Vision & Values –
The executive branch of American civil government possesses only those authorities delegated by Article II of the US Constitution and as codified by federal statutes. The Constitution is the unquestionable law of the republic, and it is the responsibility of the President to execute it and congressional mandates consistent with, and not beyond, Congressional intent.
The American judicial system has authority only to arbitrate disputes between parties. The constitutional scope of judicial authority is constrained to rendering decisions within the boundaries of Article III and existing statutory law. Courts neither create law nor confer authority beyond the intent of Congress; the breadth and depth of their decisions is delegated, limited and does not extend beyond the case being adjudicated. Any decisions that go beyond the limits of the case at hand or that create law are fiat.
The notion of precedent law is fraternal, without premise, substance or legal foundation; previous rulings serve only as history, reference and convenience and are not law unless concurred by Congressional authorization.
In recent history, federal agencies have conferred upon themselves — through the administrative rule-making process — expansive powers and authorities not present in original statutory law. Through the cumbersome, complex and ineffective public comment/rule-making process, federal agencies create for themselves rules, regulations and policies, imposing them on the public as binding and having the weight of law.
Rule-making processes are often one-sided, incomplete, based upon faulty or non-peer reviewed science, and usually lacking in the fundamental, procedural checks required by the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Because federal agencies have been left to decide for themselves which comments to address or changes to make during rule-makings, agencies have been able to create a culture of rules that are difficult to challenge and expensive to litigate, often bearing little semblance to the Congressional mandates that produced them.
KNRC members understand the federal rule-making process must incorporate the views of local government and take place within the context of existing statutory law. Our approach is to assess compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Regulations from the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), and provisions from the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) that require Federal agencies to account for County Natural Resource Land Use Plans. The review also includes a data integrity evaluation to ensure science under-girding the rules is accurate, measurable, reproducible and readily available as required by the Data Quality Act (DQA) (66 FR 34489).
KNRC’s vision for aligning administrative processes with organic, Congressional standards continues to be well received in the region and throughout discreet areas in rural America. As federal environmental initiatives indiscriminately impact agriculture, stifle industry, result in private property encroachment, and meander along in mediocrity, KNRC’s vision to buttress local government will continue to resonate, propagate and appropriately result in structural re-balancing.