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Long-Withheld Office of Legal Counsel Records Reveal Agency’s Postwar Influence

Shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the attorney general tasked the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), a small but powerful component of the Department of Justice, with assessing racial segregation in interstate transport and at land-grant colleges. In 1958, the OLC opined on the president’s authority to deploy and keep federal troops in Little Rock, Arkansas, an action to suppress resistance to...