The destruction of the regulatory state is already happening

The destruction of the regulatory state is already happening

Lisa Needham writes:

It’s been barely a week since conservatives on the US Supreme Court radically upended the balance of power between the branches of government, giving the federal courts the exclusive power to interpret statutes rather than deferring to agency experts. And we’re already seeing impacts on the ground.

Right-wingers have been in the habit of running to their preferred courts to get regulations overturned, but the decision in Loper Bright v. Raimondo, which officially destroyed agency deference, will make it easier — even routine — to block every Biden administration rule they don’t like.

Lawsuits to invalidate specific rules had been proceeding through the federal courts before Loper Bright, generally arguing that agencies exceeded their authority in promulgating a rule. These lawsuits exist in no small part because the Supreme Court made it clear they would destroy Chevron deference for years now, with Justice Neil Gorsuch having led the way well before his appointment to the Court.

Trump appointee Sean Jordan, who sits in the reliably hard-right Eastern District of Texas, was so eager to block a Biden administration’s overtime rule that he dropped his decision the same day Loper Bright came out. It runs 36 pages and mentions Loper Bright multiple times, which means either Jordan was so confident of the Supreme Court decision that he either wrote it in advance or he hurried to stuff Loper Bright into his already-written opinion.

Jordan’s opinion also rests heavily on dictionary definitions rather than expertise from the Department of Labor, which issued the rule. So now, the rule that would have made 4 million more Texas workers eligible for overtime, and thus more pay, is blocked thanks to a hurried read of a SCOTUS opinion and Webster’s Dictionary.

What this mean is that anytime a business doesn’t like a federal rule, it can just sue. It promises to be a free-for-all. [Continue reading…]

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