there is no reason to expect that road contains unmanageable potholes or insurmountable barriers.
Washington (CNN) - Veteran Washington attorney James Cole whose nomination was blocked by the Republican Senate last year was sworn in as deputy attorney general Monday, less than a week after receiving a controversial recess appointment from President Obama.
Cole was sworn in by Attorney General Eric Holder at a private event in the Attorney's General's office in the Justice Department. A few dozen guests including Cole's family and associates from Holder's staff and Cole's new office were present for the oath-taking.
Washington (CNN) – A federal judge Tuesday rejected the Obama administration's request to stay his recently imposed injunction against use of public funds in embryonic stem-cell research.
District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said he could not agree to delay his injunction while the case is appealed.
"Defendants (the government) are incorrect about much of their 'parade of horribles' that will supposedly result from this Court's preliminary injunction," Lamberth wrote in his court order.
The "horribles" he referred to are an extensive list of research projects outlined by the National Institutes of Health that will have to be shelved if a stay is not granted.
Washington (CNN) - The founder and head of a now-defunct lobbying firm accused of providing illegal campaign contributions to members of Congress was arrested by FBI agents and charged Thursday.
Paul Magliocchetti, president of the once-influential PMA Group, was charged with a scheme to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars from sham contributors to favored lawmakers to build his power and influence with Capitol Hill powerbrokers.
PMA's ties to lawmakers, including the late Congressman Jack Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, and Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Indiana, on behalf of defense contractors seeking earmarks, prompted a series of investigations. The House ethics committee determined the campaigns were unaware of the "straw" donors scheme secretly funded by PMA. No ethics charges resulted.
Washington (CNN) - A living legend to generations of government lawyers during his 60 years at the Justice Department has decided to retire at age 88.
John C. "Jack" Keeney, by far the oldest Justice Department employee and perhaps the oldest and longest-serving federal civil servant in the nation, said Monday he will leave for good after 90 final days.
Keeney rose from rookie lawyer in President Harry Truman's Justice Department in 1951 to his current post of deputy assistant attorney general.
Washington (CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama visited the Justice Department on Wednesday to thank employees for their work in the aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but she warned them their long hours are not going to be ending soon.
"These are going to be tough times and we are going to need every one of you to buckle up and work even harder," she told a cheering crowd of several hundred Justice workers.
"Many folks here in this agency are working tirelessly to ensure that accountability is going on, that we are protecting taxpayers dollars and that we are helping those affected by the oil spill to get back to their feet, and people need to know that the Department of Justice is at the center of that work," she said.
The first lady praised the federal legal force for upholding the law and fighting for fairness, but avoided mention of any of several controversial issues in which Justice Department lawyers are currently engaged, including the oil drilling moratorium, Arizona's immigration law, and plans for the Guantanamo detainees.
(CNN) – Obama administration lawyers are planning to file a legal challenge to a controversial Arizona immigration law within a month, according to a senior administration official.
The Justice Department would not confirm the claim, saying only that "The Justice Department is continuing to review the law."
Federal government lawyers who have been working on the expected challenge for several weeks will most likely file their arguments in federal court in Phoenix in the days leading up to July 28, when the statute is scheduled to take effect, the official said.
Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration has launched its first legal defense of the new health care law, insisting the federal government has the power to force citizens to have health insurance.
"The health care industry operates in interstate commerce and there is a long recognized federal interest in its regulation," said a legal brief filed in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, by the Justice Department.
The government response was made in a lawsuit filed by the Thomas More Law Center, a Michigan-based law firm involved in conservative issues. The case names President Barack Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Attorney General Eric Holder as defendants.
The government also argues that apart from the constitutional merits, an injunction to block the law from being implemented should not be granted because the provision requiring insurance coverage does not go into effect until January 1, 2014.
Legal briefs similar to the 46-page document filed in Detroit are likely to begin appearing in other federal courts where the law is under attack for requiring every citizen to purchase health insurance.
Several state governments have joined a lawsuit filed in Florida that makes similar claims - that Congress lacks the authority to mandate individuals to participate in an insurance plan. Many states have also challenged the federal requirement for states to extend coverage to more low-income residents without funding the additional cost.