The Appointments Clause, Innovative Federalism, and the Constitutionality of the Northwest Power Planning Council

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Journal of Energy Law and Policy

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J. Energy L. & Pol'y


This paper, written shortly after the Ninth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the Northwest Planning Council, which Congress authorized to implement the Northwest Power Act, analyzed the court's decision. The paper reviewed the unsuccessful attempts to challenge the Council (thereby undermining its power planning and fish and wildlife programs) as violating the compact and appointments clauses of the Constitution as well as several alleged statutory infirmities. The paper concluded that the Ninth Circuit's decision was entirely consistent with the Supreme Court's then-recent decision in Bowsher v. Synar, which upheld the 1985 Balanced Budget Act (popularly known as Graham-Rudman-Hollings Act).

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