The Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch - I THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH...

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THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH I. Delegation Power a. Initial Rise of the Administrative States i. Article I of the Constitution: vests the legislative power in Congress ii. Only the last century that Congress has routinely delegated its legislative power to executive agencies iii. Over the course of the next century, a vast array of federal agencies have been created iv. Almost all the agencies possess rule-making power, and these rule shave the force of law, they also have executive power to enforce the regulations that they have promulgated and the judicial power to adjudicate violations of their rules v. This seems in conflict with the notion that the Congress along possesses the federal legislative power vi. Combination of functions in a single agency seems in conflict with elemental concepts of separation of powers b. The Nondelegation Doctrine i. One solution to these constitutional problems posed by administrative agencies is the nondelegation doctrine: the principle that Congress may not delegate its legislative power to administrative agencies c. The Demise of the Nondelegation Doctrine i. All delegations, no matter how broad, have been upheld ii. Although, the courts say that when Congress delegates its legislative power it must provide criteria – “intelligible principles” – to guide the agency’s exercise of discretion iii. But all delegations, even without criteria have been upheld d. Mistretta v. United States 1989 i. Facts: U.S. Sentencing Commission to promulgate sentencing guidelines to determine the punishment for those convicted of federal crimes 1. Creation of a sentencing commission ii. Issue: Whether it was unconstitutional because it violated separation of powers – did Congress delegate excessive authority to the Commission iii. Held: Court approved a broad delegation of power to the commission – was constitutional iv. Reasoning: 1. Court upheld the law and rejected the claim that it was an impermissible delegation of legislative power to the judicial branch of government 2. Historical analysis : a. Madison – separation of powers, recognized not about hermetic division, but rather a crafted system of checks and balances
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b. Morrison v. Olson – executive and administrative duties of a nonjudicial nature may not be imposed on judges holding office under Article III v. Justice Scalia dissented and argued that the commission was given broad discretion to make value judgments and policy assessments in creating the Sentencing Guidelines e. The Legislative Veto Defined i. In light of the demise of the nondelegation doctrine, the issue arises as to how the power of administrative agencies will be checked and controlled ii. In the 1930s, Congress created the legislative veto as a check on the actions of administrative agencies iii. Typical form of a legislative veto provision authorized Congress to overturn an agency’s decision by a resolution of one house of Congress iv. Legislative vetoes also took the form of overturning agency rules
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This note was uploaded on 03/10/2008 for the course CORE 903 taught by Professor Odom,thomas during the Fall '07 term at Penn State.

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The Legislative Branch - I THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH...

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