United States District Court for the District of Columbia
708 F. Supp. 375 (1988)
In 1981, President Reagan signed a measure authorizing the Central Intelligence Agency to support and conduct military operations against Cuban factions supporting the Sandinista in Nicaragua. In 1982, Congress began enacting statutes, called the Boland Amendments, aimed at limiting the assistance previously authorized by the president. On November 3, 1986, it was reported that the United States had secretly sold arms to Iran and that some of the proceeds from the sale had been redirected to the Contras fighting the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, as prohibited by the Boland Amendments. After the Iran-Contra Affair was exposed to the public, the Attorney General requested the appointment of an independent counsel to conduct an investigation. On March 16, 1988, a grand jury returned indictments against a number of officials, including National Security Officer Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, National Security Adviser John Poindexter, and two co-conspirators (defendants). North was charged with defrauding the United States government by allegedly conspiring to conceal the existence of profits and hiding information from Congress in relation to the conspirators’ support for the contras. The defendants challenged the validity of the indictments and the use of classified information in their trials, and moved to sever their trials. A judge agreed. North was tried first, and he moved for dismissal, arguing that the Boland Amendments were unconstitutional, because they endeavored to control how the president could make decisions and act in relation to foreign affairs. North contended that as a result, his actions did not interfere with lawful government function.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gesell, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.