Loper Bright Effects to Take Time

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Over at The Manhattan Contrarian, attorney Francis Menton explains why (as of the night after the presidential "debate") he regards the Supreme Court's recent overruling of Chevron Deference as the most important recent political development.

I think the post is a good, concise explanation of what Chevron Deference was, and what was wrong with it.

But even if you understood these things, Menton's appraisal of when it might bear fruit will be worth consideration:

One day, we may toss the regulatory state out of this window. (Image by Hydragyrum, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)
Will the overruling of Chevron bring about a significant change in the dynamic of endless government growth? I think so, but perhaps not immediately. Note that Loper Bright is coming now near the end of a Biden term, where the odds seem to increasingly favor the return of a Republican administration in 2025. Such a new administration will be highly likely to seek large-scale roll-backs of recently issued regulations, most notably in the areas of climate and energy. The Chevron doctrine has been useful to agencies in regulatory roll-backs as well as expansions. Obviously there have been far fewer roll-backs than expansions over the past many decades. But indeed the Chevron case itself arose in the context of a regulatory roll-back by EPA during the Reagan administration, which roll-back had been blocked by the DC Circuit. The DC Circuit is currently dominated by Biden and Obama-appointed judges, who can be expected to resist regulatory roll-backs of a new Trump administration.

So this process will take years to play out...
In the meantime, advocates of limited government should continue working for the day when ending the regulatory state altogether becomes a plausible alternative, making this ruling superfluous.

The legal process Menton describes sounds as if it will occur on a faster, albeit similarly slow timescale to that of the cultural change I advocate.

That said, there is nothing like an idea whose time has finally come, and I expect that pace to end that monstrous injustice will be more impressive, if that day finally does come.

-- CAV

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