Bringing the Non-Delegation Doctrine Back to the Supreme Court? A Moot and Discussion of Gundy v. United States with the Attorneys Arguing the Case

Sarah Baumgartel and Edward Zas are attorneys at the Federal Defenders of New York, a leading public defender organization focused on federal criminal defense in New York. This October, Ms. Baumgartel will argue Gundy v. United States at the United States Supreme Court, a case involving the much-debated non-delegation doctrine. For Constitution Day, Ms. Baumgartel will do a short moot of part of her Supreme Court argument with Professor Leon Friedman arguing for the U.S. and other Hofstra Law faculty serving as justices. Ms. Baumgartel and Mr. Zas will then conduct a broader discussion of the case and her experiences briefing the case and preparing for the upcoming Supreme Court oral argument.

The question before the Supreme Court in Gundy is whether SORNA’s delegation of authority to the U.S. Attorney General to retroactively impose the law’s registration requirements violates the nondelegation doctrine. This rarely invoked constitutional principle prohibits Congress from delegating away its lawmaking power without an adequate guiding principle to rein in the delegatee’s exercise of independent decision-making.

The case has broad-ranging implications for federal law and administrative agency authority. If the Court were to decide that the delegation here is unconstitutional, such a ruling might be used to call into question much of the enormous delegation of rule-making power contained in numerous other federal statutes that essentially enable the modern administrative state.




Sarah Baumgartel, Assistant Federal Defender,
Federal Defenders of New York

Edward S. Zas, Senior Attorney and Director of Training, 

Federal Defenders of New York


Date: Monday, September 17, 2018

Time: noon-2 p.m.

Location: Room 308, Maurice A. Deane School of Law





Monday, September 17, 2018



Maurice A. Deane School of Law
Maurice A. Deane School of Law
Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549

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