Constitution of the United States/Art. I/Section 1 Legislative Vesting Clause

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Constitutional Law Treatise
Table of Contents
US Constitution.jpg
Constitutional Law Outline
Introduction
The Preamble
Article I Legislative Branch
Art. I, Section 1 Legislative Vesting Clause
Art. I, Section 2 House of Representatives
Art. I, Section 3 Senate
Art. I, Section 4 Congress
Art. I, Section 5 Proceedings
Art. I, Section 6 Rights and Disabilities
Art. I, Section 7 Legislation
Art. I, Section 8 Enumerated Powers
Art. I, Section 9 Powers Denied Congress
Art. I, Section 10 Powers Denied States
Article II Executive Branch
Art. II, Section 1 Function and Selection
Art. II, Section 2 Powers
Art. II, Section 3 Duties
Art. II, Section 4 Impeachment
Article III Judicial Branch
Art. III, Section 1 Vesting Clause
Art. III, Section 2 Justiciability
Art. III, Section 3 Treason
Article IV Relationships Between the States
Art. IV, Section 1 Full Faith and Credit Clause
Art. IV, Section 2 Interstate Comity
Art. IV, Section 3 New States and Federal Property
Art. IV, Section 4 Republican Form of Government
Article V Amending the Constitution
Article VI Supreme Law
Article VII Ratification
First Amendment: Fundamental Freedoms
Religion
Establishment Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Free Speech Clause
Freedom of Association
Second Amendment: Right to Bear Arms
Third Amendment: Quartering Soldiers
Fourth Amendment: Searches and Seizures
Fifth Amendment: Rights of Persons
Sixth Amendment: Rights in Criminal Prosecutions
Seventh Amendment: Civil Trial Rights
Eighth Amendment: Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Ninth Amendment: Unenumerated Rights
Tenth Amendment: Rights Reserved to the States and the People
Eleventh Amendment: Suits Against States
Twelfth Amendment: Election of President
Thirteenth Amendment: Abolition of Slavery
Thirteenth Amend., Section 1 Prohibition on Slavery and Involuntary Servitude
Thirteenth Amend., Section 2 Enforcement
Fourteenth Amendment: Equal Protection and Other Rights
Fourteenth Amend., Section 1 Rights
Fourteenth Amend., Section 2 Apportionment of Representation
Fourteenth Amend., Section 3 Disqualification from Holding Office
Fourteenth Amend., Section 4 Public Debt
Fourteenth Amend., Section 5 Enforcement
Fifteenth Amendment: Right of Citizens to Vote
Fifteenth Amend., Section 1 Right to Vote
Fifteenth Amend., Section 2 Enforcement
Sixteenth Amendment: Income Tax
Seventeenth Amendment: Popular Election of Senators
Eighteenth Amendment: Prohibition of Liquor
Eighteenth Amend., Section 1 Prohibition
Eighteenth Amend., Section 2 Enforcement of Prohibition
Eighteenth Amend., Section 3 Ratification Deadline
Nineteenth Amendment: Women's Suffrage
Twentieth Amendment: Presidential Term and Succession
Twentieth Amend., Section 1 Terms
Twentieth Amend., Section 2 Meetings of Congress
Twentieth Amend., Section 3 Succession
Twentieth Amend., Section 4 Congress and Presidential Succession
Twentieth Amend., Section 5 Effective Date
Twentieth Amend., Section 6 Ratification
Twenty-First Amendment: Repeal of Prohibition
Twenty-First Amend., Section 1 Repeal of Eighteenth Amendment
Twenty-First Amend., Section 2 Importation, Transportation, and Sale of Liquor
Twenty-First Amend., Section 3 Ratification Deadline
Twenty-Second Amendment: Presidential Term Limits
Twenty-Second Amend., Section 1 Limit
Twenty-Second Amend., Section 2 Ratification Deadline
Twenty-Third Amendment: District of Columbia Electors
Twenty-Third Amend., Section 1 Electors
Twenty-Third Amend., Section 2 Enforcement
Twenty-Fourth Amendment: Abolition of Poll Tax
Twenty-Fourth Amend., Section 1 Poll Tax
Twenty-Fourth Amend., Section 2 Enforcement
Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Presidential Vacancy
Twenty-Fifth Amend., Section 1 Presidential Vacancy
Twenty-Fifth Amend., Section 2 Vice President Vacancy
Twenty-Fifth Amend., Section 3 Declaration by President
Twenty-Fifth Amend., Section 4 Declaration by Vice President and Others
Twenty-Sixth Amendment: Reduction of Voting Age
Twenty-Sixth Amend., Section 1 Eighteen Years of Age
Twenty-Sixth Amend., Section 2 Enforcement
Twenty-Seventh Amendment: Congressional Compensation

Article I Legislative Branch

Section 1 Legislative Vesting Clause

Clause Text
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Overview of Legislative Vesting Clause[edit | edit source]

The Legislative Vesting Clause of the Constitution grants specific and limited legislative powers[1] to a bicameral Congress of the United States, which is composed of a House of Representatives and Senate.[2] As such, the Legislative Vesting Clause and the coordinate Executive and Judicial Vesting Clauses delineate the powers the Framers accorded the U.S. Government's Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches.

Historical sources from the decades leading up to the ratification of the Constitution suggest that the Legislative Vesting Clause would have been understood to: (1) limit the powers of Congress to those expressly granted in the nation's founding document; (2) diffuse legislative power by creating a legislature with two chambers; and (3) limit the extent to which the other branches of government could exercise legislative power.[3] Although documents authored by, known to, or relied upon by the Founders support these three interrelated purposes of the Legislative Vesting Clause, scholars continue to debate whether the Framers or others alive at the time of the Founding would have understood the Clause to prohibit Congress from empowering the other branches of government or private entities to govern private conduct.[4]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Origin of Limits on Federal Power[edit | edit source]

The Legislative Vesting Clause begins by providing that "[a]ll legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States."[5] The decision of the Framers of the Constitution to limit Congress's powers to those "herein granted"--or, in other words, those specifically enumerated in the Constitution--reflects their experience as colonists living under the rule of the powerful British Parliament of the 1700s. The English jurist William Blackstone, writing only two decades before the American Revolution, described the British Parliament as possessing wide-ranging powers to enact legislation affecting each individual's life, liberty, and property[6] that no other governmental authority could effectively amend or repeal.[7] Although the British King could give his assent to laws, exercise some limited legislative powers in making treaties, and enforce the laws, the King could not make law without Parliament.[8] As a result, only Parliament had the power to undo or change the laws it had made, leaving the British people either to petition Parliament for changes to undesirable laws or take the extreme step of overthrowing their government.[9]

The Framers rejected this form of "parliamentary supremacy," believing that a national legislature should not exercise the "absolute despotic power"[10] of government without limitation.[11] Indeed, scholars have noted that some of the major grievances prompting the American Revolution concerned various Acts of the British Parliament that violated the colonists' rights (e.g., the right to trial by jury), which "were guaranteed specifically to the colonists by means of colonial charters."[12] Consequently, to preserve individual liberty, the Framers specifically limited the federal legislative power to those powers expressly mentioned in the Constitution and the power to "make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper" to carry out the Federal Government's limited powers.[13] As James Wilson argued during the Pennsylvania ratification convention, "to control the power and conduct of the legislature, by an overruling constitution, was an improvement in the science and practice of government reserved to the American states."[14]

The Legislative Vesting Clause and the other text of Article I thus served as an ostensible limitation on Congress's legislative power. Nonetheless in the post-Convention debates over ratification of the Constitution, Anti-Federalists raised concerns that these textual limitations would fail to prevent Congress from growing too powerful.[15] In an effort to assuage these concerns, Alexander Hamilton, who supported ratification of the Constitution, argued that the courts could enforce the Constitution's limitations on Congress's powers by declaring a legislative act in excess of such powers to be void.[16] And indeed, less than two decades after the ratification of the Constitution, the Supreme Court asserted its authority to review the constitutionality of legislative acts, and to declare void those provisions of legislation that violated the Constitution, in a case or controversy properly before the Court.[17] Thus, the Legislative Vesting Clause of the U.S. Constitution reflects a departure from the British legal tradition of "parliamentary supremacy" because it provided external limitations on the power of Congress.

Origin of a Bicameral Congress[edit | edit source]

The Framers of the Constitution aimed to limit Congress's power further by specifying in the Legislative Vesting Clause that Congress would be a bicameral institution composed of a House of Representatives and Senate. Although Congress's bicameral structure was a departure from the unicameral legislature comprised of state delegations under the Articles of Confederation,[18] the Framers had significant experience with bicameral legislatures. Under British rule, colonists were subject to law enacted by the bicameral Parliament of Great Britain, where the hereditary aristocracy was represented in the House of Lords and the freeholders of the land were represented in the House of Commons.[19] Further, many of the Framers of the Constitution were governed by their bicameral state legislatures. Following the Declaration of Independence in 1776, all the states but Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Vermont established bicameral legislatures.[20]

The Constitutional Convention[21] was assembled in 1787, in part, to restructure the national unicameral legislature and to address the "defects" of the Articles of Confederation.[22] Congress, under the Articles, had no direct means to implement or compel compliance with its laws.[23] For example, Congress lacked the power to levy duties, to tax individuals directly, and to regulate interstate commerce.[24] The Articles, recognizing the states' "sovereignty, freedom, and independence," retained for the states all powers not expressly delegated to Congress.[25] As a result, Congress, among other things, was unable to stop states from adopting "discriminatory and retaliatory" trade practices among the states.[26]

However, in seeking to strengthen federal legislative power over states and individuals, the Framers were also concerned that a single legislative body with unchecked and concentrated power would threaten individual liberties.[27] James Wilson, representing Pennsylvania at the Convention, cautioned that "[i]f the Legislative authority be not restrained, there can be no liberty nor stability."[28] In supporting a bicameral Congress, he remarked that legislative power "can only be restrained by dividing it within itself, into distinct and independent branches. In a single house there is no check, but the inadequate one, of the virtue [and] good sense of those who compose it."[29]

In debating the new structure of Congress, the Convention considered several proposals.[30] Much of the debate focused on two proposals--the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan.[31] Virginia Governor Edmund Randolph presented the Virginia Plan that proposed three separate branches of government--legislative, executive, and judicial.[32] The Legislative Branch under the Virginia Plan would consist of a bicameral body in which each state would have a different number of representatives based on the state's population.[33] In addition, the Virginia Plan allowed Congress to exercise legislative authority over individuals, removing the constraint under the Articles that the state legislatures act as intermediaries to implement enacted legislation.[34] The Virginia Plan was principally favored by the larger states that embraced the notion that the view of the majority of the Nation's population should prevail in the national legislature.[35]

As an alternative to the Virginia Plan, William Paterson proposed the New Jersey Plan to the Convention.[36] In following the unicameral structure provided under the Articles of Confederation, Paterson's proposal represented an effort to revise the current Articles rather than replace them.[37] The proposed structure of Congress under the New Jersey Plan provided for a unicameral legislature with a voting system that allowed for one vote per state in the national legislature.[38] Under this proposed system, Congress would require the "consent" of the state legislatures before exercising legislative authority directly upon individuals.[39] Smaller states generally supported the New Jersey Plan because they did not favor a major departure from the Articles or proportional representation in Congress based on state size.[40]

The Great Compromise of the Constitutional Convention[edit | edit source]

Although the states generally favored a bicameral legislature,[41] the states were heavily divided over the representation in each branch of Congress.[42] To resolve these concerns, the Convention delegates approved forming a "compromise committee" to devise a compromise among the proposed plans for Congress.[43] The committee proposed a plan that became known as the Great Compromise.[44] The plan provided for a bicameral legislature with proportional representation based on a state's population for one chamber and equal state representation in the other.[45] For the House of Representatives, the plan proposed that each state would have "one representative for every 40,000 inhabitants," elected by the people.[46] For the Senate, the committee proposed that each state would have an equal vote with members elected by the individual state legislatures.[47] After significant debate, the Convention adopted the Great Compromise on July 16, 1787.[48]

During the state ratification debates that followed the Convention, one of the central objections from the Anti-Federalists was that the consolidation of government power in a national Congress could "destroy" state legislative power.[49] The Federalists attempted to curb these fears by noting that the sovereign power of the Nation resides in the people, and the Constitution merely "distribute[s] one portion of power" to the state and "another proportion to the government of the United States."[50] To further allay Anti-Federalist concerns regarding concentrated federal power in Congress, the Federalists emphasized that bicameralism, which lodged legislative power directly in the state governments through equal representation in the Senate, would serve to restrain, separate, and check federal power.[51]

In vesting the legislative power in a bicameral Congress, the Framers of the Constitution purposefully divided and dispersed that power between two chambers--the House of Representatives with representation based on a state's population and the Senate with equal state representation.[52] The Framers recognized that the division of legislative power between two distinct chambers of elected members was needed "to protect liberty" and address the states' fear of an imbalance of power in Congress.[53] As later explained by Chief Justice Warren Burger, "the Great Compromise, under which one House was viewed as representing the people and the other the states, allayed the fears of both the large and small states."[54]

By diffusing legislative power between two chambers of Congress in the legislative Vesting Clause, the Framers of the Constitution sought to promote the separation of powers, federalism, and individual rights.[55] They designed the bicameral Congress so that "legislative power would be exercised only after opportunity for full study and debate in separate settings."[56] While acknowledging that the bicameral legislative process often produces conflict, inefficiency, and "in some instances [can] be injurious as well as beneficial," the Framers believed that the intricate law-making process promotes open discussion and safeguards against "against improper acts of legislation."[57] As the Supreme Court later explained, the "legislative steps outlined in Art. I are not empty formalities" but serve to "make certain that there is an opportunity for deliberation and debate."[58]

Legislative Power and the Executive and Judicial Branches[edit | edit source]

A third purpose of the Framers for the Legislative Vesting Clause was to limit the extent to which the other two branches of government could exercise legislative power. The Framers crafted the Legislative Vesting Clause against the historical backdrop of English legal tradition that viewed, in the words of William Blackstone, a "tyrannical government" as one in which "the right of both making and of enforcing the laws, is vested in one and the same man, or one and the same body of men."[59] For Blackstone, "wherever these two powers are united together, there can be no public liberty."[60] And James Madison, echoing Blackstone and other prominent thinkers of the time, wrote in the Federalist Papers of the "necessary partition of power among the several departments, as laid down in the Constitution."[61] In Madison's view, the concentration of distinct forms of government power in the same entity would lead to tyranny as when a single entity had the power to both prescribe and enforce the law.[62] To separate these powers, the Framers, in the first three Articles of the Constitution, vested the legislative powers in a Congress;[63] the executive power in a President;[64] and the judicial power of the United States "in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."[65]

Although the Framers had concerns about the other two branches aggrandizing themselves at the expense of the Legislative Branch, they were unable to articulate a bright-line rule for identifying when such violations of the separation of powers principle had occurred. Indeed, Madison referred to the "separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of government" as "to a certain extent . . . admitted on all hands to be essential to the preservation of liberty."[66] But he acknowledged the difficulty in distinguishing the legislative power from the judicial or executive power in some instances.[67] Further, in contrast to some state constitutional provisions in existence at the time of the Founding,[68] the text of the Constitution does not specifically prohibit the Executive or Judicial Branches from exercising legislative power.[69]

Indeed, while the Framers of the Constitution saw great importance in allocating the legislative power to a Congress, the design of the Constitution contemplates some overlap in the branches' performance of government functions.[70] Madison explained that even the influential French political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu, who once wrote that there could be "no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person," would have found it permissible for the functions of government to be shared, to some extent, among the branches.[71] And Madison acknowledged that contemporaneous state constitutional provisions requiring a strict separation of powers were perhaps aspirational because, in practice, the branches of state governments sometimes shared such functions, as when a state senate served as a judicial tribunal for trying impeachments of executive or judicial officers.[72] Thus, the Framers may not have understood the Legislative Vesting Clause as prohibiting the executive and Judicial Branches from performing functions that overlapped with those performed by Congress, so long as they were not purely legislative in nature.

Although the Founders wanted to prevent the Executive Branch and judiciary from aggrandizing their power by usurping the legislative role, it is unclear whether the Legislative Vesting Clause would have been understood to prohibit Congress from giving away its power to the other two branches. The text of the Constitution is silent with respect to the extent to which Congress is prohibited from delegating its legislative power to the Executive Branch, courts, or a private entity.[73] The Framers debated the necessity of having a more express constitutional provision on separation of powers, but these debates did not lead to explicit limits on legislative delegations. For example, in the Convention debates, James Madison made a motion to give the national Executive the power to "execute such other powers ('not Legislative nor 'Judiciary' in their nature') as may from time to time be delegated by the National Legislature."[74] The motion was defeated, with Charles Pinckney arguing that the language was "unnecessary, the object of [the language] being included in the 'power to carry into effect the national laws.'"[75]

The debates over who could exercise the legislative power continued into the First Congress. Following ratification of the Constitution, James Madison also introduced an amendment to the Constitution in the House of Representatives of the First United States Congress that would have provided that the powers "delegated by this Constitution to the Government of the United States, shall be exercised as therein appropriated, so that the Legislative shall not exercise the powers vested in the Executive or the Judicial; nor the Executive the power vested in the Legislative or Judicial; nor the Judicial the powers vested in the Legislative or Executive."[76] Although James Madison argued that the amendment would help to resolve doubts about how the Constitution should be construed, Representative Roger Sherman opposed the amendment as "unnecessary" because the Constitution already vested the legislative, executive, and judicial powers in three separate branches.[77] Although the House adopted the amendment, the Senate later rejected it without elaboration.[78] Furthermore, the founding generation during the First Congress broadly authorized the President to perform tasks that required the Executive Branch to fill ambiguities and gaps in the statutory scheme created by the legislature. One oft-cited example is a 1789 Act of the First Congress that provided pensions to wounded and disabled Revolutionary War Veterans for one year "under such regulations as the President of the United States may direct."[79] Nonetheless, the Framers did not appear to endorse wholesale delegations of the legislative power to the Executive Branch, and the import of the actions of the First Congress has been the subject of debate among legal historians.[80]

Legislative Power in the Constitutional Framework[edit | edit source]

Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances[edit | edit source]

The Legislative Vesting Clause, along with the coordinate Executive and Judicial Vesting Clauses, delineate the powers the Framers accorded to the National Government's Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches. Separating the powers to legislate, to execute, and to adjudicate into separate government departments was a familiar concept to the Framers. As noted by James Madison in the Federalist No. 47, political theorist Baron Charles de Montesquieu had written about the separation of powers concept almost 100 years earlier.[81] Consequently, when the colonies separated from Great Britain following the American Revolution, the framers of the new state constitutions generally embraced the principle of separation of powers in their charters.[82] The framers of the new state constitutions, however, did not necessarily incorporate systems of checks and balances. Accordingly, violations of the separation of powers doctrine by state legislatures were commonplace prior to the convening of the Constitutional Convention.[83] Theory as much as experience guided the Framers in the summer of 1787.[84]

In drafting the Constitution, the Framers considered how to order a system of government that provided sufficient power to govern while protecting the liberties of the governed.[85] The doctrine of separation of powers, which the Framers implemented in drafting the Constitution, was based on several generally held principles: the separation of government into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial; the concept that each branch performs unique and identifiable functions that are appropriate to each branch; and the proscription against any person or group serving in more than one branch simultaneously.[86]

While the Constitution largely effectuated these principles, the Framers' separation of power was not rigid, but incorporated a system of checks and balances whereby one branch could check the powers assigned to another. For example, the Constitution allows the President to veto legislation,[87] but requires the President to gain the Senate's consent to appoint executive officers and judges or enter into treaties.[88] Some critics of the proposed Constitution objected to what they regarded as a curious mixture of government functions and powers.[89] In response to criticism that the Constitution blurred the powers accorded to the three branches of government, James Madison wrote a series of essays addressing this issue.[90]

In the Federalist No. 47, Madison relied on the theories of Baron de Montesquieu in addressing critics of the new Constitution.[91] According to Madison, Montesquieu and other political theorists "did not mean that these departments ought to have no partial agency in, or no control over, the acts of each other," but rather liberty was endangered "where the whole power of one department is exercised by the same hands which possess the whole power of another department."[92] Madison further reasoned that neither sharply drawn demarcations of institutional boundaries nor appeals to the electorate were sufficient to protect liberty.[93] Instead, to secure liberty from concentrated power, Madison argued, "consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others."[94] Thus, James Madison famously stated: "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place."[95]

To achieve the principles articulated by Madison in the Federalist No. 47, the Constitution features many "checks and balances." For example, bicameralism reduces legislative predominance,[96] while the presidential veto gives the President a means of defending his priorities and preventing congressional overreach.[97] The Senate's role in appointments and treaties provides a check on the President.[98] The courts are assured independence from the political branches through good-behavior tenure and security of compensations,[99] and, through judicial review, the courts check the other two branches.[100] The impeachment power gives Congress authority to root out corruption and abuse of power in the other two branches.[101]

Functional and Formalist Approaches to Separation of Powers[edit | edit source]

Throughout the Nation's history, questions have arisen on how to apply the separation of powers doctrine. Since 1976, the Supreme Court has curtailed congressional discretion to structure the National Government when the Court has deemed such discretion to violate the separation of powers.[102] For example, in Bowsher v. Synar, the Court found unconstitutional a congressional scheme to provide for a relatively automatic deficit-reduction process pursuant to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act)[103] because the Act required the critical involvement of an officer with significant legislative ties.[104] In Immigration & Naturalization Service v. Chadha, moreover, the Court found Congress's use of legislative vetoes unconstitutional on separation of powers grounds.[105] And in Northern Pipeline Construction Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., the Court held that Congress vesting broad judicial powers to handle bankruptcy cases in officers not possessing security of tenure and salary violated separation of powers principles.[106] The Court, however, sustained Congress's establishment of a process by which independent special prosecutors could investigate and prosecute cases of alleged corruption in the Executive Branch in Morrison v. Olson.[107]

In ruling on separation of powers questions, the Supreme Court has used two different approaches: formalist and functionalist. The Court's stricter formalist approach emphasizes the need to maintain three distinct branches of government by drawing bright lines among branches to reflect differences in legislating, executing, and adjudicating.[108] In contrast, the Court's functional approach emphasizes each branch's core functions and asks whether the challenged action threatens the essential attributes of the legislative, executive, or judicial function or functions.[109] Under this approach, the Court's rulings have provided flexibility to the branch if there is little risk that the challenged action will impair a core function. If there is a significant risk that the action will impair a branch's core function, courts will consider whether there is a compelling reason for the action.[110]

In Immigration & Naturalization Service v. Chadha, the Supreme Court used the formalist approach to invalidate Congress's legislative veto by which it could set aside an Attorney General determination to suspend deportation of an alien pursuant to a delegation of power from Congress.[111] Central to Chadha were two conceptual premises. First, the action Congress had taken was legislative because it had the purpose and effect of altering the legal rights, duties, and relations of persons outside the Legislative Branch, and thus Congress had to comply with the Constitution's bicameralism and presentment requirements.[112] Second, the Attorney General was performing an executive function in implementing the congressional delegation, and the legislative veto was an impermissible interference in the law's execution. Congress could act only by legislating to change its delegation's terms.[113]

Subsequently, in Bowsher v. Synar, the Court held that Congress could not vest even part of a law's execution in the Comptroller General because the Comptroller General was an officer who was subject to removal by Congress. Allowing Congress to vest execution of the laws in the Comptroller General would enable Congress to play a role in executing the laws because Congress could remove the Comptroller General if Congress was dissatisfied with how the Comptroller General was implementing its authority.[114] The Court noted that Congress could act only by passing laws.[115]

On the same day that the Court decided Bowsher through a seemingly formalist analysis, the Court appeared to use the less strict, functional approach in Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) v. Schor to resolve a challenge to a regulatory agency's power to adjudicate a state common law issue--the type of issue that the Court, in a formalist plurality opinion with a more limited concurrence, had denied to a non-Article III bankruptcy court in Northern Pipeline.[116] Sustaining the CFTC's power, the Court emphasized "the principle that 'practical attention to substance rather than doctrinaire reliance on formal categories should inform application of Article III.'"[117] The Court held that, in evaluating such a separation of powers challenge, the Court had to consider the extent to which the "essential attributes of judicial power" were reserved to Article III courts and the extent to which the non-Article III entity exercised the jurisdiction and powers normally vested only in Article III courts; the origin and importance of the rights to be adjudicated; and the concerns that drove Congress to depart from Article III's requirements.[118] The Court distinguished Schor from Bowsher stating "[u]nlike Bowsher, this case [Schor] raises no question of the aggrandizement of congressional power at the expense of a coordinate branch."[119] The test the Court used was a balancing one--whether Congress had impermissibly undermined the role of another branch without appreciable expansion of its own power.

While the Court has exercised some flexibility in using a formalist or functionalist analysis in separation of powers cases, it has generally applied a formalist approach when the Constitution clearly commits a function or duty to a particular branch and a functionalist approach when the constitutional text is indeterminate, thereby requiring the Court to assess the likelihood that a branch's essential power would be impaired. For example, in Morrison v. Olson, the Court used a functionalist analysis to sustain Congress's creation of an independent counsel.[120] The independent-counsel statute, Title VI of the Ethics in Government Act,[121] the Court emphasized, did "not involve an attempt by Congress to increase its own power at the expense of the Executive Branch" nor did it constitute a "judicial usurpation" of executive power.[122] Moreover, the Court stated, the law did not "impermissibly undermine" Executive Branch powers, nor did it "disrupt the proper balance between the coordinate branches [by] prevent[ing] the Executive Branch from accomplishing its constitutionally assigned functions."[123] The Court also acknowledged that the statute undeniably reduced executive control over what the Court had previously identified as a core executive function--executing laws through criminal prosecution--through its appointment provisions and its assurance of independence by limiting removal to a "good cause" standard.[124] The Court noted the circumscribed nature of the reduction, the discretion of the Attorney General to initiate appointment, the limited jurisdiction of the counsel, and the power of the Attorney General to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed by the counsel.[125] This balancing, the Court concluded, left the President with sufficient control to ensure his ability to perform his constitutionally assigned functions.[126]

Similarly, in Mistretta v. United States, the Court used a functionalist analysis when it upheld the constitutionality of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.[127] Through the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, Congress created the Sentencing Commission as an independent entity in the Judicial Branch to promulgate sentencing guidelines binding on federal judges when sentencing convicted offenders. Under the Act, the President appoints all seven Sentencing Commission members, three of whom have to be Article III judges, and he could remove any member for cause. Noting that the Court's separation of powers jurisprudence is always animated by concerns over encroachment and aggrandizement, the Supreme Court stated: "we have not hesitated to strike down provisions of law that either accrete to a single Branch powers more appropriately diffused among separate Branches or that undermine the authority and independence of one or another coordinate Branch."[128] Thus, with regard to the discrete questions--the placement of the Commission, the appointment of the members, especially the service of federal judges, and the removal power--the Court carefully analyzed whether one branch had been given power it could not exercise, or had enlarged its powers impermissibly, and whether any branch would have its institutional integrity threatened by the structural arrangement.[129]

Notwithstanding Morrison and Mistretta, the Supreme Court continued to apply a formalist analysis in separation of powers cases. For instance, in its 1991 decision in Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority v. Citizens for the Abatement of Airport Noise,[130] the Supreme Court applied a formalistic analysis, although the case appeared to involved a factual situation that could be resolved under Morrison and Mistretta's concern over Congress aggrandizing its powers. In Granfinanciera, S.A. v. Nordberg,[131] the Court reasserted the fundamental holding of Northern Pipeline in a bankruptcy context, although the issue was the right to a jury trial under the Seventh Amendment rather than strictly a separation of powers question. And in Freytag v. Commissioner,[132] the Court pursued a straightforward Appointments Clause analysis, informed by a separation of powers analysis, but not governed by it. Finally, in Public Citizen v. U.S. Department of Justice,[133] Justice Anthony Kennedy, in a concurring opinion, would have followed the formalist approach, but explicitly grounded his concurrence in the distinction between an express constitutional vesting of power and implicit vesting of power.

The Supreme Court has also considered the separation of powers in standing cases. For instance, in Allen v. Wright,[134] the Court viewed the standing requirement for access to judicial review as reflecting a separation of powers component--confining the courts to their proper sphere. In Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife,[135] moreover, the Court imported the Take-Care Clause, obligating the President to see to the faithful execution of the laws, into the standing analysis, creating a substantial barrier to congressional decisions to provide for judicial review of executive actions.

Enumerated, Implied, Resulting, and Inherent Powers[edit | edit source]

The Supreme Court has recognized four general categories of powers belonging to the National Government--enumerated, implied, resulting, and inherent. Enumerated powers are those specifically identified in the Constitution.[136] In McCulloch v. Maryland, Chief Justice John Marshall recognized that the Constitution expressly provides the National Government with specific enumerated powers,[137] stating:

This government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers. The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted to it, would seem too apparent, to have required to be enforced by all those arguments which its enlightened friends, while it was depending before the people, found it necessary to urge. That principle is now universally admitted.McCulloch, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) at 405.

Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution lists various powers that the States ceded to the National Government. These powers include the power to tax and spend, to borrow, and to regulate commerce. Article I, Section 8, however, is not an exclusive list of powers the Constitution expressly grants to the National Government or its constituent branches. For instance, Congress also has power to regulate the electoral process under Article I, Section 4,[138] and the President has the power to veto legislation under Article I, Section 7.[139]

Implied powers are those powers necessary to effectuate powers enumerated in the Constitution.[140] In other words, the Constitution's enumeration of powers implies an additional grant of such powers that are necessary to effectuate them. In McCulloch v. Maryland, Chief Justice Marshall declared that the power conferred by the Necessary and Proper Clause[141] embraces all legislative "means which are appropriate" to carry out the powers provided expressly by the Constitution.[142] Chief Justice Marshall stated: "Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the constitution, are constitutional."[143] In his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, Justice Joseph Story discussed implied powers, noting that any analysis of whether a power is constitutional must first begin by determining whether the Constitution expressly provides for the power.[144] If the Constitution does not expressly state (or enumerate) the power, the question then becomes if such a power is necessary to implement a power provided expressly by the Constitution.[145]

Chief Justice Marshall identified resulting powers as those "result[ing] from the whole mass of the powers of the National Government and from the nature of political society."[146] In American Ins. Co. v. Canter, Chief Justice Marshall recognized that "the constitution confers absolutely on the government of the Union, the powers of making war, and of making treaties; consequently, that government possesses the power of acquiring territory, either by conquest or by treaty."[147] From the power to acquire territory, Chief Justice Marshall reasoned, arises the right to govern it.[148] In the Legal Tender Cases (Knox v. Lee), the Supreme Court clarified that the Constitution neither expressly grants resulting powers to Congress nor are they ancillary to an unenumerated power.[149]

A fourth category of power identified by the Supreme Court--inherent powers[150]--appears to share some of the same characteristics of resulting powers. In United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., Justice George Sutherland described inherent powers as those that are independent of an authorizing power but are inherent to the government in its role as sovereign.[151] Justice Sutherland emphasized that enumerated and implied powers pertain to those the States ceded to the National Government when the United States was formed,[152] while inherent powers originated in the external sovereignty that Great Britain passed to the United States at the end of the American Revolution. Justice Sutherland wrote:

[S]ince the states severally never possessed international powers, such powers could not have been carved from the mass of state powers but . . . were transmitted to the United States from some other source. . . . When . . . the external sovereignty of Great Britain in respect of the colonies ceased, it immediately passed to the Union. . . . The powers to declare and wage war, to conclude peace, to make treaties, to maintain diplomatic relations with other sovereignties, if they had never been mentioned in the Constitution, would have vested in the Federal Government as necessary concomitants of nationality.Curtiss-Wright Exp. Corp., 299 U.S. at 316-18.

Justice Sutherland emphasized the difference between domestic and foreign powers, with the former limited under the enumerated powers doctrine and the latter "virtually free of any restraint."[153]

Notwithstanding the doctrine of enumerated powers--the power to legislate by the "rights expressly given and duties expressly enjoined" by the Constitution[154]--the Court has ascribed implied, resulting, and inherent powers to the National Government. Consequently, the United States, among other things, has power to impart to paper currency the quality of legal tender to pay debts;[155] to acquire territory by discovery;[156] to legislate for Indian tribes wherever situated in the United States;[157] to exclude and deport aliens[158] and to require that those who are admitted be registered and fingerprinted;[159] and the powers of sovereignty to conduct foreign relations.[160]

Bicameralism[edit | edit source]

Although the Continental Congress consisted of a unicameral house, the Framers adopted a bicameral legislature for the U.S. Government at the Constitutional Convention. In making this decision, historical and then-recent experience informed the Framers' decision. For example, some of the ancient republics, which the Framers used as models, had two-house legislatures,[161] and the Parliament of Great Britain was based in two social orders, the hereditary aristocracy represented in the House of Lords and the freeholders of the land represented in the House of Commons.[162]

By providing a national legislature comprised of two Houses, the Framers further reinforced the separation of powers. The Great Compromise, one of the critical decisions leading to the Convention's successful completion, provided for a House of Representatives apportioned on population, and a Senate in which the states were equally represented. Bicameralism thus enabled a composite National and Federal Government, but it also provided for a further separation and diffusion of powers. The legislative power, the Framers recognized, should be predominant in a society dependent upon the suffrage of the people. However, it was important that legislative power be subject to checks unless transient majorities abuse their powers. Hence, the Framers provided that both Houses of Congress--their Members beholden to different constituencies--deliberate on and agree to new legislation.[163]

During the North Carolina Ratifying Convention, future Supreme Court Justice James Iredell articulated the importance of a bicameral legislature for diffusing factional power, stating:

[I]t was the general sense of all America . . . that the legislative body should be divided into two branches, in order that the people might have a double security. It will often happen that, in a single body, a bare majority will carry exceptionable and pernicious measures. The violent faction of a party may often form such a majority in a single body, and by that means the particular views or interests of a part of the community may be consulted, and those of the rest neglected or injured. . . . If a measure be right, which has been approved of by one branch, the other will probably confirm it; if it be wrong, it is fortunate that there is another branch to oppose or amend it.4 The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution 21 (Jonathan Elliott, ed., 1830) (James Iredell, North Carolina Ratifying Convention (July 25, 1788)). At the North Carolina Ratifying Convention on July 24, 1788, William R. Davie also spoke of the advantages of a bicameral legislature, stating: "In order to form some balance, the departments of government were separated, and as a necessary check, the legislative body was composed of two branches. Steadiness and wisdom are better insured when there is a second branch, to balance and check the first. The stability of the laws will be greater when the popular branch, which might be influenced by local views, or the violence of party, is checked by another, whose longer continuance in office will render them more experienced, more temperate, and more competent to decide rightly." Id. at 12.

Events since 1787 have altered both the separation of powers and the federalism bases of bicameralism through adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment, which resulted in the popular election of the Senate. Consequently, the differences between the House of Representatives and the Senate are less pronounced than they were at the Nation's inception.

Delegations of Legislative Power[edit | edit source]

Overview of Delegations of Legislative Power[edit | edit source]

By vesting Congress with "[a]ll legislative Powers," the Supreme Court has viewed the Legislative Vesting Clause as limiting the authority Congress can delegate to other branches of government or private entities. In general, the Court has held that "the legislative power of Congress cannot be delegated."[164] In 1935, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, on behalf of the Court, declared that "Congress is not permitted to abdicate or to transfer to others the essential legislative functions with which it is thus vested."[165] This principle is the basis of the nondelegation doctrine that serves as an important, though seldom used, limit on who may exercise legislative power and the extent to which legislative power may be delegated. In its 2022 decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, the Supreme Court provided further clarity on the nondelegation doctrine, emphasizing that a decision of "magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body."[166]

Historical Background on Delegating Legislative Power[edit | edit source]

The extent to which Congress can delegate its legislative powers has been informed by two distinct constitutional principles: separation of powers and due process. A rigid application of separation of powers would prevent the lawmaking branch from divesting itself of any of its power and conferring it on one of the other branches. But the doctrine is not so rigidly applied as to prevent conferral of significant authority on the Executive Branch.[167] In J. W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. United States,[168] Chief Justice William Howard Taft discussed the ability of Congress to delegate power, stating:

The Federal Constitution . . . divide[s] the governmental power into three branches. . . . [I]n carrying out that constitutional division into three branches it is a breach of the National fundamental law if Congress gives up its legislative power and transfers it to the President, or to the Judicial Branch, or if by law it attempts to invest itself or its members with either executive power or judicial power. This is not to say that the three branches are not co-ordinate parts of one government and that each in the field of its duties may not invoke the action of the two other branches in so far as the action invoked shall not be an assumption of the constitutional field of action of another branch. In determining what it may do in seeking assistance from another branch, the extent and character of that assistance must be fixed according to common sense and the inherent necessities of the governmental co-ordination.Id. at 406. Chief Justice Taft traced the separation of powers doctrine to the maxim, Delegata potestas non potest delegari (a delegated power may not be delegated), id. at 405, but the maxim does not help differentiate between permissible and impermissible delegations, and Court has not repeated this reference in later delegation cases.

In Loving v. United States,[169] the Court distinguished between its usual separation of powers doctrine--emphasizing arrogation of power by a branch and impairment of another branch's ability to carry out its functions--and the delegation doctrine, "another branch of our separation of powers jurisdiction," which is informed not by the arrogation and impairment analyses but solely by the provision of standards.[170] This confirmed what had long been evident--that the delegation doctrine is unmoored to traditional separation of powers principles.

The second principle underlying delegation law is a due process conception that undergirds delegations to administrative agencies. The Court has contrasted the delegation of authority to a public agency, which typically is required to follow established procedures in building a public record to explain its decisions and to enable a reviewing court to determine whether the agency has stayed within its ambit and complied with the legislative mandate, with delegations to private entities, which typically are not required to adhere to such procedural safeguards.[171]

Two theories suggested themselves to the early Court to justify the results of sustaining delegations. The Chief Justice alluded to the first in Wayman v. Southard.[172] He distinguished between "important" subjects, "which must be entirely regulated by the legislature itself," and subjects "of less interest, in which a general provision may be made, and power given to those who are to act under such general provisions, to fill up the details." While his distinction may be lost, the theory of the power "to fill up the details" remains current. A second theory, formulated even earlier, is that Congress may legislate contingently, leaving to others the task of ascertaining the facts that bring its declared policy into operation.[173]

Delegating Legislative Power to Fill Up the Details[edit | edit source]

In finding a power to "fill up the details," the Court in Wayman v. Southard[174] rejected the contention that Congress had unconstitutionally delegated power to the federal courts to establish rules of practice.[175] Chief Justice John Marshall agreed that the rulemaking power was a legislative function and that Congress could have formulated the rules itself, but he denied that the delegation was impermissible. Since then, of course, Congress has authorized the Supreme Court to prescribe rules of procedure for the lower federal courts.[176]

Congress has long provided for the Executive and Judicial Branches to fill up the details of statutes. For example, the Court upheld a statute requiring the manufacturers of oleomargarine to have their packages "marked, stamped and branded as the Commissioner of Internal Revenue . . . shall prescribe," rejecting a contention that the prosecution was not for violation of law but for violation of a regulation.[177] "The criminal offence," said Chief Justice Melville Fuller, "is fully and completely defined by the act and the designation by the Commissioner of the particular marks and brands to be used was a mere matter of detail."[178] Kollock was not the first such case,[179] and it was followed by a multitude of delegations that the Court sustained. In one such case, for example, the Court upheld an act directing the Secretary of the Treasury to promulgate minimum standards of quality and purity for tea imported into the United States.[180]

Contingent Delegations and Nondelegation Doctrine[edit | edit source]

The Supreme Court has held that Congress may delegate authority or legislative action contigent on fact-finding or actions by the Executive Branch.[181] In the 1813 case, Cargo of Brig Aurora v. United States, the Court upheld the revival of a law upon the issuance of a presidential proclamation.[182] After previous restraints on British shipping had lapsed, Congress passed a new law stating that those restrictions should be renewed in the event the President found and proclaimed that France had abandoned certain practices that violated the neutral commerce of the United States.[183] To the objection that this was an invalid delegation of legislative power, the Court answered briefly that "we can see no sufficient reason, why the legislature should not exercise its discretion in reviving the act of March 1st, 1809, either expressly or conditionally, as their judgment should direct."[184]

Similarly, in Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark, the Supreme Court upheld the delegation to the President to suspend the import of specific commodities under Tariff Act of 1890 as constitutional.[185] The Act directed the President to suspend the import of the commodities "for such time as he shall deem just" if he found that other countries imposed upon agricultural or other products of the United States duties or other exactions that "he may deem to be reciprocally unequal and unjust."[186] In sustaining this statute, the Court relied upon two factors: (1) legislative precedents, which demonstrated that "in the judgment of the Legislative Branch of the government, it is often desirable, if not essential, . . . to invest the President with large discretion in matters arising out of the execution of statutes relating to trade and commerce with other nations,"[187] and (2) that the Act

does not, in any real sense, invest the President with the power of legislation. . . . Congress itself prescribed, in advance, the duties to be levied, . . . while the suspension lasted. Nothing involving the expediency or the just operation of such legislation was left to the determination of the President. . . . He had no discretion in the premises except in respect to the duration of the suspension so ordered.Id. at 692, 693.

By similar reasoning, the Supreme Court sustained the flexible provisions of the Tariff Act of 1922 whereby duties were increased or decreased to reflect differences in cost of production at home and abroad, as such differences were ascertained and proclaimed by the President.[188]

Nondelegation Doctrine[edit | edit source]

Overview of Nondelegation Doctrine[edit | edit source]

The nondelegation doctrine is rooted in certain separation of powers principles.[189] In limiting Congress's power to delegate, the nondelegation doctrine exists primarily to prevent Congress from ceding its legislative power to other entities not vested with legislative authority under the Constitution. As interpreted by the Court, the doctrine seeks to ensure that legislative decisions are made through a bicameral legislative process by the elected Members of Congress or governmental officials subject to constitutional accountability.[190] Reserving the legislative power for a bicameral Congress was "intended to erect enduring checks on each Branch and to protect the people from the improvident exercise of power by mandating certain prescribed steps."[191]

The nondelegation doctrine, however, does not require complete separation of the three branches of government, and its continuing strength is the question of much debate.[192] In its nondelegation jurisprudence, the Supreme Court has recognized the need and importance of coordination among the three branches of government so long as one branch does not encroach on the "constitutional field" of another branch.[193] The nondelegation doctrine seeks to distinguish the constitutional delegations of power to other branches of government that may be "necessary" for governmental coordination from unconstitutional grants of legislative power that may violate separation of powers principles.[194]

Historical Background on Nondelegation Doctrine[edit | edit source]

While the Supreme Court has declared categorically that "the legislative power of Congress cannot be delegated,"[195] and on other occasions has recognized more forthrightly, as Chief Justice John Marshall did in 1825, that, although Congress may not delegate powers that "are strictly and exclusively legislative," it may delegate "powers which [it] may rightfully exercise itself."[196] The categorical statement has never been literally true, the Court having upheld the delegation at issue in the very case in which the statement was made.[197] The Court has long recognized that administration of the law requires exercise of discretion,[198] and that, "in our increasingly complex society, replete with ever changing and more technical problems, Congress simply cannot do its job absent an ability to delegate power under broad general directives."[199] The real issue is where to draw the line. Chief Justice Marshall recognized "that there is some difficulty in discerning the exact limits," and that "the precise boundary of this power is a subject of delicate and difficult inquiry, into which a court will not enter unnecessarily."[200] Accordingly, the Court's solution has been to reject delegation challenges in all but the most extreme cases, and to accept delegations of vast powers to the President or to administrative agencies.

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the nondelegation doctrine developed slowly, partly due to the relatively few statutes that were enacted and the lack of executive agencies to exercise those delegations.[201] In early nondelegation cases, the Supreme Court upheld various delegations of authority to the President, administrative agencies, and the judiciary.[202] For example, in Wayman v. Southard, the Court upheld the Process Acts of 1789, which authorized the federal courts to issue writs to execute their judgments.[203] In Wayman, the Court declared that "Congress may certainly delegate to others, powers which the legislature may rightfully exercise itself."[204] His opinion distinguished between "important" policy issues, "which must be entirely regulated by the legislature itself," and subjects "of less interest, in which a general provision may be made, and power given to those who are to act under such general provisions, to fill up the details."[205] Later, in Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark,[206] the Court affirmed Congress's grant of power to the President to impose import tariffs only if the President determined that other nations imposed "unequal or unreasonable" tariffs on American exports.[207] The Court reasoned that Congress must "make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be," and its delegations may only "confer[ ] authority and discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law."[208]

While acknowledging the Congress may delegate some authority in these early decisions, the Supreme Court began to clarify the role of the delegee with respect to Congress and draw the boundary between permissible and impermissible delegations. In these early nondelegation cases, the Court determined that governmental entities acted as a "mere agent" to administer and effectuate the laws and "essential"[209] policy decisions Congress enacted and were not exercising legislative power.[210] To ensure the delegations were not boundless, the Court also required that the delegations of authority must stay "within the great outlines marked out by the legislature."[211]

Origin of Intelligible Principle Standard[edit | edit source]

As the primary means to enforce the nondelegation doctrine, the Supreme Court has required that Congress lays out an "intelligible principle" to govern and guide its delegee.[212] The "intelligible principle" standard requires that Congress delineate a legal framework to constrain the authority of the delegee, such as an administrative agency.[213] The principle was explicitly set forth in the 1928 case, J. W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. United States, in which the Supreme Court upheld Congress's delegation of authority to the President to set tariff rates that would equalize production costs in the United States and competing countries.[214] The Court's opinion, written by Chief Justice William Howard Taft, emphasized that Congress was restrained only according to "common sense and the inherent necessities" of governmental cooperation in seeking the assistance of another branch.[215] The Court explained that Congress could delegate discretion to other entities to "secure the exact effect" of legislation if it provides an "intelligible principle" to which the President or other entity must conform.[216] The Court further noted: "Such legislative action is not a forbidden delegation of legislative power" if "nothing involving the expediency or just operation of such legislation was left to [delegee's] determination."[217] The Court concluded that, with respect to the tariff law at issue in the case, the President acted only as "the mere agent of the law-making department" because the President was guided by an "intelligible principle" laid out by Congress.[218] Hence, the "intelligible principle" standard, as imposed by the Supreme Court, seeks to ensure that Congress has laid down the "boundaries" and limits of Congress's delegations.[219]

In 1929, the year after the J.W. Hampton decision, the stock market crashed, precipitating the Great Depression of the 1930s.[220] After his election in 1932,[221] President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in conjunction with Congress, began to implement his "New Deal"[222] of economic and labor reforms that greatly expanded the power of the Federal Government during his presidency.[223] The expansion of governmental power to combat the Great Depression and spur economic recovery during the New Deal era[224] led to several judicial challenges that, among other issues, questioned the scope of Congress's authority to delegate broad power to the Executive Branch under the nondelegation doctrine.

In 1935, in the midst of the New Deal era, the Supreme Court struck down legislation that granted the President extensive and "unfettered" powers to regulate economic activity. As characterized by the Court, the delegations to the President challenged in Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan[225] and A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States[226] were not only broad but unprecedented delegation of legislative power to the President. Both cases involved provisions of the National Industrial Recovery Act. At issue in Panama Refining was a delegation to the President of authority to prohibit interstate transportation of petroleum produced in excess of quotas set by state law.[227] The Supreme Court held that the Act provided no guidance to the President in determining whether or when to exercise this authority, requiring no finding by the President as a condition before exercising the authority.[228] As the Court noted, Congress "declared no policy, . . . established no standard, [and] laid down no rule" with respect to the so-called "hot oil" law at issue, but rather "left the matter to the President without standard or rule, to be dealt with as he pleased," resulting in the law's invalidation.[229]

Similarly, the Supreme Court in Schechter Poultry reviewed a delegation to the President of authority to promulgate codes of fair competition that industry groups or the President, on his own initiative, could propose and adopt.[230] The Court determined that the codes were required to implement the National Industrial Recovery Act, but the President's authority to approve, condition, or adopt codes on his own initiative was similarly devoid of meaningful standards and "virtually unfettered."[231] The Court noted that this broad delegation was "without precedent."[232] The Act supplied "no standards" for any trade or industry association for proposing codes and, unlike other broad delegations that the Court had upheld, did not set policies that an administrative agency could implement by following "appropriate administrative procedure."[233] The Court rejected the government's argument that such economic measures must take into consideration the "grave national crisis" caused by the Great Depression, stating that "[e]xtraordinary conditions do not create or enlarge constitutional power."[234]

The Supreme Court's decisions in Panama Refining and Schechter Poultry represent the "high-water mark" for the nondelegation doctrine.[235] A decline of judicial reliance on the nondelegation doctrine soon followed in the years after the Court issued its decisions in Panama Refining and Schechter.[236] This shift in the Court's approach to the nondelegation doctrine coincided with a broader "constitutional revolution" at the Supreme Court that largely affirmed the Federal Government's broad powers to guide the nation's social and economic development.[237] With respect to the nondelegation doctrine, the Court's use of the "intelligible principle" standard afforded the Executive Branch "substantial discretion" over regulatory policy.[238] As noted by legal scholars, "the federal judiciary [took] a hands-off approach to assessing the congressional assignment of policy responsibility to other government officials."[239]

Under the "intelligible principle" standard, the Court has not struck down legislation as an impermissible delegation of authority to other branches of government since its Panama Refining and Schechter decisions in 1935. Since 1935, the Court has not struck down a delegation to an administrative agency.[240] Rather, the Court has approved, "without deviation, Congress's ability to delegate power under broad standards."[241] The Court has upheld, for example, delegations to administrative agencies to determine "excessive profits" during wartime,[242] to determine "unfair and inequitable distribution of voting power" among securities holders,[243] to fix "fair and equitable" commodities prices,[244] to determine "just and reasonable" rates,[245] and to regulate broadcast licensing as the "public interest, convenience, or necessity require."[246] During all this time the Court "has not seen fit . . . to enlarge in the slightest [the] relatively narrow holdings" of Panama Refining and Schechter.[247] Again and again, the Court has distinguished the two cases, sometimes by finding adequate standards in the challenged statute,[248] sometimes by contrasting the vast scope of the power delegated by the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA),[249] and sometimes by pointing to required administrative findings and procedures that were absent in the NIRA.[250] The Court has also relied on the constitutional doubt principle of statutory construction to narrow interpretations of statutes that, interpreted broadly, might have presented delegation issues.[251]

Nature and Scope of Intelligible Principle Standard[edit | edit source]

The "intelligible principle" standard remains the Supreme Court's primary test for assessing whether Congress has unconstitutionally delegated its legislative power to the other branches of the government. Under this lenient standard, the Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed, "without deviation, Congress's ability to delegate power under broad standards" to governmental entities.[252] As the Court has explained, "Congress does not violate the Constitution merely because it legislates in broad terms, leaving a certain degree of discretion to executive or judicial actors."[253] Under the "intelligible principle" standard, the Court has upheld, for example, delegations to administrative agencies to determine "excessive profits" during wartime;[254] "unfair and inequitable distribution of voting power" among securities holders;[255] what are "fair and equitable" commodities prices;[256] and "just and reasonable" rates that a natural gas company could charge.[257] In perhaps the broadest delegation judicially challenged, the Court in National Broadcasting Co. v. United States, upheld a provision in the Communications Act of 1934 that authorized the Federal Communications Commission to regulate broadcast licensing as the "public interest, convenience, or necessity require."[258]

With the rise of the modern administrative state, the Supreme Court did not impose many restrictions on Congress's ability to delegate power to governmental entities. In embracing a pragmatic view of its role, the Court has been reluctant to interfere with Congress's "practical" need and flexibility to delegate and rely on the duties and expertise of the other branches of the government.[259] The Court noted that its "jurisprudence has been driven by a practical understanding" about "our increasingly complex society, replete with ever changing and more technical problems."[260] The Court has often explained that Congress lacks the technical expertise, resources, time, foresight, and the flexibility to address every detail of its policy decisions.[261] Even when holding the delegation unconstitutional in Panama Refining and Schechter, the Court affirmed that the "Constitution has never been regarded as denying to Congress the necessary resources of flexibility and practicality."[262] In this vein, the Court has declared that "Congress simply cannot do its job absent an ability to delegate power under broad general directives."[263] Denying Congress the power to delegate, the Court noted, would "'stop . . . the wheels of government' and bring about confusion, if not paralysis, in the conduct of the public business."[264] As a result, the Supreme Court has often acknowledged that the practical need for coordination among the three branches of government does not violate separation of powers principles that underpin the nondelegation doctrine.[265]

The Supreme Court's application of the "intelligible principle" standard may also reflect the challenge in determining the appropriate line between permissible and impermissible delegations.[266] Since its early nondelegation decisions, the Court has recognized the difficulty in drawing the "line which separates legislative power to make laws, from administrative authority" to execute the laws enacted by Congress.[267] The "precise boundary of this [legislative] power is a subject of delicate and difficult inquiry, into which a Court will not enter unnecessarily."[268]

Rather than characterize the delegated power as legislative or administrative, the Court has looked to how the intelligible principles laid out by Congress constrain delegations to governmental entities. As explained in Yakus v. United States,

the only concern of courts is to ascertain whether the will of Congress has been obeyed. This depends not upon the breadth of the definition of the facts or conditions which the administrative officer is to find but upon the determination whether the definition sufficiently marks the field within which the [delegee] is to act so that it may be known whether he has kept within it in compliance with the legislative will.Yakus, 321 U.S. at 425.

In Yakus, the Court upheld the delegation of authority to the Price Administrator to fix commodity prices that "will be generally fair and equitable and will effectuate the purposes" of the statute.[269] The Court determined that standards in the statute were "sufficiently definite and precise to enable Congress, the courts and the public to ascertain whether the Administrator, in fixing the designated prices, has conformed to those standards."[270] Only the absence of standards or boundaries for the delegated authority, the Court reasoned, would justify "overriding" Congress's choice to effectuate its "legislative will."[271]

This focus on statutory boundaries rather than the legislative character of the delegation is seen in the Supreme Court's review of delegations of rulemaking authority.[272] While acknowledging that regulations are "binding rules of conduct,"[273] the Court has treated such regulations as "valid only as subordinate rules when found to be within the framework of the policy which the legislature has sufficiently defined."[274]

The extent to which Congress must constrain its policy judgments or explicitly define the scope of a delegee's discretion may depend on whether the delegee possesses inherent authority related to the delegated matter. For delegated matters that are within the expertise or independent authority of the delegee, the Supreme Court has not required that Congress provide detailed guidance or direction for the delegation.[275] For example, in Loving v. United States, the Court reviewed a challenge to Congress's delegation to the President of the authority to prescribe aggravating factors for military capital murder cases.[276] The Court reasoned that "[o]nce delegated that power by Congress, the President, acting in his constitutional office of Commander in Chief, had undoubted competency to prescribe those factors without further guidance."[277] The Court, however, cautioned that if the delegation called for "the exercise of judgment or discretion that lies beyond the traditional authority of the President," there may be a greater need to provide guiding principles to sustain the delegation.[278]

The modern application of the J. W. Hampton Court's intelligible principle test and the broad deference it affords congressional delegations of authority to the other branches has met with growing skepticism from some members of the Court.[279] The 2019 case of Gundy v. United States highlighted an emerging split on the High Court with respect its nondelegation doctrine jurisprudence.[280] In that case, a criminal defendant challenged a provision of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) allowing the Attorney General to (1) "specify the applicability" of SORNA's registration requirements to individuals convicted of a sex offense prior to the statute's enactment and (2) "prescribe rules for [their] registration" in jurisdictions where the offender resides, works, or is a student.[281] Writing for a four-Justice plurality, Justice Elena Kagan interpreted this provision as limiting the Attorney General's authority to "require pre-Act offenders to register as soon as feasible,"[282] concluding that the delegation "easily passe[d] constitutional muster."[283] For the plurality, the Attorney General's authority under SORNA, when compared to other delegations the Court had previously upheld, was "distinctly small-bore."[284]

Notably, Justice Kagan's opinion was met by a dissent, authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas, which argued that the statute unconstitutionally provided the Attorney General "unfettered discretion."[285] Further, the dissenters claimed that the modern intelligible principle test has "no basis in the original meaning of the Constitution" or in historical practice.[286] In response, the plurality, noting that delegations akin to the one in SORNA are "ubiquitous in the U.S. Code," argued that as a matter of pragmatism the Court should afford deference to Congress's judgments that such broad delegations are necessary.[287] Providing the fifth vote to affirm the petitioner's conviction was Justice Samuel Alito, who, while agreeing that the plurality correctly applied the modern nondelegation case law, indicated he would "support [the] effort" of the dissenting Justices to reconsider the intelligible principle test once a majority of the Court concurred in rethinking the doctrine.[288] Accordingly, Gundy witnessed the Court evenly split on how deferential the Court should be with regard to congressional delegations to the other branches, raising questions as to whether the nondelegation doctrine would remain moribund.

Agency Discretion and Chevron Deference[edit | edit source]

Challenges to delegations of legislative power often raise concerns regarding an administrative agency's discretion to interpret broad directives, ambiguities, or gaps in a statutory provision. An agency's degree of discretion that may be constitutionally "acceptable" under the nondelegation doctrine appears to be fairly broad. In Whitman v. American Trucking Associations, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) authority to set national air quality standards at a level "'requisite' . . . to protect the public health."[289] The Court held that the "scope of discretion" given to the EPA under the Clean Air Act "fit[s] comfortably" and is "well within the outer limits of our nondelegation precedents."[290] In reviewing previous nondelegation cases, the Court reasoned that even in "sweeping regulatory schemes" that affect the entire economy, the Court has "never demanded . . . that statutes provide a 'determinate criterion' for saying 'how much [of the regulated harm] is too much.'"[291]

Congress has given considerable leeway to administrative agencies to interpret statutory ambiguities, which has been sustained by the Supreme Court under the Chevron doctrine. Under the Chevron doctrine, courts give special consideration or deference to administrative agencies to interpret statutory ambiguities within their delegated authorities.[292] Judicial review of such interpretations is governed by the framework set forth in Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc..[293] The Chevron case reviewed the EPA's definition of the term "stationary source" in a regulation promulgated under the Clean Air Act.[294] A unanimous Supreme Court upheld that regulation, determining that the EPA's definition was "a permissible construction of the statute."[295] In Chevron, the Court reasoned that

If Congress has explicitly left a gap for the agency to fill, there is an express delegation of authority to the agency to elucidate a specific provision of the statute by regulation. . . . Sometimes the legislative delegation to an agency on a particular question is implicit rather than explicit. In such a case, a court may not substitute its own construction of a statutory provision for a reasonable interpretation made by the administrator of an agency.Id. at 844.

The broad deference the "intelligible principle" standard affords congressional delegations of authority to the other branches has met with growing skepticism from some members of the Court.[296] The 2019 case of Gundy v. United States highlighted an emerging split on the High Court with respect its nondelegation doctrine jurisprudence.[297] In that case, a criminal defendant challenged a provision of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) allowing, among other things, the Attorney General to "specify the applicability" of SORNA's registration requirements to individuals convicted of a sex offense prior to the statute's enactment.[298] Writing for a four-Justice plurality, Justice Elena Kagan interpreted this provision as limiting the Attorney General's authority to "require pre-Act offenders to register as soon as feasible,"[299] concluding that the delegation "easily passe[d] constitutional muster."[300] For the plurality, the Attorney General's authority under SORNA, when compared to other delegations the Court had previously upheld, was "distinctly small-bore."[301]

Notably, Justice Kagan's opinion was met by a dissent, authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch and joined by Chief John Justice Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas, which argued that the statute unconstitutionally provided the Attorney General "unfettered discretion."[302] Further, the dissenters claimed that the modern intelligible principle standard has "no basis in the original meaning of the Constitution" or in historical practice.[303] In response, the plurality, noting that delegations akin to the one in SORNA are "ubiquitous in the U.S. Code," argued that as a matter of pragmatism the Court should afford deference to Congress's judgments that such broad delegations are necessary.[304] Providing the fifth vote to affirm the petitioner's conviction was Justice Samuel Alito, who, while agreeing that the plurality correctly applied the modern nondelegation case law, indicated he would "support [the] effort" of the dissenting Justices to reconsider the intelligible principle test once a majority of the Court concurred in rethinking the doctrine.[305] Accordingly, the Court in Gundy was evenly split on how deferential the Court should be with regard to congressional delegations to the other branches, raising questions as to whether the nondelegation doctrine would remain moribund.[306]

Major Questions Doctrine and Canons of Statutory Construction[edit | edit source]

Some legal scholars have suggested that delegations to governmental entities are interpreted through other "canons" of statutory construction and principles of statutory interpretation.[307] These canons and principles have helped the Court to define the constitutionally acceptable degree of discretion, deference, or direction given by Congress to a delegee.

These complementary canons and principles have restricted the powers delegated by Congress, indirectly enforcing the separation of powers principles of the nondelegation doctrine. For example, the Supreme Court has sometimes limited the scope of an agency's delegated authority (and Chevron deference[308]) under the so-called "major questions" doctrine.[309] Under this doctrine, the Court has vacated administrative regulations on the ground that "Congress could not have intended to delegate a decision of such economic and political significance to an agency" without a clear statement of its intention.[310]

For matters that "affect the entire national economy" or go beyond the "traditional authority" of the delegee, Congress, in the Court's opinion, must provide "substantial guidance."[311] This additional level of guidance appears to be a more stringent version of the "intelligible principle" standard that has been used by the Court for delegation challenges. In West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, the Supreme Court expressed doubt that Congress intended to provide the Environmental Protection Agency with authority to cap carbon dioxide emissions so as to "force a nationwide transition" from fossil fuel-generated electricity.[312] The Court stated: "But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme . . . . A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body."[313] Similarly, in King v. Burwell,[314] the Court considered whether states participating in a federal health care exchange were eligible for tax credits under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[315] The Court declined to apply the Chevron deference to the statutory interpretation of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), holding that this was an "'extraordinary case'" in which the Court had "'reason to hesitate before concluding that Congress'" implicitly delegated to the IRS the authority to "'fill in the statutory gaps.'"[316]

The Supreme Court has also enforced nondelegation principles through the canon of constitutional avoidance, taking a narrow view of a statutory delegation in order to avoid potential constitutional conflicts with the nondelegation doctrine.[317] In a 1974 case, National Cable Television Association v. United States, the Court avoided potential delegation concerns in a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) authority to assess fees against regulated parties to cover their operating costs.[318] The Independent Offices Appropriations Act directed federal agencies to set fee levels by taking into consideration "direct and indirect cost[s] to the Government, value to the recipient, [and] public policy."[319] Relying on Schechter Poultry and J.W. Hampton, the Court declined to read the statute as raising a constitutional delegation question of whether the Act delegated taxing authority to the FCC, determining that "the [delegation] hurdles revealed in those decisions lead us to read the Act narrowly to avoid constitutional problems."[320] The Court narrowly construed the statute to limit the FCC's authority to set fees that reflect only the "value to the recipient" and not the full costs of regulating.[321] While the Supreme Court later distanced itself from the reasoning of National Cable Television in Skinner v. Mid-America Pipeline Company, explaining that "the delegation of discretionary authority under Congress's taxing power is subject to no constitutional scrutiny greater than that we have applied to other nondelegation challenges,"[322] the 1974 decision illustrates that the nondelegation doctrine may not be "dead" but continues to survive through judicial canons and principles that sustain the separation of powers roots of the doctrine.[323]

Categories of Legislative Power Delegations[edit | edit source]

Criminal Statutes and Nondelegation Doctrine[edit | edit source]

The Supreme Court has held that only Congress has the power to declare any act or omission a criminal offense.[324] This limit derives from the due process and separation of powers principles that no one should be "subjected to a penalty unless the words of the statute plainly impose it."[325] The Supreme Court has held that Congress must "distinctly" define by statute what violations of the statute's provisions constitute a criminal offense.[326] At the same time, the Court has recognized that Congress may provide that violation of valid administrative regulations authorized by a statute shall be punished as a crime.[327]

Once Congress has exercised its power to declare certain acts criminal, the Supreme Court has generally upheld Congress's authority to delegate authority to further define what specific conduct is criminal pursuant to the statutory limits.[328] For example, the Supreme Court, in Touby v. United States, upheld a delegation of authority to the Attorney General to classify drugs as "controlled substances" under the Controlled Substances Act.[329] The Act prohibits, among other things, any person from knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, distributing a "controlled substance," and sets forth criminal penalties that vary according to the level of a drug's classification.[330] While acknowledged that its "cases are not entirely clear as to whether more specific guidance [than an 'intelligible principle'] is in fact required" for delegations that trigger statutorily prescribed criminal penalties, the Court concluded that the Act "passes muster even if greater congressional specificity is required in the criminal context."[331] The Court determined that the Act "placed multiple specific restrictions on the Attorney General's discretion to define criminal conduct," satisfying the "constitutional requirements of the nondelegation doctrine."[332]

The Supreme Court has also upheld the authority delegated to the Attorney General to apply criminal penalties retroactively. The 2019 case of Gundy v. United States centered on the application of registration requirements under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) to pre-act offenders.[333] Section 20913(d) of SORNA authorizes the Attorney General to "specify the applicability" of the registration requirements "to sex offenders convicted before the enactment" of the Act and to "prescribe rules for the registration of any such sex offenders" and for other offenders unable to comply with the initial registration requirements.[334] In his petition to the Supreme Court, Gundy, a convicted sex offender, argued, among other things, that SORNA's grant of "undirected discretion" to the Attorney General to decide whether to apply the statute to pre-SORNA offenders is an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to the Executive Branch.

In a plurality opinion written on behalf of four Justices, Justice Elena Kagan concluded that SORNA's delegation "easily passes constitutional muster" and was "distinctly small-bore" when compared to the other broad delegations the Court has upheld since 1935.[335] Justice Kagan read SORNA as requiring the Attorney General to "apply SORNA's registration requirements as soon as feasible to offenders convicted before the statute's enactment."[336] Although the delegation in Section 20913(d) does not refer to a feasibility standard, Justice Kagan relied on the legislative history, definition of "sex offender," and SORNA's stated purpose (i.e., to establish a "comprehensive" registration system) as an "appropriate guide" to limit the Attorney General's discretion.[337] The plurality concluded that the Attorney General's "temporary authority" to delay the application of SORNA's registration requirements to pre-act offenders due to feasibility concerns "falls well within constitutional bounds."[338] Providing the fifth vote to affirm Gundy's conviction, Justice Samuel Alito concurred in the judgment only, declining to join Justice Kagan's opinion and indicating his willingness to rethink the Supreme Court's approach to the nondelegation doctrine.[339]

In his dissent joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Neil Gorsuch viewed the plain text of the delegation as providing the Attorney General limitless and "vast" discretion and "free rein" to impose (or not) selected registration requirements on pre-act offenders.[340] Justice Gorsuch concluded that SORNA's delegation was an unconstitutional breach of the separation between the legislative and Executive Branches.[341] In "a future case with a full panel," Justice Gorsuch hoped that the Court would recognize that "while Congress can enlist considerable assistance from the Executive Branch in filling up details and finding facts, it may never hand off to the nation's chief prosecutor the power to write his own criminal code. That 'is delegation running riot.'"[342]

Congress may also delegate authority to prescribe maximum and minimum penalty ranges for criminal sentences. The Court in Mistretta v. United States upheld Congress's conferral of "significant discretion" on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an independent agency in the Judicial Branch, to develop and promulgate sentencing guidelines for federal judges.[343] These guidelines restricted a judge's discretion in sentencing criminal defendants by establishing a range of determinate sentences for all categories of federal offenses and defendants.[344]

The Court concluded that the statute "sets forth more than merely an 'intelligible principle' or minimal standards" by "explain[ing] what the Commission should do and how it should do it, and set[ting] out specific directives to govern particular situations."[345] Although Congress provided standards regarding the developing of the sentencing guidelines, the Court noted that the Commission has significant discretion in making policy judgments when considering the relative severity of different crimes and the weight of the characteristics of offenders, and stated that delegations may carry with them "the need to exercise judgment on matters of policy."[346] The Court also noted that the statute did not confer authority to create new crimes or to enact a federal death penalty for any offense.[347]

The Court has confessed that its "cases are not entirely clear as to whether more specific guidance is in fact required" for delegations relating to the imposition of criminal sanctions.[348] It is clear, however, that some essence of the power to define crimes and set a range of punishments is not delegable, but must be exercised by Congress. This conclusion derives in part from the time-honored principle that penal statutes are to be strictly construed, and that no one should be "subjected to a penalty unless the words of the statute plainly impose it."[349] Both Schechter[350] and Panama Refining[351]--the only two cases in which the Court has invalidated delegations--involved broad delegations of power to "make federal crimes of acts that never had been such before."[352] Thus, Congress must provide by statute that violation of the statute's terms--or of valid regulations issued pursuant thereto--shall constitute a crime, and the statute must also specify a permissible range of penalties. Punishment in addition to that authorized in the statute may not be imposed by administrative action.[353]

However, once Congress has exercised its power to declare certain acts criminal, and has set a range of punishment for violations, authority to flesh out the details may be delegated. Congress may provide that violation of valid administrative regulations shall be punished as a crime.[354] For example, the Court has upheld a delegation of authority to classify drugs as "controlled substances," and thereby to trigger imposition of criminal penalties, set by statute, that vary according to the level of a drug's classification by the Attorney General.[355]

Congress may also confer on administrators authority to prescribe criteria for ascertaining an appropriate sentence within the range between the maximum and minimum penalties that are set by statute. The Court upheld Congress's conferral of "significant discretion" on the Sentencing Commission to set binding sentencing guidelines establishing a range of determinate sentences for all categories of federal offenses and defendants.[356] Although the Commission was given significant discretionary authority "to determine the relative severity of federal crimes, . . . assess the relative weight of the offender characteristics listed by Congress, . . . to determine which crimes have been punished too leniently and which too severely, [and] which types of criminals are to be considered similar," Congress also gave the Commission extensive guidance in the Act, and did not confer authority to create new crimes or to enact a federal death penalty for any offense.[357]

Delegations of Foreign and Military Affairs to the President[edit | edit source]

That the delegation of discretion in dealing with foreign relations stands upon a different footing than the transfer of authority to regulate domestic concerns was asserted in United States v. Curtiss-Wright Corporation.[358] There the Court upheld a joint resolution of Congress making it unlawful to sell arms to certain warring countries upon certain findings by the President, a typically contingent type of delegation. But Justice George Sutherland for the Court proclaimed that the President is largely free of the constitutional constraints imposed by the nondelegation doctrine when he acts in foreign affairs.[359] Sixty years later, the Court, relying on Curtiss-Wright, reinforced such a distinction in a case involving the President's authority over military justice.[360] Whether or not the President is the "sole organ of the nation" in its foreign relations, as asserted in Curtiss-Wright,[361] a lesser standard of delegation is applied in areas of power shared by the President and Congress.

Superintendence of the military is another area in which shared power with the President is impacted by the delegation doctrine. The Court in Loving v. United States[362] approved a virtually standardless delegation to the President.

Article 118 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)[363] provides for the death penalty for premeditated murder and felony murder for persons subject to the Act, but the statute does not comport with the Court's capital punishment jurisdiction, which requires the death sentence to be cabined by standards so that the sentencing authority must narrow the class of convicted persons to be so sentenced and must justify the individual imposition of the sentence.[364] However, the President in 1984 had promulgated standards that purported to supply the constitutional validity the UCMJ needed.[365]

The Court in Loving held that Congress could delegate to the President the authority to prescribe standards for the imposition of the death penalty--Congress's power under Article I, § 8, cl. 14, is not exclusive--and that Congress had done so in the UCMJ by providing that the punishment imposed by a court-martial may not exceed "such limits as the President may prescribe."[366] Acknowledging that a delegation must contain some "intelligible principle" to guide the recipient of the delegation, the Court nonetheless held this not to be true when the delegation was made to the President in his role as Commander in Chief. "The same limitations on delegation do not apply" if the entity authorized to exercise delegated authority itself possesses independent authority over the subject matter. The President's responsibilities as Commander in Chief require him to superintend the military, including the courts-martial, and thus the delegated duty is interlinked with duties already assigned the President by the Constitution.[367]

States and Legislative Power Delegations[edit | edit source]

Beginning in the Nation's early years, Congress has enacted hundreds of statutes that contained provisions authorizing state officers to enforce and execute federal laws.[368] Challenges to the practice have been uniformly rejected. Although the Court early expressed its doubt that Congress could compel state officers to act, it entertained no such thoughts about the propriety of authorizing them to act if they chose.[369] When, in the Selective Draft Law Cases,[370] the contention was made that the 1917 statute authorizing a military draft was invalid because of its delegations of duties to state officers, the argument was rejected as "too wanting in merit to require further notice." Congress continues to empower state officers to act.[371] Presidents who have objected have done so not on delegation grounds, but rather on the basis of the Appointments Clause.[372]

Quasi-Governmental Entities and Legislative Power Delegations[edit | edit source]

To define what constitutional limits could apply if Congress delegates authority to another entity to perform specified functions and duties, the Supreme Court has said that that it must first determine whether the entity in question is a private or governmental entity. The Court applies varying levels of scrutiny to a delegation depending on whether the delegation is made to a governmental, private, or quasi-governmental entity. For governmental entities such as federal agencies, the Court applies the lenient "intelligible principle" standard.[373]

The Court has held that a provision of a statute that states an entity is either a private or governmental entity is not dispositive for constitutional purposes.[374] While certain entities such as federal agencies can be readily characterized as governmental entities,[375] the distinction between a public and a private entity is often unclear for government-created or government-appointed entities.[376] Nondelegation challenges involving quasi-governmental entities highlight "the judiciary's unsettled approach to analyzing the constitutional status of 'boundary agencies' that sit at the public-private border."[377]

The Supreme Court has examined the following factors to determine whether government-created entities[378] with varying degrees of governmental involvement and oversight are private or governmental entities:

These factors arose from two Supreme Court decisions involving the status of Amtrak, a federally chartered corporation. In its 1995 decision in Lebron v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., the Supreme Court held that Amtrak "is an agency or instrumentality of the United States" for purposes of a First Amendment challenge.[379] After reviewing Amtrak's history and operations, the Court concluded that when the "Government creates a corporation [such as Amtrak] by special law, for the furtherance of governmental objectives, and retains for itself permanent authority to appoint a majority of the directors of that corporation, the corporation is part of the Government for purposes of the First Amendment."[380]

Twenty years later, the Supreme Court affirmed Amtrak's status as a governmental entity in a case involving nondelegation and Appointments Clause challenges. In Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads,[381] the Court relied on its analysis in Lebron to determine whether Amtrak was a governmental or private entity. The Association of American Railroads filed suit alleging that the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 unconstitutionally delegated authority to Amtrak to set certain standards.[382] The Court concluded that Amtrak was a governmental entity because the "political branches created Amtrak, control its Board, define its mission, specify many of its day-to-day operations, have imposed substantial transparency and accountability mechanisms, and, for all practical purposes, set and supervise its annual budget."[383] The Court did not explain the relative importance of the various factors in the Amtrak test, concluding that the "combination of these unique features and [Amtrak's] significant ties to the Government" established that it was not a private entity but a governmental entity that "was created by the Government, is controlled by the Government, and operates for the Government's benefit."[384] The Court did not reach the issue of whether the delegation of power given to Amtrak over its competitors violates the Due Process Clause or the nondelegation doctrine.[385]

Because case law on the threshold question of whether an entity is a private or governmental entity is limited and fact-dependent, it is difficult to conclude with any certainty how the Supreme Court would apply the Amtrak test with respect to other government-created corporations or other entities performing government functions.[386] In addition to nondelegation concerns, the growth of quasi-governmental entities[387] could also raise due process and other constitutional concerns.[388]

Private Entities and Legislative Power Delegations[edit | edit source]

In contrast to the relative latitude given to delegations to other branches of the government under the "intelligible principle" standard,[389] the Supreme Court has limited the types of authority and functions that Congress can delegate to a purely private entity.[390] The seminal case addressing delegations to a private entity is Carter v. Carter Coal Co.[391] In Carter Coal, the Supreme Court invalidated the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935, a law that granted a majority of coal producers and miners in a given region the authority to impose maximum hour and minimum wage standards on all other miners and producers in that region.[392] The Court reasoned that by conferring on a majority of private individuals the authority to regulate "the affairs of an unwilling minority," the law was "legislative delegation in its most obnoxious form; for it is not even delegation to an official or an official body, presumptively disinterested, but to private persons whose interests may be and often are adverse to the interests of others in the same business."[393] The Court did not apply the "intelligible principle" standard, but instead focused on the regulatory and "coercive" power given to private entities over its competitors and the due process concerns raised by such delegations.[394]

Although Carter Coal concerned the delegation of authority to private entities and not governmental bodies, some courts and commentators have suggested that the Carter Coal decision may more accurately be viewed as a due process case.[395] The Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause prohibits the Federal Government[396] from depriving any person of "life, liberty, or property without due process of law,"[397] which the Court has interpreted as establishing certain principles of fundamental fairness, including the notion that decision makers must be disinterested and unbiased.[398] In striking down the delegation to coal producers and miners to impose standards on other producers and miners, the Supreme Court in Carter Coal centered its analysis on the coercive power that the majority could exercise over the "unwilling minority."[399] The opinion articulated the due process problems involved with providing regulatory authority to private entities, stating:

The difference between producing coal and regulating its production is, of course, fundamental. The former is a private activity; the latter is necessarily a governmental function, since, in the very nature of things, one person may not be entrusted with the power to regulate the business of another, and especially of a competitor. And a statute which attempts to confer such power undertakes an intolerable and unconstitutional interference with personal liberty and private property. The delegation is so clearly arbitrary, and so clearly a denial of rights safeguarded by the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, that it is unnecessary to do more than refer to decisions of this court which foreclose the question.Id. at 311-12.

The Court's reasoning in Carter Coal suggests that delegating authority to coal producers and miners to impose standards on its competitors is in tension with both the nondelegation doctrine and the Due Process Clause.[400]

After its Carter Coal decision, the Supreme Court did not comprehensively ban private involvement in regulation. In the context of private parties aiding in regulatory functions and decisions, the Court has indicated that Congress may empower a private party to play a more limited and supervised role in the regulatory process. For example, in Currin v. Wallace,[401] the Court upheld a law that authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to issue a regulation respecting the tobacco market, but only if two-thirds of the growers in that market voted for the Secretary to do so.[402] In distinguishing Carter Coal, the Court stated that "this is not a case where a group of producers may make the law and force it upon a minority."[403] Rather, it was Congress that had exercised its "legislative authority in making the regulation and in prescribing the conditions of its application."[404]

Similarly, in Sunshine Anthracite Coal Co. v. Adkins,[405] the Supreme Court upheld a provision of the Bituminous Coal Act of 1937,[406] which authorized private coal producers to propose standards for the regulation of coal prices.[407] Those proposals were provided to a governmental entity, which was then authorized to approve, disapprove, or modify the proposal.[408] The Court approved this framework, heavily relying on the fact that the private coal producers did not have the authority to set coal prices, but rather acted "subordinately" to the governmental entity (the National Bituminous Coal Commission).[409] In particular, the Sunshine Anthracite Court noted that the Commission and not the private industry entity determined the final industry prices to conclude that the "statutory scheme" was "unquestionably valid."[410]

In the same vein as Carter Coal, the Supreme Court in Currin and Sunshine Anthracite did not evaluate whether Congress laid out an "intelligible principle" guiding the delegations to the private entities. Rather than applying the "intelligible principle" standard, the Court reviewed whether the responsibilities given to the private entities were acts of legislative or regulatory authority.[411] In these nondelegation cases involving private entities, the Court drew the "line which separates legislative power to make laws, from administrative authority" to administer laws.[412] In both Currin and Adkins, the Court reasoned that the private entities did not exercise legislative power because they did not impose or enforce binding legal requirements.[413] Because the private entity's responsibilities were primarily administrative or advisory, the Court determined that the statutes did not violate the nondelegation doctrine.[414]

Taxes and Delegations of Legislative Power Delegations[edit | edit source]

The Court has strongly implied that the same principles govern the validity of a delegation regardless of the subject matter of the delegation. "[A] constitutional power implies a power of delegation of authority under it sufficient to effect its purposes."[415] Holding that "the delegation of discretionary authority under Congress's taxing power is subject to no constitutional scrutiny greater than that we have applied to other nondelegation challenges," the Court explained in Skinner v. Mid-America Pipeline Company[416] that there was "nothing in the placement of the Taxing Clause" in Article I, § 8 that would distinguish it, for purposes of delegation, from the other powers enumerated in that clause.[417] Thus, the test in the taxing area is the same as for other areas--whether the statute has provided the administrative agency with standards to guide its actions in such a way that a court can determine whether the congressional policy has been followed.

This does not mean that Congress may delegate its power to determine whether taxes should be imposed. What was upheld in Skinner was delegation of authority to the Secretary of Transportation to collect "pipeline safety user fees" for users of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. "Multiple restrictions" placed on the Secretary's discretion left no doubt that the constitutional requirement of an intelligible standard had been met. Cases involving the power to impose criminal penalties, described below, further illustrate the difference between delegating the underlying power to set basic policy--whether it be the decision to impose taxes or the decision to declare that certain activities are crimes--and the authority to exercise discretion in implementing the policy.

Individual Liberties and Delegations of Legislative Power[edit | edit source]

Some Justices have argued that delegations by Congress of power to affect the exercise of "fundamental freedoms" by citizens must be closely scrutinized to require the exercise of a congressional judgment about meaningful standards.[418] The only pronouncement in a majority opinion, however, is that, even with regard to the regulation of liberty, the standards of the delegation "must be adequate to pass scrutiny by the accepted tests."[419] The standard practice of the Court has been to interpret the delegation narrowly so as to avoid constitutional problems.[420]

Perhaps refining the delegation doctrine, at least in cases where Fifth Amendment due process interests are implicated, the Court held that a government agency charged with the efficient administration of the Executive Branch could not assert the broader interests that Congress or the President might have in barring lawfully resident aliens from government employment. The agency could assert only those interests Congress charged it with promoting, and if the action could be justified by other interests, the office with responsibility for promoting those interests must take the action.[421]

  1. At least one of the Framers defined "legislative power" as the power to "prescribe rules for the regulation of society." The Federalist No. 75 (Alexander Hamilton). See also John Locke, Two Treatises of Government 382 (Peter Laslett ed., Cambridge Univ. Press 1967) (1690) (defining the legislative power as "that which has a right to direct how the Force of the Commonwealth shall be imploy'd for preserving the Community and the Members of it.").
  2. Article I Legislative Branch. In McCulloch v. Maryland, the Supreme Court stated that the Constitution created a government of enumerated powers. 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316, (1819) ("This government is acknowledged by all, to be one of enumerated powers. The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted to it, would seem too apparent, to have required to be enforced by all those arguments, which its enlightened friends, while it was depending before the people, found it necessary to urge; that principle is now universally admitted.").
  3. See, e.g., Baron Charles de Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws (1748); John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (Peter Laslett ed., Cambridge Univ. Press 1967) (1690); David Hume, Of the Original Contract (1752); Marchamont Nedham, The Excellence of a Free State (1656); William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765).
  4. Compare Eric A. Posner & Adrian Vermeule, Interring the Nondelegation Doctrine, 69 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1721, 1733-34 (2002) ("[T]here's remarkably little evidence that the Framers envisioned [a nondelegation constraint] on legislative authority. . . . The Framers' principal concern was with legislative aggrandizement--the legislative seizure of powers belonging to other institutions--rather than with legislative grants of statutory authority to executive agents."), with Gary Lawson, Delegation and Original Meaning, 88 Va. L. Rev. 327, 334 (2002) ("If one is concerned about the original meaning of the Constitution, the widespread modern obsession with the nondelegation doctrine may have some justification.").
  5. Art. I, Section 1 Legislative Vesting Clause.
  6. 1 William Blackstone, Commentaries 159-60 (Philadelphia 1893) (1768) ("[The Parliament] hath sovereign and uncontrollable authority in the making, confirming, enlarging, restraining, abrogating, repealing, reviving, and expounding of laws, concerning matters of all possible denominations. . . . All mischiefs and grievances, operations and remedies, that transcend the ordinary course of the laws, are within the reach of this extraordinary tribunal."). But see id. at 335-36 (suggesting that the Crown's powers, including collecting taxes and commanding a standing army, indicated that the "real power of the crown has not been too far weakened by any transactions in the last century").
  7. Id. at 160 ("True it is, that what the parliament doth, no authority upon earth can undo . . . .").
  8. The Federalist No. 47 (James Madison) ("The executive magistrate forms an integral part of the legislative authority. He alone has the prerogative of making treaties with foreign sovereigns, which when made have, under certain limitations, the force of legislative acts . . . . [But] [t]he magistrate in whom the whole executive power resides cannot of himself make a law . . . "). The understanding that the King could not both make and enforce laws governing the rights and duties of private individuals had a lengthy pedigree in the British common law tradition, with "ancient roots in the concept of the 'rule of law'" (i.e., the notion that the King, too, was subject to the statutory and common law of the land when exercising his powers). See Dep't of Transp. v. Ass'n of Am. R.R., 575 U.S. 43, 66-76 (2015) (Thomas, J., concurring) (discussing the history of the separation of executive and legislative power in the British common law tradition).
  9. 1 Blackstone, supra note here, at 160 ("No human laws will therefore suppose a case, which at once must destroy all law, and compel men to build afresh upon a new foundation . . . ").
  10. Id. at 159.
  11. See, e.g., The Federalist No. 83 (Alexander Hamilton) ("[T]he power of Congress . . . shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretention to a general legislative authority; because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd as well as useless, if a general authority was intended."); The Federalist No. 48 (James Madison) ("[I]n a representative republic, where the executive magistracy is carefully limited both in the extent and the duration of its power; and where the legislative power is exercised by an assembly . . . it is against the enterprising ambition of [the legislative] department, that the people ought to indulge all their jealousy and exhaust all their precautions."); 3 Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution 95 (2d ed. 1836) (James Madison) (stating that the "powers of the federal government are enumerated").
  12. Nathan S. Chapman & Michael W. McConnell, Due Process as Separation of Powers, 121 Yale L.J. 1672, 1699 (2012).
  13. Article I Legislative Branch.
  14. 2 Elliot, supra note here, at 432.
  15. Brutus No. I (Oct. 18, 1787), reprinted in The Debate on the Constitution: Federalist and Anti-Federalist Speeches, Articles and Letters During the Struggle Over Ratification, Part One: September 1787-February 1788 (Bernard Bailyn ed., 1993) ("The powers of the general legislature extend to every case that is of the least importance--there is nothing valuable to human nature, nothing dear to freemen, but what is within its power.").
  16. The Federalist No. 78 (Alexander Hamilton) ("Limitations [on legislative power] can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.").
  17. Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137, 176-77 (1803) ("The powers of the Legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken or forgotten, the Constitution is written. . . . Certainly all those who have framed written Constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently the theory of every such government must be that an act of the Legislature repugnant to the Constitution is void."). Further checks on congressional power in the Constitution include the President's qualified veto power over legislation. See 2 The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, at 52-53 (Max Farrand ed., 1966) (Madison's notes, July 19, 1787) (statement of Mr. Gouverneur Morris) (arguing that the President's veto power would permit the President to serve as the "guardian of the people" against "[l]egislative tyranny").
  18. Articles of Confederation of 1781, art. V, para. 4. For more information about the Articles of Confederation, see Introduction: Continental Congress and Adoption of the Articles of Confederation.
  19. See, e.g., 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, at 196, 198, 484-85 (Max Farrand ed., 1911) (discussing the House of Lords and House of Commons as a possible model for Congress).
  20. James Quayle Dealey, Growth of American State Constitutions 37 (1915).
  21. For discussion of the Constitutional Convention, see Introduction: Continental Congress and Adoption of the Articles of Confederation.
  22. See New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 163 (1992) (citing The Federalist Nos. 15, 16 (Alexander Hamilton)); see also 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 18 (Edmund Randolph, in opening the Constitutional Convention, "observed that in revising the federal system we ought to inquire 1. into the properties, which such a government ought to possess, 2. the defects of the confederation, 3. the danger of our situation &. 4. the remedy.").
  23. Akhil Reed Amar, Of Sovereignty and Federalism, 96 Yale L.J. 1425, 1447 (1987).
  24. Articles of Confederation of 1781, art. V. See also Akhil Reed Amar, Of Sovereignty and Federalism, 96 Yale L.J. 1425, 1442, 1447 (1987) (discussing the lack of Federal Government power under the Articles).
  25. Articles of Confederation of 1781, art. II.
  26. For example, New York, in an effort to capitalize on its position as a port of entry, imposed duties on goods imported by nearby states. In retaliation, these states enacted taxes on commerce with New York. Robert N. Clinton, A Brief History of the Adoption of the United States Constitution, 75 Iowa L. Rev. 891, 896 (1990).
  27. See e.g., 2 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 74 (statement of James Madison on July 21, 1787) ("Experience in all the States had evinced a powerful tendency in the Legislature to absorb all power into its vortex."); id. at 76 (concurring that "public liberty [was] in greater danger from Legislative usurpations than from any other source") (statement of Mr. Gouverneur Morris). See also The Federalist No. 48 (James Madison) (describing how the concentration of "[a]ll the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judiciary" in Virginia's legislative body "is precisely the definition of despotic government"); 4 John Adams, Thoughts on Government, in The Works of John Adams 195 (Charles F. Adams ed., 1851) ("A single [legislative] assembly is liable to all the vices, follies, and frailties of an individual; subject to fits of humor, starts of passion, flights of enthusiasm, partialities, or prejudice, and consequently productive of hasty results and absurd judgments."); Gordon S. Wood, Creation of the American Republic 1776-1787, at 404-13 (1969) (discussing concerns related to state governments).
  28. 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 254.
  29. Id.
  30. See, e.g., id. at 20-22 (The Virginia Plan); id. at 242-45 (The New Jersey Plan); id. at 23 (The Pinkney Plan).
  31. New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 164 (1992).
  32. 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 21-22.
  33. Id. at 20. As originally proposed by the Virginia delegates, the bicameral legislature consisted of two chambers, one that would be "elected by the people of the several states" and another that would be elected "by those of the first [chamber], out of a proper number of persons nominated by the individual [state] legislatures." Id. at 20. Historians have noted that the original Virginia Plan was drafted by James Madison. Max Farrand, The Framing of the Constitution of the United States 68-69 (1913). The Virginia Plan went through various revisions and amendments before it was finalized and adopted at the Convention. Id. The later amended version consisted of a bicameral legislature with members of one branch elected by the people, and members of the second branch elected by the individual state legislatures. 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 228.
  34. See New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 164 (1992); 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 21, 229 (Max Farrand ed., 1911).
  35. The larger states such as Virginia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania supported this proposal, as it gave each state a vote in Congress based on its population size. Farrand, supra note here, at 81-82 ("As the discussion proceeded it became more and more evident that Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland were tending to vote together, in opposition to the other states led by Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts."); see also The Federalist No. 22 (Alexander Hamilton) ("Every idea of proportion and every rule of fair representation conspire to condemn a principle, which gives to Rhode Island an equal weight in the scale of power with Massachusetts, or Connecticut, or New York; and to Delaware an equal voice in the national deliberations with Pennsylvania, or Virginia, or North Carolina.").
  36. Farrand, supra note here, at 84-85.
  37. In presenting the New Jersey Plan, Paterson resolved that the "[A]rticles of Confederation ought to be so revised, corrected & enlarged, as to render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government, & the preservation of the Union." 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 242.
  38. Id. at 242; see also Introduction: Continental Congress and Adoption of the Articles of Confederation.
  39. 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 243-244.
  40. Farrand, supra note here, at 84-85; 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 242. John Dickinson, a delegate from Delaware, reportedly remarked to James Madison, a delegate from Virginia, that the smaller states "would sooner submit to a foreign power" rather than be deprived of an equal vote in both chambers of Congress. Id.
  41. 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, at 54-55 (Max Farrand ed., 1911).
  42. Id. at 509; Max Farrand, The Framing of the Constitution of the United States 92 (1913).
  43. Farrand, Framing of the Constitution, supra note here, at 97-98.
  44. See generally id. at 91-112 (discussing the process that led to the Great Compromise). Roger Sherman and other delegates from Connecticut repeatedly advanced a legislative structure early in the Convention debates that eventually was proposed as the Great Compromise. See 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 196. Historians often credit Sherman and the Connecticut delegates as the architects of the Great Compromise. Mark David Hall, Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic 96-98 (2013) (discussing Sherman's proposal during the Convention debates that led to the "Connecticut Compromise"); Farrand, Framing of the Constitution, supra note here, at 106. See also Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1, 12-13 (1964) (discussing Sherman's role in the Great Compromise).
  45. 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 524. See Farrand, Framing of the Constitution, supra note here, at 104-07.
  46. 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 526. The compromise was amended to allow that state inhabitants would also include "three-fifths of the slaves" in the state. Id. at 603-06; Farrand, Framing of the Constitution, supra note here, at 99. For discussion of the "three-fifths" clause, see Introduction: Continental Congress and Adoption of the Articles of Confederation.
  47. 1 The Records of The Federal Convention of 1787, supra note here, at 160. In 1913, the states ratified the Seventeenth amendment that requires members of the Senate to be elected by the people.
  48. Farrand, Framing of the Constitution, supra note here, at 104-07; 1 Congressional Quarterly, Inc., Guide to Congress 358, 367-68 (5th ed. 2000) (discussing of the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment).
  49. Gordon S. Wood, Creation of the American Republic 1776-1787, at 526-530 (1969) (discussing state ratifications concerning the jurisdiction of federal and state legislatures under the Constitution).
  50. Id. at 530 (quoting James Wilson from the Pennsylvania ratifying convention from Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution 1787-1788, at 302 (John Bach McMaster & Frederick D. Stone, eds. 2011)).
  51. See id. at 559 (analyzing the Federalists' views of bicameralism).
  52. Art. I, Sec. 7, Clause 2 Role of President. See The Federalist No. 39 (James Madison) ("The house of representatives will derive its powers from the people of America, and the people will be represented in the same proportion, and on the same principle, as they are in the Legislature of a particular State. So far the Government is national not federal. The Senate on the other hand will derive its powers from the States, as political and co-equal societies; and these will be represented on the principle of equality in the Senate, as they now are in the existing Congress. So far the government is federal, not national.").
  53. See Immigration & Naturalization Serv. v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919, 950 (1983) ("[T]he Framers were . . . concerned, although not of one mind, over the apprehensions of the smaller states. Those states feared a commonality of interest among the larger states would work to their disadvantage; representatives of the larger states, on the other hand, were skeptical of a legislature that could pass laws favoring a minority of the people." See also The Federalist No. 51 (James Madison) ("In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates. The remedy for this inconveniency is to divide the legislature into different branches; and to render them, by different modes of election and different principles of action, as little connected with each other as the nature of their common functions and their common dependence on the society will admit."); Farrand, Framing of the Constitution, supra note here, at 99-112 (describing the debate among the states regarding the structure of Congress).
  54. Chadha, 462 U.S. at 950. See also Farrand, Framing of the Constitution, supra note here, at 105-06 (explaining the structure of Congress as achieved under the "Great Compromise").
  55. See The Federalist No. 62 (James Madison) ("[A] senate, as a second branch of the legislative assembly, distinct from, and dividing the power with, a first, must be in all cases a salutary check on the government. It doubles the security to the people, by requiring the concurrence of two distinct bodies in schemes of usurpation or perfidy, where the ambition or corruption of one would otherwise be sufficient."). See also John F. Manning, Textualism as a Nondelegation Doctrine, 97 Colum. L. Rev. 673, 708-09 (1997) (describing how the legislative procedures "promote caution and deliberation; by mandating that each piece of legislation clear an intricate process involving distinct constitutional actors, bicameralism and presentment reduce the incidence of hasty and ill-considered legislation").
  56. Chadha, 462 U.S. at 951.
  57. The Federalist No. 62 (James Madison). John F. Manning, Textualism as a Nondelegation Doctrine, 97 Colum. L. Rev. 673, 709-10 (1997) (discussing the legislative process as protection against "hasty and ill-considered legislation"). Some scholars have argued that the Framers deliberately designed the lawmaking process to be slow and inefficient so that the laws that passed were sufficiently deliberative, representative, and accountable. See, e.g., Cynthia R. Farina, Statutory Interpretation and the Balance of Power in the Administrative State, 89 Colum. L. Rev. 452, 524 (1989) ("The Confederation period led [the Framers] to conclude that government which moved too quickly in establishing and altering policy was, over time, less likely to make wise choices and more likely to threaten individual liberty. Therefore, they deliberately created a lawmaking process that was slow, even cumbersome.").
  58. Chadha, 462 U.S. at 958 n.23.
  59. 1 William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 144 (J. B. Lippincott Co. ed., 1893).
  60. Id.
  61. The Federalist No. 51 (James Madison). The notion of separation of powers was drawn from classical political philosophy. See generally Baron Charles de Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, at XI6, 157 (Anne M. Cohler, et. al., trans. & eds., 1989).
  62. See also The Federalist No. 47 (James Madison) ("No political truth is . . . stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty [than the separation of powers because the] accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary in the same hands . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.").
  63. Article I Legislative Branch.
  64. Id. art. II.
  65. Id. art. III.
  66. Id. at 289.
  67. The Federalist No. 37 (James Madison) ("Experience has instructed us that no skill in the science of Government has yet been able to discriminate and define, with sufficient certainty, its three great provinces, the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary; or even the privileges and powers of the different Legislative branches. Questions daily occur in the course of practice, which prove the obscurity which reigns in these subjects, and which puzzle the greatest adepts in political science."). But see Gary Lawson, Delegation and Original Meaning, 88 Va. L. Rev. 327, 342 (2002) ("The terms 'legislative,' 'executive,' and 'judicial' meant something to Madison, even if he could not articulate precisely (or even vaguely) what they meant.").
  68. See, e.g., Mass. Const. of 1780, pt. 1, art. XXX ("In the government of this commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them; the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them; the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them; to the end it may be a government of laws, and not of men."); Md. Const. of 1776, Declaration of Rights cl. VI ("That the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of government, ought to be forever separate and distinct from each other."). But see S.C. Const. of 1776, art. VII (vesting the legislative authority in "the president and commander-in-chief, the general assembly and legislative council").
  69. Gary Lawson, Delegation and Original Meaning, 88 Va. L. Rev. 327, 337 (2002) ("[T]here is nothing in the Constitution that specifically states, in precise terms, that no other actor may exercise legislative power or that Congress may not authorize other actors to exercise legislative power. Such clauses were known to the founding generation.").
  70. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 121 (1976) (per curiam) ("[The Framers] saw that a hermetic sealing off of the three branches of government from one another would preclude establishment of a Nation capable of governing itself effectively."); Youngtown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 635 (1952) (Jackson, J., concurring) ("[W]hile the Constitution diffuses power the better to secure liberty, it also contemplates that practice will integrate the dispersed powers into a workable government. It enjoins upon its branches separateness but interdependence, autonomy but reciprocity."). For more on the concept of "separation of powers," see Introduction: Separation of Powers Under the Constitution.
  71. The Federalist No. 47 (James Madison) ("[Montesquieu] did not mean that these departments ought to have no partial agency in, or no control over, the acts of each other.").
  72. Id. ("If we look into the constitutions of the several States, we find that, notwithstanding the emphatical and, in some instances, the unqualified terms in which [the separation of powers doctrine] has been laid down, there is not a single instance in which the several departments of power have been kept absolutely separate and distinct.").
  73. Id.
  74. 1 The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, at 64, 67 (Max Farrand ed., 1911).
  75. Id. However, this historical episode sheds little light on whether the Founders would have understood the Constitution to permit Congress to delegate its legislative power, as Madison's language would not have specifically permitted delegations of "legislative power," and the records of the Convention debates do not fully explain the basis for Pinckney's concerns.
  76. 1 Annals of the Congress of the United States 789 (1789).
  77. Id.
  78. 2 Bernard Schwartz, The Bill of Rights: A Documentary History 1151 (1971).
  79. Act of Sept. 29, 1789, ch. 24, § 1, 1 Stat. 95, 95.
  80. See, e.g., Eric A. Posner & Adrian Vermeule, Interring the Nondelegation Doctrine, 69 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1721, 1733-34 (2002) ("[T]here's remarkably little evidence that the Framers envisioned [a nondelegation constraint] on legislative authority. . . . The Framers' principal concern was with legislative aggrandizement--the legislative seizure of powers belonging to other institutions--rather than with legislative grants of statutory authority to executive agents."); Gary Lawson, Delegation and Original Meaning, 88 Va. L. Rev. 327, 334 (2002) ("If one is concerned about the original meaning of the Constitution, the widespread modern obsession with the nondelegation doctrine may have some justification.").
  81. The Federalist No. 47 (James Madison).
  82. The Constitution of Virginia of 1776 provided: "The legislative, executive, and judiciary department shall be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to the other; nor shall any person exercise the powers of more than one of them, at the same time[.]" The Constitution of Virginia of 1776, reprinted in 10 Sources and Documents of United States Constitutions 52 (William F. Swindler ed., 1979). See also 5 id. at 96. Similarly, the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 provided: "In the government of this commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them; the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them; the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them; to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men."
  83. The Federalist No. 51 (James Madison) ("In republican government the legislative authority, necessarily, predominates."). See also id. No. 48. This theme continues to influence the Court's evaluation of congressional initiatives. See, e.g., Metro. Wash. Airports Auth. v. Citizens for the Abatement of Aircraft Noise, 501 U.S. 252, 273-74, 277 (1991). But compare id. at 286 n.3 (White, J., dissenting).
  84. The intellectual history of the Confederation period and the Constitutional Convention is detailed in Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 (1969).
  85. See, e.g., M.J.C. Vile, Constitutionalism and the Separation of Powers (1967).
  86. The Federalist No. 47 (James Madison).
  87. Art. I, Section 7 Legislation.
  88. Id. art. II, § 2, cl. 2.
  89. See, e.g., The Federalist No. 47 (James Madison) ("[O]ne of the principal objections inculcated by the more respectable adversaries to the Constitution, is its supposed violation of the political maxim, that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments ought to be separate and distinct. . . . The several departments of power are distributed and blended in such a manner as at once to destroy all symmetry and beauty of form, and to expose some of the essential parts of the edifice to the danger of being crushed by the disproportionate weight of other parts.").
  90. Id. Nos. 47-51 (James Madison).
  91. Id. No. 47 (James Madison).
  92. Id.
  93. Id. Nos. 47-49.
  94. Id. No. 51.
  95. Id.
  96. Art. I, Section 1 Legislative Vesting Clause.
  97. Id. art. I, § 7.
  98. Id. art. II, § 2, cl. 2.
  99. Id. art. III, § 1.
  100. Id.; Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch.) 137 (1803).
  101. Art. I, Sec. 2, Clause 5 Impeachment; id. art. I, § 3, cl. 6. For a more detailed discussion of the separation of powers and checks and balances, see Introduction: Separation of Powers Under the Constitution and Introduction: Overview of Basic Principles Underlying the Constitution.
  102. See Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 109-43 (1976) (holding that Congress could not reserve to itself the power to appoint certain officers charged with enforcing a law).
  103. Pub. L. No. 99-177, 99 Stat. 1038.
  104. Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S. 714 (1986).
  105. 462 U.S. 919 (1983).
  106. 458 U.S. 50 (1982).
  107. 487 U.S. 654 (1988). See also Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361 (1989).
  108. Chadha, 462 U.S. at 951 ("The hydraulic pressure inherent within each of the separate Branches to exceed the outer limits of its power . . . must be resisted. Although not 'hermetically' sealed from one another, the powers delegated to the three Branches are functionally identifiable."). See also N. Pipeline Constr. Co., 458 U.S. at 64-66 (plurality opinion); Bowsher, 478 U.S. at 721-27.
  109. See, e.g., CFTC v. Schor, 478 U.S. 833 (1986).
  110. Schor, 478 U.S. 833; Thomas v. Union Carbide Agric. Prods. Co., 473 U.S. 568, 587, 589-93 (1985). The Court first formulated this analysis in cases challenging alleged infringements on presidential powers, United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 713 (1974); Nixon v. Adm'r of Gen. Servs., 433 U.S. 425, 442-42 (1977), but it subsequently turned to the stricter test. Schor and Thomas both involved provisions challenged as infringing on judicial powers.
  111. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919.
  112. Id. at 952.
  113. Id.
  114. Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S. 714, 726-27, 733-34 (1986). But see id. at 737 (Stevens, J., concurring) (suggesting a functionalist approach).
  115. Id. at 726-27, 733-34.
  116. Although the agency in Schor was an independent regulatory commission and the bankruptcy court in Northern Pipeline was either an Article I court or an adjunct to an Article III court, the Court did not rely on the characterization of the particular entity. The issue in each case was whether the judicial power of the United States could be conferred on an entity that was not an Article III court.
  117. CFTC v. Schor, 478 U.S. 833, 848 (1986) (quoting Thomas v. Union Carbide Agric. Prods. Co., 473 U.S. 568, 587 (1985)).
  118. Id. at 851.
  119. Id. at 856.
  120. The Appointments Clause (Art. II, Section 2 Powers) specifically provides that Congress may vest in the courts the power to appoint inferior officers (Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654, 670-77 (1988)), suggesting that, unlike Chadha and Bowsher, Morrison could be a textual commitment case. But the Court's evaluation of the separation of powers issue in Morrison did not appear to turn on that distinction. Id. at 685-96. Nevertheless, this possible distinction may work against a reading of Morrison as a rejection of formalism when executive powers are litigated.
  121. 28 U.S.C. § 591 et seq.
  122. Morrison, 487 U.S. at 694-95.
  123. Id. at 695 (quoting, respectively, Schor, 478 U.S. at 856 and Nixon v. Adm'r of Gen. Servs., 433 U.S. 425, 443 (1977)).
  124. Id.
  125. Id. at 696.
  126. Id. at 697.
  127. Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361 (1989). The Court acknowledged reservations with respect to the Commission's placement as an independent entity in the Judicial Branch. Id. at 384, 397, 407-08. As in Morrison, Justice Antonin Scalia was the lone dissenter, arguing for a fairly rigorous application of separation of powers principles. Id. at 413, 422-27 (Scalia, J., dissenting).
  128. Id. at 382.
  129. Id.
  130. Metro. Wash. Airports Auth. v. Citizens for the Abatement of Airport Noise, 501 U.S. 252 (1991).
  131. Granfinanciera, S.A. v. Nordberg, 492 U.S. 33 (1989).
  132. Freytag v. Commissioner, 501 U.S. 868 (1991).
  133. Public Citizen v. U.S. Dep't of Just., 491 U.S. 440, 467 (1989) (Kennedy, J., concurring).
  134. Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 752 (1984).
  135. Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 577 (1992).
  136. Enumerated powers, Black's Law Dictionary (6th ed. 1990) (defining enumerated or express powers to be "Powers expressly provided for in the Constitution").
  137. McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316, 405 (1819). See Art. I, Section 8 Enumerated Powers.
  138. Art. I, Sec. 4, Clause 1 Elections Clause.
  139. Id. art. I, § 7, cl. 2.
  140. Implied powers, Black's Law Dictionary (6th ed. 1990) (defining implied powers to be "Such as are necessary to make available and carry into effect those powers which are expressly granted or conferred, and which must therefore be presumed to have been within the intention of the constitutional or legislative grant").
  141. Art. I, Section 8 Enumerated Powers.
  142. McCulloch, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) at 421.
  143. Id. See also Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, 14 U.S. (1 Wheat.) 304, 326 (1816) (Story, J.) ("The government, then, of the United States, can claim no powers which are not granted to it by the constitution, and the powers actually granted, must be such as are expressly given, or given by necessary implication.").
  144. 3 Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States § 1238 (1833).
  145. Id.
  146. Am. Ins. Co. v. Canter, 26 U.S. (1 Pet.) 511, 516 (1828); Resulting powers, Black's Law Dictionary (6th ed. 1990).
  147. Am. Ins. Co., 26 U.S. (1 Pet.) 511.
  148. Id. See also 2 Story, supra note here, § 1251 ("[I]f the United States should make a conquest of any of the territories of its neighbors, the [N]ational [G]overnment would possess sovereign jurisdiction over the conquered territory. This would, perhaps, rather be a result from the whole mass of the powers of the [N]ational [G]overnment, and from the nature of political society, than a consequence or incident of the powers specially enumerated.").
  149. Legal Tender Cases (Knox v. Lee), 79 U.S. 457 (1870).
  150. Inherent powers, Black's Law Dictionary (6th ed. 1990) (defining inherent powers as "authority possessed without it being derived from another"; a "right, ability, or faculty of doing a thing, without receiving that right, ability, or faculty from another"; "[p]owers originating from the nature of government or sovereignty, i.e., powers over and beyond those explicitly granted in the Constitution or reasonably to be implied from express grants"). See also Robert J. Kaczorowski, Inherent National Sovereignty Constitutionalism: An Original Understanding of the U.S. Constitution, 101 Minn. L. Rev. 699 (2016).
  151. United States v. Curtiss-Wright Exp., 299 U.S. 304 (1936).
  152. Id. at 316-18. For early versions of this concept of the national government's powers in the field of foreign relations, see Penhallow v. Doane, 3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 54, 80, 81 (1795); Holmes v. Jennison, 14 U.S. (14 Pet.) 540, 575-76 (1840) (Taney, C.J.).
  153. Id.
  154. Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 41 U.S. (16 Pet.) 539, 616, 618-19 (1842).
  155. Juilliard v. Greenman, 110 U.S. 421, 449-50 (1884). See also Knox v. Lee, 79 U.S. (12 Wall.) 457, 565 (1871) (Bradley, J., concurring).
  156. United States v. Jones, 109 U.S. 513 (1883).
  157. United States v. Kagama, 118 U.S. 375 (1886).
  158. Fong Yue Ting v. United States, 149 U.S. 698 (1893).
  159. Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52 (1941).
  160. United States v. Curtiss-Wright Exp. Corp., 299 U.S. 304 (1936).
  161. John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States (1776).
  162. 1 William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 149-151 (1765).
  163. The Federalist No. 51 (James Madison). The safeguard's assurance is built into the Presentment Clause. Art. I, Sec. 7, Clause 2 Role of President. The structure is not often the subject of case law, but it was a foundational matter in INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919, 944-51 (1983).
  164. United States v. Shreveport Grain & Elevator Co., 287 U.S. 77, 85 (1932). See also Gundy v. United States, No. 17-6086, slip op. at 1 (U.S. June 20, 2019) (plurality opinion) ("The nondelegation doctrine bars Congress from transferring its legislative power to another branch of Government."); Whitman v. Am. Trucking Ass'ns, 531 U.S. 457, 472 (2001) ("[The] text in [Article I, Section I of the Constitution] permits no delegation of those powers."); J.W. Hampton, Jr., & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394, 406 (1928) ("[I]n carrying out [the] constitutional division into three branches[,] it is a breach of the National fundamental law if Congress gives up its legislative power and transfers it to the President, or to the Judicial Branch, or if by law it attempts to invest itself or its members with either executive power or judicial power."); Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 692 (1892) ("That Congress cannot delegate legislative power to the President is a principle universally recognized as vital to the integrity and maintenance of the system of government ordained by the Constitution."); Wayman v. Southard, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1, 42-43 (1825) ("It will not be contended that Congress can delegate to the Courts, or to any other tribunals, powers which are strictly and exclusively legislative.").
  165. A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495, 529 (1935).
  166. No. 20-1530, slip op. at 31 (U.S. June 30, 2022).
  167. Field v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 692 (1892); Wayman v. Southard, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1, 42 (1825).
  168. 276 U.S. 394 (1928).
  169. 517 U.S. 748 (1996).
  170. Id. at 758-59.
  171. Carter v. Carter Coal Co., 298 U.S. 238, 310-12 (1936); Yakus v. United States, 321 U.S. 414, 424-25 (1944). Because the separation of powers doctrine is inapplicable to the states as a requirement of federal constitutional law, Dreyer v. Illinois, 187 U.S. 71, 83-84 (1902), it is the Due Process Clause to which federal courts must look for authority to review delegations by state legislatures. See, e.g., Eubank v. City of Richmond, 226 U.S. 137 (1912); Embree v. Kansas City Road Dist., 240 U.S. 242 (1916).
  172. 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1, 41 (1825).
  173. The Brig Aurora, 11 U.S. (7 Cr.) 382 (1813).
  174. 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1 (1825).
  175. Act of May 8, 1792, § 2, 1 Stat. 275, 276.
  176. The power to promulgate rules of civil procedure was conferred by the Act of June 19, 1934, 48 Stat. 1064; the power to promulgate rules of criminal procedure was conferred by the Act of June 29, 1940, 54 Stat. 688. These authorities are now subsumed under 28 U.S.C. § 2072. In both instances Congress provided for submission of the rules to it, presumably reserving the power to change or to veto the rules. Additionally, Congress has occasionally legislated rules itself. See, e.g., 82 Stat. 197 (1968), 18 U.S.C. §§ 3501-02 (admissibility of confessions in federal courts).
  177. In re Kollock, 165 U.S. 526 (1897).
  178. Id. at 533.
  179. United States v. Bailey, 34 U.S. (9 Pet.) 238 (1835); Caha v. United States, 152 U.S. 211 (1894).
  180. Buttfield v. Stranahan, 192 U.S. 470 (1904). See also United States v. Grimaud, 220 U.S. 506 (1911) (upholding act authorizing executive officials to make rules governing use of forest reservations); ICC v. Goodrich Transit Co., 224 U.S. 194 (1912) (upholding delegation to prescribe methods of accounting for carriers in interstate commerce).
  181. See generally Gundy v. United States, No. 17-6086, slip op. at 26 (U.S. June 20, 2019) (Gorsuch, J., dissenting) ("[Congress] may always authorize Executive Branch officials to fill in even a large number of details, to find facts that trigger the generally applicable rule of conduct specified in a statute, or to exercise non-legislative powers.").
  182. 11 U.S. (7 Cr.) 382 (1813).
  183. Id.
  184. Id. at 388.
  185. 143 U. S. 649 (1892).
  186. Id. at 680.
  187. Id. at 691.
  188. J. W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394 (1928).
  189. See Loving v. United States, 517 U.S. 748, 758 (1996) ("Another strand of our separation-of-powers jurisprudence, the delegation doctrine, has developed to prevent Congress from forsaking its duties."). For discussion of the separation of powers, see Introduction: Separation of Powers Under the Constitution.
  190. See Immigration & Naturalization Serv. v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919, 959 (1983) ("There is no support in the Constitution or decisions of this Court for the proposition that the cumbersomeness and delays often encountered in complying with explicit constitutional standards may be avoided, either by the Congress or by the President. With all the obvious flaws of delay, untidiness, and potential for abuse, we have not yet found a better way to preserve freedom than by making the exercise of power subject to the carefully crafted restraints spelled out in the Constitution.") (citations omitted). See also Dep't of Transp. v. Ass'n of Am. R.R., 575 U.S. 43, 61 (2015) (Alito, J., concurring) ("The principle that Congress cannot delegate away its vested powers exists to protect liberty. Our Constitution, by careful design, prescribes a process for making law, and within that process there are many accountability checkpoints. It would dash the whole scheme if Congress could give its power away to an entity that is not constrained by those checkpoints. The Constitution's deliberative process was viewed by the Framers as a valuable feature, not something to be lamented and evaded.") (citations omitted); Indus. Union Dep't, AFL-CIO v. API, 448 U.S. 607, 687 (1980) ("It is the hard choices, and not the filling in of the blanks, which must be made by the elected representatives of the people. When fundamental policy decisions underlying important legislation about to be enacted are to be made, the buck stops with Congress and the President insofar as he exercises his constitutional role in the legislative process.").
  191. Immigration & Naturalization Serv. v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919, 957-58 (1983).
  192. Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 692 (1892); Wayman v. Southard, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1, 42 (1825).
  193. J.W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394, 406 (1928).
  194. Id. at 406. See also Chadha, 462 U.S. at 944 ("[T]he fact that a given law or procedure is efficient, convenient, and useful in facilitating functions of government, standing alone, will not save it if it is contrary to the Constitution. Convenience and efficiency are not the primary objectives--or the hallmarks--of democratic government.").
  195. United States v. Shreveport Grain & Elevator Co., 287 U.S. 77, 85 (1932). See also Field v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 692 (1892).
  196. Wayman v. Southard, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1, 41 (1825).
  197. The Court in Shreveport Grain & Elevator upheld a delegation of authority to the Food and Drug Administration to allow reasonable variations, tolerances, and exemptions from misbranding prohibitions that were backed by criminal penalties. It was "not open to reasonable dispute" that such a delegation was permissible to fill in details "impracticable for Congress to prescribe."
  198. J. W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394, 406 (1928) ("In determining what [Congress] may do in seeking assistance from another branch, the extent and character of that assistance must be fixed according to common sense and the inherent necessities of the government co-ordination").
  199. Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 372 (1989). See also Sunshine Anthracite Coal Co. v. Adkins, 310 U.S. 381, 398 (1940) ("Delegation by Congress has long been recognized as necessary in order that the exertion of legislative power does not become a futility.").
  200. Wayman v. Southard, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) at 42. For particularly useful discussions of delegations, see 1 K. Davis, Administrative Law Treatise Ch. 3 (2d ed., 1978); L. Jaffe, Judicial Control of Administrative Action ch. 2 (1965).
  201. See David Schoenbrod, Power without Responsibility: How Congress Abuses the People through Delegation 31-33 (1993) (discussing the history of the nondelegation doctrine and the lack of "strong, lawmaking agencies" during the nineteenth century); Jon D. Michaels, Constitutional Coup: Privatization's Threat to the American Republic 41-42 (2017) (discussing the development of federal administrative power from the "smattering of key federal agencies" that existed before the Civil War to the current modern administrative state). See also Keith E. Whittington & Jason Iuliano, The Myth of the Nondelegation Doctrine, 165 U. Pa. L. Rev. 379, 420-21 (2017) (analyzing the number of nondelegation cases before and after 1880s).
  202. See Peter H. Aranson et al., A Theory of Legislative Delegation, 68 Cornell L. Rev. 1, 7 (1982) (discussing early challenges to the congressional delegations).
  203. 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1, 14 (1825).
  204. Id. at 42.
  205. Id. at 1, 6, 43.
  206. 143 U.S. 649 (1892).
  207. Id. at 699.
  208. Id. at 693-94 (quoting Cincinnati, Wilmington, & Zansville, R.R. v. Comm'rs of Clinton Cty., 1 Ohio St. 77, 88 (1852)).
  209. A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495, 529-30 (1935).
  210. See United States v. Grimaud, 220 U.S. 506, 516 (1911) (upholding the constitutionality of regulations and criminal penalties promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture regarding the use of federal grazing lands, reasoning that "Congress was merely conferring administrative functions upon an agent, and not delegating to him legislative power"); Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 693 (1892) (holding that the delegation of authority to the President to suspend import tariffs was constitutional as the President was acting as "the mere agent of the law-making department to ascertain and declare the event upon which [Congress's] expressed will was to take effect"); Wayman v. Southard, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1, 6, 43 (1825) (upholding Congress's delegation of the authority to the judiciary to establish procedures for executing judgments because the judiciary was exercising this delegated power to act pursuant to "general provisions to fill up the details").
  211. Wayman, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) at 45.
  212. 276 U.S. 394, 409 (1928) ("If Congress shall lay down by legislative act an intelligible principle to which the person or body authorized [ ] is directed to conform, such legislative action is not a forbidden delegation of legislative power."). See also Gundy v. United States, No. 17-6086, slip op. at 5 (U.S. June 20, 2019) (plurality opinion) ("The constitutional question is whether Congress has supplied an intelligible principle to guide the delegee's use of discretion."); Loving v. United States, 517 U.S. 748, 771 (1996) ("The intelligible-principle rule seeks to enforce the understanding that Congress may not delegate the power to make laws and so may delegate no more than the authority to make policies and rules that implement its statutes.").
  213. See, e.g., Panama Ref. Co. v. Ryan, 293 U.S. 388, 421 (1935) ("The Constitution has never been regarded as denying to the Congress the necessary resources of flexibility and practicality, which will enable it to perform its function in laying down policies and establishing standards, while leaving to selected instrumentalities the making of subordinate rules within prescribed limits and the determination of facts to which the policy as declared by the legislature is to apply.").
  214. 276 U.S. 394 (1928).
  215. Id. at 406.
  216. Id. at 409.
  217. Id. at 410.
  218. Id. at 411.
  219. Am. Power & Light Co. v. Sec. & Exch. Comm'n, 329 U.S. 90, 105 (1946).
  220. See generally John K. Galbreth, The Great Crash 1929 (2009) (describing the events that led to the crash of the stock market in 1929 and subsequent impacts on the economy during the Great Depression).
  221. See generally William E. Leuchtenburg, The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy 209-35 (1995) (discussing the political forces in play during the Great Depression and the election of Franklin Roosevelt).
  222. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Address Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago (July 2, 1932) ("I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.").
  223. See William E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal 1932-1940, at 41-62 (Henry S. Commanger & Richard B. Morris eds., 1963) (describing the economic and labor reforms of Franklin Roosevelt's presidency).
  224. Historians note that the New Deal era under Franklin Delano Roosevelt began in 1933 and ended in 1938. See generally William E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal 1932-1940, at xv (Henry S. Commanger & Richard B. Morris eds., 1963) (describing the New Deal era as the "six years from 1933 to 1938 marked a greater upheaval in American institutions than in any similar period in our history"). See also Leuchtenburg, supra note here, at 280 ("Conventionally the end of the New Deal is dated with the enactment of the Wages and Hours Act of 1938.") (quoting historian Carl Degler).
  225. 293 U.S. 388 (1935).
  226. 295 U.S. 495 (1935).
  227. 293 U.S. at 417-19.
  228. Id. at 415-18.
  229. Id. at 418, 430. Similarly, the Supreme Court explained that executive order exercising the authority contained no finding or other explanation by which the legality of the action could be tested. Id. at 431-33.
  230. A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp., 295 U.S. at 521-27.
  231. Id. at 542.
  232. Id. at 541. The Court was also concerned that the industrial codes were backed by criminal sanction and that the power to develop codes of fair competition was delegated to private individuals such as industry trade associations. See generally Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 373 n.7 (1989) (interpreting Schechter and Panama Refining cases).
  233. A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp., 295 U.S. at 541.
  234. Id. at 528.
  235. Lisa Schultz Bressman, Schechter Poultry at the Millennium: A Delegation Doctrine for the Administrative State, 109 Yale L.J. 1399, 1405 (2000).
  236. Id.
  237. See, e.g., W. Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379 (1937) (rejecting the view that the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause protected liberty of contract); NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 301 U.S. 1 (1937) (adopting a broader view of the Commerce Clause). For discussion of New Deal Court, see Art. VI, Cl. 2: New Deal and Presumption Against Preemption. See generally Edward S. Corwin, Constitutional Revolution, LTD. 64-79, 112-14 (1941) (analyzing Supreme Court decisions during the New Deal era). See also Keith E. Whittington & Jason Iuliano, The Myth of the Nondelegation Doctrine, 165 U. Pa. L. Rev. 379, 420-21 (2017) (discussing the expansion of the federal government's role in regulating industry and interstate commerce).
  238. Keith E. Whittington & Jason Iuliano, The Myth of the Nondelegation Doctrine, 165 U. Pa. L. Rev. 379, 382 (2017) (citing Cass R. Sunstein, Constitutionalism After the New Deal, 101 Harv. L. Rev. 421, 447-48 (1987)).
  239. Id.
  240. A year later, the Court invalidated the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act on delegation grounds, but that delegation was to private entities. Carter v. Carter Coal Co., 298 U.S. 238 (1936).
  241. Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 373 (1989).
  242. Lichter v. United States, 334 U.S. 742 (1948).
  243. American Power & Light Co. v. SEC, 329 U.S. 90 (1946).
  244. Yakus v. United States, 321 U.S. 414 (1944).
  245. FPC v. Hope Natural Gas Co., 320 U.S. 591 (1944).
  246. National Broadcasting Co. v. United States, 319 U.S. 190 (1943).
  247. Hampton v. Mow Sun Wong, 426 U.S. 88, 122 (1976) (Rehnquist, J., dissenting).
  248. Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 373-79 (1989).
  249. See, e.g., Fahey v. Mallonee, 332 U.S. 245, 250 (1947) (contrasting the delegation to deal with "unprecedented economic problems of varied industries" with the delegation of authority to deal with problems of the banking industry, where there was "accumulated experience" derived from long regulation and close supervision); Whitman v. American Trucking Ass'ns, 531 U.S. 457, 474 (2001) (the NIRA "conferred authority to regulate the entire economy on the basis of no more precise a standard than stimulating the economy by assuring 'fair competition'").
  250. See, e.g., Yakus v. United States, 321 U.S. 414, 424-25 (1944) (Schechter involved delegation "not to a public official . . . but to private individuals"; it suffices if Congress has sufficiently marked the field within which an administrator may act "so it may be known whether he has kept within it in compliance with the legislative will.")
  251. See, e.g., Industrial Union Dep't v. American Petroleum Inst., 448 U.S. 607, 645-46 (1980) (plurality opinion) (invalidating an occupational safety and health regulation, and observing that the statute should not be interpreted to authorize enforcement of a standard that is not based on an"understandable" quantification of risk); National Cable Television Ass'n v. United States, 415 U.S. 336, 342 (1974) ("hurdles revealed in [Schechter and J. W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. United States] lead us to read the Act narrowly to avoid constitutional problems").
  252. Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 373 (1989).
  253. Touby v. United States, 500 U.S. 160, 165 (1991).
  254. Lichter v. United States, 334 U.S. 742, 786 (1948).
  255. Am. Power & Light Co. v. Sec. & Exch. Comm'n, 329 U.S. 90, 104 (1946).
  256. Yakus v. United States, 321 U.S. 414, 427 (1944).
  257. Fed. Power Comm'n v. Hope Nat. Gas Co., 320 U.S. 591, 602 (1944).
  258. Nat'l Broad. Co. v. United States, 319 U.S. 190, 226 (1943).
  259. See Wisconsin v. Illinois, 278 U.S. 367, 414 (1929) (reasoning that Congress may delegate to the Secretary of War authority to issue construction permits for canals because such matters were "a peculiarly expert question . . . that is naturally within the executive function").
  260. Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 372 (1989).
  261. See id. at 379 (1989) ("Developing proportionate penalties for hundreds of different crimes by a virtually limitless array of offenders is precisely the sort of intricate, labor-intensive task for which delegation to an expert body is especially appropriate."); Am. Power & Light Co. v. Sec. & Exch. Comm'n, 329 U.S. 90, 105 (1946) ("The legislative process would frequently bog down if Congress were constitutionally required to appraise beforehand the myriad situations to which it wishes a particular policy to be applied and to formulate specific rules for each situation. Necessity therefore fixes a point beyond which it is unreasonable and impracticable to compel Congress to prescribe detailed rules; it then becomes constitutionally sufficient if Congress clearly delineates the general policy, the public agency which is to apply it, and the boundaries of this delegated authority."); Yakus v. United States, 321 U.S. 414, 424 (1944) ("The Constitution as a continuously operative charter of government does not demand the impossible or the impracticable. It does not require that Congress find for itself every fact upon which it desires to base legislative action or that it make for itself detailed determinations which it has declared to be prerequisite to the application of the legislative policy to particular facts and circumstances impossible for Congress itself properly to investigate."); A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495, 529-530 (1935) (recognizing "the necessity of adapting legislation to complex conditions involving a host of details with which the national legislature cannot deal directly"); United States v. Grimaud, 220 U.S. 506, 516 (1911) ("[I]t was impracticable for Congress to provide general regulations for these various and varying details of [forest reservation] management."); Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 694 (1892) ("The legislature cannot delegate its power to make a law, but it can make a law to delegate a power to determine some fact or state of things upon which the law makes, or intends to make its own action depend. To deny this would be to stop the wheels of government. There are many things upon which wise and useful legislation must depend which cannot be known to the lawmaking power, and must, therefore, be a subject of inquiry and determination outside of the halls of legislation.").
  262. See Schechter, 295 U.S. at 529-30 (citing Panama Ref. Co. v. Ryan, 293 U.S. 388, 421(1935)).
  263. Mistretta, 488 U.S. at 372.
  264. Union Bridge Co. v. United States, 204 U.S. 364, 387 (1907).
  265. See Loving v. United States, 517 U.S. 748, 773 (1996) ("Separation-of-powers principles are vindicated, not disserved, by measured cooperation between the two political branches of the Government, each contributing to a lawful objective through its own processes."); Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 121 (1976) (per curiam) ("Yet it is also clear from the provisions of the Constitution itself, and from the Federalist Papers, that the Constitution by no means contemplates total separation of each of these three essential branches of Government."); Yakus, 321 U.S. at 425-26 ("Nor does the doctrine of separation of powers deny to Congress power to direct that an administrative officer properly designated for that purpose have ample latitude within which he is to ascertain the conditions which Congress has made prerequisite to the operation of its legislative command. . . . Congress is not confined to that method of executing its policy which involves the least possible delegation of discretion to administrative officers."). The Court has noted that judicial review is available to help ensure that the administrative agencies discharge their delegated responsibilities and discretion in a reasoned manner consistent with the intelligible principles and statutory framework laid down by Congress. Am. Power & Light Co. v. Sec. & Exch. Comm'n, 329 U.S. 90, 105 (1946); Yakus, 321 U.S. at 423, 425-26. See also Immigration & Naturalization Serv. v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919, 953 n.16 (1983) ("That kind of Executive action is always subject to check by the terms of the legislation that authorized it; and if that authority is exceeded it is open to judicial review as well as the power of Congress to modify or revoke the authority entirely.").
  266. Marshall Field & Co., 143 U.S. at 693; Wayman v. Southard, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1, 42 (1825).
  267. United States v. Grimaud, 220 U.S. 506, 517 (1911).
  268. Wayman, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) at 46. In attempts to draw the boundaries of legislative power, the Court has described Congress's "essential legislative functions" or "law-making" powers under Article I, Section 1 in various ways. See, e.g., Chadha, 462 U.S. at 952, 954 (characterizing Congress's legislative duties as "altering the legal rights, duties, and relations of persons" and determining policy); United States v. Grimaud, 220 U.S. 506, 516 (1911) (describing laws as "general rules with reference to rights of persons and property" that "create or regulate obligations and liabilities"); A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495, 529 (1935) (explaining that "positive law" "bind[s] equally those who assent and those who do not assent").
  269. Id. at 457.
  270. Id. at 425-26.
  271. Id. at 426.
  272. See e.g., United States v. Grimaud, 220 U.S. 506, 517 (1911) ("From the beginning of the Government various acts have been passed conferring upon executive officers power to make rules and regulations--not for the government of their departments, but for administering the laws which did govern. None of these statutes could confer legislative power.").
  273. Panama Ref. Co. v. Ryan, 293 U.S. 388, 428-29 (1935). See also Batterton v. Francis, 432 U.S. 416, 425 (1977) ("Congress . . . expressly delegated to the Secretary the power to prescribe standards for determining what constitutes "unemployment" . . . eligibility. In a situation of this kind, Congress entrusts to the Secretary, rather than to the courts, the primary responsibility for interpreting the statutory term. In exercising that responsibility, the Secretary adopts regulations with legislative effect.").
  274. Panama Ref. Co., 293 U.S. at 428-29. See also Bowen v. Georgetown Univ. Hosp., 488 U.S. 204, 208 (1988) ("It is axiomatic that an administrative agency's power to promulgate legislative regulations is limited to the authority delegated by Congress.").
  275. See, e.g., United States v. Mazurie, 419 U.S. 544, 556-557 (1975) ("Those limitations [on Congress's authority to delegate its legislative power] are, however, less stringent in cases where the entity exercising the delegated authority itself possesses independent authority over the subject matter.").
  276. Loving v. United States, 517 U.S. 748, 759 (1996).
  277. Id. at 768-69. See also United States v. Curtiss-Wright Exp. Corp., 299 U.S. 304, 324 (1936) (holding that where foreign affairs are concerned, Congress may "either leave the exercise of the power to [the President's] unrestricted judgment, or provide a standard far more general than that which has always been considered requisite with regard to domestic affairs").
  278. Loving, 517 U.S. at 772.
  279. See, e.g., Dep't of Transp. v. Ass'n of Am. R.R., No. 13-1080, slip op. at 12 (U.S. Mar. 9, 2015) (Thomas, J., concurring) (arguing that the Court should "return to the original understanding of the federal legislative power" and reject the "boundless standard the 'intelligible principle' test has become"); Gutierrez-Brizuela v. Lynch, 834 F.3d 1142, 1154 (10th Cir. 2016) (Gorsuch, J., concurring) (noting "thoughtful" commentary questioning whether the current intelligible principle test serves "as much as a protection against the delegation of legislative authority as a license for it, undermining the separation between the legislative and executive powers that the founders thought essential").
  280. See No. 17-6086, slip op. (U.S. June 20, 2019). While criticisms of the intelligible principle doctrine have become more pronounced in recent years, some former members of the Court had argued for striking down legislation on nondelegation grounds. See, e.g., Indus. Union Dep't, AFL-CIO v. Am. Petroleum Inst., 448 U.S. 607, 675 (1980) (Rehnquist, J., concurring); Arizona v. California, 373 U.S. 546, 626-27 (1963) (Harlan, J., dissenting).
  281. 34 U.S.C. § 20913(d); see also Gundy, slip op. at 2 (plurality opinion) (discussing SORNA's "basic registration scheme").
  282. See Gundy, slip op. at 16 (plurality opinion).
  283. Id. at 1.
  284. Id. at 17.
  285. Id. at 24 (Gorsuch, J., dissenting).
  286. Id. at 17 (Gorsuch, J., dissenting).
  287. Id. at 17-18 (plurality opinion).
  288. Id. at 1 (Alito, J., concurring). Justice Brett Kavanaugh took no part in the consideration or decision in Gundy, as he was appointed to the Supreme Court after oral argument occurred in the case.
  289. Whitman v. Am. Trucking Ass'ns, 531 U.S. 457, 475-76 (2001).
  290. Id. at 474, 476.
  291. Id. at 457, 474.
  292. United States v. Mead Corp., 533 U.S. 218, 227 (2001).
  293. Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 842-43 (1984).
  294. Id. at 840; 42 U.S.C. § 7502.
  295. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 467 U.S. at 866.
  296. See, e.g., Dep't of Transp. v. Ass'n of Am. R.R., 575 U.S. 43, 77 (2015) (Thomas, J., concurring) (arguing that the Court should "return to the original understanding of the federal legislative power" and reject the "boundless standard the 'intelligible principle' test has become"); Gutierrez-Brizuela v. Lynch, 834 F.3d 1142, 1154 (10th Cir. 2016) (Gorsuch, J., concurring) (noting "thoughtful" commentary questioning whether the current intelligible principle test serves "as much as a protection against the delegation of legislative authority as a license for it, undermining the separation between the legislative and executive powers that the founders thought essential").
  297. See Gundy v. United States, No. 17-6086, slip op. (2019). While criticisms of the intelligible principle doctrine have become more pronounced in the beginning of the 21st century, some former members of the Court had argued for striking down legislation on nondelegation grounds. See, e.g., Indus. Union Dep't, AFL-CIO v. Am. Petroleum Inst., 448 U.S. 607, 675 (1980) (Rehnquist, J., concurring); Arizona v. California, 373 U.S. 546, 626-27 (1963) (Harlan, J., dissenting).
  298. 34 U.S.C. § 20913(d); see also Gundy, slip op. at 2 (plurality opinion) (discussing SORNA's "basic registration scheme").
  299. See Gundy, slip op. at 16 (plurality opinion).
  300. Id. at 1.
  301. Id. at 17.
  302. Id. at 24 (Gorsuch, J., dissenting).
  303. Id. at 17 (Gorsuch, J., dissenting).
  304. Id. at 17-18 (plurality opinion).
  305. Id. at 1 (Alito, J., concurring). Justice Brett Kavanaugh took no part in the consideration or decision in Gundy, as he was appointed to the Supreme Court after oral argument occurred in the case.
  306. See, e.g., Richard H. Fallon, Jr., Judicially Manageable Standards and Constitutional Meaning, 119 Harv. L. Rev. 1274, 1302 (2006) ("Commentators thus agree with near unanimity that the Constitution's nondelegation norm goes essentially unenforced."); Gary Lawson, Delegation and Original Meaning, 88 Va. L. Rev. 327, 331 (2002) ("There is something very fundamental--indeed, almost primal--about the nondelegation doctrine that keeps resuscitating it when any rational observer would have issued a 'code blue' long ago."); Eric A. Posner & Adrian Vermeule, Crisis Governance in the Administrative State: 9/11 and the Financial Meltdown of 2008, 76 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1613, 1630 (2009) ("[T]he nondelegation doctrine is largely moribund at the level of constitutional law.").
  307. See Nat'l Fed'n of Indep.Bus. v. Dep't. of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Admin., Nos. 21A244 and 21A247, slip op. at 4 (2022) (per curiam) (Gorsuch, J. concurring) ("Both [the nondelegation and major question doctrines] are designed to protect the separation of powers and ensure that any new laws governing the lives of Americans are subject to the robust democratic processes the Constitution demands."). See also Jacob Loshin & Aaron Nielson, Hiding Nondelegation in Mouseholes, 62 Admin. L. Rev. 19, 22 (2010) (explaining that "Ever since the [1980] Benzene case, the Court has sometimes construed statutes narrowly to avoid nondelegation concerns."); Kevin M. Stack, The Constitutional Foundations of Chenery, 116 Yale L.J. 952, 990-91(2007) (describing as an alternative to enforcing the "intelligible principle" standard the doctrines of statutory interpretation and judicial canons); Cass R. Sunstein, Nondelegation Canons, 67 U. Chi. L. Rev. 315, 316, 330 (2000) (explaining that "nondelegation canons" can "forbid administrative agencies from making decisions on their own" and "impose important constraints on administrative authority, for agencies are not permitted to understand ambiguous provisions to give them authority to venture in certain directions; a clear congressional statement is necessary"); Lisa Schultz Bressman, Schechter Poultry at the Millennium: A Delegation Doctrine for the Administrative State, 109 Yale L.J. 1399, 1408 (2000) ("[The Supreme Court] has continued to identify and address delegation concerns through means other than the nondelegation doctrine.").
  308. See, e.g., Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497, 531 (2007) (invoking major questions doctrine in not affording deference to the agency's construction of the statute); Util. Air Regulatory Grp. v. EPA, 573 U.S. 302, 323-24 (2014) (same).
  309. See FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 529 U.S. 120, 160 (2000) (overruling administrative regulations on the ground that "Congress could not have intended to delegate a decision of such economic and political significance to an agency" without a clear statement of its intention). See also id. at 159, citing Hon. Stephen Breyer, Judicial Review of Questions of Law and Policy, 38 Admin. L. Rev. 363, 370 (1986) ("A court may also ask whether the legal question is an important one. Congress is more likely to have focused upon, and answered, major questions, while leaving interstitial matters to answer themselves in the course of the statute's daily administration.").
  310. FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 529 U.S. 120, 160 (2000). See also King v. Burwell, 576 U.S. 473, 485-87, 498 (2015) (holding that the Court had "reason to hesitate before concluding that Congress" implicitly delegated to the IRS the authority to "'fill in the statutory gaps'" in determining whether states participating in a federal health care exchange were eligible for tax credits under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) (quoting Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 529 U.S. at 159); Util. Air Regulatory Grp. v. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 573 U.S. 302, 323-24 (2014) (holding that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) regulations represented an unreasonable reading of the authority delegated in the statute because the agency's interpretation would have constituted "an enormous and transformative expansion in EPA's regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization").
  311. See Util. Air Regulatory Grp. v. EPA, 573 U.S. 302, 324 (2014) ("We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast 'economic and political significance.'") (quoting Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 529 U.S. at 160); Whitman v. Am. Trucking Ass'ns, 531 U.S. 457, 475 (2001) ("[Congress] must provide substantial guidance on setting air standards that affect the entire national economy."). See also Loving v. United States, 517 U.S. 748, 772 (1996) ("Had the delegations here called for the exercise of judgment or discretion that lies beyond the traditional authority of the President, Loving's last argument that Congress failed to provide guiding principles to the President might have more weight.").
  312. West Virginia v. Env't Prot. Agency, No. 20-1530, slip op. at 31 (June 30, 2022).
  313. Id.
  314. 576 U.S. 473 (2015).
  315. 42 U.S.C. § 18031; 26 U.S.C. §§ 36B(b)-(c).
  316. King, 576 U.S. at 485-86 (quoting Brown & Williamson, 529 U.S. 120, 159 (2000)).
  317. See Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 373 n.7 (1989) ("[O]ur application of the nondelegation doctrine principally has been limited to the interpretation of statutory texts, and, more particularly, to giving narrow constructions to statutory delegations that might otherwise be thought to be unconstitutional."). See also Indus. Union Dep't, AFL-CIO v. Am. Petroleum Inst., 448 U.S. 607, 646 (1980) (acknowledging that the "sweeping delegation of legislative power [to the Secretary of Labor to set worker exposure standards] . . . might be unconstitutional" under the nondelegation doctrine and imposing a "construction of the [Occupational Safety and Health Act] that avoids this kind of open-ended grant" that required the Secretary to find a "significant risk" to employee health before adopting a standard). See also Ronald D. Rotunda & John E. Nowak, Treatise on Constitutional Law: Substance and Procedure § 4.8(b) (5th ed. 2012) ("The Supreme Court sometimes interprets grants of powers to agencies narrowly, so as to avoid constitutional issues regarding the scope of congressional power or constitutionality of the delegation to the agency."); John F. Manning, The Nondelegation Doctrine as a Canon of Avoidance, 2000 Sup. Ct. Rev. 223, 223, 242-43 (2000) ("The nondelegation doctrine . . . now operates exclusively through the interpretive canon requiring avoidance of serious constitutional questions. . . . Despite the Court's apparent refusal to enforce the nondelegation doctrine directly, cases such as Brown & Williamson illustrate the Court's modern strategy of using the canon of avoidance to promote nondelegation interests. Where a statute is broad enough to raise serious concerns under the nondelegation doctrine, the Court simply cuts it back to acceptable bounds.") (citing Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 529 U.S. 120).
  318. National Cable Television Ass'n v. United States, 415 U.S. 336, 337-41 (1974).
  319. Id. at 337.
  320. Id. at 342.
  321. Id. at 343-44.
  322. 490 U.S. 212, 221 (1989).
  323. See generally Cass R. Sunstein, Nondelegation Canons, 67 U. Chi. L. Rev. 315 (2000); John F. Manning, The Nondelegation Doctrine as a Canon of Avoidance, 2000 Sup. Ct. Rev. 223 (2000).
  324. See Sessions v. Dimaya, No. 15-1498, slip op. at 5 (2018) (explaining that the void-for-vagueness doctrine is a "corollary of the separation of powers" that requires "Congress, rather than the executive or judiciary branch, define what conduct is [criminally] sanctionable or what is not"); Whitman v. United States, 574 U.S. 1003, 1004 (2014) ("[L]egislatures, not executive officers, define crimes."); United States v. Eaton, 144 U.S. 677, 688 (1892) ("It is necessary that a sufficient statutory authority should exist for declaring any act or omission a criminal offence . . . .").
  325. Tiffany v. Nat'l Bank of Missouri, 85 U.S. (18 Wall.) 409, 410 (1873). See also United States v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258, 272, 275 (1967) (Brennan, J., concurring) (noting that "indefinite[ ]" delegations "create the danger of overbroad, unauthorized, and arbitrary application of criminal sanctions in an area of [constitutionally] protected freedoms" and such "vague" delegations "are far more serious when liberty and the exercise of fundamental freedoms are at stake"). The Supreme Court has recognized that the void-for-vagueness doctrine may also serve to limit delegation of authority of criminal matters to other branches of the government. See, e.g., Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 108-09 (1972) ("A vague [criminal] law impermissibly delegates basic policy matters to policemen, judges, and juries for resolution on an ad hoc and subjective basis, with the attendant dangers of arbitrary and discriminatory application.").
  326. See Eaton, 144 U.S. at 688 ("It is necessary that a sufficient statutory authority should exist for declaring any act or omission a criminal offence . . . . If Congress intended to make to an offence [to violate] regulations . . . , it would have done so distinctly, in connection with an enactment [of the statute]."); In re Kollock, 165 U.S. 526 (1897) ("[T]he courts of the United States, in determining what constitutes an[ ] offence against the United States, must resort to the statutes of the United States, enacted in pursuance of the Constitution.").
  327. See United States v. Grimaud, 220 U.S. 506, 519 (1911) (explaining that the Forest Reserve Act clearly provided for punishment for violation of "rules and regulations of the Secretary"), but see United States v. Eaton, 144 U.S. 677 (1892) (holding the general statutory language authorizing punishment for failure to do what was "required by law" did not authorize criminal punishment for violation of a regulation because the statute did not explicitly provide for criminal sanctions for violations of regulations). Extension of the principle that penal statutes should be strictly construed requires that the prohibited acts be clearly identified in the regulation. M. Kraus & Bros. v. United States, 327 U.S. 614, 621 (1946). See also L. P. Steuart & Bro. v. Bowles, 322 U.S. 398, 404 (1944) ("[I]t is for Congress to prescribe the penalties for the laws which it writes. It would transcend both the judicial and the administrative function to make additions to those which Congress has placed behind a statute.").
  328. Loving v. United States, 517 U.S. 748, 768 (1996) ("There is no absolute rule . . . against Congress's delegation of authority to define criminal punishments. We have upheld delegations whereby the Executive or an independent agency defines by regulation what conduct will be criminal, so long as Congress makes the violation of regulations a criminal offense and fixes the punishment, and the regulations 'confin[e] themselves within the field covered by the statute.'") (quoting Grimaud, 220 U.S. at 518).
  329. Touby v. United States, 500 U.S. 160, 165-69 (1991).
  330. 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)-(b).
  331. Touby, 500 U.S. at 166.
  332. Id. at 165-67.
  333. No. 17-6086, slip op. (2019).
  334. 34 U.S.C. § 20913(d).
  335. Gundy, No. 17-6086, slip op. at 1, 17 (plurality opinion).
  336. Id. at 1.
  337. Id. at 11-15.
  338. Id. at 17-18.
  339. Id. at 1 (concurring, Alito, J.).
  340. Id. at 3 (Gorsuch, J., dissenting).
  341. Id. at 27-33.
  342. Id. at 33 (quoting A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495, 553 (1935) (Cardozo, J., concurring)).
  343. Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 371-79 (1989).
  344. Id. The Supreme Court in United States v. Booker held that the mandatory nature of the sentencing guidelines violated the Sixth Amendment. 543 U.S. 220, 246-46 (2005). The Court severed the mandatory provision to make the sentencing guidelines advisory. Id.
  345. Id. at 379.
  346. Id. at 378.
  347. Id. at 377-78. "As for every other offense within the Commission's jurisdiction, the Commission could include the death penalty within the guidelines only if that punishment was authorized in the first instance by Congress and only if such inclusion comported with the substantial guidance Congress gave the Commission in fulfilling its assignments." Id. at 378 n.11.
  348. Touby v. United States, 500 U.S. 160, 166 (1991).
  349. Tiffany v. Nat'l Bank of Mo., 85 U.S. (18 Wall.) 409, 410 (1873).
  350. A. L. A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495 (1935).
  351. Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan, 293 U.S. 388 (1935).
  352. Fahey v. Mallonee, 332 U.S. 245, 249 (1947).
  353. L. P. Steuart & Bro. v. Bowles, 322 U.S. 398, 404 (1944) ("[I]t is for Congress to prescribe the penalties for the laws which it writes. It would transcend both the judicial and the administrative function to make additions to those which Congress has placed behind a statute.").
  354. United States v. Grimaud, 220 U.S. 506 (1911). The Forest Reserve Act at issue in Grimaud clearly provided for punishment for violation of "rules and regulations of the Secretary." The Court in Grimaud distinguished United States v. Eaton, 144 U.S. 677 (1892), which had held that authority to punish for violation of a regulation was lacking in more general language authorizing punishment for failure to do what was "required by law." 220 U.S. at 519. Extension of the principle that penal statutes should be strictly construed requires that the prohibited acts be clearly identified in the regulation. M. Kraus & Bros. v. United States, 327 U.S. 614, 621 (1946). The Court summarized these cases in Loving v. United States, 517 U.S. 748 (1996), drawing the conclusion that "there is no absolute rule . . . against Congress's delegation of authority to define criminal punishments."
  355. Touby v. United States, 500 U.S. 160 (1991).
  356. Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361 (1989).
  357. Id. at 377-78. "As for every other offense within the Commission's jurisdiction, the Commission could include the death penalty within the guidelines only if that punishment was authorized in the first instance by Congress and only if such inclusion comported with the substantial guidance Congress gave the Commission in fulfilling its assignments." Id. at 378 n.11.
  358. 299 U.S. 304, 319-29 (1936).
  359. Id. at 319-22. For a particularly strong, recent assertion of the point, see Haig v. Agee, 453 U.S. 280, 291-92 (1981). This view also informs the Court's analysis in Dames & Moore v. Regan, 453 U.S. 654 (1981). See also United States v. Chemical Foundation, 272 U.S. 1 (1926) (Trading With Enemy Act delegation to dispose of seized enemy property).
  360. Loving v. United States, 517 U.S. 748, 772-73 (1996).
  361. 299 U.S. at 319.
  362. 517 U.S. 748.
  363. 10 U.S.C. §§ 918(1), (4).
  364. The Court assumed the applicability of Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972), and its progeny, to the military, 517 U.S. at 755-56, a point on which Justice Thomas disagreed, id. at 777.
  365. Rule for Courts-Martial; see 517 U.S. at 754.
  366. 10 U.S.C. §§ 818, 836(a), 856.
  367. 517 U.S. at 771-74. See also United States v. Mazurie, 419 U.S. 544, 556-57 (1974) (limits on delegation are "less stringent" when delegation is made to an Indian tribe that can exercise independent sovereign authority over the subject matter).
  368. See Charles Warren, Federal Criminal Laws and the State Courts, 38 Harv. L. Rev. 545 (1925); A. N. Holcombe, The States as Agents of the Nation (1921), reprinted in 3 Selected Essays on Constitutional Law 1187 (1938).
  369. Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 41 U.S. (16 Pet.) 539 (1842) (duty to deliver fugitive slave); Kentucky v. Dennison, 65 U.S. (24 How.) 66 (1861) (holding that Congress could not compel a governor to extradite a fugitive). Doubts over Congress's power to compel extradition were not definitively removed until Puerto Rico v. Branstad, 483 U.S. 219 (1987), in which the Court overruled Dennison.
  370. 245 U.S. 366, 389 (1918).
  371. E.g., Pub. L. No. 94-435, title III, 90 Stat. 1394, 15 U.S.C. § 15c (state attorneys general may bring antitrust parens patriae actions); Medical Waste Tracking Act, Pub. L. No. 100-582, 102 Stat. 2955, 42 U.S.C. § 6992f (states may impose civil and possibly criminal penalties against violators of the law).
  372. See 24 Weekly Comp. of Pres. Docs. 1418 (1988) (President Reagan). The only judicial challenge to such a practice resulted in a rebuff to the presidential argument. Seattle Master Builders Ass'n v. Pacific N.W. Elec. Power Council, 786 F.2d 1359 (9th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 1059 (1987).
  373. See Art. I, Sec. 1: Origin of Intelligible Principle Standard.
  374. Dep't of Transp. v. Ass'n of Am. R.R., 575 U.S. 43, 52 (2015); Lebron v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., 513 U.S. 374, 394 (1995).
  375. See, e.g., 5 U.S.C. §§ 101-105 (enumerating and defining executive and military departments, executive agencies, government corporations, and independent establishments). See also Ass'n of Am. R.R. v. Dep't of Transp., 821 F.3d 19, 39 (D.C. Cir. 2016) ("[T]he Due Process Clause effectively guarantees the regulatory power of the federal government will be wielded by 'presumptively disinterested' and 'duly appointed' actors who, in exercising that awesome power, are beholden to no constituency but the public good.").
  376. See Alexander Volokh, The New Private-Regulation Skepticism: Due Process, Non-Delegation, and Antitrust Challenges, 37 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 931, 940 (2014) ("The public-private distinction is fuzzy, and statutory labels aren't always dispositive."); Donna M. Nagy, Playing Peekaboo with Constitutional Law: The PCAOB and Its Public/Private Status, 80 Notre Dame L. Rev. 975, 1030 (2005) ("[E]xpanded privatization has served to blur the distinction between the spheres of public and private.").
  377. The Supreme Court 2014 Term: Leading Case: Federal Statutes & Regulations: Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act--Nondelegation--Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads, 129 Harv. L. Rev. 341, 350 (2015). See e.g., S.F. Arts & Athletics, Inc. v. U.S. Olympic Comm., 483 U.S. 522, 560 (1987) (determining that the United States Olympic Committee was not a governmental actor); Ass'n of Am. R.R, 821 F.3d 19 (holding that Amtrak was a self-interested governmental entity subject to the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment).
  378. See U.S. Gov't Accountability Off., GAO-16-464SP, Principles of Federal Appropriations Law, ch. 15, at 86-87 (3d. ed. 2008) (discussing how the distinction between what is public or private is "indistinct" for "quasi-private," "quasi-governmental," "hybrid organizations," and "twilight zone corporations") (internal quotations and citations omitted).
  379. Lebron v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., 513 U.S. 374, 376-78 (1995).
  380. Id. at 400.
  381. Ass'n of Am. R.R., 575 U.S. at 45-46.
  382. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that Amtrak was a private entity "with respect to Congress's power to delegate regulatory authority." Ass'n of Am. R.R. v. Dep't of Transp., 721 F.3d 666, 677 (D.C. Cir. 2013), vacated by 575 U.S. 43 (2015).
  383. Ass'n of Am. R.R., 575 U.S. at 55.
  384. Id. at 53-54.
  385. Dep't of Transp. v. Ass'n of Am. R.R., 575 U.S. 43, 45, 55-56 (2015). See also Ass'n of Am. R.R. v. Dep't of Transp., 821 F.3d 19 (2016), reh'g denied, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16669 (D.C. Cir., Sept. 9, 2016).
  386. Id. at 54. In general, when applying this multi-factor test, lower courts have examined these entities in a holistic manner rather than focus on the specific challenged action of the entity. See, e.g., United States v. Ackerman, 831 F.3d 1292, 1297-98 (10th Cir. 2016) (examining the factors considered in the Supreme Court's decision in Association of American Railroads to determine that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was a government entity to which the Fourth Amendment applied).
  387. Congress has established such entities in the form of for- and nonprofit corporations that are managed by boards of directors and not (as declared in the enabling legislation) "agencies" or "instrumentalities" of the Government. See Lebron v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., 513 U.S. 374, 386-391 (1995) (discussing examples of corporations created by Congress). For example, Congress created Amtrak in 1970 as a for-profit corporation to provide railroad passenger service, requiring by law for Amtrak to "maximize its revenues." Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970 (RPSA), Pub. L. No. 91-518, § 101, 84 Stat. 1328 (1970). Congress established Amtrak in 1970 as a for-profit corporation to take over the passenger rail service that had been operated by private railroads because "the public convenience and necessity require the continuance and improvement" of railroad passenger service. Id. See also 49 U.S.C. §§ 24301(a)(2), 24101(d)).
  388. The potential self-interested nature of government-created entities may also raise concerns beyond violations of the nondelegation doctrine. See generally Anne Joseph O'Connell, Bureaucracy at the Boundary, 162 U. Pa. L. Rev. 841 (2014) (analyzing government-created corporations and organizations). These concerns include whether the self-interested nature of a government-created corporation combined with its coercive power over its competitors violate the Due Process Clause. Id. Also, delegation of authority to officers, members of the board of directors, or employees of government-created entities may implicate the Constitution's requirements regarding the appointment of certain federal officials under the Appointments Clause. The Appointments Clause applies to "officers" who wield "significant authority pursuant to the laws of the United States." Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 126 (1976) (per curiam). For discussion of the Appointments Clause, see Art. II, Sec. 2, Cl. 2: Overview of Appointments Clause.
  389. See Art. I, Sec. 1: Origin of Intelligible Principle Standard.
  390. See A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495, 537 (1935) (holding that delegation to trade and industrial associations of the power to develop codes of "fair competition" for the poultry industry "is unknown to our law and utterly inconsistent with the constitutional prerogatives and duties of Congress").
  391. 298 U.S. 238 (1936).
  392. Id. at 311-12.
  393. Id. at 311. The Court appeared to characterize the wage and hour provisions as an unlawful "delegation" to a private entity, but also held that the provision in question was "clearly a denial of rights safeguarded by the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment," id. at 311-12, leading some to question whether Carter should be considered a nondelegation case at all.
  394. See id. at 311 ("The difference between producing coal and regulating its production is, of course, fundamental. The former is a private activity; the latter is necessarily a governmental function, since, in the very nature of things, one person may not be entrusted with the power to regulate the business of another, and especially of a competitor.").
  395. At least one court has debated on whether Carter Coal is a nondelegation or due process decision. See Ass'n of Am. R.R. v. Dep't of Transp., 821 F.3d 19, 31 (D.C. Cir. 2016) (explaining that it was unclear what aspect of the "delegation [in Carter Coal] offended the Court. By one reading, it was the Act's delegation to 'private persons rather than official bodies. By another, it was the delegation to persons 'whose interests may be and often are adverse to the interests of others in the same business' rather than persons who are 'presumptively disinterested,' as official bodies tend to be. Of course, the Court also may have been offended on both fronts. But as the opinion continues, it becomes clear that what primarily drives the Court to strike down this provision is the self-interested character of the delegatees' . . . .").
  396. The Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause, by its very nature, only applies to the actions of the Federal Government. See Farrington v. Tokushige, 273 U.S. 284, 299 (1927) ("[T]he inhibition of the Fifth Amendment--'No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law'--applies to the federal government and agencies set up by Congress for the government of the Territory."). For discussion of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause, see Fifth Amend.: Overview of Due Process. The Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause as applied to actions of the states is discussed at Fourteenth Amend., Section 1 Rights.
  397. Fifth Amendment Rights of Persons. See also Marshall v. Jerrico, Inc., 446 U.S. 238, 242 (1980) ("The Due Process Clause entitles a person to an impartial and disinterested tribunal in both civil and criminal cases."); Carter Coal, 298 U.S. at 311; Eubank v. City of Richmond, 226 U.S. 137, 143-44 (1912) (invalidating a city ordinance on the grounds that it established "no standard by which the power thus given is to be exercised; in other words, the property holders who desire and have the authority to establish the line may do so solely for their own interest, or even capriciously. . . . "). See Fifth Amend.: Overview of Due Process.
  398. See, e.g., Marshall, 446 U.S. at 242.
  399. Carter Coal, 298 U.S. at 311.
  400. The intersection of the Due Process Clause and the nondelegation doctrine as illustrated by the Court's decision in Carter Coal may arise when Congress delegates authority to government-created corporations that have both public and private aspects. For example, in Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads, the Supreme Court held that "Amtrak is a governmental entity, not a private one" for purposes of reviewing Congress's power to delegate regulatory authority to Amtrak, a for-profit entity created by Congress. Dep't of Transp. v. Ass'n of Am. R.R., 575 U.S. 43, 45, 54 (2015). The Court, however, did not reach the issue of whether the delegation of coercive power given to Amtrak over its competitors violates the Due Process Clause or the nondelegation doctrine. Id. at 55-56.
  401. 306 U.S. 1 (1939).
  402. Id. at 6.
  403. Id. at 15.
  404. Id. at 16.
  405. 310 U.S. 381 (1940).
  406. Pub. L. No. 75-48, 50 Stat. 72 (1937).
  407. Sunshine Anthracite Coal Co. v. Adkins, 310 U.S. at 388-89.
  408. Id. at 388.
  409. Id. at 399.
  410. Id.
  411. Id. at 388-89; Currin v. Wallace, 306 U.S. 1, 15-16 (1939).
  412. United States v. Grimaud, 220 U.S. 506, 517 (1911).
  413. Sunshine Anthracite Coal Co. v. Adkins, 310 U.S. 381, 388-89 (1940); Currin, 306 U.S. at 15-16.
  414. Id.
  415. Lichter v. United States, 334 U.S. 742, 778-79 (1948).
  416. 490 U.S. 212, 223 (1989). In National Cable Television Ass'n v. United States, 415 U.S. 336, 342 (1974), and FPC v. New England Power Co., 415 U.S. 345 (1974), the Court had appeared to suggest that delegation of the taxing power would be fraught with constitutional difficulties. It is difficult to discern how this view could have been held after the many cases sustaining delegations to fix tariff rates, which are in fact and in law taxes. J. W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394 (1928); Field v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649 (1892); see also FEA v. Algonquin SNG, Inc., 426 U.S. 548 (1976) (delegation to President to raise license "fees" on imports when necessary to protect national security). Nor should doubt exist respecting the appropriations power. See Synar v. United States, 626 F. Supp. 1374, 1385-86 (D.D.C.) (three-judge court), aff'd on other grounds sub nom. Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S. 714 (1986).
  417. Skinner, 490 U.S. at 221. Nor is there basis for distinguishing the other powers enumerated in § 8. See, e.g., Loving v. United States, 517 U.S. 748 (1996). But see Touby v. United States, 500 U.S. 160, 166 (1991) (it is "unclear" whether a higher standard applies to delegations of authority to issue regulations that contemplate criminal sanctions), discussed in the next section.
  418. United States v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258, 269 (1967) (Brennan, J., concurring). The view was specifically rejected by Justices White and Harlan in dissent, id. at 288-89, and ignored by the majority.
  419. Kent v. Dulles, 357 U.S. 116, 129 (1958).
  420. Kent, 357 U.S. 116; Schneider v. Smith, 390 U.S. 17 (1968); Greene v. McElroy, 360 U.S. 474, 506-08 (1959) (Court will not follow traditional principles of congressional acquiescence in administrative interpretation to infer a delegation of authority to impose an industrial security clearance program that lacks the safeguards of due process). More recently, the Court has eschewed even this limited mode of construction. Haig v. Agee, 453 U.S. 280 (1981).
  421. Hampton v. Mow Sun Wong, 426 U.S. 88 (1976) (5-4 decision). The regulation was reissued by the President, E. O. 11935, 3 C.F.R. 146 (1976), reprinted in 5 U.S.C. § 3301 (app.), and sustained in Vergara v. Hampton, 581 F.2d 1281 (7th Cir. 1978).