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house Bill H.R. 1927

Should Courts Interpret Ambiguous Laws & Regulations Rather Than Federal Agencies?

Argument in favor

This bill will prevent unelected bureaucrats from interpreting statutes with political bias. It will protect the American people from an overly powerful presidential administration, and rebalance the checks and balances built into our Constitution.

Bob's Opinion
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09/13/2019
Better yet, get rid of the ambiguous laws and the federal agencies altogether.
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John's Opinion
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09/13/2019
The way I see the separation of power in the Federal government is that the Legislative branch creates laws, the Executive Branch enforces the laws, and the Judicial Branch interprets the laws in light of the Constitution. In the last few years this hasn’t happened so much with the Executive Branch effectively creating laws and creating their own budget. Congress needs to take back their legislative powers and get back to the system set forth in the Constitution.
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Bill's Opinion
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09/13/2019
Only congress has the delegated authority to make laws. If a law is ambiguous then it must be nullified until clarified before given effect. Agencies should never be allowed to “interpret” because it puts sovereign rights in jeopardy of capricious agents.
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Argument opposed

Federal agencies serve as the experts in their fields, and are the most qualified to interpret federal laws into policy. This bill would overwhelm the courts with cases, and overlooks the fact that judges can be just as politically biased as agency officials.

Thelma's Opinion
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09/13/2019
This will only fix the imbalance of power if the judiciary can be trusted. Since the judiciary also clearly cannot be trusted as they are tainted by republican shenanigans, this is not an answer.
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Phillip's Opinion
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09/13/2019
If there are “known” ambiguous laws then fix them with the legislative branch. That’s your job. If an agency makes a ruling on a bad law to make it work this should be taken into account by the legislature when they try to fix it. Getting even more lawyers involved unless you are appealing a decision is counterproductive and just ties up court time which could be better used for real cases.
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NoHedges's Opinion
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09/13/2019
No, just no. There is not enough political trust for me to approve of a Republican sponsored power redistribution.
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    Better yet, get rid of the ambiguous laws and the federal agencies altogether.
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    This will only fix the imbalance of power if the judiciary can be trusted. Since the judiciary also clearly cannot be trusted as they are tainted by republican shenanigans, this is not an answer.
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    In the good ol' days when we had a government with officials dedicated to governing instead enriching themselves, this discussion would not be needed. If an agency implemented/interpreted law in a manner inconsistent with Congressional intent, there would be a letter or a phone call to resolve. When the power of the purse still resided with Congress and not dominated by budget tricks of the Executive Branch- this was pretty easy. Congress makes the legislation and so long as legislation clearly states their intent (instead of only the implementation, as is done frequently today), then that intent, if violated, should allow congressional redirection of agency interpretations by appropriate subcommittees. They generated the law and know how they intended it to be interpreted. Start here. If Congress gridlocks- then go to courts. .... .... .... You can clearly see the damage done to our government by the Republican Senate and Executive Branch. The courts, including the Supreme Court, are no longer trusted due to the unprecedented actions of Moscow Mitch and the other Republican dinosaurs to blatantly, unashamedly and unethically stack the courts with judges shown to support their ideology. I mean, blocking Obama’s nominee for over a year because they needed more deliberation and did not want to rush it- and then, shamelessly ramming Kavanaugh through the process despite the overwhelming opposition of legal scholars; their race to stack load circuit courts. This is not governing, this is a tribal warfare tactic played out with the theatrics of the TV show, Survivor. All of the many, many illegal actions and abuses of power in the Executive Branch and control of the DOJ thanks to Barr has quickly destroyed public trust in law enforcement policies and procedures, trust that had been earned over many years. So, in summary, a corrupt Senate has destroyed public trust in both Congress and the Judiciary. An unchecked corrupt administration allowed to violate rules, laws and conventions has destroyed public trust in the Executive Branch. ..... Well played, Mr. Putin! Well played- you got all three major components of our government all at once.
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    If there are “known” ambiguous laws then fix them with the legislative branch. That’s your job. If an agency makes a ruling on a bad law to make it work this should be taken into account by the legislature when they try to fix it. Getting even more lawyers involved unless you are appealing a decision is counterproductive and just ties up court time which could be better used for real cases.
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    No, just no. There is not enough political trust for me to approve of a Republican sponsored power redistribution.
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    Dumb idea. You are giving one branch more power over another. If Congress would do their job better, we wouldn’t have this problem.
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    NO!!! That’s called legislating from the bench. The courts should interpret laws only as they are written. If ambiguous, Congress or agencies should have to clarify their intent.
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    The way I see the separation of power in the Federal government is that the Legislative branch creates laws, the Executive Branch enforces the laws, and the Judicial Branch interprets the laws in light of the Constitution. In the last few years this hasn’t happened so much with the Executive Branch effectively creating laws and creating their own budget. Congress needs to take back their legislative powers and get back to the system set forth in the Constitution.
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    The courts are a bunch of unelected officials as well. If a law is ambiguous then fix it.
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    Some “DeepState” conspiracy theory made for the idiocracy takes form. Spare me.
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    The Supreme Court has been bought and sold and tainted by Trump, McConnel, and other greedy, corporate-owned, religious fanatic profiteers before them. So...hell no.
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    In a perfect world going to court on every attempt by the executive branch to establish fair and equitable rules and regulations could be challenged in our court system! That would lead to chaos in a two party system in which politics is put in front of the needs for education, health and welfare of the American people!! It becomes more clear, that the intent of this legislation is to put a monkey wrench into needed reforms by a member of Congress who represents the billionaire class !! Republicans these days forget that we are a government of, by and for the American people; not billionaires!! Bills like this one should galvanize us into a more participatory democracy!! Let’s elect people that care about people not the big corporate polluters who are destroying the planet!!
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    Only congress has the delegated authority to make laws. If a law is ambiguous then it must be nullified until clarified before given effect. Agencies should never be allowed to “interpret” because it puts sovereign rights in jeopardy of capricious agents.
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    If a law that was passed is ambiguous, rather than have the courts or any federal agency make a determination of what the law means, the law should be RETURNED TO Congress for them to SPECIFY what is the laws intent. This will keep Congress from making so many laws and allow our society to be restored as a Christian nation where we are self governed because we have Gods laws written on our hearts.
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    Courts have no business applying their bias to laws. If the the laws are written so poorly that they may not be interpreted, the legislative branch needs to clean them up.
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    More Repugnacant power grabbing!
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    Supreme Court Justice Scalia agrees that agencies have too much latitude for interpretation of rules: [F]or no good reason, we have been giving agencies the authority to say what their rules mean, under the harmless-sounding banner of ‘defer[ring] to an agency’s interpretation of its own regulations.’” This bill will prevent unelected bureaucrats from interpreting statutes with political bias. It will protect the American people from an overly powerful presidential administration, and rebalance the checks and balances built into our Constitution. Ratcliffe and other congressional Republicans believe the Obama administration over-relied on the Chevron doctrine in efforts to push through large-scale initiatives like the Affordable Care Act. In a letter in support of the bill, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform wrote: “For the past seven years, the Obama administration has run riot, ignoring Congress and the will of the people again and again. Bureaucrats have continually made up the rules as they go along when it comes to implementing and interpreting laws, with little or no consequence.”
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    Each law or regulation should have a preamble stating the purpose and intent of the law or regulation. Any interpretation that is not inline with the purpose and intent, would be illegal. Easy fix.
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    There should be no ambiguous laws, period.
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    The republicans have stuffed the courts with unqualified and even the Association of Attorneys said the nominees were NOT good enough for our courts, but the Republicans who don’t really care out about our democracy have voted them in anyway. So NO. THOSE UNQUALIFIED PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE MAKING THOSE KIDS OF DECISIONS.
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