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Tag: administrative agencies

September 06, 2018

Agencies must explain their decisions

Today, we filed the latest brief in Mark and Bella Greene's ongoing litigation against the California Coastal Commission. The Greenes are a retired couple who wish to remodel their house in Playa Del Rey, Los Angeles. Even though the Greenes' plans were consistent with local and state laws, the Commission told them that they had ...

July 06, 2018

17 states: The time has come to reconsider Chevron deference and this is the case to do it with

As the President prepares to nominate a new Supreme Court justice, one of the major issues likely to turn on that choice is the fate of Chevron deference. According to that infamous doctrine, courts must defer to agency's interpretations of the statutes they administer unless that interpretation is patently unreasonable. In practice, courts have us ...

June 08, 2018

Can an administrative agency strip you of your right to put on evidence?

In Washington state, property owners who want to challenge the constitutionality of a new land-use or critical area restriction must first try their case to the Growth Management Hearings Board—an administrative agency that lacks the authority to decide constitutional issues. Although this requirement was meant to streamline the ordinary types of ...

October 17, 2016

Concentrated power imperils liberty

Last week's decision in PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau brought into fine focus the fact that one of the greatest threats to individual liberty is the unchecked growth of the administrative state. Because the enactment and enforcement of laws will often intrude upon an individual's exercise of his or her rights, our founding ...

September 26, 2016

Should unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats have free rein to regulate whatever they please?

PLF argues “no,” in an amicus brief supporting four states, industry groups, and an Indian tribe in their challenge to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) unlawful fracking regulation. It purports to regulate all fracking on federal lands based on the potential impacts of fracking to underground drinking water sources, despite t ...

April 05, 2016

Can agencies overrule Congress?

Today, PLF filed its opening brief in a challenge to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s denial of a petition demanding that the agency follow the law. This case centers on a sea otter compromise that Congress struck between the Service, environmentalists, and those who work and play in Southern California waters. Recently, the Service has ...

May 21, 2013

Scalia's other footnote: why is footnote four always such a threat to the Constitution?

The internet is all a tizzy over a footnote in yesterday's City of Arlington v. FCC decision. In the footnote, Justice Scalia pointlessly criticized a party’s name. Although footnotes are sometimes used for such playground antics, others have fundamentally reshaped our law. The most famous of the latter – Footnote 4 from United States v. ...

December 17, 2009

We meant what we said: Washington Supreme Court tells administrative agency that it lacks authority to make law … again … and again

Author: Brian T. Hodges In a representative democracy, government agencies should be required to operate within strictly defined constitutional and statutory limits. For over a decade, however, the growth management hearings boards (administrative agencies established to review challenges to local comprehensive plan updates) have ignored this funda ...

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