Authority of the Special Counsel of the Merit Systems Protection Board to Litigate and Submit Legislation to Congress

Headnotes: 

Congress may constitutionally authorize the Special Counsel of the Merit Systems Protection Board to conduct any litigation in which he is interested, except litigation in which the Special Counsel’s position would be adverse to that taken by the United States in the same litigation. Such opposition would place the President in the untenable position of speaking with conflicting voices in the same lawsuit. In addition, because the Special Counsel is an Executive Branch officer subject to the supervision and control of the President, a grant by Congress to the Special Counsel of authority to submit legislative proposals directly to Congress without prior review by the President would raise serious separation of powers concerns.

Updated July 9, 2014