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Hageman: Congress, Not Federal Bureaucrats, are the Legislators

Congresswoman Harriet Hageman (R-WY) is voting in favor of H.R. 288, the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA). The bill, that she co-sponsored, requires the courts to apply de novo (or “new”) review to all questions of law. These include agencies’ interpretations of statutes and rules.

Further, an amendment sponsored by Rep. Hageman was included in the final passage of H.R. 288 which would include interpretive rules, general statements of policy, and all other agency guidance as subject to the same requirements as statutes and rules.

Rep. Hageman stated, “SOPRA addresses the obvious – that under our Constitution, courts are supposed to interpret the law. This legislation would override ill-advised Supreme Court precedents such as Chevron, USA Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., that require courts to defer to federal agency’s interpretations of statutes and rules so long as they are “reasonable” – even if they are incorrect.

SOPRA will end improper judicial deference that gives agencies great ability to pass rules that carry the force of law and put a thumb on the scale in favor of the administration state and against the American people.

“SOPRA will also help to promote the electoral accountability of policymakers by ensuring that it is the policies of Congress – not those of unelected bureaucrats – that govern the American people.”

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