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Zhonette Brown

General Counsel and Senior Litigation Counsel

Zhonette brings a quarter-century of litigation experience to NCLA. After a federal clerkship, she spent many years litigating at large law firms in Washington, D.C., and Denver, Colorado, before beginning public interest litigation in 2018. 

Zhonette has litigated in state, federal, and international venues and in matters ranging from pro bono custody issues to multi-district and class action cases for Fortune 100 companies. Zhonette spent the first part of her career focused on high-stakes complex commercial litigation and white-collar defense. Since changing her legal practice to taming the Administrative State, Zhonette has focused on the Administrative Procedure Act, natural resources, takings issues and other constitutional claims. 

Zhonette is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, the State of Colorado, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and various federal courts.

Give Me Liberty, or Give Me…Whatever EPA Wants 

By: Zhonette Brown May 15, 2024
According to the Supreme Court, “[d]eciding what competing values will or will not be sacrificed to the achievement of a particular [governmental] objective is the very essence of legislative choice[.]” So if Congress passes a law, but leaves that decision to an administrative agency, is the agency legislating in violation of the constitutional mandate that…

Beyond the Statute: Government "Logic" and the Cargill Case

By: Zhonette Brown February 1, 2024
Later this month, NCLA’s second of three cases before the Supreme Court this term will be argued, Garland v. Cargill. Like the Relentless v. Department of Commerce case heard last month, Cargill follows an all too familiar plot in the Administrative State: the evolution of a federal agency’s statutory interpretation when the agency decides it…

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument expansion sparks controversy

By: Kara Rollins January 4, 2024
Recent petitions provide the U.S. Supreme Court a rare opportunity to resolve a conflict between president monument designations under the Antiquities Act and federal land management law.