When Congress Doesn’t OK Government Rules, Both Ranchers and Conservationists Suffer


Until the Trump administration submits Obama-era land use rules to Congress for approval, those regulations aren’t actually in effect and can’t be enforced to protect a chicken-like bird in 10 Western states, a legal group argues.

And even if a government regulation benefits the public interest, a federal agency’s unwillingness to submit it for approval as required by the Congressional Review Act places the rule on tenuous legal footing that could undermine conservation efforts, two lawyers with the group say.

So their organization, Pacific Legal Foundation, headquartered in Sacramento, California, filed separate but related lawsuits on behalf of ranchers in Idaho and a conservation program in Kansas.

Whether various interests argue an agency’s regulations are beneficial or harmful, those rules should face congressional scrutiny before going into effect, the lawyers told The Daily Signal in interviews.

To drive this point home, Pacific Legal Foundation filed both its suits at the same time in April.

Instead of allowing “unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats” to call the shots on federal rulemaking, Congress should have the final say in determining the merits of regulations that affect average Americans, the legal organization argues.

“If a court were to say that the Pacific Legal Foundation is correct and that …read more