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Justices Consider Making It Easier to Challenge Regulatory Power of Federal Agencies



The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in five cases last week. Two of the cases involve whether litigants must wait for administrative proceedings to conclude before challenging the authority of federal agencies in federal court. Additional issues before the Court included where corporations can be sued and the enforcement of spending clause legislation.

Below is a brief summary of the cases before the Court:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission v. Cochran: The Court considered two cases arguing that challenges to agency proceedings should not have to wait until the end of those proceedings before they can be heard in federal court. In a suit challenging the authority of the SEC, the justices will specifically address: “Whether a federal district court has jurisdiction to hear a suit in which the respondent in an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission administrative proceeding seeks to enjoin that proceeding, based on an alleged constitutional defect in the statutory provisions that govern the removal of the administrative law judge who will conduct the proceeding.”
  • Axon Enterprise, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission: In a similar challenge, the Court will also determine “[w]hether Congress impliedly stripped federal district courts of jurisdiction over constitutional challenges to the Federal Trade Commission’s structure, procedures, and existence by granting the courts of appeals jurisdiction to ‘affirm, enforce, modify, or set aside’ the commission’s cease-and-desist orders.”
  • Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana v. Talevski:  The case seeks to resolve a split in the lower courts on whether to allow private suits for damages to enforce rights created under federal spending clause legislation. The justices will decide the following:(1) Whether, in light of compelling historical evidence to the contrary, the Supreme Court should reexamine its holding that spending clause legislation gives rise to privately enforceable rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and (2) whether, assuming spending clause statutes ever give rise to private rights enforceable via Section 1983, the Federal Nursing Home Amendments Act of 1987’s transfer and medication rules do so.”
  • Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co.: The case involves personal jurisdiction over corporations, specifically the constitutionality of state laws requiring corporations operating within their boundaries to consent to personal jurisdiction when they register to do business in those states. The question the Court has agreed to answer is: “Whether the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits a state from requiring a corporation to consent to personal jurisdiction to do business in the state.”
  • Haaland v. Brackeen: The case centers on the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), which was enacted “to protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families.” The provisions of 25 U.S.C. 1912 establish minimum federal standards for the removal of Indian children from their families, while 25 U.S.C. 1915(a) and (b) establish default preferences for the placement of such children in adoptive or foster homes. The justices must decide three questions: (1) Whether various provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 violate the anticommandeering doctrine of the 10th Amendment; (2) whether the individual plaintiffs have Article III standing to challenge ICWA’s placement preferences for “other Indian families” and for “Indian foster home[s]”; and (3) whether Section 1915(a)(3) and (b)(iii) are rationally related to legitimate governmental interests and therefore consistent with equal protection.

The post Justices Consider Making It Easier to Challenge Regulatory Power of Federal Agencies appeared first on Constitutional Law Reporter.


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