Cases & Deals

Major public company sues Department of Justice over unconstitutional administrative adjudications

Client(s) Major public company

Jones Day filed suit on behalf of a major public company to stop administrative proceedings within DOJ that are being conducted by an administrative law judge ("ALJ") who is unconstitutionally shielded from the President's supervision. The ALJ may be removed from office by the Attorney General only for good cause as established and determined by the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the members of that board in turn may be removed from office by the President only for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office. Jones Day contends that, under Article II of the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent, ALJs must be removable at will by the head of the agency that appointed them and certainly cannot be shielded by two stringent levels of removal protection. Jones Day further contends that the proper remedy is to enjoin the pending administrative proceedings and declare them unlawful, because severing the removal protections instead would be fundamentally inconsistent with Congress's statutory scheme.