There has been a lot of coverage in the press and the blogosphere of President Obama’s appointment of Professor Elizabeth Warren as special adviser to the White House to oversee the development of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (for one example of the many articles on this appointment, see this piece published in the New York Times).
Posts in "Presidential Powers" category
One of the difficult administrative law questions facing most legal systems today is the tradeoff between independence and accountability. Last Monday, June 28, the US Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in the case of Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board that highlights this tension.
The Supreme Court heard oral argument on Monday in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (08-861), an important separation of powers case.
In an op-ed published in the Washington Post of September 13, 2009 (available here, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) argues that the deployment of a great number of White House “czars” “sets a dangerous precedent that undermines the Constitution’s guarantee of separated powers.” The White House czars are presidential assistants charged with responsibility for given policy areas. Sen. Hutchison’s argument is that these officials hold unknown levels of power over broad swaths of policy; therefore, President Obama should submit each of his policy czars to the Senate so that the latter can review their qualifications, roles and the limits on their authority.