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Constitutional Law

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Constitution

2012

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Avoiding Independent Agency Armageddon, Kent H. Barnett May 2012

Avoiding Independent Agency Armageddon, Kent H. Barnett

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In Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Congress’ use of two layers of tenure protection to shield Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) members from the President’s removal. The SEC could appoint and remove PCAOB members. An implied tenure-protection provision protected the SEC from the President’s at-will removal. And a statutory tenure-protection provision protected PCAOB members from the SEC’s at-will removal. The Court held that these “tiered” tenure protections unconstitutionally impinged upon the President’s removal power because they prevented the President from holding the SEC responsible for ...


Due Process As Separation Of Powers, Nathan S. Chapman, Michael W. Mcconnell May 2012

Due Process As Separation Of Powers, Nathan S. Chapman, Michael W. Mcconnell

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From its conceptual origin in Magna Charta, due process of law has required that government can deprive persons of rights only pursuant to a coordinated effort of separate institutions that make, execute, and adjudicate claims under the law. Originalist debates about whether the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendments were understood to entail modern “substantive due process” have obscured the way that many American lawyers and courts understood due process to limit the legislature from the Revolutionary era through the Civil War. They understood due process to prohibit legislatures from directly depriving persons of rights, especially vested property rights, because it was ...


The Originalist Case Against Congressional Supermajority Voting Rules, Dan T. Coenen Jan 2012

The Originalist Case Against Congressional Supermajority Voting Rules, Dan T. Coenen

Scholarly Works

Controversy over the Senate’s filibuster practice dominates modern discussion of American legislative government. With increasing frequency, commentators have urged that the upper chamber’s requirement of sixty votes to close debate on pending matters violates a majority-rulebased norm of constitutional law. Proponents of this view, however, tend to gloss over a more basic question: Does the Constitution’s Rules of Proceedings Clause permit the houses of Congress to adopt internal parliamentary requirements under which a bill is deemed “passed” only if it receives supermajority support? This question is important. Indeed, the House already has such a rule in place ...