Bureaucrats made accountable to elected officials? Eek!
Our Congressional Review Act project (have you seen the latest at RedTapeRollback.com? Why not?) is starting to ruffle the right feathers: progressive media sites and activists have noticed that their pet regulatory excesses, especially underground rules, are very vulnerable to disapproval under the Congressional Review Act.
For example, one site reports on last week’s conference on the Congressional Review Act and related matters, at the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. PLF’s own Todd Gaziano was one of the panelists, and his comments (and our RedTapeRollback.com website) are featured prominently in the aforementioned article.
The article makes one major error in its explanation of the Congressional Review Act: it says that it is limited to review of “economically significant regulations.” But a cursory examination of the text of the law shows that the Act requires all rules (defined to include informal policy guidance in addition to formal notice and comment regulations), major or not, be submitted to Congress before they can take effect.
Aside from this inaccuracy, the article is telling for its lack of legal argument against the obligation of agencies to submit even their old and informal rules to Congress, and Congress’ power to disapprove them under the Act. That point is conceded.
Lacking legal argument, the article advances its argument with a creepy theme: the Congressional Review Act is a knife in the back of health and safety protection, wielded by psychotic members of congress whose twisted purpose in life is to destroy the only thing that protects people from the horrors of daily life: the administrative state. The article even features not one but two Norman Bates themed images.
When all the other side can muster is cartoonish rhetoric and, well, cartoons, you known you are winning the argument.
What to read next
Shed a (crocodile) tear for Luke Skywalker today, as Mark Hamill’s much ballyhooed Autograph Law is set to be undone and reformed by the same California officials who made the mistake to pass it in the first place. AB 228 has arrived at the Governor’s desk, and in all likelihood will be signed into law any day.
Our new flagship publication, Sword&Scales, offers 16 pages of news and information to bring you up close to the vital work of our legal team. Our ardent defense of the right to own and use private property takes center stage in the inaugural issue. It’s at the core of our mission in the nation’s courts.
On Thursday, in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, PLF filed this reply brief in support of its cert petition to the Supreme Court of the United States. In this case, we’re representing Minnesota voters in a First Amendment challenge to a ban on political apparel at polling places.
The Daily Journal published my column on California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland, recently decided by the California Supreme Court. As the op-ed points out, the ruling undermines Proposition 218’s requirements that all new taxes at the local level need voter approval.
Minnesota bans political apparel at polling places across the State. The government interprets “political” broadly: the ban applies to shirts with classic American phrases such as “Liberty” or “Don’t tread on me,” as long as those phrases appear alongside a tea party logo — no matter how small.
Sunday marks the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States. Pacific Legal Foundation celebrates Constitution Day this year with a column about a Founding Father and signer of the Constitution who now stars in the Broadway hit musical, Hamilton. We also use the opportunity to remind our federal legislators about the importance of the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution. The opinion piece will run in newspapers from coast to coast this weekend.