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Tag: deference

May 04, 2017

Legislating through friend of the court briefs

As many Pacific Legal Foundation employees have written about before, the power of administrative agencies has increased greatly over the last century. Many Americans are now subject to rules adopted not by elected officials, but by unelected bureaucrats in the "fourth branch of government." Even worse, it is common practice for courts to defer to ...

January 13, 2017

Cert denied in Foster v. Vilsack

Earlier this week the Supreme Court decided not to hear the Arlen and Cindy Foster’s case against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, over the Department’s illegal determination that their farm contains a federally protected wetland. The petition asked the Supreme Court to decide whether judges should interpret federal law, or whether ...

October 26, 2016

Global warming and bearded seals

On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to list a population of bearded seal. Dwelling in the frigid Bering Sea, the listed seal population is, by current numbers, doing quite well. Why then Endangered Species Act protections? Because the Service, citing the climate models of the ...

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 ...

June 24, 2016

Court strikes down federal fracking regulations

Over on the Federalist Society’s FEDSOC BLOG, I have a post discussing a recent decision from a federal court that federal bureaucrats overstepped their authority when they adopted fracking regulations. In 2005, Congress exempted fracking from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act (the primary federal statute intended to protect drinki ...

December 15, 2015

Separation, delegation and deference

Ever since the Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Chevron v. NRDC, federal administrative agencies tasked with implementing statutes have been given broad discretion to determine the scope of ambiguous statutory terms.  As a result, agencies have sought to maximize their powers whenever Congress uses an even arguably ambiguous word or p ...

September 24, 2015

Another Clean Water Act power grab for the Court to consider

Last Friday, the Supreme Court extended the deadline for the American Farm Bureau Federation to file a petition for certiorari in its case challenging the EPA's interpretation of the Total Maximum Daily Load or "TMDL" provision of the Clean Water Act. While the details of the case–much like the Clean Water Act itself–get very technical, ...

July 17, 2013

Facts matter in a constitutional challenge

This week, PLF filed an amicus brief asking the Texas Supreme Court to review Patterson v. City of Bellmead.  The Pattersons are challenging a law that requires a kennel permit for any property owner that has more than four cats or dogs on any single parcel of land.  The Pattersons lost their case after the Texas ...

May 07, 2013

Will the supreme court take up the Decker challenge soon?

My PLF colleague Daniel Himebaugh has posted extensively about the victory in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, in which the Supreme Court upheld a US EPA policy under which water run-off from logging roads is not considered “industrial” stormwater subject to permitting under the federal Clean Water Act.  The Court's de ...

April 16, 2010

Justice Stevens' environmental law legacy

Author: Damien M. Schiff Grist.com has this fairly well-balanced piece by Doug Kendall lauding retiring Justice John Paul Stevens' judicial decisions dealing with environmental law issues over his three-decade-plus tenure on the Supreme Court.  The article's thesis is that Justice Stevens universally practiced "deference to ...