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Tag: separation of powers

April 28, 2010

If at first you don’t succeed, change the rules!

Author: Brian T. Hodges Earlier today, Washington's Supreme Court granted review of a petition asking whether the Legislature can enact a bill that would operate retroactively to wipe out several years of final judicial decisions. Last year, Pacific Legal Foundation successfully argued that Kitsap County, Wash. failed to comply with the law w ...

June 29, 2010

The Leus' garden blooms despite legal battle

Author: Brian T. Hodges Shirley and Herbert Leus' garden seems to have been all but lost to the maelstrom that took over their case, Leu v. International Boundary Commission. If you recall, this is the case where the U.S. Commissioner to the International Boundary Commission ordered retired couple Shirley and Herbert Leu to remove a ...

March 11, 2013

NYC soda ban taxes New Yorkers' patience

Start spreading the news, soda isn't leaving today. Tomorrow was supposed to mark the effective date of New York City's large sugary beverage ban, which have would prohibited (some) vendors from selling soda in portions greater than 16 ounces.  Restaurants, delis, and other places that prepare food were subject to the ban, while other establishmen ...

September 26, 2014

Arizona can't avoid a supermajority voting requirement just because it wants to

Today we filed an amicus brief in a case challenging Arizona's Medicaid expansion.  Like California (and many other states), Arizona's constitution requires that all taxes be passed by a supermajority vote—in this case, 2/3 of the legislature.  The Medicaid expansion included a tax on hospitals in order to pay for the program, but the Arizona ...

November 17, 2014

Will the new Congress do its actual job?

The newly elected 114th Congress will take office in January.  Amid the political commentary surrounding this month’s elections, many talking heads have discussed whether the nation will relive another government shutdown as Republicans in the legislative majority seek leverage over President Obama’s Democrats who control the execut ...

March 10, 2015

Supreme Court justices issue call to rein in judicial deference to executive agencies

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, which holds that an executive agency is not required to provide public notice or consider comments when it changes a formal interpretation of its own regulations. The unanimous decision is rather uneventful, despite the fact that it limits publi ...

April 15, 2015

The end of innocents

An 11-year old girl saved a woodpecker from a cat and nursed it back to health. A father and son searched for arrowheads while camping. A middle schooler ate some french fries on the subway. A snowmobiler got lost for two days in a blizzard and almost died. These stories have one thing in common–they all constitute crimes. ...

November 17, 2015

Genuine school choice in Montana faces a new threat

A proposed rule in Montana is threatening to geld the state’s fledgling school choice law. Montana passed a scholarship tax credit law earlier this year. The program offers tax credits for donors who contribute to the program. The money goes to student scholarship organizations, which provide tuition assistance for students who want to atte ...

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 ...

April 26, 2016

Impatience is no excuse to dispense with the Constitution’s checks and balances

Last week, the Supreme Court heard 90 minutes of oral argument from four advocates (two on each side) in United States v. Texas, the case brought by 26 states challenging the legality of the administration's executive actions regarding about four million aliens in the country illegally, including whether they are entitled to certain benefits under ...

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