The U.S. Supreme Court refused Nov. 25 to once again consider whether Congress is disregarding a long-held legal doctrine and giving too much power to federal agencies.
Last term a short-handed Supreme Court refused to reinvigorate the “non-delegation doctrine,” which prohibits lawmakers from effectively passing off their legislative authority to another branch of government. The doctrine was used to upend New Deal legislation in the 1930s, but has been dormant since.
Conservatives and libertarians eager to dismantle the so-called administrative state are eager for the court to find that Congress has violated separation of powers and to curb executive authority.
But the justices refused to take up Ronald Paul’s and Arnold Caldwell’s appeals, who each claim that Congress violated the doctrine when it delegated to the attorney general the decision of whether sex offender registry laws should apply retroactively to those who were convicted of sex crimes before the reporting requirements were enacted.