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August 16, 2011
Are NOAA and Other Regulatory Agencies above the Law?
Dr. Brian Rothschild, the prominent fisheries scientist, recently published an op-ed titled "Fish, the intent of Congress, and jobs" in the New Bedford, MA Standard-Times. He advocates removing the management of our nation's fisheries from NOAA, the regulatory agency currently in charge. This writer wholeheartedly agrees. Recently, the cities of New Bedford, MA and Gloucester, MA sued the federal government and NOAA over inappropriate and potentially unlawful interpretations of the Magnuson-Stevens Act that supposedly governs fisheries management. The courts ruled against the cities. Dr. Rothschild says that the judge, Judge Rya Zobel, had little choice but to rule as she did. It is a feature (or a bug) of administrative law. I looked up administrative law in Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary and found the following: The procedures created by administrative agencies (governmental bodies), including rules, regulations, opinions, and orders. These...(Read Full Post)