This is a brief review of some of the significant environmental (and administrative law decisions) released the past few weeks.
THE U.S. SUPREME COURT
On April 22, 2021, the Court decided two important administrative law cases: Carr, et al. v. Saul and AMG Capital Management v. Federal Trade Commission.
Carr, et al. v. Saul
In this case, the constitutionality of Social Security Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) hearing disability claims disputes was at issue. More precisely, were these ALJs selected in conformance with the Appointments Clause of the Constitution? A similar issue was litigated in the case of Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission. There, the Court held that many of the agency’s ALJs were not selected in conformance with the Appointment’s Clause. Here, the Court held that this issue could be decided by the courts without compelling the litigants to first exhaust their administrative remedies. Thousands of ALJs are employed by the federal government, and it may take some time to resolve this question for every agency.
AMG Capital Management v. Federal Trade Commission
In this case, the court held, unanimously, that the Commission does not presently have the authority to employ such equitable remedies as restitution or disgorgement.