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U.S. District Court of Agriculture
Hat's off to the Washington Toxics Coalition, et. al. Not only have they managed to effectively change the process by which pesticides are approved, they did so without having to resort to the regulatory process or Congress. Best of all, they did it without resorting to proving any facts regarding the pesticides in question.

Instead, the environmental groups comprising the Coalition were able to persuade a U.S. District Court judge to effectively ban use of 54 pesticides in much of the Pacific Northwest pending the outcome of an inter-governmental consultation process that the judge previously ordered.

You probably expect Winston to start ranting against the Washington Toxics Coalition and complain about how awful it was that they subverted the open regulatory and legislative processes by resorting to Regulation by Litigation. You're wrong. Winston has nothing but admiration for the Coalition. He respects people who are good at what they do and right now the Coalition has industry playing catchup.

The problem isn't the Coalition. They're just doing the job for which they are paid. Instead, the real problem is that there is no public mechanism to prevent a judge from creating a de facto U.S. District Court of Agriculture. In fact, there is no mechanism to prevent federal judges from creating, at least temporarily, U.S. District Courts of Agriculture, Automobiles, Electricity, and Software.

Winston is watching the environmental watchdogs. The question is who is watching the judges? We need a regulatory watchdog to systematically monitoring instances of Regulation by Litigation and demanding that the public have the right to effectively participate in the proceedings. We also need an Executive Order or other mechanism for curtailing Regulation by Litigation. Preferably before a judge creates the U.S. District Court of Watchdogs.

  • Click for Washington Toxics Coalition v. EPA.
  • Click to read Inside EPA article.
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