Supreme Court Ruling Could Impact Who Wields Government Regulatory Powers

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The Supreme Court today ruled in United States v. Arthrex, Inc. that Administrative Patent Judges, in order to exercise unreviewable executive power, must be principal officers confirmed by the Senate. CEI attorney Devin Watkins suggests the implications of today’s ruling may extend much further.

“The ruling has enormous potential implications for other government officials who wield unreviewable authority. Many executive agency rules are effectively unreviewable and may now be challenged as unconstitutional. Generally, when a rule is issued, there has been no method of review by any higher authority within the government, other than a whole new notice and comment period. It is possible, based on the implications of today’s ruling, that any official who issues a rule may need to be removeable at-will by a Senate-confirmed officer or themselves be a principal officer confirmed by the Senate.”