Thursday, September 18, 2008

admin law in the news!

I've been meaning to post on the Dept. of the Interior's sex, drugs, and rock and roll scandal, but for now, this!:

ABC News' David Wright reports: At a joint rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Thursday, Republican John McCain slammed the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) for being "asleep at the switch" saying that if he were president, he would fire Chris Cox, the chairman of the SEC since 2005 and a former Republican congressman.

McCain said the SEC has allowed trading practices such as short selling to stay in place that turned the "markets into a casino."

"The regulators were asleep, my friends," McCain said. "The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president. And in my view has betrayed the public trust. If I were president today, I would fire him."

But while the president nominates and the Senate confirms the SEC chair, a commissioner of an independent regulatory commission cannot be removed by the president.

From time to time, presidents have attempted to remove commissioners who have proven "uncooperative." However, the courts have general upheld the independence of commissioners. In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt fired a member of the Federal Trade Commission and the Supreme Court ruled the president acted unconstitutionally.

Asked how McCain would fire Cox if the president does not have the formal power to fire the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the McCain campaign pointed to former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt who resigned in 2002 when it was made clear to him that he had lost the confidence of the Bush administration.

"Not only is there historical precedent for SEC Chairs to be removed, the President of the United States always reserves the right to request the resignation of an appointee and maintain the customary expectation that it will be delivered," said McCain spokesperson Tucker Bounds.

Already unconstitutional!