Executive Branch Oversight: The Role of Inspectors General & DOJ Office of Legal Counsel, hosted by the American Constitution Society
As we approach the one year anniversary of the 2020 election, advocates and lawmakers are still debating how best to protect our democratic institutions and promote accountability for executive branch transgressions. Some are particularly concerned about the role that the Department of Justice and its Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) played in undermining congressional oversight during the Trump years, when it issued opinions that arguably distorted the separation of powers by brooking no recognition for Congress's prerogatives as a co-equal branch. Others, are focused on the need to protect and strengthen the roles of Inspectors General after former President Trump fired four IGs in the span of six weeks in what some called a "dangerous pattern of retaliation" against federal watchdogs. Recognizing that transparency and oversight is key to democratic survival, what are the best ways to achieve accountability for executive branch transgressions? What role should the Office of Legal Counsel play in reigning in executive branch illegality? And what reforms to the Inspector General system are needed so that these watchdogs can provide the independent nonpartisan oversight they are legislatively required to deliver?
- Josh Gerstien, Politico (Moderator)
- Jameel Jaffer (Columbia University Knight Institute)
- Cristina Rodriguez (Yale Law School)
- Liza Goitein (NYU Brennan Center)
- Andrew Wright (K&L Gates)
American Constitution Society