January 29, 1982

The President today announced creation of the Cabinet Council on Legal Policy. This addition to the five existing Cabinet Councils will be chaired by the Attorney General. It will review matters pertaining to interdepartmental aspects of narcotics control, drug abuse prevention and treatment, civil rights, immigration, and other similar interagency policy matters. Initially, the Council will focus upon narcotics enforcement and immigration and refugee policy.

The Cabinet Council's deliberations will not include matters such as civil or criminal litigation or the rendering of legal advice, which are the responsibility of the Attorney General.

In addition to the Attorney General, also serving on the Council will be the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Interior, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation; the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; and the Chairman of the Administrative Conference. Serving in an ex officio capacity will be the Vice President, the Counsellor to the President, the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, the Assistant to the President for Policy Development, and the Legal Counsel to the President.

Other departments will be invited to participate when appropriate. A Cabinet member may attend meetings of the Cabinet Council on Legal Policy if the items under discussion are of interest. When the situation warrants, other agency heads will be invited to participate.