The U.S. Attorney General. History and Our Days. Part II

Despite the fact that the Attorneys General needed extension of their privileges, Congress fixed further restrictions, excluding extra payment for attorney’s offices. This way it became more difficult to attract professionals to take the position of the U.S. Attorney General. The main efforts of attorneys were maid to develop their private advocacy practice, but federal work was still unpopular. The first productive step on the way of changes was done by head of the state Washington, who offered more possible earnings for his attorney Randolph in a private practice.

However, officeholders of those times had difficulties in combining their dual responsibilities (private work and public activity}.

Further Congress acts complicated the work of the Attorney General, because a lot of aspects were not still clear. For example, the relationship between Congress and the Attorney General was not defined; having created departments of executive branch of power, Congress hadn’t determined who could become their members; the attorney’s work was not only to apply laws correctly, but also to advice the president on various political questions.

Only at the beginning of the 19th century situation changed. The first step intended to expand duties of the Attorney General was made by James Madison. He established the residence for the Attorney General for a period of Congress session. Thus attorney became an officeholder. But at the same time it made the private activity of attorneys more problematic to fulfill, because not all the Attorneys General lived near the Capitol, where the residence was.

Under the leadership of Wirt (the Attorney General in 1817-1829) the office was supplied by the clerk for recording procedures; the practices of giving opinions to Congress reduced.
Caleb Cushing was the first Attorney General who had four assistant clerks and full-time schedule.

In 1853 the first proposals to establish the Department of Justice were made by Alex H. H. Stuart. Only on the 1st of July, 1870 the Department of Justice was officially created. 
The act of the 22nd of June, 1870 permitted the Attorney General complete control and supervisory authority over the USA attorneys and all the counsel for the benefit of the United States of America.

Amos T. Akerman was the first Attorney General, who headed the Department of Justice. Thus in 81 years (after the creation of the Attorney’s General office}, a full-grown administrative law enforcing organization came into being.

All the people, who have acted as the Attorney General, have taken an important place in the history of the USA. Every Attorney General was and still remains a participant of important events in life of all the Americans.