Separation of Powers

As the head of the Office of Legal Counsel during the Reagan Administration, Mr. Cooper frequently had occasion to issue formal opinions on separation of powers issues. In private practice, the firm has continued to be active in litigating such cases. Representative matters include:

  • City of New York v. Clinton
    524 U.S. 417 (1998) We represented New York City and several health care providers and associations in their challenge to the constitutionality of the Line Item Veto Act. The Supreme Court held that the Act violated the Presentment Clause of the Constitution. Mr. Cooper argued the case in the Supreme Court.
  • Raines v. Byrd
    521 U.S. 811 (1997) We represented several members of Congress in their challenge to the constitutionality of the Line Item Veto Act. Although the district court held that the Act was unconstitutional, the Supreme Court declined to reach the merits of the members’ claim, holding that they did not have standing to bring this challenge.
  • FEC v. NRA Political Victory Fund
    513 U.S. 88 (1994) We represented the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund in an action brought by the FEC alleging violation of campaign contribution regulations. The court of appeals agreed with our position that the composition of the FEC violated the separation of powers. The Supreme Court ultimately dismissed the appeal after argument, agreeing with our argument that the FEC did not have independent litigating authority to challenge the decision of the court of appeals. The case was argued before the Supreme Court by Mr. Cooper.
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