Supreme Court Blasts Government Overreach

Friday morning, while networks continued to report on President Joe Biden’s spectacular failure on the CNN debate stage the evening before, the United States Supreme Court quietly set off the atomic bomb of decisions.

It took the knees out from under federal agencies.

SCOTUS ruled 6-3 in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo that the 40-year-old Chevron doctrine, which gave deference to interpretations by federal agencies of statutory law, was over.

Although conservatives lauded the landmark 1984 decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council at the time, agencies have made numerous bone-headed interpretations since.

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley observed that until the Friday decision, the Chevron case “has been the Holy Grail for those who oppose the administrative state.”

“It is also a victory for Trump, whose appointees put the Court over the top in taking down Chevron,” added Turley.

He additionally argued that Chevron violated James Madison’s view that a three-party government in which each branch was limited to its constitutional authority.

After Chevron, the executive branch both interpreted and administered it.

“I have long been a critic of the case because I felt it undermined the Madisonian system,” said Turley. “Courts will now perform their constitutional and traditional function in review.”

In the case of Loper Bright, the National Marine Fisheries Service ruled that herring fishermen were meant to pay the costs of carrying federal observers on their vessels to monitor them for overfishing and collect data on their daily catch.

Talk about a mind-numbing administrative decision. The agency wanted the commercial fisherman to take agency cops on board and pay their costs and wages.

Those costs were estimated to be $710 per day.

The Supreme Court issued another decision a few weeks back based on another ridiculous agency interpretation of the law. In the interpretation, the ATF ruled that a semi-automatic rifle equipped with a bump stock met the statutory definition of a machine gun.

Those close to the Second Amendment rights groups foresee other ATF interpretations being struck down as a result of the ruling, including how it defines firearm dealers.

In April, the ATF expanded the definition of individuals “Engaged in the Business” as Dealers in Firearms, which forces casual arms sellers to become Federal Firearms Licensees and run their occasional sales through the federal background check system.

Additionally, there has been a rush of new regulations from the administrative state regarding concerns over climate change. 

•        Are they an over-interpretation of law that is already existing?

•        Do they implement existing federal law?

•        Or do they add up to an entirely new law?

President of the Judicial Crisis Network, Carrie Severino, observed that the process was relatively simple, as laid out in the Constitution—the federal government’s blueprint.

“This is a Court that cares about the separate but coequal branches of government doing what they are supposed to do,” said Severino in response to the ruling Friday.

The legislative branch makes the laws. The executive branch implements them. The judicial branch interprets the laws.

The executive branch size has burgeoned while the other two branches have remained relatively constant.

The executive branch now comprises 15 federal departments, 438 agencies, and sub-agencies manned by almost 2.9 million employees, all of which are paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.

While the decision on Friday isn’t likely to reduce the size of the administrative state, it might cut them down differently by keeping them away from the business of the other two branches of government.