US Law Week

Sore-Horse Suit Gets New Hearing Before Properly Appointed ALJ

Feb. 16, 2021, 8:23 PM

A suit under the Horse Protection Act must be sent back to the Department of Agriculture for a new administrative hearing, because the process by which the agency appointed its administrative law judges was unconstitutional, the D.C. Circuit said Tuesday.

The court also refused to address a different constitutional challenge to the dual-layers of protection the ALJ’s enjoy from for-cause removals. The statute establishes a mandatory exhaustion requirement before a court can address that issue, the opinion by Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan said.

The Horse Protection Act makes it illegal for breeders to purposefully injure a horse’s front legs so...

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