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United States attorneys represent the United States
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...
in
United States district court#REDIRECT United States district court The United States district courts are the general trial court A trial court or court of first instance is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the aut ...
s and
United States courts of appeals The United States courts of appeals or circuit courts are the intermediate appellate court An appellate court, commonly called a court of appeal(s), appeal court, court of second instance or second instance court, is any court of law tha ...
. The prosecution is the legal party responsible for presenting the case against an individual suspected of breaking the law, initiating and directing further criminal investigations, guiding and recommending the sentencing of offenders, and are the only attorneys allowed to participate in
grand jury A grand jury is a —a group of s—empowered by law to conduct , investigate potential , and determine whether criminal charges should be brought. A grand jury may physical evidence or a person to testify. A grand jury is separate from the s, ...
proceedings. There are 93 U.S. attorney offices located throughout the United States,
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
, the
U.S. Virgin Islands The United States Virgin Islands, officially the Virgin Islands of the United States,Also called the ''American Virgin Islands'' are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States The U ...
,
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
, and the
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
. One U.S. attorney is assigned to each of the judicial districts, with the exception of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, where a single U.S. attorney serves both districts. Each U.S. attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer within his or her particular jurisdiction, acting under the guidance of the '' United States Attorneys' Manual''. They supervise district offices with as many as 350 assistant U.S. attorneys (AUSAs) and as many as 350 support personnel. An
Assistant United States Attorney An Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA), often referred to as a federal prosecutor, is an official career civil service position working for the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. ...
(AUSA), or federal prosecutor, is a public official who represents the federal government on behalf of the U.S. attorney (USA) in criminal prosecutions, and in certain civil cases as either the plaintiff or the defendant. In carrying out their duties as prosecutors, AUSAs have the authority to investigate persons, issue subpoenas, file formal criminal charges, plea bargain with defendants, and grant immunity to witnesses and accused criminals. U.S. attorneys and their offices are part of the
Department of Justice A justice ministry, ministry of justice, or department of justice is a ministry or other government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of governme ...
. U.S. attorneys receive oversight, supervision, and administrative support services through the Justice Department's
Executive Office for United States Attorneys The Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) is the office within the United States Department of Justice, Department of Justice that provides executive and administrative support for the 93 United States Attorneys located throughout the ...
. Selected U.S. attorneys participate in the Attorney General's Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys.


History and statutory authority

The Office of the United States Attorney was created by the
Judiciary Act of 1789 The Judiciary Act of 1789 (ch. 20, ) was a United States federal statute adopted on September 24, 1789, in the first session of the First United States Congress. It established the federal judiciary of the United States. Article Three of the Unit ...

Judiciary Act of 1789
, along with the office of
Attorney General #REDIRECT Attorney general In most common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinio ...
and
United States Marshal The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is a federal law enforcement agency in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, ...
. The same act also specified the structure of the
Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or Americ ...

Supreme Court of the United States
and established inferior courts making up the
United States Federal Judiciary The federal judiciary of the United States is one of the three branches of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the Federation#Federal governments, national g ...
, including a district court system. Thus, the office of U.S. Attorney is older than the Department of Justice. The Judiciary Act of 1789 provided for the appointment in each judicial district of a "Person learned in the law to act as attorney for the United States...whose duty it shall be to prosecute in each district all delinquents for crimes and offenses cognizable under the authority of the United States, and all civil actions in which the United States shall be concerned..." Prior to the existence of the Department of Justice, the U.S. attorneys were independent of the Attorney General, and did not come under the AG's supervision and authority until 1870, with the creation of the Department of Justice.


Appointment

The U.S. attorney is appointed by the
President of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of ...

President of the United States
for a term of four years, with appointments subject to
confirmation In Christian denominations that practice infant baptism Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and wi ...
by the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
. A U.S. attorney continues in office, beyond the appointed term, until a successor is appointed and qualified. By law, each United States attorney is subject to removal by the President. The
Attorney General #REDIRECT Attorney general In most common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinio ...
has had the authority since 1986 to appoint interim U.S. attorneys to fill a vacancy.


United States Attorneys controversy

The governing statute, provided, up until March 9, 2006:
(c) A person appointed as United States attorney under this section may serve until the earlier of— :(1) the qualification of a United States attorney for such district appointed by the President under section 541 of this title; or :(2) the expiration of 120 days after appointment by the Attorney General under this section. (d) If an appointment expires under subsection (c)(2), the district court for such district may appoint a United States attorney to serve until the vacancy is filled. The order of appointment by the court shall be filed with the clerk of the court.
On March 9, 2006, President George W. Bush signed into law the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005 which amended Section 546 by striking subsections (c) and (d) and inserting the following new subsection:
(c) A person appointed as United States attorney under this section may serve until the qualification of a United States Attorney for such district appointed by the President under section 541 of this title.
This, in effect, extinguished the 120-day limit on interim U.S. attorneys, and their appointment had an indefinite term. If the president failed to put forward any nominee to the Senate, then the Senate confirmation process was avoided, as the Attorney General-appointed interim U.S. attorney could continue in office without limit or further action. Related to the
dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy On December 7, 2006, the George W. Bush Administration's Department of Justice ordered the unprecedented midterm dismissal of seven United States attorneys. Congressional investigations focused on whether the Department of Justice and the White ...
, in March 2007 the Senate and the House voted to overturn the amendments of the
USA PATRIOT Act The USA PATRIOT Act (commonly known as the Patriot Act) was an Act of the United States Congress, signed into law by President George W. Bush. USA PATRIOT is a backronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools R ...
to the interim appointment statute. The bill was signed by President George W. Bush, and became law in June 2007.


History of interim U.S. attorney appointments

Senator
Dianne Feinstein Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein ( ; born Dianne Emiel Goldman; June 22, 1933) is an American politician who serves as the senior Senior (shortened as Sr.) means "the elder" in Latin and is often used Suffix (name)#Generational titles, as a suff ...

Dianne Feinstein
(D, California), summarized the history of interim United States Attorney appointments, on March 19, 2007 in the Senate.


Role of U.S. attorneys

The U.S. attorney is both the primary representative and the administrative head of the ''Office of the U.S. Attorney'' for the district. The U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) is the chief prosecutor for the United States in
criminal law Criminal law is the body of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its env ...
cases, and represents the United States in
civil law Civil law may refer to: * Civil law (common law) Civil law is a major branch of the law.Glanville Williams. ''Learning the Law''. Eleventh Edition. Stevens. 1982. p. 2. In common law legal systems such as England and Wales and the law of the United ...
cases as either the defendant or plaintiff, as appropriate. However, they are not the only ones that may represent the United States in Court. In certain circumstances, using an action called a ''
qui tam In common law, a writ of ''qui tam'' is a writ through which private citizen, private individuals who assist a prosecution can receive for themselves all or part of the damages or financial penalties recovered by the government as a result of the pr ...
'', any U.S. citizen, provided they are represented by an attorney, can represent the interests of the United States, and share in penalties assessed against guilty parties. As chief federal law enforcement officers, U.S. attorneys have authority over all federal law enforcement personnel within their districts and may direct them to engage, cease or assist in investigations. In practice, this has involved command of
Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Conce ...

Federal Bureau of Investigation
assets but also includes other agencies under the Department of Justice, such as the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a U ...
and
Drug Enforcement Administration The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA; ) is a Federal law enforcement in the United States, United States federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Justice tasked with combating drug trafficking and distribution within th ...

Drug Enforcement Administration
. Additionally, U.S. attorneys cooperate with other non-DOJ law enforcement agencies – such as the
United States Secret Service The United States Secret Service (USSS or Secret Service) is a federal law enforcement agency under the Department of Homeland Security charged with conducting criminal investigations and protecting U.S. political leaders, their families, and v ...
and
Immigration and Customs Enforcement The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ICE's stated mission is to protect the United States from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration th ...
– to prosecute cases relevant to their jurisdictional areas. The U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia has the additional responsibility of prosecuting local criminal cases in the
Superior Court of the District of Columbia The Superior Court of the District of Columbia, commonly referred to as DC Superior Court, is the trial court A trial court or court of first instance is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, wit ...
, the equivalent of a municipal court for the national capital. The Superior Court is a federal Article I court.


Executive Office for United States Attorneys

The Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) provides the administrative support for the 93 United States Attorneys (encompassing 94 United States Attorneys' offices, as the Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands has a single U.S. attorney for both districts), including: * General executive assistance and direction, * Policy development, * Administrative management direction and oversight, * Operational support, * Coordination with other components of the
United States Department of Justice The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) o ...
and other federal agencies. These responsibilities include certain legal, budgetary, administrative, and personnel services, as well as legal education. The EOUSA was created on April 6, 1953, by Attorney General Order No. 8-53 to provide for close liaison between the Department of Justice in Washington, DC, and the 93 U.S. attorneys located throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia,
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
, the
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
,
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
, and the
U.S. Virgin Islands The United States Virgin Islands, officially the Virgin Islands of the United States,Also called the ''American Virgin Islands'' are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States The U ...

U.S. Virgin Islands
. It was organized by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judge
James R. Browning
James R. Browning
, who also served as its first chief.


List of current U.S. attorneys' offices

# U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama # U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama # U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama # U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska # U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona # U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas #
U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California
U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California
# U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California # U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California # U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado # U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia # U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut # U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware # U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida # U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia # U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia # U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia # U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho # U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois #
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (in case citation Case citation is a system used by legal professionals to identify past court case decisions, either in series of books called Reporter (law), reporters ...
# U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois # U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana # U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa # U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas # U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky #
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana
# U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana # U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine # U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts #
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan
# U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan # U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota # U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi # U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi # U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri # U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana # U.S. Attorney for the District of Nebraska # U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada # U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire # U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico # U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina # U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina # U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota # U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio # U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio # U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma # U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon # U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania # U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania # U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico # U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island # U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina # U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota (USAO) # U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee # U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee # U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas # U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas # U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas # U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah # U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont # U.S. Attorney for the District of the Virgin Islands # U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia # U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington # U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia # U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia # U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin # U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin # U.S. Attorney for the District of Wyoming Note: Except as indicated parenthetically, the foregoing links are to the corresponding district court, rather than to the U.S. Attorney's Office.


Defunct U.S. attorneys' offices

* U. S. Attorney for the District of Michigan (February 24, 1863) * List of former United States district courts#South Carolina, U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of South Carolina (October 2, 1965) * List of former United States district courts#South Carolina, U. S. Attorney for the Western District of South Carolina (October 2, 1965) * List of former United States district courts#Illinois, U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Illinois (October 2, 1978; succeeded by the Central District of Illinois) * United States District Court for the Canal Zone, U. S. Attorney for the Panama Canal Zone (March 31, 1982) * US Attorney for the District of Indiana, U. S. Attorney for the District of Indiana


See also

* United States Attorneys appointed by Donald Trump * Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy (2007) * 2017 dismissal of U.S. attorneys * United States Attorney General *
United States Department of Justice The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) o ...
* Law Officers of the Crown


Notes


References


External links


US Attorneys Office

United States Attorneys Mission Statement

United States Attorneys' Manual


* [https://www.justice.gov/usao/dc/Divisions/index.html D.C. Superior Court Division]
Index of prosecuting offices in all state and federal jurisdictions, and some foreign jurisdictions.
{{authority control United States Attorneys, United States Department of Justice agencies Lawyers by type Prosecution