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Supreme Court Bars Fed Agencies From Making Their Own Laws

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Who watches the watchers?

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

A federal bureaucracy that was hardly supposed to exist long ago became the ruling class. Brought into existence by laws, the bureaucracy seized the power of the judiciary to make and interpret laws.

A key power shift came in Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc (from appropriately enough, 1984) which allowed federal agencies to interpret the statutes that they implement.

Conservatives had long set their sights on overturning ‘Chevron Deference’ which was a key pillar of the administrative state.

And now here we are. Chevron is history.

Or as the majority ruling put it, courts “may not defer to an agency interpretation of the law simply because a statute is ambiguous.”

In other words, federal agencies can’t simply have their interpretation of their powers accepted by the courts.

Who watches the watchers?

In an especially revealing dissent, Justice Elena Kagan complained that a “longstanding precedent at the crux of administrative governance thus falls victim to a bald assertion of judicial authority… it puts courts at the apex of the administrative process as to every conceivable subject.”

What’s worse, having courts or unelected bureaucrats determining the power of the bureaucracy?

Few Americans would sympathize with Kagan’s desire to consolidate more authority in the administrative state.

Will lefties turn around and use this to even more ruthlessly assault the next Republican administration? I don’t doubt it in the least. But more checks and balances, and accountability, are better than less.

Article posted with permission from Daniel Greenfield


The Washington Standard

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