Supreme Court agrees to hear a case that could cripple the administrative state

Photo by Craig Fildes via (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED) on Flickr

Democrats keep losing bigtime at the Supreme Court.

Liberals have no idea what they’re in store for.

And Joe Biden is going to hate what Clarence Thomas is about to say.

The 1984 Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council Supreme Court case created what is known as the “Chevron deference.”

In this case the Supreme Court ruled that administrative agencies possessed wide latitude to implement legislation and interpret the meaning of statutory language.

The effect of the case meant Congress no longer had to do its job and outline the specific intent of the bills it passed and instead just left it up to the executive branch to determine what Congress intended.

Now it looks like the Supreme Court is about to accomplish this goal of the conservative legal movement.

Earlier this year the Supreme Court agreed to take up the case of Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo.

In this case, Loper Bright Enterprises sued over a regulation that required them to pay for federal observers aboard their boats.

Left-wing Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson recused herself from the case because she previously served on the lower court that upheld the regulation citing the Chevron deference.

The justices then agreed to hear a near-identical case in tandem called Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce and concerns the same regulation about requiring a company to pay for federal observers aboard their boats.

But Justice Jackson doesn’t have to recuse herself from this case.

The Court taking up a second case on the Chevron deference is a clear signal that conservatives intend to drive a stake through the heart of this legal precedent.

Justices likely didn’t want to overturn a major legal doctrine if all the justices couldn’t participate so they picked a second, identical case that would feature the full bench to eliminate a major avenue the left could pursue to claim a decision overturning Chevron was an illegitimate power grab.

Conservatives on the Supreme Court have been itching to dismantle Chevron.

“Chevron is in serious tension with the Constitution,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in 2020.

“At this late hour, the whole project deserves a tombstone no one can miss,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote about driving the final nail in the coffin of Chevron last year. “We should acknowledge forthrightly that Chevron did not undo, and could not have undone, the judicial duty to provide an independent judgment of the law’s meaning in the cases that come before the Nation’s courts.”

The immediate effect of the Court killing the Chevron deference would be to cripple the ability of Joe Biden to unilaterally implement the Green New Deal through administrative fiat by twisting the meaning of laws on the books by using the widest latitude interpretation.

The long-term effect would force Congress to do its job and actually write laws that spell out how the government is to exercise its constitutional powers.

And that will ultimately benefit the American people as forcing Congress to go on the record by outlining in detail what actions they expect the government to take will force them to think twice about passing legislation when they can’t pass the buck to the executive branch when government unlawfully seizes power.