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Supreme Court Considers Whether Patent Judges Were Properly Appointed

Added 03-01-21 04:40:03pm EST - “Several justices seemed concerned that judges should have been appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. But there was no consensus about how to fix that flaw.” - Nytimes.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nytimes.com: “Supreme Court Considers Whether Patent Judges Were Properly Appointed”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Several justices seemed concerned that judges should have been appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. But there was no consensus about how to fix that flaw.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday took a hard look at whether more than 250 administrative judges who hear patent disputes, some of them over billions of dollars, had been appointed in violation of the Constitution.

Several justices indicated during the oral argument that they thought the judges, who serve on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, an administrative tribunal in the executive branch created by a 2011 law, perform work of such importance and independence that they should have been appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

“This structure is a real break from tradition,” Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh said. “These are multimillion, sometimes billion-dollar decisions being made not by someone who’s accountable in the usual way.”

The Constitution’s separation of power, he said, forbids Congress from insulating officials in the executive branch with significant authority — even ones whose job it is to adjudicate disputes — from presidential control.

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