Boots & Sabers

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0619, 01 Jul 24

SCOTUS Ends Chevron

I was blissfully in a wilderness area for a few days and came back to this fantastic news. Huzzah, huzzah.

In a major ruling, the Supreme Court on Friday cut back sharply on the power of federal agencies to interpret the laws they administer and ruled that courts should rely on their own interpretation of ambiguous laws. The decision will likely have far-reaching effects across the country, from environmental regulation to healthcare costs.


By a vote of 6-3, the justices overruled their landmark 1984 decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, which gave rise to the doctrine known as the Chevron doctrine. Under that doctrine, if Congress has not directly addressed the question at the center of a dispute, a court was required to uphold the agency’s interpretation of the statute as long as it was reasonable. But in a 35-page ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts, the justices rejected that doctrine, calling it “fundamentally misguided.”


Justice Elena Kagan dissented, in an opinion joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Kagan predicted that Friday’s ruling “will cause a massive shock to the legal system.”


When the Supreme Court first issued its decision in the Chevron case more than 40 years ago, the decision was not necessarily regarded as a particularly consequential one. But in the years since then, it became one of the most important rulings on federal administrative law, cited by federal courts more than 18,000 times.

Yes, ELECTED officials should be debating and making decisions about our live. Unelected bureaucrats should never have been given this power. Does this mean that elected officials will have to work harder and write more detailed legislation without hiding their intent behind the bureaucracy? You bet. That’s good.

Now the hard work begins. Every regulation that is unauthorized by legislation must be challenged in court and thrown out. This will take years, but it must be done. In every case, the question must not be whether or not the regulation is good or not. The question must be whether or not the regulation was passed by our elected officials in Congress.


0619, 01 July 2024


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