Subscribe Subscribe   Find us on Twitter Follow POL on Twitter  



Reminder: Jun. 9 panel: "Government by Consent Decree?"

As we mentioned on May 22, tomorrow AEI is holding a panel featuring U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Representative Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) discussing their proposed legislation, S. 489, the Federal Consent Decree Fairness Act. The Act is an elegant attempt at a solution to the political problem whereby an activist group and an executive branch agency, unable to achieve a certain political result through normal constitutional means, contrive litigation of one sort or another that demands that result as a remedy and then collusively "settle" the case by agreeing to have the court administer the relief under pain of contempt. Current procedural rules then make it difficult to remove the court's power from administration, meaning that the citizenry has no recourse to changing the policy, even through elections. Indeed, under current constitutional standing doctrine, aggrieved citizens often cannot even participate in the underlying judicial proceedings. Under the Act, a government may move to re-evaluate consent decrees after the expiration of the term of the individual who authorized the settlement.

Steve Hitov of the National Health Law Program argues against the bill on the ACSBlog. Here's Senator Alexander's press release in support of the bill. For more on this and similar issues, see POL's Regulation Through Litigation section.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.