Supreme Court May Axe Controversial Law

The United States Supreme Court is no stranger to controversy, as their recent 6-3 decision in the Roe v. Wade case last summer indicates. 

The Supreme Court may once again change a 40-year-old law that’s expected to come before them in the fall of 2023. 

The case of Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo could be another Roe v. Wade precedent-setting case for the court. Should the court decide what is “reasonable” in deference to the agency? 

Until now, the courts would typically defer to a definition or agency interpretation and not interpret their reading of the laws when making judgments. 

The 1984 Chevron deference or doctrine gives federal regulators vast powers when interpreting agency ambiguities or interpretations and that the courts should defer to those definitions.

The question comes down to this. Does a government agency that knows nothing about the industry they’re regulating have the right to pass laws that are “ambiguous and reasonable?” And if so, can the 1983 Chevon doctrine be “pushed aside” by the court as it did in the Roe v. Wade case? 

The case before the court is between the Commerce Department passing regulations that herring fishermen must allow and pay the cost of federal monitors on their boats. 

The fishermen claim that boats are small, and any extra bodies hinder their livelihood, and paying regulators to be there is unfair when fishing boats not flying American flags have no such burden. 

The high court will have to decide what powers Congress gave the Commerce Department to regulate fishing. 

In this case, allowing Chevron to stand will enable agencies to impose their own regulations when Congress leaves questionable and vague practices in place. 

In past rulings Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas have written separate rulings in favor of overturning Chevron. Four Associate Justices voted to take the case, which will be heard later this year. 

Representative Mike Collins (R-GA) feels it’s time to end rulemaking by government agencies which he terms “freedom-threatening rulemaking.”