• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the independent counsel statute.

Chief Justice William H. RehnquistRehnquist, William H.;Morrison v. Olson][Morrison v. Olson] wrote the opinion for the 7-1 majority, upholding the constitutionality of the independent counsel statute. The statute, adopted in 1978, provided for an independent counsel to investigate possible federal criminal violations made by senior executive officials such as the president. The counsel is appointed by a special court on the attorney general’s application and is removable by the attorney general only for good cause. Although Justice Antonin Scalia was the lone dissenter in this case, the wisdom of his position was praised subsequently as abuses of the process became clear. Scalia took a strong separation of powers position under which the judiciary was unconstitutionally involved in the activities of the executive branch a view the Supreme Court itself took in Bowsher v. Synar[case]Bowsher v. Synar[Bowsher v. Synar] (1986) and Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha[case]Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha[Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha] (1983). In these cases, the Court backed away from an abstract formulation and accepted the temporary political popularity of the statute.Separation of powers;Morrison v. Olson[Morrison v. Olson]

Bowsher v. Synar

Delegation of powers

Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha

Mistretta v. United States

Separation of powers

Categories: History