Buckley v. Valeo, 1976
· Facts: Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. 1974 Amendments to the Act created a Federal Election Commission. Two members are appointed by the president pro tempore of the senate upon recommendations of the majority leader of the senate and the minority leader of the senate. Two more are appointed by the Speaker of the House.
· Appointments clause: Art. II, §2, c. 2
§ Big O Officers: "president shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint… all other officers of the United States."
§ Inferior Officers: "congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, so they think proper, in the president alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments."
· Are they "Big O officers" or "inferior officers?" BIG O OFFICERS.
§ Each of these functions - rulemaking, advisory opinions, determinations of eligibility for funds, represent performance of a significant governmental duty exercised pursuant to a public law.
· Can they appoint these "Big O officers?" NO.
§ An appointee exercising significant authority pursuant to the laws of the US is an "officer of the United States," and therefore must be appointed in the manner prescribed.
§ Congress is bound by Art 2, §2, cl. 2: those appointed by them cannot be officers of the united states. They may only perform duties in aid of those functions that congress may carry out by itself, or in area sufficiently removed from the admin and enforcement of the public law as to permit their being performed by persons not "officers."
· Other limitations:
§ Myers: Art II grants President admin control of those executing the laws, including the power of appointment and removal of exec officers, and congress could not by statute divest the pres of the power to remove an officer in the exec branch.
§ Humphrey's Executor: congress could circumscribe the presidential power to remove members of independent regulatory agencies, but the agency was intended to be independent of executive authority "except in its selection."