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In NCLA’s Bump-Stock Ban Case, U.S. Supreme Court Rules ATF Cannot Alter a Statute’s Meaning

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Statutory Misinterpretation: How the Department of Education Squinted at Title IX and Pretended ‘Sex’ Wasn’t Binary

Many non-lawyers instinctively recoil when unelected agency bureaucrats inject hotly debated social issues into federal regulations. The common man intuitively understands what agencies do not—agencies need Congress’s permission before they enact regulations. Agencies have toppled Congress’s authority by a slight-of-hand…

Press Release

In NCLA Amicus Win, Supreme Court Overturns NLRB-Specific Preliminary Injunction Standard

PROBLEM


The Administrative State
v. Civil Liberties

For over a century, unlawful administrative power has gradually displaced the Constitution’s avenues for lawmaking and justice. Although we still enjoy the shell of our Republic, there has developed within it a very different sort of government—a type, in fact, that the Constitution was designed to prevent. The unconstitutional Administrative State is the focus of NCLA’s concern.

OUR SOLUTION


Let judges judge.
Let legislators legislate.
Stop bureaucrats from doing either.

It’s time for a broad reestablishment of basic constitutional freedoms. NCLA files original lawsuits and amicus curiae briefs asking judges in state and federal courts to set aside unlawful actions by federal agencies that violate people’s civil liberties.

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Our Focus Areas

Judicial Deference

Deference doctrines require judges to defer to an administrative agency’s fact finding, or its interpretation of statutes and regulations. Thus, judges surrender their independent judgment and, where the government is a party, must exhibit systematic bias in the government’s favor, which denies due process of law to the other litigant.

Due Process of Law

The due process of law guarantees a right to be held to account only through the processes of an impartial court—something administrative tribunals violate every day.

Scope of Authority/ Nondelegation

The structure of the Constitution allows only Congress to legislate, only the Executive to enforce laws, and only the Judiciary to decide cases. But the Administrative State evades the Constitution’s avenues of governance when executive agencies issue regulations without statutory authorization from Congress.

Free Speech

The Administrative State tries to squelch speech, especially through licensing, speech bans, and speech mandates. Licensing requires one to get the government’s permission prior to speaking. Nothing was more clearly forbidden by the First Amendment than prior restraints on speech, but such controls are now commonplace.

Unreasonable Searches

The Fourth Amendment forbids warrantless searches and seizures of information, yet the Administrative State violates this right to privacy through administrative subpoenas and warrants, automated information collection devices, civil investigative demands, and “voluntary” requests for information.

Guidance Abuse

Agency guidance is easier to promulgate than formal rules and regulations, so agencies prefer to issue it. Such “guidance” supplies relatively informal indications of how an agency interprets rules and statutes. Although guidance is not permitted to bind Americans (unlike laws made by elected legislators), agencies treat guidance as binding and courts often fail to stop them.

Conditions on Spending

Administrative agencies use unconstitutional conditions on spending to regulate the conduct of grantees. Rather than rule through law, the government simply purchases submission.

Our Impact in Just 5 Years

Pro Bono Legal Assistance

795,000

HOURS LOGGED PER YEAR
BY EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS

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1M

REACHED BY HIGH-IMPACT
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Making a Difference

1,000+

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In NCLA’s Bump-Stock Ban Case, U.S. Supreme Court Rules ATF Cannot Alter a Statute’s Meaning Read More >>
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