Congress's power to establish independent regulatory commissions has seemed clear at least since the Supreme Court decided Humphrey's Executor v. United States in 1935. Recently, however, both the necessity and constitutional legitimacy of commissions that are independent of presidential direction have been subjected to renewed discussion. Congress's attempt to check abuses of executive power by creating "executive" agencies outside of presidential control has been challenged by some commentators as a violation of the separation of powers.
Charles N. Steele & Jeffrey H. Bowman,
The Constitutionality of Independent Regulatory Agencies Under the Necessary and Proper Clause: The Case of the Federal Election Commission,
Yale J. on Reg.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjreg/vol4/iss2/5