U.S. Department of Justice

By: Letisia Francisco

When was it created?

Officially coming into existence on July 1,1870 the Department of Justice, pursuant to the 1870 act, was to handle the legal business of the United States.
  • The judiciary act of 1789 created the office of the attorney general which involved over the years into the head of the Department of Justice and the chief law enforcement officer of the federal government . 81 distinguished Americans have previously served as attorney general.
  1. The present day attorney general: Eric Holder
  2. The deputy attorney general: James Cole
  3. The associate attorney general: Tony West, Acting
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-To enforce the law and defend the interest of the U.S according to the law. to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime.

  • It enforces federal laws, represents the United States in legal matters, furnishes legal counsel to the president and heads of departments, and directs federal prisons. The head of the department is the attorney general, a Cabinet member since 1789. The deputy attorney general coordinates the operation of the department and supervises the U.S. attorneys.

  • In 1870, after the post-Civil War increase in the amount of litigation involving the United States necessitated the very expensive retention of a large number of private attorneys to handle the workload, a concerned Congress passed the Act to Establish the Department of Justice, setting it up as "an executive department of the government of the United States" with the Attorney General as its head.

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  • The structure of the Department of Justice has changed over the years, with the addition of the Deputy Attorneys General and the formation of the Divisions. It has become the world's largest law office and the central agency for enforcement of the federal laws.