Definitional Goals

I believe in government. I even like government, the same way I like bourbon: a small, efficient, effective amount is fantastic. But there’s a not-too-distant point where both become…gluttonous. Gross.

Because I believe in government, my goal has long been to work in all three branches. I want to know the big picture as the sum of its details. I want to study the beast from the inside out.

Last year I worked for the Executive, and this summer I’m at a court. But it’s an Article I court, lacking the "full judicial power to be the final decider in all questions of Constitutional law, all questions of federal law and to hear claims at the core of habeas corpus issues."

Does an Article I court count for the Judicial branch? Hopefully I’ll have another opportunity in this branch, but for now the Supreme Court reassures me that the least dangerous branch is satisfied:

The Supreme Court has indicated that “non-Article III tribunals … exercise the judicial power of the United States.” Freytag v. Commissioner, 501 U.S. 868, 889, 111 S.Ct. 2631, 115 L.Ed.2d 764 (1991); cf. Williams v. United States, 289 U.S. 553, 565, 53 S.Ct. 751, 77 L.Ed. 1372 (1933) (Court of Claims, predecessor to this court, was considered an Article I court during part of its existence, but nevertheless exercised “judicial power”). It has been held that the exercise of “judicial power” gives an Article I court inherent powers to control its proceedings, such as disciplining attorneys. See In re Bailey, 182 F.3d 860, 864 n. 4 (Fed.Cir.1999); see also Chambers v. NASCO, Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 43, 111 S.Ct. 2123, 115 L.Ed.2d 27 (1991) (noting that courts have implied powers, which are governed “by the control necessarily vested in courts to manage their own affairs so as to achieve the orderly and expeditious disposition of cases” (quotation omitted)).

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1 Comment

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One response to “Definitional Goals

  1. “Exercis[ing] the judicial power of the United States” does not make the Court of [Federal] Claims an Article III court. You can’t be Article III sometimes, and Article III other times. Can the President, when he exercises judicial power, be considered a Judge?

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