Schwartz and Appel Take Aim at Conflicting Regulations in "Federal Government Crossfire"

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Public Policy Group Co-Chair Victor Schwartz and Associate Chris Appel discuss conflicting regulatory schemes established by federal agencies in the November 7, 2014, issue of Washington Legal Foundation's Legal Opinion Letter. In "Federal Government Crossfire: Fix the 'Catch-22' Businesses Face from Conflicting Agency Demands," Schwartz and Appel dissect Peabody Western Coal Co.'s leases to mine on land owned by the Navajo Nation. Under lease provisions required by the U.S. Department of Interior, Peabody provided a hiring preference to qualified Navajo applicants. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission later challenged the preference for allegedly violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and after 13 years and millions of dollars spent on the litigation, the Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for Peabody. Schwartz and Appel propose that the conflicting agency directives could be reconciled via legislation or an executive order. Further, they argue that federal judges should exercise discretion in favor of companies caught in federal government crossfire.