This Article is adapted from remarks made in New Orleans on January 8, 1999, as part of an Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Administrative Law Section panel discussion entitled, "Separation of Powers Revisited: Should the Independent Counsel Law Be Renewed?" Our topic is "Should the Independent Counsel Law Be Renewed?" and my answer is, "Not exactly." I will not be, in other words, defending the status quo. Indeed, the empty chair you see here on the dais nicely contains the only "defender" of the status quo of whom I know. What I would like to do is remind us of the original rationale for the Independent Counsel statute, for that rationale is still valid and compelling today. I will then address some ways to improve the statute and some of the reasons why continuing it with modifications is preferable to the path of abandoning it.
Barrett, John Q., "Independent Cousel Law Improvements for the Next Five Years" (1999). Faculty Publications. 18.