What is formalism?An approach to the separation of powers that holds that the Constitution creates clear boundaries between and among the three branches bestowing on each a primary power. Unless the Constitution clearly permits it, deviation from this allocation of power should not be allowed.
What is functionalism?An approach to the separation of powers that rejects strict divisions among the branches and instead emphasizes a fluid system of shared powers. The functional approach holds that the separation of powers doctrine should only prohibit excessive accumulations of power by one branch of government over the other two branches.
What is the intelligible principle doctrine?A doctrine used to evaluate the constitutionality of the delegation of legislative power to the executive or judicial branch. It holds that the Constitution permits Congress to pass legislation declaring a general regulatory policy and to authorize the executive (or judicial) branch to impose specific rules or take specific actions consistent with that policy.
What is a legislative veto?A practice whereby Congress grants the president the discretionary authority to take actions or make policy, but retains the right to cancel such presidential actions if Congress has objections to them. This ''veto'' may be exercised by either house of Congress or even by an appropriate congressional committee. The Supreme Court held the legislative veto unconstitutional in INS v. Chadha (1983).


What are military tribunals/commissions?Court-like bodies staffed by military judges that hear cases against persons accused of violating the law during times of war or in the theater of war. Procedural safeguards and rights of defendants are more limited than in the normal civilian courts.
What is the war powers doctrine?An interpretation of the Constitution that allows government to take certain necessary actions in time of war or national emergency that may not be constitutionally permissible in times of peace and security.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Mistretta v. United States (1989)?The Court upheld the Sentencing Reform Act because the non-delegation doctrine does not prevent Congress from obtaining assistance from coordinate Branches. The test of validity is that an "intelligible principle" must be established. Here, the delegation to the Commission was sufficiently detailed and specific to meet these requirements.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha (1983)?Congress had passed an immigration statute that included a provision for a legislative veto with a simple majority vote. In 1983, the Supreme Court declared the Act to be unconstitutional because the Constitution requires Presidential approval before an act of Congress can become law, moreover, both Houses of Congress must pass a bill before it is presented to the President.


What did the Supreme Court hold in Bowsher v. Synar (1986)?The Court struck down the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act as an unconstitutional usurpation of executive power by Congress because the law empowered Congress to terminate the United States Comptroller General for certain specified reasons.
What did the Supreme Court hold in The Prize Cases (1863)?Although it is the Congressional prerogative “to declare war” under Article I, Section: 8, Clause 11, when the nation is attacked, the President has the authority to exercise his power as Commander-in-Chief. In this case, the nation was attacked, its enemies declared war, and the president did not need to wait for Congress to formally recognize the start of war.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Ex Parte Milligan (1866)?Limited the President's power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. The Court ruled that the application of military tribunals to citizens when civilian courts are still operating is unconstitutional.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Ex parte Quirin (1942)?The Court concluded that the conspirators, as spies without uniform whose purpose was sabotage, violated the law of war and were therefore unlawful enemy combatants. Noting that Congress had, under the Articles of War, authorized trial by military commission for unlawful enemy combatants, the Court therefore determined that the President had not exceeded his power.


What did the Supreme Court hold in Korematsu v. United States (1944)?The Court ruled that an entire race could be labeled a ''suspect classification,'' meaning that the government was permitted to deny the Japanese their constitutional rights because of military considerations. The Court ruled that such exclusion was not beyond the war powers of Congress and the President since their interest in national security was ''compelling.''
What did the Supreme Court hold in Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer (1952)?The Court held that the President did not have the authority to issue an order to take control of steel mills. There was no congressional statute that authorized the President to take possession of private property. The President's military power as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces did not extend to labor disputes.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Dames Moore v. Regan (1981)?The Court held that the President may nullify attachments and order the transfer of frozen Iranian assets pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Based on the Court’s inferences from legislation and from the history of congressional acquiescence in executive claims settlement, the President may also suspend claims pursuant to the Executive Order.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004)?The Court recognized the power of the government to detain enemy combatants, including U.S. citizens, but ruled that detainees who are U.S. citizens must have the rights of due process, and the ability to challenge their enemy combatant status before an impartial authority.


What did the Supreme Court hold in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006)?The Supreme Court ruled that the Bush administration's use of military commissions to try terrorist suspects violated the U.S. Code of Military Justice and Geneva Conventions, and were not specifically authorized by any act of Congress.