What happened in the Supreme Court case of Morrison v. Olson?

1 Answer | Add Yours

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This case was a case that explored the issue of separation of powers.  It was decided by a 7-1 margin in 1988.

The Constitution of the United States created a government that is split into three branches.  Each branch has its own powers and no branch can take a power that is given to another branch.  However, each branch also has checks and balances over the other two.  This means that the lines between the branches are not always completely clear.  Morrison was a case about where the lines could be drawn.  In this case, the Court held that the law that permits the appointment of an independent counsel is constitutional.

The independent counsel law allows for the appointment of an investigator who will look into potential wrongdoing by members of government.  This counsel cannot be replaced or removed by the president but is part of the executive branch.  In this case, the Reagan administration argued that this was an unconstitutional infringement on the president’s powers as head of the executive branch.  The Court did not agree.  This meant that the law was upheld and Congress can continue to call for the appointment of independent counsels today.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,989 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question