Supreme Court Rejects OSHA Challenge

( – According to its website, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) mission is to ensure Americans have safe and healthful working conditions free from unlawful retaliation.” It accomplishes this by establishing rules and guidelines for companies to follow. However, some don’t agree with the regulations and think the agency, which is part of the executive branch, has too much power. Such is the case of a company from Ohio that sued OSHA, claiming the legislative branch delegated its oversight powers to the executive branch in opposition to the Constitution.

On July 2, the US Supreme Court denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by an Ohio general contractor challenging OSHA’s authority. Allstates Refractory Contractors, LLC, named that agency, acting Labor Secretary Julie Su, and OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary James Frederick as defendants.

Allstate argued that Congress violated Article I of the US Constitution when it delegated authority to OSHA to develop and enforce “reason” and necessary or appropriate” workplace safety standards. In August 2023, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling siding against the plaintiff in a split decision and denied subsequent petitions for a panel rehearing and a hearing en banc. The contractor filed its petition with SCOTUS in late January.

SCOTUS issued a three-page order denying the petition. Conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas indicated they would have agreed to hear the case. However, court rules require at least four affirmative votes to take a case.

Although Gorsuch didn’t explain his decision, Thomas presented a detailed reason for taking up the constitutional issue raised by Allstate. He called the case an “excellent vehicle” to “reconsider” the Supreme Court’s position on congressional delegation of its power to federal agencies.

Thomas warned that OSHA’s authority extended to “virtually” every business” in the US. He also noted that the congressional act that created the agency could represent the “broadest delegation of power to an administrative agency” adopted by Congress and codified by statute.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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