Protest against discontinuance of issuance of Special Officer's commissions to employees of the Smithsonian Institution

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Chester H. Gray, Acting Corporation Counsel, District of Columbia, considers a protest by Thomas E. Waggaman, Marshall, the Supreme Court, and Secretary Alexander Wetmore of the Smithsonian Institution against a recent ruling by the D.C. Corporation Counsel that the Commissioners of the District of Columbia are not legally authorized to issue commissions as Special Officers to guards for federal buildings and property. The powers grants such Special Officers are to be revoked as of December 31, 1948. The Corporation Counsel reaffirms the decision to revoke the commissions, but states that the commissions won't be revoked for another year to give the Supreme Court and Smithsonian time to secure separate legislation.


  • Gray, Chester H
  • Waggaman, Thomas E
  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
  • Corporation Counsel, District of Columbia
  • Commissioner of the District of Columbia
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • United States Congress
  • United States Supreme Court


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • Opinion on discontinuance of Special Officer's commissions
  • Title 20, Education
  • Legal opinion


Special Officers powers are granted to the Smithsonian in 65 Stat 634 passed on 24 October 1951.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 98-128, Office of the General Counsel, Records, Box 2, Folder 11: Policing Authority, 1951 Act (1948-1951) (Documents)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Secretariats
  • Law
  • Legal opinions
  • Secretaries
  • Police
  • Police power
  • Law enforcement
  • Law enforcement--District of Columbia
  • Law enforcement--United States--1950-1990
  • Legislation
  • Police power--District of Columbia


  • District of Columbia
  • United States

Physical description

Number of pages: 4; Page Numbers: 1-4

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