In TWISM Enterprises v State Board of Registration, TWISM, an engineering company, sued Ohio’s Board of Registration over being denied a contract to provide engineering services to the State of Ohio. The Regulators had denied the contract on the grounds that Ohio’s engineers must be employees of the State. Never mind that the applicable Ohio law requires no such thing. Per The Wall Street Journal‘s editors,
The court ruled 7-0 that the regulatory board had essentially rewritten Ohio law by insisting that anyone providing engineering services must be an employee, and not an independent contractor. The statute says no such thing, and the court ruled for the company.
Justice Patrick DeWine expanded on that in the ruling, as he wrote and was joined by three more of the seven:
[He] swept away competing lines of previous Ohio deference cases to make clear that “the judicial branch is never required to defer to an agency’s interpretation of the law.” The agency’s view “is simply one consideration a court may sometimes take into account in rendering the court’s own independent judgment as to what the law is,” he writes.
Never required. Court’s own independent judgment. What he, and they, said.