Bureaucratic overreach and the separation of powers

Can federal agencies make up whatever policies they like unless Congress tells them not to? PLF answered an emphatic “no” in an amicus brief filed today to support a petition to the Supreme Court. In National Restaurant Assocation v. Department … Continue reading

Water Transfer Rule upheld

Yesterday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an environmentalist challenge to a 2008 EPA rule exempting water transfers from Clean Water Act permitting requirements.* In Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited v. EPA, the court held that EPA’s so-called Water … Continue reading

Should unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats have free rein to regulate whatever they please?

PLF argues “no,” in an amicus brief supporting four states, industry groups, and an Indian tribe in their challenge to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) unlawful fracking regulation. It purports to regulate all fracking on federal lands based on … Continue reading

Does congressional silence mean more freedom or more bureaucracy?

Judges often defer to the government’s interpretations of its own power. PLF fights this trend because it upsets the balance of separated powers and threatens liberty. But recently, in a case called Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association v. Perez, judicial … Continue reading

It doesn’t get more exciting than this!

For administrative law nerds, U.S. Tenth Circuit Court Judge Neil Gorsuch’s concurring opinion this week calling for the High Court to reconsider its Chevron doctrine is about as thrilling as it gets!  Although it is hard to top, Tony Francois … Continue reading

Court strikes down federal fracking regulations

Over on the Federalist Society’s FEDSOC BLOG, I have a post discussing a recent decision from a federal court that federal bureaucrats overstepped their authority when they adopted fracking regulations. In 2005, Congress exempted fracking from regulation under the Safe … Continue reading

Separation, delegation and deference

Ever since the Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Chevron v. NRDC, federal administrative agencies tasked with implementing statutes have been given broad discretion to determine the scope of ambiguous statutory terms.  As a result, agencies have sought to maximize their powers whenever Congress uses an even arguably … Continue reading

Another Clean Water Act power grab for the Court to consider

Last Friday, the Supreme Court extended the deadline for the American Farm Bureau Federation to file a petition for certiorari in its case challenging the EPA’s interpretation of the Total Maximum Daily Load or “TMDL” provision of the Clean Water … Continue reading

Scalia’s other footnote: why is footnote four always such a threat to the Constitution?

The internet is all a tizzy over a footnote in yesterday’s City of Arlington v. FCC decision. In the footnote, Justice Scalia pointlessly criticized a party’s name. Although footnotes are sometimes used for such playground antics, others have fundamentally reshaped … Continue reading