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Archive of entries posted on September 2012

The Notebook- House Ethics Committee Edition

Fans of the Maxine Waters ethics case (you know who you are) may recall that one of the controversies between Blake Chisam, the former Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the Ethics Committee, and the two senior counsel leading the Waters investigation (Morgan Kim and Stacy Sovereign), involved the binders that were handed out to [...]

Unclear and Not All that Convincing

The long-running ethics investigation of Representative Maxine Waters neared an end today with a public hearing before the “Waters Committee” (a special version of the Ethics Committee set up specifically for the Waters matter). Chairman Goodlatte announced that the committee had received the report and recommendations of Outside Counsel Billy Martin, who advised that there [...]

And Now For Something Completely Different

This is not a post about Monty Python (sorry), but a couple of thoughts on the word “amendment.” Over at The Originalism Blog, Professor Michael Ramsey discusses a debate regarding the meaning of the Origination Clause of the Constitution, which provides “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the [...]

Chief Justice Roberts and the Recess Appointments Clause

I really, truly intend to leave the subject of the Recess Appointments Clause, but, as I was compiling material for a final post to be entitled “The Recess Appointments Clause in One Place,” I came across this interesting and somewhat instructive episode from the Reagan Administration. On Friday afternoon, January 18, 1985, a young lawyer [...]

Constitutional Settlement Through a Statute

A few years ago, when there was a great deal of consternation regarding filibusters of judicial nominees, Professor Aaron-Andrew Bruhl published a typically thoughtful article entitled “If the Judicial Confirmation Process is Broken, Can a Statute Fix It?” Bruhl considered a hypothetical statute that would regulate the confirmation process by, for example, requiring the Senate [...]

Must Committee Websites Be Fair and Balanced?

An article this week by Fortune senior editor Stephen Gandel questions whether certain House committee websites, particularly that of the Financial Services Committee, comply with rules and regulations established by the Committee on House Administration. These provide that committee websites may not: Include personal, political, or campaign information. Be directly linked or refer to Web [...]

Mort Rosenberg on Recess Appointments

Mort Rosenberg, formerly of CRS and now a Fellow at the Constitution Project, has released a paper entitled: “Understanding the Centrality of the Appointments Clause as a Structural Safeguard of Our Scheme of Separated Powers: The Senate’s Exclusive and Plenary Confirmation Power Trumps Presidential Intrasession Recess Appointments.” The Executive Summary states: “The Constitution establishes a [...]

Common Cause’s Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss

Common Cause has filed its opposition to the Senate’s motion to dismiss its lawsuit seeking to have the filibuster declared unconstitutional. Its brief clearly demonstrates that there is no persuasive answer, and in some cases no answer at all, to the problems identified in my earlier post on this subject. A few observations should suffice. [...]