Justice Rehnquist

Congress is the law making body of the United States of America. The constitution has granted congress powers to make laws. These powers fall into three main categories: expressed, implied or special. However, due to the busy nature of the United States Congress, it is impossible for the law-making body to create every law that will govern the citizens of the country. For this reason, the constitution has given powers to congress to delegate its authorities to other bodies especially when dealing with technical matters that need specialist understanding.

For example, in regards to the railway transport among states, congress managed to lay down the general principles regarding railway regulation. However, it was not possible for congress to state the exact rate to be charged between the different states. By the act of 29 June 1906, congress determined that the rate that is to be charged between two states should be “just and reasonable”. The duty of determining the rate was delegated to the Interstate Commerce Commission.

INDUSTRIAL UNION DEPARTMENT, AFL-CIO v. AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE ET AL. The court of appeal had ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Admissions (OSHA) had created the standards that were not based on findings of the administrative records. The court of appeal also ruled that the law did not give the agency (OSHA), the unbridled permission to create a risk-free working environment regardless of the cost to be incurred. The Supreme court affirmed the ruling of the court of appeal.

In the ruling, Chief Justice Rehnquist explained that he had serious concerns in the way that power was delegated in this case because the language relevant portion of the act 6 (b) (5), gave the secretary “absolutely no indication where on the continuum of relative safety he should set the standard. Nor is there anything in legislative history, the statutory context, or any other source traditionally examine by this court, that provides specifty to the feasibility criterion in 6 (b) (5). Pp 672 – 688.