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Volume 105

Note

Too Much “Acting,” Not Enough Confirming: The Constitutional Imbalance Between the President and Senate Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act

Christopher D. Johnson, B.S., Northwestern University, 2014; Cornell Law School, J.D. Candidate, 2021.

18 Nov 2020

This Note proceeds as follows. Part I describes the FVRA’s basic mechanics, highlights aspects of the statute this Note’s proposed changes seek to address, and details Trump Administration controversies illustrating how, with regard to the process of filling the upper ranks of executive agencies, the FVRA amplifies presidential authority to the detriment of the Senate’s authority. Part II analyzes the FVRA’s constitutional foundation, delineates the key tension in the statute flowing from the nexus between the President’s take care obligation and the Senate’s advice and consent function, argues that the FVRA aids the former at the expense of the latter, and contextualizes this argument by describing the increasing Senate resistance the President must overcome in today’s appointments process. Part III sets forth changes to the FVRA in view of its constitutional imbalance between the Take Care Clause and Senate advice and consent.

To read more, click here: Too Much “Acting,” Not Enough Confirming: The Constitutional Imbalance Between the President and Senate Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.

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