• John Marshall Defines Non-Delegation Doctrine [No. 86]
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    John Marshall Defines Non-Delegation Doctrine [No. 86]

    The Supreme Court first addressed the Non-Delegation Doctrine back in 1825, in an opinion by Chief Justice John Marshall. It was addressed in passing, because they didn’t need to deal with the issue in the case, but Marshall made some observations about that doctrine that still have a lot of relevance today. He noted the big problem is figuring out where the lines are drawn among the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial powers. In that particular case, Congress had given the Federal Courts power to promulgate their own rules of procedure, for how to execute judgements and things like that. The question was whether that was something that needed to be…

  • A More or Less Perfect Union: Checks & Balances
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    A More or Less Perfect Union: Checks & Balances

    When it came to writing the Constitution, the Framers’ great concern was with the concentration of power in any one branch, which would inevitably lead to tyranny. As usual, Madison had a solution. Madison came to the Constitutional Convention, with something under his belt that was called the Virginia Plan. Might we call it a “system” or a “draft”? We might. It’s a plan. A plan. That’s what we need. Which was a kind of draft model constitution that he and some other people had put together. The Framers understood the clear link between structure and liberty and how important it was to get the structure right, or the liberty…

  • Should Courts Defer to Political Branches? [No. 86]
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    Should Courts Defer to Political Branches? [No. 86]

    One popular notion about how to think about the courts is the idea of judicial restraint. The idea here is that when interpreting the Constitution, courts should be restrained and should defer to the judgments of Congress or the President or the state legislatures. I do not think that the courts should defer to the opinions of other branches about the meaning of the Constitution. But this is the way I think it should work is that the legislative branches or the political branches are entitled to govern, unless what they are doing violates the Constitution. And some things that they might do violate the very words, I mean, you…

  • Court Shorts: Separation of Powers
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    Court Shorts: Separation of Powers

    This concept of separation of powers is what makes America great. It is absolutely the genius of our democracy. Here we are over two centuries later and still the Constitution with its three pillars of government exists in the same form as it did at the founding. All of these parts working together creates a team effort, which really aids our form of government and creates its stability. Many people don’t realize that the Constitution sets out three branches of government. The first is the Legislative Branch. The second branch is the Executive Branch that we typically think of the president, but it also includes all of his executive officers.…

  • Congressional Oversight of Voting Rights
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    Congressional Oversight of Voting Rights

    We’ll er, go ahead and get started here. Ah, thank you for joining us, ah today for what I think will be ah, an interesting and timely discussion of voting rights. I am Will Consovoy, ah today’s moderator. Erm, as I mentioned today’s panel is about voting rights, erm, in 2017. Ah, as with a change of any administration you will see a change in point of view on various legal topics. I think it’s fair to say that voting rights may be one where we see, er, one of the biggest departures from the prior administration to this administration. We’ve seen some movement already. I think, er, we would…

  • President vs. Congress: Does the separation of powers still work? (1980) | ARCHIVES
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    President vs. Congress: Does the separation of powers still work? (1980) | ARCHIVES

    Announcer: From the nation’s capital, the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research presents Public Policy Forums, a series of programs featuring the nation’s top authorities presenting their differing views on the vital issues which confront us. Today’s topic, president vs. congress, does the separation of powers still work? John Charles Daly: Nearly 200 years ago, our founding fathers in the Federalist argued that the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. The preservation of liberty requires that the three great departments of…

  • Adam White: Is Congress Afraid of Power?
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    Adam White: Is Congress Afraid of Power?

    Often times with think about the Executive Branch or the agencies taking power away from Congress, and it’s true that’s an important problem, but the more important problem is Congress giving away its own power. And why does Congress give away its power? Because it’s scared of accountability. But ultimately, our constitutional system relies on Congress being accountable, and the people making Congress accountable. Madison envisioned a system in which the problems of republican government would have republican remedies.” Not administrative remedies, not technocratic remedies, not judicial remedies, but republican remedies. Madison and the Framers expected that ambition would counteract ambition, that that was a core part of our functioning…

  • Supreme Court Roundup: October Term 2018 [SCOTUSbrief]
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    Supreme Court Roundup: October Term 2018 [SCOTUSbrief]

    This was an interesting term. Not as many blockbusters, necessarily, as-as in past years, but plenty to chew on, and there are individual videos about the-the biggest cases. I want to talk about three others that might get overlooked. Knick was the biggest property rights case of the term, probably the biggest property rights case in some time. Even though it was a procedural case, that is, it was about whether you have to first go to state court to bring your claim that the local government has taken your property in violation of the Fifth Amendment, or whether you can go straight to federal court. Rose Mary Knick said…

  • Executive Power Over Immigration [2017 Annual Texas Chapters Conference]
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    Executive Power Over Immigration [2017 Annual Texas Chapters Conference]

    Good morning, my name is Aaron Streett. I’m the president of the Houston lawyers chapter, and it’s my privilege to welcome you to the 2017 Texas Chapters Conference. It’s meaningful to host this event in Houston just weeks after Hurricane Harvey visited disaster on our city. Moving forward with events like this illustrates Houston’s resilience and reminds us that while we have a lot of work ahead of us, we are all on the road to full rebuilding and recovery. We are honored this morning to present a distinguished slate of panels, capped off with a keynote address by Senator John Cornyn. The panels focus on a debate that is…

  • Is the Modern Congress Doing More Harm Than Good?
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    Is the Modern Congress Doing More Harm Than Good?

    Welcome, or welcome back as the case may be. This is our panel, uh, posing the question, “Is modern Congress doing more harm than good?” I’m Dean Reuter, uh, vice president, general counsel, and director of practice groups here at the Federalist Society. It’s my pleasure to welcome you. I’m al- I’m also moderating this panel. Um. We’re going to have opening remarks from each of our four panelists beginning at that end of the table and moving this way of eight to 10 minutes. Uh, then, as always, we’ll have a little discussion and we’ll be looking to the audience for questions. So, think of, think of those questions,…