Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence

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04/14/2020 Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence Files Amicus Brief in American Bankers Association Case


Claremont, CA –– The Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence filed an amicus brief in American Bankers Association v. National Credit Union Administration urging the Court to return its non-delegation jurisprudence to constitutional principles by holding Congress to its duty to provide clearly articulated, specific limitations on Executive discretion.

By statute, federally-chartered community credit unions are limited to serving “[p]ersons or organizations within a well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district.” However, in the case of the National Credit Union Administration, Congress left the definition of those key terms to the Administration itself.

According to Dr. John Eastman, the founder of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, this creates a profound problem. Unconstrained discretion has been left to unelected agency administrators, which has amounted to functional delegations of lawmaking power that violate the Constitution.

Dr. Eastman adds, “Congress has delegated its lawmaking authority to an unelected agency without any governing principle, much less an intelligible one. This is a serious threat to separation of powers principles, and by extension, liberty.”

The Court should return its non-delegation jurisprudence to constitutional standards and ensure that Congress and does not attempt to pass off its essential legislative function to others. It should start by requiring that Congress provide intelligible principles with teeth: clearly articulated, specific limits on agency discretion.

Tom Caso, who directs the Institute’s Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic, co-authored this brief.

The Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence is the public interest law arm of the Claremont Institute, whose stated mission is to restore the principles of the American founding to their rightful and preeminent authority in our national life.