Separation-of-Powers Case To Be Focus of Law School’s Moot Court

The Morris Tyler Moot Court of Appeals at Yale Law School will be called to order at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 4, in the Law School’s Levinson Auditorium, 127 Wall St.

Students will compete in the Thurman Arnold Prize Finals of the competition. The event is free and open to the public.

Judges Steven M. Colloton and Raymond W. Gruender of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal and Judge Ann C. Williams of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case, Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

The case addresses two issues: whether the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 regarding the appointment of members of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) violate the Constitution’s Appointments Clause; and whether the act violates the Constitution’s separation of powers by vesting members of the PCAOB with far-reaching executive power while denying the President the power to remove those members.

“PCAOB is an interesting case that tests and challenges some of the basic premises of the unitary executive theory,” says competition co-chair Joshua Johnson ‘09. “As Judge Kavanaugh said in his dissent in the court below, ‘This … is the most important separation-of-powers case regarding the President’s appointment and removal powers to reach the courts in the last 20 years.’ When you combine the case with our dynamic set of competitors and panelists, we’re sure to have an exciting final round.”

Robert Heberle LAW ‘10 and Joseph Pace LAW ‘10 will argue for the petitioner, Free Enterprise Fund. Rory Gillis LAW ‘10 and Jill Habig LAW ‘09 will represent the respondent, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

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