United States Department of Justice

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Seal of the Department of Justice

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is a Cabinet department in the United States government. Its mission statement is:

To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.[1] [2]


  • Responsible for investigating and prosecuting violations of federal laws.
  • Represents the United States in all legal matters, including cases before the Supreme Court.
  • Enforces all immigration laws, provides information, and processes applications for citizenship
  • Maintains the federal prison system, halfway houses, and community programs.

Attorney General

The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. It is a Cabinet-level post, appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate.[1]


The position of Attorney General was established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, which called for an individual to "prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned..."[1] On July 1, 1870, the modern Department of Justice was created with the Act to Establish the Department of Justice. The department was responsible for all criminal and civil suits affecting the United States, in addition to federal law enforcement. The Office of the Solicitor General was also created at this time.[1]


Organization chart of the Department of Justice

Effect of 2013 Government shutdown

The United States Department of Justice responded to the shutdown with a contingency plan concerning U.S. Attorneys Offices across the nation:

As Presidential Appointees, U.S. Attorneys are not subject to furlough. Excepted employees are needed to address ongoing criminal matters and civil matters of urgency throughout the Nation. Criminal litigation will continue without interruption as an excepted activity to maintain the safety of human life and the protection of property. Civil litigation will be curtailed or postponed to the extent this can be done without compromising to a significant degree the safety of human life or the protection of property. If a court denies a litigator’s request to postpone a case and orders it to continue, the litigation will become an excepted activity that can continue during the lapse. Headquarters support will be maintained only to the extent necessary to support current operations.[3] [2]

For the full plan outlined by the DOJ, see United States Department of Justice, FY 2014 Contingency Plan.

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 United States Department of Justice, About
  2. 2.0 2.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  3. United States Department of Justice, FY 2014 Contingency Plan Scroll to page 7