CEI Leads Coalition to Support the Separation of Powers Restoration Act

Today the House Judiciary Committee marks up an important bill that directs courts to change how they review rules issued by federal agencies. The Competitive Enterprise Institute led a coalition of 15 free market groups in sending a letter to the committee in support of the bill, H.R. 4768, the Separation of Powers Restoration Act of 2016 (SOPRA).

Key Points:

  • The bill directs courts to review regulations and questions of law without deferring to agencies.
  • Courts have adopted two doctrines to decide the extent of powers Congress delegates to agencies, known as Chevron and Auer. The Chevron doctrine represents a general presumption that courts should defer to agency interpretation of statues. The Auer docrine requires that courts defer to agency interpretations of their own regulations.
  • SOPRA would retain the courts’ utilization of agency expertise as a guide for their decision making, but maintain the courts’ fundamental responsibility of interpreting the meaning of statutes without handing that power over to agencies.
  • SOPRA would amend the Administrative Procedure Act to require courts to conduct a review of all relevant questions of law and regulation when they are called into question. This represents a vital step in restoring the courts to their proper role as arbiters of statutory interpretation.
  • SOPRA lifts the weight of burdensome regulations that, up to now, have prevented millions of Americans from effectively challenging unjust agency rules.

> View the coalition letter to Congress

For more on Chevron Deference, see:

Stopping the Bureaucrats Requires an End to the Chevron Deference