Law Dean Smolla Examines Constitutionality of Bailout Bill for Slate

Rod Smolla, dean of Washington and Lee’s School of Law, has written a piece for Slate in which he examines the constitutionality of the proposed Wall Street bailout bill. In his piece, Smolla compares the bill as proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson with the alternative sponsored by Sen. Christopher Dodd. He also points to an interesting legal parallel between what’s happening in Washington today and laws established in response to the Great Depression:

“Many of the early laws passed at the behest of the Roosevelt administration during the New Deal were struck down by the Supreme Court precisely because they violated norms of checks and balances. While we have come to caricature those Supreme Court decisions as the shortsighted backlash of nine old curmudgeons who reflexively opposed the socialistic tendencies of the New Deal, perhaps it is worth remembering that the constitutional principles they invoked were grounded in the elemental balance struck by the framers.”

Read Smolla’s article on line at Slate.



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