Skip to content

Celebration Files Amicus Brief Regarding ALJ Authority



On March 8, 2017, the Celebration and SHOW filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. This Court recently agreed to decide two cases that challenge the role of Administrative Law Judges in agency enforcement proceedings. The issue is whether these Judges are lawfully appointed under the Constitution. The Court's decision will have consequences for all agency enforcement systems involving ALJs.

In the D.C. cases, the government takes the position that the role of ALJs has been created by Congress, and over seven decades these systems have  worked well because ALJs really have limited powers, do not make final decisions, and merely assist superior officers, like the agency head, who makes the final decision. That is not true in the USDA, and particularly under the Horse Protection Act. Indeed, USDA ALJs make about 90% of the final decisions, and if an ALJ were to find for a respondent in an HPA case, in all likelihood, the USDA’s Judicial Officer would reverse it.  

Several respondents, in the rash of HPA cases filed recently arising from VMO inspections at the 2016 Celebration, are challenging the role of ALJs in the USDA administrative enforcement system. The Celebration and SHOW believe that by informing the D.C. Court that the government’s description of the role of ALJs is not correct as to all agencies, that the Court might have information that will help it reach a conclusion that assists respondents in HPA enforcement proceedings

The two cases in D.C. will be argued and submitted May 24, 2017. It could be as long as the end of the year before we know the outcome.

Click here to view the amicus brief. 
     

More Stories

  • Obituary - Karl Thompson

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of Karl Thompson. Mr. Thompson passed away due to an extended illness. He was a current resident at Tennessee State Veteran's Home in Murfreesboro... Read More
  • Did you know?

    The SHOW Rules Committee would like to remind all exhibitors, amateur and professionals about a rule that is being violated... Read More
  • Germantown judges announced

    The Germantown Charity Horse Show has announced the judges for its breed classes at this year’s show, with Dee Dee Miller of Lewisburg, Tenn., marking the cards for the walking horse competition... Read More
  • SHOW Rulebook Addendum as of April 3, 2017

    The following changes have been made to the SHOW Rulebook... Read More
  • Obituary - Jack Mitchell

    Long-time walking horse enthusiast Jack Mitchell passed away Friday, April 14, 2017 at Shepherd's Cove Hospice. Mitchell, an Alabama native, showed horses under the Bobo banner for many years and had several good champions, according to trainer Bill Bobo... Read More
  • Christmas In July selects judging panel

    The Christmas in July show, slotted for June 28-29, 2017, at the Bedford Ag Center in Shelbyville, Tenn. has selected their panel of judges... Read More
  • Obituary - Clarence Paul Williams

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of Clarence Paul Williams, father of walking horse trainer Chad Williams, after a courageous battle against cancer. He was 74 years old... Read More
  • West Tennessee Strawberry Festival Adds Class

    The West Tennessee Strawberry Festival has added a class to their original schedule. Class 11A will be Riders' Cup 4 & Under Trail Pleasure... Read More
  • Columbia Spring Jubilee Announces Judging Panel

    The Columbia Spring Jubilee has announced their judging panel for this year's event. Jennifer Bingham, Derek Bonner and Robbie Spiller will be marking the cards for the event... Read More
  • DesJarlais letter opposes reintroduction of PAST

    Last month, U.S. Representative Scott DesJarlais sent a letter to the Chairman of the House Rules Committee in response to the reintroduction of the PAST Act. The letter also outlines the highpoints of his bill, the Horse Protection Amendments Act, which “builds upon the Horse Protection Act... Read More