Won: Court ruled that the Department of Agriculture must submit rules to congress.

Like many western U.S. ranching families, the Picketts have worked on the same land in Idaho for many generations and have a thriving business selling naturally raised beef. And like many ranchers, their business depends on grazing permissions on federal land. But their livelihoods are threatened by rules that set aside over 65-million acres of federal land as a habitat for the sage-grouse — an animal that’s neither threatened nor endangered. In fact, sage-grouse management rules eliminate more than 31,000 jobs.

On behalf of the Picketts, Pacific Legal Foundation challenged illegal rulemaking by government bureaucrats. Agencies implemented the sage-grouse plans without first submitting them to Congress as required under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). PLF argued the rule is unenforceable until the agencies comply with the CRA, and that it should be properly sent to Congress for consideration and, hopefully, eventual disapproval.

What’s At Stake?

  • Rulemakers must follow the rules: No unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat can enforce any rule without first submitting the rule to Congress for review. Agencies’ refusal to follow the law threatens property owners, small businesses, and the environment.
  • The federal government’s sage-grouse management plan would cost $7.7 billion annually and as many as 31,000 jobs. Congress should review and overturn burdensome regulations like this one.

Case Timeline

February 26, 2019
April 11, 2018