President Donald Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, is a critic of the legal doctrine established under former President Ronald Reagan that further empowers the executive branch, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In August, Gorsuch wrote in opposition to "Chevron deference," the legal precedent established in the Reagan administration, which instructs the court to defer to executive branch agencies when unsure of how to interpret a congressional statute, according to Cornell University Law School's legal dictionary "Wex."
At the time, conservatives including the late Justic Antonin Scalia embraced the decision. However, Gorsuch argues that Chevron deference "invests agencies with pretty unfettered power."
He said Chevron deference is a "judge-made doctrine for the abdication of the judicial duty."
Since the executive branch can at times override the court's interpretation of the law, Gorsuch argues that Chevron deference turned executive agencies in a "super court of appeals. If that doesn't qualify as an unconstitutional revision of a judicial declaration of the law by a political branch, I confess I begin to wonder whether we've forgotten what might," according to the National Law Journal.
"When the political branches disagree with a judicial interpretation of existing law, the Constitution prescribes the appropriate remedial process. It's called legislation."
He added that the ruling allows "executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little difficult to square with the Constitution of the framers' design. Maybe the time has come to face the behemoth."
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