Limiting the federal government's guidance

February 12, 2018 |

Here’s some “change” that will help give “hope” of survival to American businesses and to due process rights. The Trump Justice Department just put new limits on so-called “guidance documents” issued by federal agencies. Those are the “interpretations” of laws that were forcing Americans to comply not with what Congress passed but with activist agencies' opinions of what Congress intended (such as claiming that Title IX protections against sexual discrimination bar separate bathroom facilities for men and women). It was an underhanded way of letting unelected bureaucrats rewrite laws without Constitutional authority.

Under the new rules, DOJ lawyers will no longer be able to cite noncompliance with “guidance documents” as a basis to prove that someone violated an applicable law. They have to prove that someone actually violated the law as written.

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Naturally, since this write-up is from the New York Times, they make it sound as if health care, the environment and other vital fields will all immediately crumble, plunging American into a dystopian hellscape, without all those countless layers of extra-legal government micro-managing. Not much space is given to the increased freedom or savings to consumers of companies not having to pay for platoons of lawyers to deal with endless government directives.

Of course, if we’re really worried about lax government regulation, there is a simple solution: Congress could pass laws that clearly state what they mean. Talk about the Impossible Dream!


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