June 2012 Vol. 110 No. 8 THE REVIEW

Dubious Delegation: Article III Limits on Mental Health Treatment Decisions

Adam Teitelbaum

A common condition of supervised release requires a defendant, post- incarceration, to participate in a mental health treatment program. Federal district courts often order probation officers to make certain decisions ancillary to these programs. However, Article III delegation doctrine places limits on such actions. This Note addresses the constitutionality of delegating the "treatment program" decision, in which a probation officer decides which type of treatment the defendant must undergo; the choice is often between inpatient treatment and other less restrictive alternatives. The resolution of this issue ultimately depends on whether this decision constitutes a "judicial act." Finding support in lower court case law, this Note argues that a "judicial act" encompasses decisions affecting the defendant's significant liberty interests. The Supreme Court case law and the mental health literature make clear that significant liberty interests are at stake in these "treatment program" decisions. Thus, delegating the "treatment program" decision to probation officers is unconstitutional under Article III. The Note concludes by suggesting a constitutionally permissible scheme whereby the judge orders a maximally intrusive treatment while giving the probation officer the discretion to choose a less restrictive program.

   //  VIEW PDF
& Other Current Events

Judicial Diversity After Shelby County v. Holder

In 2014, voters in ten of the fifteen states previously covered by the Voting Rights Act ("VRA") preclearance...

Fall Submission Season

MLR’s Articles Office will open its fall submission season on Monday, August 18!  The Articles...

The Ninth Circuit's Treatment of Sexual Orientation: Defining “Rational Basis Review with Bite”

On February 10, Nevada's Democratic attorney general decided to stop defending the state's constitutional...

Inhibiting Intrastate Inequalities: A Congressional Approach to Ensuring Equal Opportunity to Finance Public Education

The United States has exhibited a strong commitment to public education throughout its history. The local...

War Is Governance: Explaining the Logic of the Laws of War from a Principal-Agent Perspective

What is the purpose of the international law on armed conflict, and why would opponents bent on destroying...
MAILING LIST
Sign Up to Join Our Mailing List