The Zero Aggression Project aims to create a society based on the Zero Aggression Principle (the ZAP). Our version of that principle reads…
Don’t aggress others, personally or politically.
Our main strategy is simple. Share the idea with as many people as possible. Let it sink in so that it explodes and causes mind-change as if it were a Mental Depth Charge. But…
There are other ways to reduce state aggression
Strange as it may sound…
Sometimes one branch of The State will do the job for us by limiting what another branch can do. That’s checks and balances!
And we’ve already made that happen with amicus briefs we’ve written to the Supreme Court. Two dramatic instances stand out…
No political action or state violence is needed to give workers ownership over the means of production.
ONE, our brief in the Jones case helped restore a property rights basis for the Fourth Amendment. Property had no role in cases for 45 years until we came along! Instead, jurists had replaced property with an ever-narrowing realm of expected privacy.
TWO, a non-profit group had been banned from making a movie about a politician’s career. But our unique freedom of the press argument helped form the basis for the epic decision in the Citizens United case.
Well, now we have another perhaps even more dramatic chance to “check and balance.”
Our next Supreme Court brief could reduce bureaucratic aggression
The Supreme Court has agreed to rule on the case Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo. We want to file a brief in that case, and we need your help to do it.
This could be the most important brief we’ve ever filed. To understand why consider this question…
To whom should the courts defer when making their rulings?
- The President
- The Constitution
If you chose the Constitution, then we agree. It’s not as good as obeying the ZAP, but it would be a big step in the right direction. However…
For many decades the courts have asserted that they must defer to the intentions of our elected leaders in Congress (and sometimes the White House), instead of the Constitution. Alas…
This view obliterates not only “checks and balances,” but also the idea of a “separation of powers.” Can the courts actually be a separate power, if they refuse to be a check and a balance on the Congress and the President by meekly deferring to them? But it gets worse…
The Chevron v. NRDC decision in 1984 went a big, bad step further. The ruling in that decision was that courts should defer to federal agency interpretations of “ambiguous” statutes!
In other words, Congress provides little or no guidance – they certainly don’t “Write the Laws” – and unelected bureaucrats get to figure out, by themselves, how to implement regulations. And when someone turns to the courts, to “check” bureaucratic power, they find zero “balancing.” So…
What does a bureaucratic interpretation have to do with democracy?
Who elected the bureaucrats to decide and rule? The answer is no one. So why should the judicial branch defer to them?
The Chevron decision relates to the concept behind Downsize DC.org’s “Write the Laws Act.” That legislation, which has been introduced in the Senate, stipulates that…
- All legislative authority resides in Congress and cannot be delegated to Executive Branch agencies.
- Any rule that will be imposed on the American people must first be read, debated, and passed by Congress.
- No bureaucratic agency can impose rules on you without specific Congressional action.
Our sister organization, DownsizeDC.org, has written many reports indicating that the Supreme Court has been moving in our direction on the issue of non-delegation of powers. This is exciting and important because…
Now we have a two-part question that the Supreme Court must answer…
- Can the bureaucracy legally impose its own interpretation of legislation?
- Must or should the courts defer to those interpretations?
These are the issues at stake in the case Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo. Specifically…
Congress passed legislation (the Magnuson-Stevens Act) dictating that fishing vessels must have someone on board to monitor that the fishers comply with fishing regulations. But Congress did not specify who should pay the costs of such a monitor.
The National Marine Fisheries Services provided its interpretation of congressional intent, deciding that the fishers must pay the cost. Loper Bright Enterprises has challenged the authority of the NMFS to impose this interpretation absent specific congressional instructions.
The Supreme Court has decided to hear this case. At stake is the Chevron precedent.
Will the current court continue to agree that all courts must simply defer to bureaucratic interpretation, or will it strike a blow against this delegation of powers?
We believe there is a strong chance that the current Supreme Court will finally rule against the bureaucratic presumption of legislative power.
You can help them come to the right decision!
We [along with our sister organization, DownsizeDC.org] want to file an amicus curiae brief in this case. Four powerful arguments can be made…
- The bureaucracy does not possess legislative power
- Congress cannot delegate its legislative power to Executive Branch agencies
- There is no democratic justification for courts to defer to bureaucratic opinions
- Deference to bureaucratic opinion means there is no equal protection of the law whenever a citizen mounts a legal challenge against the bureaucracy. The courts start out biased in favor of the bureaucrats!
Victory in this case would take a big step toward restoring the separation of powers and the checks and balances. And that would reduce bureaucratic aggression!
This is a huge opportunity. Will you help us seize it? Please make a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE contribution to fund our brief…
Supreme Court briefs are more expensive to deliver than other federal court briefs, and it’s not just because the stakes are higher. The Supremes have arcane printing requirements that add $1,200 on average to our costs. We are seeking at least one person who can give $1,000 or more, and five to ten more people who can contribute $100 or $200.
Our best shot at success is if everyone does what they can. All contributions add up and matter. But if you can start or increase your monthly pledge, we can plan ahead to do even more cases. Thank you, in advance.
ZAP The State and have a nice day,
Jim Babka & Perry Willis
Downsize DC Foundation (home of the Zero Aggression Project)
P.S. We’re partnering with DownsizeDC.org and others on this brief, so it’s possible you’ve already seen a similar message. The fact that the Supreme Court has invited a direct challenge to Chevron is huge. How huge? The New Deal changed our government into a technocracy that would grow to be involved in every aspect of our lives, all the way down to how much water our toilets flush. The potential? The Loper decision could be the biggest rollback in federal bureaucratic power since then. Please give generously to this effort.