Curtiss-Wright Export Corp
An indictment was returned against Curtiss-Wright Corporation
Charging it with conspiracy to sell 15 guns to a Bolivia, a
foreign nation, involved in armed conflict, which is in
violation of a Joint Resolution of Congress.
Congress delegated to the
President the power to prohibit
sales of guns to a foreign nation, if he found that
such prohibition would contribute to
Curtiss-Wright Corporation (Df - challenged the Joint Resolution
claiming it was an unconstitutional delegation of lawmaking
power to the President.
The lower court held that the Joint Resolution was
The U.S. (Pl - appealed to the United States Supreme Court .
Article I, Section 8 (Necessary and Proper Clause) Applies to
To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for
carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other
powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the
United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
General mass of legislative powers are possessed by the states
that are vested in the federal government.
Not Unconstitutional for Congress to give President Authority
for Foreign Affairs
It is not an unconstitutional delegation of Congress' lawmaking
power to give the President authority to prohibit the sale of
arms to a foreign nation engaged in conflict.
Foreign Affairs is Broader
The delegation of legislative power by Congress to the President
is broader in respect to foreign affairs as compared with
President must give a degree of discretion
In order to properly maintain foreign relations, the President
must be given a degree of discretion and freedom from statutory
restriction in foreign affairs.
For Foreign Matters President has better opportunity to know
It is the President, not Congress, who has a better opportunity,
as the one who speaks and listens as the representative of the
nation, of knowing the conditions that prevail in foreign
President has confidential sources (Like the CIA, NSA, Spies)
During war, he has confidential sources, and agents such as
diplomats and consulars who transmit secret information.
Sole organ of international relations.
The President is the sole
organ of the federal government in the field of
international relations, and therefore, we must not condemn the
legislation at issue before us by imposing a general rule, the
effect of which would conclude that an unlawful delegation of
legislative power to the President occurred.
Avoid Embarrassment by Avoiding Congressional Inquiry
Serious embarrassment is to be avoided and success achieved,
congressional legislation must often accord to the President a
degree of discretion and freedom from statutory restriction
which would not be admissible were domestic affairs alone
We thus hold that the Joint Resolution and Proclamation are not
unconstitutional delegations of legislative power to the