Regulatory agencies have their own in-house tribunals that look like courts, but in fact violate the most fundamental aspects of due process and the rule of law.


If a regulatory agency believes you have violated a statute or a regulation, it can haul you before its own biased tribunal, in which you could face crushing fines and the prospect of losing your home, business, or livelihood.


In short, if you find yourself in one of these government tribunals, you’re very likely to lose.

Pacific Legal Foundation knows securing Americans’ rights means putting an end to unjust regulatory tribunals. Through litigation and legislative reform, PLF is fighting to return the adjudicative process to where it belongs: real, constitutional courts.


Pacific Legal Foundation knows securing Americans’ rights means putting an end to unjust regulatory tribunals. Through litigation and legislative reform, PLF is fighting to return the adjudicative process to where it belongs: real, constitutional courts.

Are you facing an in-house tribunal with a regulatory agency? Submit your case to PLF and see if we can help you.

September 28, 2023 | By JOSH ROBBINS

Discourse: Oppenheimer’s Unlikely Indictment of the Administrative State

Hollywood is an unexpected place to find a trenchant critique of the administrative state, yet “Oppenheimer” is just that.

July 11, 2023

No, Jarkesy v. SEC won’t end the administrative state

“A wild new court decision [that] would blow up much of the government’s ability to operate.” That’s how Vox’s Ian Millhiser characterizes the U.S. Fifth Circuit’s decision in Jarkesy v. S…

July 9, 2023 | By ADI DYNAR

How Federal Agencies Stack the Deck With In-House Tribunals

Some federal regulator or another thinks you’ve broken the law. What happens next? You might think that they file charges in a federal court and the judicial system takes over to determine whether y…

June 25, 2023 | By STEVE SIMPSON

The Messenger: The Separation of Powers Is the Foundation of American Liberty

Any discussion today of constitutional protections for liberty typically focuses on the Bill of Rights. That makes sense, because affirmative protections for our rights play an essential role in keepi…

May 1, 2023

Bloomberg Law: The Supreme Court Puts In-House Tribunals on the Chopping Block

On April 14, the US Supreme Court unanimously handed a loss on a silver platter to the administrative state. In Cochran v. SEC and Axon Enterprise, Inc. v. FTC, the court concluded the executive adjud…

December 26, 2022

The dismal state of due process at the North Pole (and our federal agencies)

Every year, millions of kids wake up on Christmas to find that jolly old St. Nick has rendered his verdict on their performance over the past 12 months. Most think of Christmas morning as a time of jo…

December 12, 2022

Efficiency is not a reason to keep the SEC’s unconstitutional in-house courts

The in-house courts of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are not just at odds with the separation of powers, they also don’t serve their alleged purpose of efficient justice.

November 7, 2022 | By ALISON SOMIN

The Federalist: These Two SCOTUS Cases Could Put The Administrative State In Its Place

Justice delayed is justice denied — or so the old saying goes. And although swimming in complex factual and legal issues, two cases that will be argued at the Supreme Court on Monday will put that a…

October 31, 2022 | By OLIVER DUNFORD

The Hill: Why an Oklahoma family business is fighting the Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has set its sights on a small company in Oklahoma. Despite an excellent safety record by Leachco Inc., the CPSC claims its infant-lounging pillow is a saf…

January 10, 2022

Upside-Down Courts: Agency Adjudication and the Rule of Law

It often starts with a knock. Someone comes to the front door holding papers—legal documents—and hands them over. You’re being sued. Even so, you can draw some comfort from the fact that the U.S…

August 30, 2023 | By BRITTANY HUNTER

EPA backs down from its outrageous claims against a Nebraska property owner

PLF clients Tom and Amy Villegas have reason to celebrate after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) backed down from its outrageous claim that the couple violated the Clean Water Act (CWA). An oasis in Nebraska Tom and Amy Villegas love the outdoors. While the couple calls Colorado home, they have a deep connection with the …

August 09, 2023 | By BRITTANY HUNTER

The executive branch is out of control

To safeguard the American people against tyranny, the Framers of our Constitution created a political system with three distinct branches of government—executive, legislative, and judicial—each tasked with its own unique and specific powers. To ensure that no one branch could usurp the role of another, a system of checks and balances was instit …

December 14, 2022 | By JOHN KERKHOFF

In America, the law is king, not unelected bureaucrats

As support swelled for America’s independence from England, an open question puzzled some hesitant colonists: Who will lead the new country? Thomas Paine had an answer: “In America, the law is king.” And so began a legal tradition like no other. Our written Constitution of limited and enumerated powers put forth a revolutionary idea: All …

November 30, 2018 | By WENCONG FA

Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries: Judge, Jury, and Executioner?

Agencies at every level play an outsized role in everyday life. The FDA imposes nutritional guidelines; the FCC controls what viewers can see on TV. Many other alphabet-soup agencies regulate in many other areas of life. Thus, while many Americans think that it’s Congress that is regulating through legislation, it is usually the agency promul …

July 01, 2016 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

The right to a jury trial against the federal government

Kevin Brott wants a jury trial for his Fifth Amendment claim to just compensation. The federal government converted a portion of Brott’s property into a public trail. He wants a jury to gauge compensation rather than a judge who works for his adversary. Sadly, most takings claims against the federal government do not enjoy a jury. We fil …

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