Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Supreme Court to Hear New Jersey Fishermen Vs. Feds

The U.S. Supreme Court has another pivotal case on its docket, out of New Jersey, which every private business owner must keep an eye on.

Three years ago, members of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) dictated that certain people who work for them —monitors — must ride along with New Jersey’s red herring fishermen and observe their activities. The monitors then report back to the government. The feds force these fishermen to pay monitoring fees that cost them more than $700 per day.

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The feds can enforce this law without the prior approval of Congress. But it puts those fishermen’s livelihoods in jeopardy. These red herring fishermen say they cannot afford to continue paying these fees. They want the law overturned. Towards that end, the fishermen sued the NMFS.

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After working its way up through the lower courts, the case has finally made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Members of that body have agreed to hear the fishermen’s case.

The Arlington, VA-based Cause of Action Institute announced the news about the U.S. Supreme Court this month.

As RVIVR reported in December, a controversial U.S. Supreme Court ruling from 1984 grants entirely too much power to federal bureaucrats to harass and then fleece small business owners out of their hard-earned revenues.

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The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a divided opinion, cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1984 ruling in Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (NRDC). The Supreme Court in 1984 said a government agency must conform to any clear legislative statements when interpreting and applying a law. Courts, according to the 1984 ruling, must defer to the government agency in ambiguous situations, provided its interpretation is reasonable.

The Ohio-based Buckeye Institute and the Washington, D.C.-based National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) are not parties to the case. The two organizations, however, filed an amicus brief.

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Cause of Action, according to its website, advocates for economic freedom and limited government.

The fishermen are represented by former Solicitor General Paul Clement and lawyers from Cause of Action Institute.

Clement served as United States solicitor general from 2004 to 2008.

Cause of Action documented the fishermen’s plight in this 2022 YouTube video.

Cause of Action did not say when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case.

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