Professor Light

Fall 1995


I. Balanced Budget Act of 1995 [One Hour - 30 pts.]

After a string of temporary continuing resolutions allowing the Government to operate without annual appropriations, the President and the Congress agree later this month to the following legislation, which both houses pass and President Clinton signs.


Balanced Budget Act of 1995

Sec. 1. The deficit shall not exceed the following amounts for the next seven fiscal years: FY96 - $475 billion; FY97 - $425 billion; FY98 - $375 billion; FY99 - $300 billion; FY00 - $200 billion; FY01 - $150 billion; FY02 - $0.

Sec. 2. Calculation of the deficit as set forth in Section 1 shall be made by a Commission comprised of the Secretary of the Treasury, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, and the Head of the Federal Reserve Board.

Sec. 3. Each year the Commission shall submit a spending plan for the following fiscal year which shall achieve the targets set forth in Section 1. The Congress and the President shall act on the spending plan within 90 days of this submission.

Sec. 4. Should Congress or the President fail to act on the plan as specified in Section 3, the spending plan shall be deemed to have been approved as of the date of such default.

Sec. 5. No court shall have jurisdiction to review a calculation or spending plan under this Act, unless Congress by joint resolution approves such judicial review. No person other than the President shall have standing to seek judicial review of any matter arising under this Act.

Sec. 6. If any provision of this Act, or the application of any provision of this Act to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances and the remainder of the Act shall not be affected thereby.

Comment on the viability of the various provisions of this legislation, including their constitutionality.


II. Significant Cases. Comment briefly (two or three sentences) on the significance of the following decisions of the United States Supreme Court for federal administrative law. Specifically, what principle or principles of administrative law are enunciated in each of the decisions? [One Hour - 30 pts.]

A. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 435 U.S. 519 (1978).

B. Heckler v. Chaney, 470 U.S. 821 (1985).

C. Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970).

D. Heckler v. Campbell, 461 U.S. 458 (1983).

E. Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984).

F. Universal Camera Corp. v. National Labor Relations Board, 340 U.S. 474 (1951).

G. Citizens to Preserve Overton Park, Inc. v. Volpe, 401 U.S. 402 (1971).

H. Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association of the United States, Inc. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 463 U.S. 29 (1983).

I. Duke Power Co. v. Carolina Environmental Study Group, 438 U.S. 59 (1978).

J. Middlesex County Sewerage Association v. National Sea Clammers Association, 453 U.S. 1 (1981).



III. Short Answer [15 minutes - 10 pts.]

Jim says he is disabled and is entitled to Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration says Jim is faking. At Jim's hearing, Jim's doctor testifies that Jim is disabled, and the agency's doctor testifies that Jim is faking. The ALJ finds that he believes Jim is being truthful in claiming to be disabled. On review, the Board, which is ultimately responsible for the agency's decision, reverses the ALJ. The Board says that based on its examination of the record, Jim's testimony is not convincing. On judicial review, Jim contends that the record lacks substantial evidence to support the Board's decision. Is Jim right? Why or why not?


IV. Issue-Spotter [45 minutes - 30 pts.]

Seacoast is a hazardous waste cleanup contractor. EPA hires cleanup contractors on an annual basis which are won by competitive bidding under a federal statute. The statute requires that contracts for federal purchases of goods and services should be awarded only after competitive bidding, and the "lowest responsible bidder" must receive the contract.

The contract for hazardous waste cleanups for 1989 was won by Seacoast, the low bidder. However, during that year, there were several serious accidents at EPA's various sites, and several EPA bureaucrats were injured. As a result, EPA is refusing to pay Seacoast for services rendered under the contract. This dispute will be heard by the EPA Board of Contract Appeals in March, 1990.

Seacoast also has gotten into trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS determined that Seacoast's recent price increases violate a price control law. The IRS recommended that Seacoast reduce its prices, which Seacoast did. That matter is now closed.

In October 1989, EPA did the following. First, without any prior notice or opportunity for hearing, it adopted a rule which would bar from bidding on an EPA contract for 5 years any private company that had been found in violation of the price control law. Second, EPA announced that Seacoast would not be allowed to bid on the 1991 contract because of unsatisfactory performance during 1989. Seacoast admits its violation of the price control guidelines but denies the power of EPA to bar anyone from bidding on government contracts by reason of such violations. It also denies that Seacoast inadequately performed its contracts during 1989.


Was Seacoast entitled to an immediate administrative hearing in October 1989 and, if so, of what kind?

Have you answered all the questions?

I. Balanced Budget Act of 1995 [One Hour - 30 pts.]

Sec. 1. ___

Sec. 2. ___

Sec. 3. ___

Sec. 4. ___

Sec. 5. ___

Sec. 6. ___


II. Significant Cases [One Hour - 30 pts.]



III. Short Answer [15 minutes - 10 pts.]

IV. Issue-Spotter [45 minutes - 30 pts.]