July 24, 2024

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The US Supreme Court transfers powers from public bodies to the judiciary

The US Supreme Court transfers powers from public bodies to the judiciary


A weak administrator

In two separate decisions, the Supreme Court stripped US government agencies of their powers and transferred them to the judiciary. The decisions, made by 6 votes of the court’s conservative ministers against 3 of the liberal ministers, satisfied the interests of conservative-republican parties and some institutions.

The US Supreme Court ended the 40-year-old Chevron doctrine

In Loper Bright Enterprises Vs. RaimondoThe Supreme Court overturned 40 years of precedent that created the “Chevron doctrine.” For example, “Chevron respect”, established that federal judges must accept the interpretation (or regulation) of vague or silent statutes by governmental bodies – so long as the interpretation is reasonable. In other words, to “value” the actions of such bodies.

In SEC v. GeorgesThe Supreme Court ruled that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is not an “administrative law judge” — working within the SEC — to adjudicate cases of financial market fraud and impose fines. by the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

In the “Chevron Doctrine” case, the winning vote announced by Chief Justice John Roberts states:

“The Administrative Procedure Act requires courts to exercise independent judgment when determining whether a government agency is acting within its statutory authority, and because the statute is ambiguous, courts cannot defer to an agency’s interpretation of the statute. Chevron overruled.

“Article III of the Constitution gives the federal judiciary the responsibility and authority to adjudicate ‘cases and controversies’—certain controversies with consequences for the parties involved. The framers recognized that the laws that judges necessarily apply in resolving these disputes are not always clear, but demonstrable.”

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Roberts further argued: “According to the administrative procedure law, the law requires that a judge, if he exercises his independent judgment, ignore and not follow the interpretation he may reach. But this is a mistake, because governmental bodies do not have special powers to resolve ambiguities in the law. Courts do.”

The defeated opinion, written by Secretary of State Elena Kagan, called the majority decision “another example of the Court’s approach to subverting the power of government agencies, granted by Congress.

“Congress knows that it cannot write comprehensive regulatory laws. It recognizes that these laws inevitably contain ambiguities that must be resolved by other actors and gaps that must be filled by other actors. I generally prefer that actor to be a responsible government body, not a court.

According to the minister, the court’s ruling will create a huge amount of confusion in the judiciary, sending it away from scientists and experts, employed by public bodies, to judges who lack the task and expertise to interpret or regulate ambiguous laws. To implement it – there. “The majority abhors the idea of ​​judicial restraint in pursuit of greater power,” he wrote.

Securities and Exchange Commission Regulations

In the SEC case (Securities and Exchange Commission), in a victory vote announced by Minister John Roberts, states that individuals and companies accused of financial fraud – or breach of any security law – have the right to a trial by a popular jury, in accordance with the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution.

“The SEC is not required to impose civil penalties to compensate victims. Therefore, civil penalties are a form of remedy General Law, which can only be used by the court. “The action invokes provisions of the Seventh Amendment that guarantee a defendant the right to a trial by jury — unless Congress specifically grants the right to decide the matter,” Roberts wrote.

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This decision is inconsistent with the Dodd-Frank Act (Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act), which was approved by Congress in 2010. The act’s “anti-fraud provisions” guaranteed the SEC “unfettered authority” to adjudicate domestically and impose fines on violators of securities regulation laws. It also prohibits the president from removing the commission’s administrative law judges.

The federal Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declared the statute unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court agreed: “A defendant accused of fraud in a civil action has the right to be tried by a grand jury presided over by a neutral judge. Procedures at home violates the SEC’s constitutionality,” declared the victory poll.

Before making a decision, the SEC had the option of choosing between two forums – federal court or an internal administrative tribunal. According to plaintiffs, the SEC decides 60% of cases in-house. Now it must go to federal court to prosecute violators of securities laws.

The defeating opinion, written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, said: “The decision against the SEC is another example of the conservative wing of the court’s “policy-making power that belongs to Congress and changing it. Department of Justice. Such decisions threaten the separation of powers.

For the minority, the majority’s decision offends the constitutional scheme of the members, “so important to the preservation of individual liberty: to divide the government into three consolidated powers, as to avoid the concentration of power in one hand.”

Recently, the Court limited the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the National Labor Relations Board.

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According to the ruling, shortly after the Dodd-Frank Act was passed, the SEC brought charges against financial adviser George Giorgesi and his firm, Patriot28, for violating “anti-fraud provisions” in federal laws.

The SEC’s administrative court fined the defendants US$300,000 and ordered them to repay US$680,000 of the “illegally” earned – actions that have now been quashed.