Issues and Cases

Defending the Congressional Review Act in court

Center for Biological Diversity v. Zinke


Contact: Jonathan Wood

Status: Motion to intervene filed in the U.S. District Court of Alaska on May 4, 2017.
 
Summary:
PLF has moved to intervene against a federal lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity — which claims, astonishingly, that Congress and the president violate the Constitution when they pass a law that rescinds a bureaucracy’s regulation.

Under the CRA, agencies must submit every rule they adopt to Congress for review. Congress then has a brief time to use expedited procedures to enact a resolution of disapproval and send it to the president for his signature. Congress and President Trump have used the CRA 13 times to void Obama Administration rules. CBD’s lawsuit focuses on the rescinding of a regulation against hunting and trapping of predator species in Alaska’s national refuges — a restriction that interfered with the state’s ability to manage wildlife, and outlawed responsible hunting practices.

As PLF argues, CBD’s lawsuit seeks to turn the Constitution on its head, placing unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats above Congress. Under our Constitution, administrative agencies only have power that Congress chooses to delegate to them. Congress is free to limit its delegation of power as it sees fit.

 

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