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morrison v olson summary

As a general rule, we have broadly stated that "executive or administrative duties of a nonjudicial nature may not be imposed on judges holding office under Art. We hold As we noted above, however, the independent counsel is an inferior officer under the Appointments Clause, with limited jurisdiction and tenure and lacking policymaking or significant administrative authority. The relevant language of the Appointments Clause is worth repeating.

Second, the Act prevents members of the Special Division from participating in "any judicial proceeding concerning a matter which involves such independent counsel while such independent counsel is serving in that office or which involves the exercise of such independent counsel's official duties, regardless We need not attempt here to decide exactly where the line falls between the two types of officers, because in our view appellant clearly falls on the "inferior officer" side of that line. U.S. 1 As I indicated earlier, the basic separation-of-powers principles I have discussed are what give life and content to our jurisprudence concerning the President's power to appoint and remove officers.

(1880), we upheld the appointment by a court of federal "Judges of Election," who were charged with various duties involving the overseeing Of course one is not a "superior officer" without some supervisory responsibility, just as, I suggest, one is not an "inferior officer" within the meaning of the provision under discussion unless one is subject to supervision by a "superior officer."

And nothing so effectively gives an appearance of validity to such charges as a Justice Department investigation and, even better, prosecution. Id., at 627-628. Unless it can honestly be said that there are "no reasonable grounds to believe" that further investigation is warranted, further investigation must ensure; and the conduct of the investigation, and determination of whether to prosecute, will be given to a person neither selected by nor subject to the control of the President - who will in turn assemble a staff by finding out, presumably, who is willing to put aside whatever else they are doing, for an indeterminate period of time, in order to investigate and prosecute the President or a particular named individual in his administration.

This particular independent prosecutor has already served more than two years, which is at least as long as many Cabinet officials. 418

The line between "inferior" and "principal" officers is one that is far from clear, and the Framers provided little guidance into where it should be drawn. . (citing Humphrey's Executor,

150, 152 (DC 1983), which - as is often the case with such interbranch conflicts - became quite acrimonious. . Admittedly, the Act delegates to appellant "full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions and powers of the Department of Justice," 594(a), but this grant of authority does not include any authority to formulate policy for the Government or the Executive Branch, nor does it give appellant any administrative duties outside of those necessary A government of laws means a government of rules. By submitting this form, you agree to's This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to selectCopyright © 2020, Thomson Reuters. The course the Court has chosen, however, is even worse. 593(b) (1982 ed., Supp.

Article I, 1, provides that "[a]ll legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United

Is there any doubt that we would not pause to inquire whether the matter was "so central to the 2, of the Constitution provides as follows: If she were removable at will by the Attorney General, then she would be subordinate to him and thus properly designated as inferior; but the Court essentially admits that she is not subordinate. - which was considered by many at the time the product of an activist, anti-New Deal Court bent on reducing the power of President Franklin Roosevelt - it has been established that the line of permissible restriction upon removal of principal officers lies at the point at which the powers exercised by those officers are no longer purely executive. by David A. Strauss.


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