One constant theme of the Hotline is that regulatory agencies are an unconstitutional fourth branch of government. Now the Court may take a big, welcomed step to rein it in.
A mortal wound to the Constitution happened 40 years ago when the Supreme Court wrongfully ruled in Chevron vs. Natural Resources Defense Counsel that federal judges must defer to a regulatory agency’s dictates.
Since then the power of the unelected regulatory octopus has expanded into every area of our daily lives. On Monday, the Court announced it would revisit that precedent, raising hopes that the power of the unelected regulators will be sharply curtailed.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, whose mother ironically set in motion the original Chevron decision when she was Ronald Reagan’s EPA Administrator, wrote in a 2016 opinion that Chevron “permits executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power.” He concluded that, “Maybe the time has come to face the behemoth” of the regulatory state.