Delegation Really Running Riot

Conventional delegations—statutes delegating Article I, section 8 authority—are familiar enough and have spawned a large literature regarding their constitutionality. We wish to shift the focus to delegation of other powers. Starting from the assumption that conventional delegations are constitutional, we ask whether Congress may delegate other congressional powers, such as those found in Articles II, III, and IV. For instance, we consider whether Congress may delegate the power to admit states and to propose amendments to the Constitution. We also consider whether Congress may delegate cameral authority, such as the House’s ability to impeach and the Senate’s ability to confirm nominations. Finally, we address whether the Congress may delegate powers to other entities and in the process circumvent or evade powers granted to other branches. We conclude that if one accepts the constitutionality of conventional delegations, one must likewise accept the constitutionality of all manner of unconventional delegations. If the Necessary and Proper clause permits the making of laws outside of the Article I, section 7 process, it likewise permits the approval of treaties outside the Article II, section 2 process. And the same is true for the other unconventional delegations we discuss here. In this way, the delegation of cameral and bicameral power can be a means for “altering,” or at least evading, the structural Constitution’s most notable features. 

Cooperative Localism: Federal-Local Collaboration in an Era of State Sovereignty

Direct relations between the federal government and local governments—what this article calls “cooperative localism”—play a significant and underappreciated role in areas of contemporary policy as disparate as homeland security, law enforcement, disaster response, economic development, social services, immigration, and environmental protection. Despite the ubiquity of this practice, a jurisprudential conflict threatens this important facet of intergovernmental relations. Historically, courts have allowed local governments to invoke federal authority as a source of local autonomy, despite the prevailing view of local governments as powerless instrumentalities of the state. The Supreme Court is increasingly suggesting, however, that state control over local governments is a fundamental aspect of state sovereignty triggering judicial limits on federal power. When this confrontation comes to a head, limiting federal authority to empower local governments would be a mistake. This article instead proposes a new framework for conceptualizing federal empowerment of local governments that is not only consistent with the Court’s contemporary view of federal structure, but in fact advances the Court’s normative and pragmatic goals. The core concerns animating the Court’s current move to devolve and decentralize power are forcefully served by enhancing the autonomy of local governments in the constitutional structure. In short, the very values of federalism on which the Court has relied to enhance state sovereignty provide a compelling localist grounding for the particular exercise of national power represented by cooperative localism.

Structural Reform Prosecution

In what I call a structural reform prosecution, prosecutors secure the cooperation of an organization in adopting internal reforms. No scholars have considered the problem of prosecutors seeking structural reform remedies, perhaps because until recently organizational prosecutions were themselves infrequent. In the past few years, however, federal prosecutors have adopted a bold new prosecutorial strategy under which dozens of leading corporations have entered into demanding settlements, including AIG, American Online, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Computer Associates, HealthSouth, KPMG, MCI, Merrill Lynch & Co., and Monsanto. To situate the DOJ’s latest strategy, I frame alternatives to the pursuit of structural reform remedies as well as five alternative ways prosecutors can pursue structural reform. To better understand what the DOJ accomplished by choosing to pursue structural reform and then doing so at the charging stage, I conducted an empirical study of the terms in all agreements the DOJ has negotiated to date. My study reveals imposition of deep governance reforms, consistent with the purposes of the Sentencing Guidelines, but also perceived prosecutorial abuses and some indications of overreaching. I conclude that given the breadth of prosecutorial discretion and the deferential, limited nature of judicial review, the guidance that the DOJ provides will chiefly define the future development of its emerging structural regime for deterring organizational crime.