For the second time in two years, President Trump has nominated a justice to the Supreme Court of the United States. His selection of Brett Kavanaugh, like the selection of Justice Neil Gorsuch before him, shows the White House’s commitment to selecting judges “devoted to a legal doctrine that challenges the broad power federal agencies have to interpret laws and enforce regulations,” as the New York Times has put it.
If confirmed, that devotion may be quickly tested. Led by Texas, 17 states have urged the Supreme Court to take up California Sea Urchin Commission v. Combs and end Chevron deference — the Court’s controversial and unconstitutional practice of deferring to agencies on the meaning of statutes, rather than having independent judges interpret the law.
For too long, the states argue, the convenience of bureaucrats has been weighted more heavily than fairness to the American people.
“It is doubtless convenient for federal agencies to have little restraint on their interpretation of federal law; to be able to change their minds at any time, for any reason; and to receive deference even for interpretations expressed retroactively,” the states acknowledge. But “there is a price to be paid for these conveniences, and it is paid by those who are subject to the agency’s regulatory authority.”