Separation of Powers
Bruce Fein commands unsurpassed experience and scholarship in the Constitution’s separation of powers that aims to maintain an equilibrium among the Congress, the President, and the United States Supreme Court protective of individual liberty. Among other things, Mr. Fein has served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice, general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, and Research Director of the Joint Congressional Committee on Covert Arms Sales to Iran. Mr. Fein has also been called as an expert witness to testify before congressional committees on numerous occasions regarding constitutional issues raised by pending legislation or treaties or otherwise. He served on the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Presidential Signing Statements, and has regularly collaborated with Members of Congress to draft legislation that would check executive branch usurpations under the banner of national security.
Mr. Fein has unique expertise in the Appointments Clause, Speech or Debate Clause immunity for Members of Congress or their assistants, the power of the president to remove executive officials, the powers of Congress over war and foreign policy, the congressional powers of oversight, including the authority to compel the testimony of every executive official and to override claims of state secrets or executive privilege, wrongful uses of executive agreements or executive orders to circumvent the role of the Senate in ratifying treaties and the role of Congress in enacting legislation, presidential signing statements, the obligation of the President to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, presidential recess appointments, the pocket veto, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
While serving in the Office of Legal Counsel, Mr. Fein authored an authoritative monograph on the definition of presidential misconduct that would constitute an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor, and supported the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon. He drafted articles of impeachment against President William Jefferson Clinton in collaboration with Congressman Bob Barr (R. Ga.).