Washington, D.C.— House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Subcommittee Chairman Tom Marino (R-Pa.), and House Judiciary Committee member and bill sponsor John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) praised today’s passage of the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA) of 2016 (H.R. 4768) by the House of Representatives by a vote of 240-171.

“When the Framers created three equal branches of government, they did so in order to prevent one from taking power from the others. Today, that system is failing the American people. The executive branch has quietly accumulated powers from the other branches, effectively empowering an entirely new branch of government—the administrative state.

“House Republicans recognize we must return to a better way — taking power away from the unelected bureaucrats in Washington, who are churning out thousands of regulations that have to be covered by the paychecks of hardworking Americans. The “Separation of Powers Restoration Act” is a crucial part of that effort. It gives power back to the courts—rather than the bureaucrats—to be the ultimate deciders of the meaning of laws passed by the people’s elected representatives — exactly what is required to rein in the runaway administrative state.

“A restoration of our system of checks and balances as intended by the Framers is key to securing liberty, strengthening our economy and ensuring the government is held accountable for all Americans.”

Background: Since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 467 U.S. 837 (1984), federal courts have routinely deferred to federal regulatory agencies’ interpretations of the statutes passed by Congress. This has emboldened federal bureaucrats to overreach when they issue regulations and exceed the limits Congress intended to place in the law.

SOPRA would restore the proper separation of powers by requiring federal courts to once again carefully scrutinize agencies’ interpretations and decisions regarding the statutes passed by Congress. This renewed judicial oversight will put regulatory agencies on notice that bureaucrats will no longer receive a judicial rubber stamp on their overreaches.

Click here to learn more about the Separation of Powers Restoration Act.

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