Monday, July 15, 2024

Landmark SCOTUS Decision Strips Power from Unelected Bureaucrats

'The people we elect to make the laws aren’t the ones who actually make the laws today, it’s unelected bureaucrats in the administrative state...'

(Headline USAAs conservatives were still celebrating Donald Trump’s decisive victory over incumbent Joe Biden in the presidential debates and the Supreme Court overturning a law weaponized against Jan. 6 protestors, SCOTUS delivered an arguably an even more significant win by limiting the country’s unelected bureaucracies’ rule-making power.

The court’s 6-3 ruling on Friday overturned a 1984 decision colloquially known as Chevron that has instructed lower courts to defer to federal agencies in interpreting certain laws passed by Congress.

The heart of the Chevron decision says federal agencies should be allowed to fill in the details when laws aren’t crystal clear. Opponents of the decision argued that it gave power that should be wielded by judges to experts who work for the government.

“Courts must exercise their independent judgment in deciding whether an agency has acted within its statutory authority,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the 6-3 conservative majority.

The SCOTUS decision stems from Atlantic herring fishermen suing over federal rules requiring them to pay for independent observers to monitor their catch. The fishermen argued that the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act did not authorize officials to create industry-funded monitoring requirements and that the National Marine Fisheries Service failed to follow proper rulemaking procedure.

Conservative and business interests strongly backed the fishermen’s appeals, betting that a court that was remade during Republican Donald Trump’s presidency would strike another blow at the regulatory state.

The court’s conservative majority has previously reined in environmental regulations and stopped the Democratic Biden administration’s initiatives on COVID-19 vaccines and student loan forgiveness.

The justices hadn’t invoked Chevron since 2016, but lower courts had continued to do so.

Opponents of the Chevron doctrine argue that judges applied it too often to rubber-stamp decisions made by government bureaucrats. Judges must exercise their own authority and judgment to say what the law is, the court said Friday, adopting the opponents arguments.

SCOTUS’s decision drew celebrations from free-market conservatives and libertarians.

“The Supreme Court just struck down the Chevron Doctrine which has poisoned our country in recent decades. This is a *seismic* ruling. The people we elect to make the laws aren’t the ones who actually make the laws today, it’s unelected bureaucrats in the administrative state,” said former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.

“That’s because an older, awful ruling said U.S. courts have to defer to administrative agencies’ interpretations of the law. As of today, that’s no longer the case & America is better off for it.”

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