Gerard N. Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. His most recent book is American Founding Son: John Bingham and the Invention of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Why is the Federal Reserve Viewed as the Fourth Branch?

Peter Conti-Brown’s essay provides an excellent overview of the constitutional objections to the Federal Reserve and to the structure of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). I want to approach the questions that he addresses from a slightly different angle, by asking why politicians and courts treat the Federal Reserve as if it were constitutionally untouchable. There is obviously more than one way of thinking about whether something is constitutional. The most direct approach looks at whether a specific provision of the Constitution or a Supreme Court case guarantees a given right or power. Another method--that draws on the unwritten British…

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Issuing an Existential Challenge to the Federal Reserve

Peter Conti-Brown has developed a cogent analysis of the constitutionality of the present-day Federal Reserve System’s ongoing operations.[1] His discussion of constitutional principles applied to the Fed’s contemporary monetary policy is both enlightening and logical. I learned from it, and I agree with his conclusions. I wish to pursue in this comment the second constitutional issue…

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