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Privatized Welfare and the Nondelegation Doctrine

By Dru Stevenson

Many state welfare agencies have begun to contract with private, for-profit corporations to administer various welfare programs. Privatized eligibility determinations for public benefits have created a system fraught with financial incentive for those reviewing applications. The nondelegation doctrine, which places constitutional limits on the extent to which the branches of government may delegate their vested authority to others, may be used as a tool to check the biases inherent in a system where the government turns over its welfare eligibility decisions to profit-seeking corporations.

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