Professor Samahon speaks at AALS Annual Conference
Professor Tuan Samahon recently spoke at the 2010 AALS Annual Meeting as part of the Hot Topics Panel on The Constitutional Politics of Presidential Czar Appointments. The presidential practice of appointing "czars" without the advice and consent of the Senate has recently become the topic of hearings in the United States Congress, the subject of headlines in major newspapers, and the focus of public discussion on whether the current administration has overstepped the bounds of its constitutional authority. The escalating controversy arises from the considerable power and influence that czars often wield within the executive branch despite not being subject either to Senate confirmation or, in some cases, to any congressional oversight at all. The panel explored the constitutional politics of presidential czar appointments, with particular consideration to the theory of separation of powers, the scope of executive authority, the purpose of Senate confirmation, and the role of presidential advisors in the administrative management of the state. Joining Professor Samahon on the panel were Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, University of California, Irvine Donald Bren School of Law, Professor Michael J. Gerhardt, University of North Carolina School of Law, Professor Peter L. Strauss, Columbia University School of Law, and Professor Richard Albert, Boston College Law School (moderator).