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(U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, August 23, 2023) The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Congress effectively and properly delegated regulatory power over workplace safety to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The Court said this was a “simple but poignant challenge,” asking the question of whether Congress’ delegation to OSHA is constitutional. Allstates alleged that the grant of power to OSHA was so broad that it functionally gives an executive agency what is really legislative power; Congress is not permitted to delegate its legislative power. The Court examined the history behind Congress passing and President Nixon signing the Act creating OSHA in 1970, the more than five decades of OSHA regulation that has significantly improved workplace safety, and other court decisions upholding the grant of power as constitutional. That led to the finding that the Act provides an “overarching framework to guide OSHA’s discretion” that falls squarely within Congress’ authority to delegate regulatory power.” Read the full Opinion here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – November 20, 2023.

View all cases under “Source and Scope of Public Health Legal Powers.”