Supreme Court Ruling Ensures People Can Challenge Agency Authority in Court


The Supreme Court ruled today that regulatory agency tribunals do not have any special expertise in deciding constitutional law questions; therefore, district courts can hear constitutional challenges to the process or authority of the agency. CEI legal and policy experts praised today’s ruling.

Statement by Devin Watkins, CEI attorney:

“Today, the Supreme Court unanimously ensured that people could go to court to challenge agency authority. The lower courts had rejected CEI’s amicus brief and incorrectly required that people wait until after the agencies finished their abusive illegal process before the courts would hear a challenge. The four-year process of pain that the SEC has subjected Ms. Cochran to will finally be evaluated for its legality. The Court should be applauded for keeping the federal courthouse doors open to hearing claims challenging the agency’s illegal processes.”

Statement by John Berlau, CEI Director of Finance Policy:

“As someone who worked with CEI in our challenge on behalf of the small auditing firm Beckstead & Watts to the unconstitutional overreach of Sarbanes-Oxley in Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB (2010), I am glad the holding of that case on standing has today been adopted by a unanimous Supreme Court. Entrepreneurs now have more certainty that they can get their day in court to challenge the constitutionality of a rule or agency affecting them without going through a long administrative process that could bankrupt them. It has been a long road, but a substantial victory against the administrative state has finally been achieved.”