Thursday, November 14, 2013

American Legal Defense Fund v. Glickman case brief

American Legal Defense Fund v. Glickman case brief
204 F.3d 229

CASE SYNOPSIS: Defendant appealed from judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, which held that regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture did not meet the statutory mandate of 7 U.S.C.S. § 2131 et seq. and ordered that the Secretary commence rulemaking procedures and promulgate new standards.

Defendant appealed from findings that the Secretary of Agriculture's regulations failed to satisfy the statutory mandate of 7 U.S.C.S. § 2131 et seq. and the Administrative Procedure Act.

  • These findings were based on conclusions that the regulations failed to establish minimum requirements for a physical environment adequate to promote the psychological well being of primates and impermissibly delegated his responsibility to the regulated entities. 
  • However, the regulations did include specific engineering standards. 9 C.F.R. §§ 3.80, 3.81(b)-(d). Even where a veterinarian approved of variations from the standards, there were still limits. 
  • Because the Secretary was reasonably concerned that more precise specification might cause harm, it was reasonable under the statute to choose a relatively flexible standard. 
  • The Secretary pointed to substantial conflicting evidence on whether a stringent social grouping requirement was a good idea, 55 Fed. Reg. at 33491. 
  • Thus, his final policy judgment on social grouping was reasonable.
CONCLUSION: Judgment finding that the challenged regulations did not meet the statutory and administrative procedure tests was reversed. The regulations for primate care established minimum requirements as mandated by statute, while leaving some flexibility to the professional judgment of veterinarians. This was a reasonable policy judgment entitled to judicial deference.

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