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Author: Tony Francois

July 15, 2019

The Daily Caller: The Supreme Court Gets It Right Thanks To Justice Roberts

Before he was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2006, Chief Justice John Roberts described judges as umpires calling balls and strikes, without regard to who was pitching or hitting. But how impartial would an umpire be if one team could redefine the strike zone to suit their pitcher's or batters' skills? That is one ...

June 27, 2019

Supreme Court rebukes unchecked bureaucracy in Kisor v. Wilkie

Yesterday the Supreme Court rebuked the regulatory state and decided that the federal courts can't give government bureaucrats carte blanche to interpret our laws how they choose. This decision opens the door for other cases to rein in many government agencies’ out-of-control regulatory power. This ruling in Kisor v. Wilkie bolsters Vietnam v ...

April 17, 2019

Why water regulations should only regulate water

Government bureaucracy can often seem designed to fail, even with something as simple as water. This glib reality is on full display with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If a federal law says "don't discharge pollutants in navigable waters," most people would assume it means not to dump harmful chemicals into large bodies of water. ...

April 15, 2019

Supreme Court allows widow to pursue justice for late husband, sends case back for reconsideration

The U.S. Supreme Court today gave Carrie Robertson the chance to pursue justice for the federal government's terrible wrong against her late husband, Joe.   At age 78, the Navy veteran spent a year and a half in prison for digging fire protection ponds near his home in Montana without Clean Water Act permits. The feds' conviction also include ...

April 11, 2019

The Hill: It’s time for the Supreme Court to end regulators’ abuse of Clean Water Act rule

This article was originally published by The Hill on April 11, 2019. For years, federal regulators harassed U.S. Navy veteran Joe Robertson, charging him with violating the Clean Water Act for digging ponds on private property and subjecting him to ongoing legal proceedings. They even put him in prison for a year and a half. Robertson, 80, died ...

March 26, 2019

A man walks into a bar

Actually, it was a sand bar. He had intended to hover past it, but when his hovercraft required repairs, he had to walk it onto a sand bar as he travelled up Alaska's Nation River to his moose hunting grounds in a remote and largely roadless area of the state. On that sand bar (which ...

March 22, 2019

The Hill: Environmental regulations have become impossible to follow

This article was originally published in The Hill on March 18, 2019. Although major federal environmental statutes haven't changed substantially in decades, their implementation by the administrative agencies that enforce them has become almost whimsical. There is little consistency and predictability in the today's environmental regulation because ...

February 28, 2019

The law shouldn’t surprise you with a jail sentence

Americans working hard to make a living today face a complex array of agency regulations that micromanage our world in baffling ways. We can even land in prison for things we had no idea were illegal. This gets worse when the maze of rules still fails to clearly explain the law in advance. Ordinary citizens ...

February 01, 2019

Judges should not let bureaucrats dictate the meaning of the law

Our nation's government was structured to ensure that each of the three branches—legislative, judicial, and executive—would be subject to checks and balances with one another. This ingenious interlocking system was intended to ensure accountability and limit abuses of power. But, in recent years, the rise of unchecked power on the part of execu ...

January 16, 2019

Why homeless “right to shelter” bill is a recipe for disappointment

Originally published by The San Diego Union-Tribune, January 16, 2019. There's no question California communities are struggling with a crisis of homelessness that needs solving. But one of the most prominent legislative solutions on offer — the "right to shelter" bill (Senate Bill 48) by state Sen. Scott Weiner, D-San Francisco — is an example ...