Constitutionality of the Federal Advisory Committee Act

Headnotes: 

Without reaching definitive conclusions, this memorandum considers three constitutional questions raised by the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

First, is it within Congress’s constitutional powers to regulate advisory committees in general and presidential advisory committees in particular?

Second, even if Congress can regulate advisory committees, may it regulate those committees giving advice to the President without violating the separation of powers?

Third, even if Congress may regulate those committees giving advice to the President, may the President except certain committees from certain regulations because of executive privilege?

Updated July 9, 2014