Thirty years after the decision in Morrison v. Olson, questions raised in Justice Antonin Scalia’s lone dissent continue to inform legal debate on separation of powers and the unitary executive. Some scholars consider Justice Scalia’s dissent to be his finest opinion. What can today’s law school students learn from Scalia’s dissent? Did Justice Scalia err in his reasoning? How do the issues still resonate in American politics today? 

Professor Gary Lawson of Boston University School of Law, Professor Richard Pildes of New York University School of Law, and Theodore Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher discuss Morrison v. Olson and the lasting impact of Justice Scalia’s lone dissent. 

As always, the Federalist Society takes no particular legal or public policy positions. All opinions expressed are those of the speaker.

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Learn more about Professor Richard Pildes:

Learn more about Professor Gary Lawson:


Related links:

Justice Scalia’s dissent:

Morrison v. Olson on Oyez:


Differing views:

Morrison v. Olson is bad law:

Scalia’s Finest Opinion:

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Morrison v. Olson Oral Argument Rewind: Everything Old Is New Again