In Carr v. Saul, Supreme Court bolsters separation of powers
April 22, 2021
Washington, D.C.; April 22, 2021: Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in Carr v. Saul, holding that Social Security claimants can raise constitutional challenges before a federal court rather than an agency administrative law judge (ALJ).
Pacific Legal Foundation filed an amicus brief in the case arguing that ALJs lack the legal authority to decide constitutional issues.
“The Court’s decision is a step toward reopening the courthouse doors to individuals who have been deprived of constitutional rights by an administrative agency,” said Brian Hodges, a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “This is exactly what Chief Justice John Marshall was referring to when he said, ‘It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.’ The legislature makes the law, the executive branch enforces it, and the courts settle disagreements that arise under the law. An agency cannot make rules, enforce those rules, and then act as its own judge when people challenge those rules.”
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Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 14 victories out of 16 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.