House Bill Would Roll Back “Sue-And-Settle” Regulatory Creep


Reader John D. writes . . .

You cover a fair number of hunting issues, so I thought this legislation might interest you and your readers. Particularly readers in the western states which have born the brunt of regulatory amplification. And this could become a general firearms issue at a moment’s notice. I wrote this up for Michigan Gun Owners . . .

Long overdue: Representative Collins and Senator Grassley have introduced bills in the House and Senate which impede special interest groups from conniving with Federal regulators to use the Federal Courts to create regulations which go far beyond statutory authority.

This regulatory amplification has become a common practice at BLM, EPA, F&WS, NPS, and other Federal regulators who have dominion over hunters, shooters and farmers. Special interest groups who have engaged in this connivance include HSUS, the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Center for Biological Diversity, and a host of other well funded astroturf groups.

While mostly targeted at hunting and fishing locales, equipment, and practices thus far, this deceitful practice is primed to be used against firearms and gun owners in general during the remainder of the second Obama term. From The Hill:

The bill prohibits the same-day filing of complaints, pre-negotiated consent decrees and settlement agreements in cases seeking to compel agency action. It also requires consent decrees and settlement agreements to be filed only after interested parties have had the opportunity to intervene in the litigation and join settlement negotiations, and only after proposed consent decree or settlements have been published for at least 60 days to give the public time to comment.

It also requires courts considering approval of consent decrees and settlement agreements to account for public comments and comply with regulatory process statutes and executive orders.


  1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    I’ll have to look into this. The “sue-and-settle” model started in the Clinton administration, and is bedeviling us in the west. The left wing environmentalists are using this tactic to a) enrich their groups of poseurs and b) choke private businesses out of any multiple-use of “public” lands and even their own private lands in the west.

    1. avatar Avid Reader says:


      “Land of many uses” is merely a motto now. It’s been essentially meaningless for decades.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Could we use that ‘sue-and-settle’ model for OUR interests?

      1. avatar rosignol says:

        Not without replacing the bureaucrats.

        The point of sue-and-settle is to let the agency/department/whatever do something it wants to do, but has not been authorized by Congress. So they find some activists who manufacture standing, file a ‘friendly’ lawsuit, and then the find a judge who isn’t paying attention (or doesn’t care) to approve the settlement deal.

        The entire thing should be banned. IMO, the government shouldn’t be offering settlements, period. A case should proceed until a judge makes a ruling.

    3. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

      We just need to have laws that fight back by giving pro rights groups equal standing to sue.

  2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    It about time. In fact, it way past time. The Bundy Ranch confrontation was, in large measure, caused by a sue-and-settle consent agreement between an environmental activist group and BLM which wanted to use the Bundy Ranch as habitat for turtles which were being displaced by a solar-energy project promoted by—wait for it—Harry Reid’s son. They thought it would be easy to intimidate an elderly rancher and his family. They rather quickly found something they hadn’t been expecting.

  3. avatar FsN says:

    Good stuff, keep it coming.

    Good to see the Lansing delegates are using more than just their brain stems.

    Now if they’ll get busy on the wolf overpopulation issues we’ll be getting somewhere…

  4. avatar Excedrine says:

    I expect this to be DOA in the Senate, especially since this hits Harry Reid (and his son) where it hurts: their pocketbooks. More stonewalling and obstructionism from the Party of No, as is usual.

    1. avatar Ray Ficara says:

      Senile Harry is no longer majority leader and is about to get smacked.

  5. avatar ROSCOE says:

    It’s about time. I hope this measure gains enough traction to pass and isn’t simply used as a bargaining chip against the pen and phone butcher of the White House,,,despite his certain veto .

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