Yesterday The New York Sun posted an editorial about the efforts of law professor Philip Hamburger of Columbia University to rein in the runaway administrative state. Professor Hamburger has formed the group the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), a non-profit, non-partisan organization that states its cause as fighting to “protect constitutional freedoms from violations by the Administrative State.”The article notes that the NCLA has filed amicus briefs in six cases before the Supreme Court this term and helped win all six of them.
The editorial lists the cases:
In Americans For Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, NCLA says, the Alliance filed three separate amicus briefs at various stages against a California law that would have forced not-for-profits to disclose their key donors. The Supreme Court stopped California colder than a mackerel, vindicating not only NCLA’s points but also the NAACP, which six decades ago won at the Supreme Court an early donor protection case against Alabama.
In U.S. v. Arthrex, NCLA helped win a decision suggesting that something like 200 Administrative Patent Judges were improperly appointed and subjecting them to more supervision by the executive branch. In Carr v. Saul, NCLA helped six persons win the right to have their appeals for disabilities benefits heard by a properly benched federal judge rather than an administrative law judge.
In Collins v. Yellen, NCLA helped restore the President’s power to fire — meaning make accountable — the head of the Federal Housing Financial Agency. In AMG Capital Management v. FTC it helped hold the Federal Trade Commission to due process. In Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, Justice Alito cited Mr. Hamburger’s work eight times in his concurrence in protecting the religious free exercise rights of a Catholic foster care agency.
The editorial concludes:
“Most Americans do not realize,” the New Civil Liberties Alliance notes on its Web site, “that Congress today enacts fewer than one hundred statutes per year, handing over the task of legislating to federal administrative agencies.” It reckons that the Administrative State “now creates, enforces and adjudicates hundreds of thousands of regulations governing daily activities in our lives.” It’s nice to see that the long march back to the Constitution has begun.
It’s nice to know that someone in the legal profession is fighting hard for America.