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

  • 2020 Readers' Choice Ballot

    You don't have to be a member of anything to vote for your favorite horses, exhibitors, trainers and shows in The 39th Annual Walking Horse Report Readers' Choice conducted by The Walking Horse Report... Read More
  • Celebration forms committee to help with class sheet

    The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (TWHNC) hosted the first meeting of its newly formed class sheet committee on November 23, 2020. The committee consists of Nathan Clark, Justin Jenne, Jennifer Bingham, Laurie Toone, Howard Hamilton and Amy Trimble. Read More
  • Obituary – Ferne Eileene (Bauer) Crawford

    Ferne Eileene Crawford, age 92 of Georgetown, Ohio died Sunday, November 29, 2020 at the Ohio Valley Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Ripley, Ohio. Ferne was a LPN at the former Brown County General Hospital, a former member of the Georgetown Police Department, the Brown County Dispatch office and the Brown County Auditor’s office. Read More
  • Obituary – Dianne Green

    Mrs. Sara Dianne Green, age 68, of Shelbyville, passed away Wednesday, November 25, 2020... Read More
  • KWHA postpones annual banquet and meetings

    On November 23, 2020, the Kentucky Walking Horse Association (KWHA) Board of Director’s met and voted to postpone the annual banquet, dinner, and general meeting that was originally scheduled for January 8-9, 2021 at the Embassy Suites in Lexington, Kentucky.  Read More
  • Obituary – Elizabeth Gassaway

    Funeral services for Elizabeth Marie Hestle Gassaway, age 48, of the Wheel Community, will be held 2:00 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, at Edgemont Baptist Church with Pastor Steve Murphree officiating and Laurie Toone speaking. Burial will follow at Jones Cemetery. Elizabeth passed from this life Thursday, November 26, 2020, at home surrounded by her loving family. Read More
  • Latest Issue 11 23 20

    Read More
  • Cyndi McConnell hospitalized

    The Report has recently learned that Cyndi McConnell has been in the hospital following a surgery to repair blockage in her heart. She has had two stints put in her main artery that was blocked 99%... Read More
  • Obituary – Michael Scott “Mike” May

    Michael Scott “Mike” May, age 79, of Shelbyville, formally of DeLand, Florida passed from this life Monday, November 16, 2020, at NHC of Tullahoma after an extended illness... Read More
  • Latest Issue 11 16 20

    Read More