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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: False equivalency edition (124 comments)

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  •  Congress can't delegate the power of appropriation (0+ / 0-)

    Long before enough sequester cuts go into effect long enough to make any difference to the economy, I expect that the whole issue of making any such cuts will become tangled up in the courts.

    I'm not a lawyer, much less an authority on constitutional law, and I haven't read any of the text of the sequester law.  But just on general principle, I can't imagine the sequester law could possibly have been written in enough detail to allow the administration to make the cuts needed without opening to serious legal challenge its decisions on what to cut and what to keep.  

    The legal requirement to pay out, in full, every item in the appropriations bills, will be quite clear.  But I can't see that the sequester law could possibly have delegated to the administration the power to rescind appropriations in enough detail to make the delegation allowable, and not an unconstitutionally broad delegation of something Congress can't delegate, the power of appropriation.

    And it's not as if this constitutional issue is one of those purely theoretical points that the courts, political bias aside, tend to avoid.  With cuts this big and broad, all sorts of parties, many with plenty deep enough pockets to fund serious legal challenges, will be in a position to claim that they have been harmed unlawfully by the administration's decision to not pay them whatever the original appropriations bills said they are owed.  It's not as if the sequestration cuts harm no one, or no one in particular, so that there are no particular parties who can claim direct harm.  There will be very definite victims, parties harmed by the administration deciding not to pay them.  Even if it wanted to, I can't see how SCOTUS avoids being sucked into this, and quickly after just about any cuts.        

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 10:39:27 AM PST

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