One More Thought

Or maybe two….

My first concerns Corner Post, Inc v Board Of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that newly created businesses really are allowed to argue against decades-old regulations, here the Fed’s long-standing cap on credit card fees that card issuers are allowed to charge.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in dissent,

The tsunami of lawsuits against agencies that the Court’s holdings in this case and Loper Bright [which removed Chevron defense] have authorized has the potential to devastate the functioning of the Federal Government.

In an era of burgeoning regulatory, vice Congressional, governance of our economy, and in an era where Federal government officials routinely ignore Federal law (immigration) and Court rulings (student debt “forgiveness”) to go about doing whatever an official feels like doing whenever one of them feels like doing it, it’s hard to see the downside of limiting the functioning of the Federal Government, much less to see any “devastation.” The tsunami of lower court lawsuits is simply the dam holding back private citizens’ and our businesses’ objections to such overreach finally bursting. The flood has every chance of flushing away a large part of that overreach detritus before it abates. And abate it will, just as even tsunamis do.

My second thought concerns the worry of Kevin King, a partner with Covington & Burling, regarding the Federal government’s reduced legal ability to blow off the objections of us private citizens and our businesses to government behaviors and the resulting potential for significant differences in interpretation of statutes by courts to develop:

The risk is that you’re going to get variation over geography, a patchwork of decisions[.]

Again, I say, “Yeah, and?” King’s worry seems centered on the possibility that the federated republican democracy nature of our constitutional governance, where the several States are, in their aggregate and individually, the equal of the central government regarding domestic matters might be starting to reassert itself. Furthermore, those geographic disparities are simply the noisy nature of democracy and a reflection of the plain fact that the citizens of one State might not have the same imperatives as the citizens of other States.

There’s also that Commerce Clause in our Constitution, a clause too long dormant, that can be put to the use for which it was devised and included—to smooth over (not paper over) the larger differences among the States where those differences too much impact the separate doings of other States.

Both of these are outcomes to be welcomed, not feared. Especially are they not to be obstructed.

2 thoughts on “One More Thought

  1. I suggest Justice KBJ re(?)read the Declaration of Independence, and its list of usurpations and offenses. The Administrative State does many of these things, and we are well justified in opposing them.

    • And my book, A 21st Century American Crisis, in which I lay out a number of similar government misbehaviors from the Obama/Biden administration.
      Eric Hines

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