Saturday, May 17, 2014

Amalgamated Meat Cutters v. Connally case brief summary

Amalgamated Meat Cutters v. Connally, 1971
·         Facts: Economic Stabilization Act of 1970, and the agency Cost of Living Council was authorized by an executive order to carry out the Act. The order gave the power to issue orders and regulations to stabilize prices, rents, wages, and salaries. 
·         Plaintiff: union complaining over wage freezes by an executive order, carried out by the agency. Challenging constitutionality of the act and the executive order.
·         Issue: is the executive order a violation of the non delegation doctrine? 
§         Has congress given the president a blank check? 
§         Is there an intelligible principle? 
§         Court is looking for control and accountability, or on the other hand, a lack of standards. 
·         Here, There is an intelligible principle
1.      Substantive protections
·         Under Yakus, only needed that the max prices were "fair and equitable." 
·         Doesn't single out industries.
·         Doesn't go below certain prices
2.      Procedural protections
·         Limited time frame for stabilization authority delegated to the president: 6 months.
·         Judicial review:
·         Exec's actions are not immune to judicial review. 
·         Enforcement by fine, or injunction restraining violations, and person charged with violation is able to obtain judicial review by inserting a defense to either type of enforcement proceeding. 
·         Also can make challenges under the Administrative Procedure Act: allows for action for declaratory judgment or injunction
·         Here, court is reaching to get around separation of powers. Giving agency broad leeway. Also, the intelligible principle is more focused on procedure than substance. Substance, "fair and equitable" standard is very minimal. More concerned about procedural safeguards and accountability.

1 comment:

  1. Amalgamated Meat Cutters v. Connally: D.C District Court Decision (1971)

    Facts: Congress passed the 1970 Economic Stabilization Act which allowed President Nixon to pass executive orders to freeze prices and wages. The act mandated the President develop equitable standards in developing such an order. The President issued an order to stabilize and the Meat Cutters missed out on a scheduled raise. They challenged the constitutionality of the act.

    Holding: Court finds the act does not violate non delegation doctrine because:
     The power is not subject to abuse, cannot target an industry.
     The power was only granted for a limited duration.
     Judicial Review was maintained because congress mandated the Presidents freeze be fair, generally applicable and have equitable standards developed. (Just by the President) Transparency available.
     Not a “blank check” to the President upon facts coming to fruition.
     If there are sufficient controls to protect against abuse, it is OK.

    * Worried about accountability and control.


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