FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.
, is an important case in the development of American administrative law
The scope of authority held by an agency is determined by the agency's organic statute
. Where Congress repeatedly denies an agency the power to regulate a particular area, and develops a comprehensive regulatory scheme outside the control of the agency, the agency may not regulate that area.
Note: The approach in this case balances the approach of US v. Southwestern Cable Co.
. Whereas Southwestern Cable
allowed an agency to regulate areas not explicitly contemplated by the statute when necessary to fulfill its ultimate goal even when legislative efforts to gain such power failed, FDA
does not allow agencies to regulate areas for which Congress has developed a separate statutory scheme.
Facts and procedural posture
The Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) attempted to regulate tobacco products. Tobacco companies challenged the regulations. The District Court granted in part and denied in part the plaintiff's claim. The Circuit Court reversed, ruling for the tobacco company.
The Supreme Court ultimately affirmed the Circuit Court's ruling for the tobacco company, ruling that the FDA did not have the power to enact and enforce the regulations in question.
The FDA's authority to regulate came from the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
(FDCA). The FDA argued that nicotine was a "drug" and cigarettes and smokeless tobacco are... Read More