Supreme Court Crowns Itself Royalty in Disturbing Power Grab - Alliance for Justice

Supreme Court Crowns Itself Royalty in Disturbing Power Grab

Press Release


Executive Power & Civil Liberties

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Zack Ford

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28, 2024 – Today the Supreme Court issued its ruling in the cases Relentless, Inc. v. Dept. of Commerce and Loper Bright Enterprises, Inc. v. Raimondo, which together challenged the fate of Chevron deference. Under the Chevron precedent, courts have for decades deferred to the expertise of administration officials charged with enforcing our nation’s laws. In one fell swoop, however, the Court has overturned Chevron and claimed that power for itself and the lower courts, essentially declaring judges and justices the ultimate experts on every policy matter.

Writing for the partisan 6–3 majority, Chief Justice Roberts insists that “agencies have no special competence in resolving statutory ambiguities. Courts do.” With these defiant words, Roberts rejects the technical expertise anyone might have in any field, requiring it to bow to the Court’s understanding and interpretation instead. As Justice Kagan writes in the dissent for the liberal justices, when it comes to “scientific or technical subject matter” and questions of how to interpret them, “agencies have expertise in those areas; courts do not.”

“A rule of judicial humility gives way to a rule of judicial hubris,” she writes. It was “too piecemeal” for the Court to occasionally substitute its judgement in cases of workplace health and safety, climate change, or student loans. “The majority today gives itself exclusive power over every open issue,” turning itself into “the country’s administrative czar.”

Alliance for Justice Vice President of Strategy Keith Thirion issued the following statement:

“The conservative justices’ actions today amount to crowning themselves kings. Unaccountable to voters, they will personally decide any complex policy matter for themselves however they wish. On any given issue, they will ignore experts who have spent their careers developing specialized knowledge to instead make their own determination and force us to follow their whim. This is a massive power grab that upends the separation of power and checks and balances as we know it. Critical protections for our air and water, consumers, workers, and so much more could be gutted. We desperately need reforms to rein this Court in so they can’t abuse their newly seized power to further roll back all the rights and protections that define modernity as we know it.”